Books to Read Before You Die

The British librarian’s organization — “Museum, Libraries and Archives Council” — has put together a List of Books to Read Before You Die.

I have a pretty good start on the list. Of the ones I haven’t read yet, I have four on my bookshelves at home, so I’ll probably get to them someday.

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  2. The Bible
  3. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by JRR Tolkien
  4. 1984 by George Orwell
  5. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  6. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  7. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  8. All Quite on the Western Front by E M Remarque
  9. His Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillip Pullman
  10. Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
  11. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  12. The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  13. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
  14. Tess of the D’urbevilles by Thomas Hardy
  15. Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne
  16. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  17. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham
  18. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  19. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  20. The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  21. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  22. The Prophet by Khalil Gibran
  23. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  24. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  25. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
  26. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  27. Middlemarch by George Eliot
  28. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  29. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  30. A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzenhitsyn
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4 comments on “Books to Read Before You Die
  1. mike says:

    Wow. I’ve already read eleven of them, with about six others on my reading list right now. All I can say is thank goodness there’s no Faulkner on the list. Sheer torture, he is.

  2. Yeah, it seems like they tried to be accessible to people who read for pleasure by not putting too many high-flying, torturous tomes on the list. On my “god, please no” list are Hemingway and friggin’ Moby Dick. I wish someone would do an abridged “Moby Dick: Just the Good Stuff” version where they cut out all the crap about whaling industry. That’s always where I get bogged down and stop reading.

  3. Kris says:

    Sheesh! I haven’t even read a third of those. The Alchemist is wonderful, if you haven’t read it. I will venture to say they should have included Siddhartha by Herman Hesse, as well.

  4. EN says:

    I’ve read twelve (and a third of LOTR), and I’m only seventeen. I hope that’s not a bad omen 😉 Does anyone else find it sad that they’ve misspelled “quiet”?
    Oh, and there is an edited Moby-Dick that cuts out the parts about the whaling industry. Not sure where to get it–I read the unabridged version.

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