BBC’s 100 Books You Must Read Before You Die

(bold & strike-through=read; strike-through only=listened to audio book; red=highly recommend)
  1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen [2014]
  2. The Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien [1998-2001]
  3. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
  4. Harry Potter series – JK Rowling
  5. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  6. The Bible
  7. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
  8. Nineteen Eighty Four – George Orwell
  9. His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman
  10. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
  11. Little Women – Louisa M Alcott [2014]
  12. Tess of the D’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
  13. Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
  14. Complete Works of Shakespeare
  15. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
  16. The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien [1997, 2012]
  17. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulk
  18. Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
  19. The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
  20. Middlemarch – George Eliot
  21. Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
  22. The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
  23. Bleak House – Charles Dickens
  24. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
  25. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
  26. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
  27. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  28. Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
  29. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll [2010]
  30. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
  31. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
  32. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
  33. Chronicles of Narnia – CS Lewis
  34. Emma – Jane Austen
  35. Persuasion – Jane Austen
  36. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe – CS Lewis
  37. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
  38. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
  39. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
  40. Winnie the Pooh – A.A. Milne
  41. Animal Farm – George Orwell
  42. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
  43. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  44. A Prayer for Owen Meaney – John Irving
  45. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
  46. Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
  47. Far From The Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
  48. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
  49. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
  50. Atonement – Ian McEwan
  51. Life of Pi – Yann Martel
  52. Dune – Frank Herbert
  53. Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
  54. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
  55. A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
  56. The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  57. A Tale Of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
  58. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
  59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
  60. Love In The Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  61. Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
  62. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
  63. The Secret History – Donna Tartt
  64. The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
  65. Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas [2014]
  66. On The Road – Jack Kerouac
  67. Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
  68. Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding
  69. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
  70. Moby Dick – Herman Melville [2014]
  71. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
  72. Dracula – Bram Stoker [2011]
  73. The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett [2012]
  74. Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
  75. Ulysses – James Joyce
  76. The Inferno – Dante
  77. Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome
  78. Germinal – Emile Zola
  79. Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
  80. Possession – AS Byatt
  81. A Christmas Carol – Charles Dickens [2010, 2011, 2012, 2013]
  82. Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
  83. The Color Purple – Alice Walker
  84. The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
  85. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
  86. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
  87. Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White
  88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
  89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  90. The Faraway Tree Collection – Enid Blyton
  91. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
  92. The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery (in Hungarian) [2005]
  93. The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
  94. Watership Down – Richard Adams [1997]
  95. A Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
  96. A Town Like Alice – Nevil Shute
  97. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
  98. Hamlet – William Shakespeare
  99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
  100. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo [2012]

Library of Congress’ Books that Shaped America

  • Benjamin Franklin, “Experiments and Observations on Electricity”
  • Benjamin Franklin, “Poor Richard Improved” and “The Way to Wealth”
  • Thomas Paine, “Common Sense”
  • Noah Webster, “A Grammatical Institute of the English Language”
  • “The Federalist”
  • “A Curious Hieroglyphick Bible”
  • Christopher Colles, “A Survey of the Roads of the United States of America”
  • Benjamin Franklin, “The Private Life of the Late Benjamin Franklin, LL.D.” [2014]
  • Amelia Simmons, “American Cookery”
  • “New England Primer”
  • Meriwether Lewis, “History of the Expedition Under the Command of the Captains Lewis and Clark”
  • Washington Irving, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” [2006]
  • William Holmes McGuffey, “McGuffey’s Newly Revised Eclectic Primer”
  • Samuel Goodrich, “Peter Parley’s Universal History”
  • Frederick Douglass, “The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass”
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne, “The Scarlet Letter”
  • Herman Melville, “Moby-Dick”; or, “The Whale” [2014]
  • Harriet Beecher Stowe, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” [2011]
  • Henry David Thoreau, “Walden;” or, “Life in the Woods” [2014]
  • Walt Whitman, “Leaves of Grass”
  • Louisa May Alcott, “Little Women,” or, “Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy” [2014]
  • Horatio Alger Jr., “Mark, the Match Boy”
  • Catharine E. Beecher and Harriet Beecher Stowe, “The American Woman’s Home”
  • Mark Twain, “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”
  • Emily Dickinson, “Poems”
  • Jacob Riis, “How the Other Half Lives”
  • Stephen Crane, “The Red Badge of Courage”
  • L. Frank Baum, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” [2011]
  • Sarah H. Bradford, “Harriet, the Moses of Her People”
  • Jack London, “The Call of the Wild”
  • W.E.B. Du Bois, “The Souls of Black Folk”
  • Ida Tarbell, “The History of Standard Oil”
  • Upton Sinclair, “The Jungle”
  • Henry Adams, “The Education of Henry Adams”
  • William James, “Pragmatism”
  • Zane Grey, “Riders of the Purple Sage”
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs, “Tarzan of the Apes” [2014]
  • Margaret Sanger, “Family Limitation”
  • William Carlos Williams, “Spring and All”
  • Robert Frost, “New Hampshire”
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald, “The Great Gatsby”
  • Langston Hughes, “The Weary Blues”
  • William Faulkner, “The Sound and the Fury”
  • Dashiell Hammett, “Red Harvest”
  • Irma Rombauer, “Joy of Cooking”
  • Margaret Mitchell, “Gone With the Wind”
  • Dale Carnegie, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”
  • Zora Neale Hurston, “Their Eyes Were Watching God”
  • Federal Writers’ Project, “Idaho: A Guide in Word and Pictures”
  • Thornton Wilder, “Our Town: A Play”
  • “Alcoholics Anonymous”
  • John Steinbeck, “The Grapes of Wrath”
  • Ernest Hemingway, “For Whom the Bell Tolls” [2015]
  • Richard Wright, “Native Son”
  • Betty Smith, “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”
  • Benjamin A. Botkin, “A Treasury of American Folklore”
  • Gwendolyn Brooks, “A Street in Bronzeville”
  • Benjamin Spock, “The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care”
  • Eugene O’Neill, “The Iceman Cometh”
  • Margaret Wise Brown, “Goodnight Moon”
  • Tennessee Williams, “A Streetcar Named Desire”
  • Alfred C. Kinsey, “Sexual Behavior in the Human Male”
  • J.D. Salinger, “The Catcher in the Rye”
  • Ralph Ellison, “Invisible Man”
  • E.B. White, “Charlotte’s Web”
  • Ray Bradbury, “Fahrenheit 451”
  • Allen Ginsberg, “Howl”
  • Ayn Rand, “Atlas Shrugged” [2013]
  • Dr. Seuss, “The Cat in the Hat”
  • Jack Kerouac, “On the Road”
  • Harper Lee, “To Kill a Mockingbird”
  • Joseph Heller, “Catch-22”
  • Robert A. Heinlein, “Stranger in a Strange Land”
  • Ezra Jack Keats, “The Snowy Day”
  • Maurice Sendak, “Where the Wild Things Are”
  • James Baldwin, “The Fire Next Time”
  • Betty Friedan, “The Feminine Mystique”
  • Malcolm X and Alex Haley, “The Autobiography of Malcolm X”
  • Ralph Nader, “Unsafe at Any Speed”
  • Rachel Carson, “Silent Spring”
  • Truman Capote, “In Cold Blood”
  • James D. Watson, “The Double Helix”
  • Dee Brown, “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee”
  • Boston Women’s Health Book Collective, “Our Bodies, Ourselves”
  • Carl Sagan, “Cosmos”
  • Toni Morrison, “Beloved”
  • Randy Shilts, “And the Band Played On”
  • César Chávez, “The Words of César Chávez”

100 Must-Read Books: The Essential Man’s Library

from The Art of Manliness

  1. The
 Great 
Gatsby 
by 
F. 
Scott 
Fitzgerald
  2. The
 Prince
 by
 Niccolo
 Machiavelli
  3. Slaughterhouse-Five
 by
 Kurt 
Vonnegut
  4. 1984 
by 
George 
Orwell
  5. The 
Republic 
by 
Plato
  6. Brothers 
Karamazov 
by 
Fyodor 
Dostoevsky
  7. The 
Catcher 
and 
the
 Rye 
by 
J.D. 
Salinger
  8. The 
Wealth 
of 
Nations
 by 
Adam
 Smith
  9. For 
Whom 
the 
Bell 
Tolls 
by 
Ernest 
Hemingway [2015]
  10. The 
Picture 
of 
Dorian 
Gray 
by 
Oscar 
Wilde
  11. The 
Grapes 
of 
Wrath 
by 
John 
Steinbeck
  12. Brave 
New 
World 
by 
Aldous 
Huxley
  13. How 
To 
Win 
Friends 
And 
Influence 
People 
by 
Dale 
Carnegie
  14. Call of 
the 
Wild 
by 
Jack 
London
  15. The 
Rise 
of 
Theodore 
Roosevelt 
by 
Edmund 
Morris
  16. Swiss 
Family 
Robinson 
by 
Johann 
David 
Wyss [2014]
  17. Dharma 
Bums 
by 
Jack 
Kerouac
  18. The 
Iliad 
and 
Odyssey 
of 
Homer
  19. Catch‐22 
by 
Joseph 
Heller
  20. Walden
 by 
Henry 
David 
Thoreau [2014]
  21. Lord
 of 
the
 Flies 
by 
William
 Golding
  22. The 
Master 
and 
Margarita 
by 

Mikhail 
Bulgakov
  23. Blue beard
 by
 Kurt 
Vonnegut
  24. Atlas 
Shrugged
 by
 Ayn 
Rand [2013]
  25. The 
Metamorphosis 
by 
Franz 
Kafka
  26. American 
Boys’ 
Handy 
Book
  27. Into 
Thin 
Air 
by 
John 
Krakauer
  28. King 
Solomon’s 
Mines 
by 
H. 
Rider 
Haggard
  29. The
 Idiot 
by 
Fyodor 
Dostoevsky
  30. A
 River 
Runs
 Through
 It 
by 
Norman
 F. 
Maclean
  31. The
 Island
 of 
Dr.
Moreau 
by 
H.G. 
Wells
  32. Malcolm
 X: 
The 
Autobiography
  33. Theodore 
Rex 
by 
Edmund 
Morris
  34. The 
Count 
of 
Monte 
Cristo 
by 
Alexandre 
Dumas [2014]
  35. All 
Quiet 
on 
The 
Western 
Front 
by 
Erich 
Maria
 Remarq
  36. The
 Red
 Badge 
of 
Courage 
by 
Stephen 
Crane
  37. Lives 
of 
the 
Noble 
Greeks 
and 
Romans 
by 
Plutarch
  38. The 
Strenuous
 Life 
by 
Theodore 
Roosevelt
  39. The 
Bible
  40. Lonesome 
Dove 
by 
Larry 
McMurtry
  41. The 
Maltese 
Falcon 
by 
Dashiell 
Hammett
  42. The 
Long 
Goodbye 
by 
Raymond 
Chandler
  43. To 
Kill 
a 
Mockingbird
 by 
Harper 
Lee
  44. The 
Dangerous 
Book 
for 
Boys 
by 
Conn
and
 Hal 
Iggulden
  45. The
 Killer 
Angels
 by
 Michael 
Shaara
  46. The
 Autobiography
 of 
Benjamin 
Franklin [2014]
  47. The 
Histories 
by 
Herodotus
  48. From
 Here 
to 
Eternity 
by 
James 
Jones
  49. The
 Frontier 
in 
American
 History 
by 
Frederick 
Jackson 
Turner
  50. Zen
 and 
the 
Art 
of 
Motorcycle 
Maintenance 
by 
Robert 
Pirsig
  51. Self 
Reliance
 by
 Ralph 
Waldo 
Emerson
  52. Another 
Roadside 
Attraction 
by 
Tom
 Robbins
  53. White 
Noise 
by 
Don 
Delillo
  54. Ulysses 
by 
James 
Joyce
  55. The 
Young 
Man’s 
Guide 
by 
William Alcott
  56. Blood
 Meridian, 
or 
the 
Evening 
Redness 
in 
the 
West
 by 
Cormac 
McCarthy
  57. Seek: 
Reports 
from 
the 
Edges 
of 
America 
& 
Beyond 
by 
Denis 
Johnson
  58. Crime 
And 
Punishment 
by 
Fyodor 
Dostoevsky
  59. Steppenwolf 
by 
Herman 
Hesse
  60. The
 Book
 of
 Deeds
 of
 Arms
 and 
of
 Chivalry
 by
 Christine 
De 
Pizan
  61. The 
Art 
of 
War 
by 
Sun 
Tzu
  62. Don 
Quixote 
by 
Miguel 
de 
Cervantes 
Saavedra
  63. Into 
the 
Wild
 by
 Jon 
Krakauer
  64. The 
Divine 
Comedy 
by 
Dante 
Alighieri
  65. The 
Hobbit 
by 
JRR 
Tolkien [1997, 2012]
  66. The 
Rough 
Riders 
by 
Theodore
 Roosevelt
  67. East
 of 
Eden 
by 
John 
Steinbeck
  68. Leviathan 
by 
Thomas 
Hobbes
  69. The
 Thin 
Red 
Line 
by 
James 
Jones
  70. Adventures 
of 
Huckleberry 
Finn 
by 
Mark 
Twain
  71. The 
Politics 
by
 Aristotle
  72. First 
Edition 
of 
the 
The 
Boy 
Scout 
Handbook
  73. Cyrano 
de 
Bergerac 
by 
Edmond
 Rostand
  74. Tropic 
of 
Cancer 
by 
Henry
 Miller
  75. The
 Crisis 
by 
Winston 
Churchill
  76. The 
Naked
 and
 The 
Dead 
by 
Norman 
Mailer
  77. Hatchet 
by 
Gary 
Paulsen
  78. Animal 
Farm
 by 
George 
Orwell
  79. Tarzan 
of 
the 
Apes 
by 
Edgar 
Rice 
Burroughs [2014]
  80. Beyond 
Good 
and 
Evil 
by 
Freidrich 
Nietzsche
  81. The 
Federalist 
Papers 
by 
Alexander 
Hamilton, 
John 
Jay,
 and
 James 
Madison
  82. Moby 
Dick 
by 
Herman 
Melville [2014]
  83. Essential 
Manners 
for 
Men 
by 
Peter 
Post
  84. Frankenstein 
by 
Mary 
Wollstonecraft 
Shelly
  85. Hamlet 
by 
Shakespeare
  86. The 
Boys 
of 
Summer 
by 
Roger 
Kahn
  87. A
 Separate 
Peace 
by 
John 
Knowles
  88. A
 Farewell 
To 
Arms 
by 
Ernest 
Hemingway
  89. The 
Stranger 
by 
Albert 
Camus
  90. Robinson 
Crusoe 
by 
Daniel 
Dafoe
  91. The 
Pearl 
by 
John 
Steinbeck
  92. On 
the 
Road 
by 
Jack 
Kerouac
  93. Treasure
 Island
 by 
Robert 
Louis 
Stevenson [2014]
  94. Confederacy 
of 
Dunces by John
 Kennedy 
Toole
  95. Foucault’s 
Pendulum
 by 
Umberto 
Eco
  96. The 
Great 
Railway 
Bazaar 
by 
Paul 
Theroux
  97. Fear 
and 
Trembling
 by 
Soren 
Kierkegaard
  98. Undaunted
 Courage 
by 
Stephen 
Ambrose
  99. Paradise 
Lost 
by 
John 
Milton
  100. Cannery 
Row
 by
 John 
Steinbeck [2014]

I would also add some of my own nominations to the lists if you’re looking at these for what you should read. The biggest addition is The Book of Mormon. BBC’s list does mention Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but I would add his complete works for young audiences. I love them just as much as an adult as I did as a kid. I would also include P.L. Travers’ complete Mary Poppins stories. I’m sure there are more, but these will suffice for now. Feel free to share your suggestions of books to read before you die.

 

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