101 Books to Read Before You Die

As per any list conducted by democratic poll, there are many points of potential dispute for this list compiled by the Exclusive Books bookstore franchise. There is a decidedly South African bias as well as a tendency towards more popular literature (pop-lit) than true classics. Interestingly enough a number of these novels have been or are in the process of being adapted into movies (most notably of late Slumdog Millionaire and the upcoming Time Traveler’s Wife. All in all a very interesting list, and although I’m not even close to finishing it, it has already produced some of my favourite pieces of writing, pieces that I probably wouldn’t have read without the promptings of the list. I’ve marked the novels I’ve already read (with a decidedly not subtle (Read it)) and a link to ones I’ve reviewed on the blog. Any suggestions as to what should be next?

#101 Winnie-the-Pooh – A.A. Milne (Read it)

#100 Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe

#99 The Faraway Tree Stories – Enid Blyton (Read it)

 #98 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl (Read it)

#97 Story of an African Farm – Olive Schreiner

#96 Fiela se Kind – Dalene Matthee

#95 Kane & Abel – Jeffrey Archer

#94 Shades – Marguerite Poland (Read it)

#93 Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides

#92 Northern Lights – Phillip Pullman (Re-released as The Golden Compass)

#91 The World According to Garp – John Irving

#90 Kringe in’n Bos – Dalene Matthee  (Read it)

#89 Doctor Zhivago – Boris Pasternek

#88 The Beach House – James Patterson

#87 The Colour Purple – Alice Walker

#86 The Shell Seekers – Rosamunde Pilcher

#85 The Count of Monte Christo – Alexandre Dumas

#84 Agaat – Marlene van Niekerk

#83 The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro (Read it)

#82 The Magus – John Fowles

#81 We Need to Talk About Kevin – Lionel Shriver

#80 The Day of the Jackal – Frederick Forsyth

#79 Middlemarch – George Eliot

#78 Magician – Raymond E. Feist

#77 Watership Down – Richard Adams

#76 The Red Tent – Anita Diamant

#75 Animal Farm – George Orwell (Read it)

#74 Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll (Read it)

#73 The Shipping News – Annie Proulx

#72 Bridget Jones’s Diary – Helen Fielding

#71 Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier

#70 The Prince of Tides – Pat Conroy

#69 The Boy in the Striped Pajamas – John Boyne

#68 The Other Boleyn Girl – Philippa Gregory

#67 The Name of the Rose – Umberto Eco

 #66 East of Eden – John Steinbeck

#65 The Blind Assassin – Margaret Atwood (Read it) https://myhartfeltopinion.wordpress.com/2009/05/15/classic-post-the-blind-assassin/

#64 Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dosteyevsky

#63 Mort – Terry Pratchett (Read it)

#62 The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis (Read it)

#61 Lord of the Flies – William Golding (Read it)

#60 Little Women – Louisa May Alcott (Read it) https://myhartfeltopinion.wordpress.com/2009/05/17/classic-post-little-women/

#59 River God – Wilbur Smith (Read it) https://myhartfeltopinion.wordpress.com/2009/07/12/101-books-to-read-before-you-die-river-god/

#58 Fugitive Pieces – Anne Michaels (Read it)

#57 The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame (Read it)

#56 Dune – Frank Herbert (Read it)

#55 Q & A – Vikas Swarup (re-released as Slumdog Millionaire)

#54 The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency – Alexander McCall Smith

#53 Chocolat – Joanne Harris

#52 The House of Spirits – Isabel Allende

#51 Perfume – Patrick Suskind

#50 Possession – A.S. Byatt

#49 The Secret History – Donna Tartt

#48 The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

#47 The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera

#46 The Clan of the Cave Bear – Jean M. Auel

#45 War & Peace – Leo Tolstoy

#44 Nineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell

#43 A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth

#42 This Much I Know is True – Wally Lamb

#41 The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Read it)

#40 Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

#39 Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie

#38 Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy

#37 The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje

#36 The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck

#35 Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand

#34 Atonement – Ian McEwan

#33 Great Expectations – Charles Dickens (Read it)

#32 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time – Mark Haddon (Read it)

#31 A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry

#30 The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald (Read it)

#29 Cry, the Beloved Country – Alan Paton (Read it)

#28 Gone with the Wind – Margaret Mitchell

#27 The Pillars of the Earth – Ken Follet

#26 Catch-22 – Joseph Heller

#25 Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks

#24 The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger (Read it)

#23 My Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Picoult

#22 Disgrace – J. M. Coetzee (Read it)

#21 One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

#20 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams (Read it)

#19 Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë

#18 The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger https://myhartfeltopinion.wordpress.com/2009/07/01/101-books-to-read-before-you-die-catcher-in-the-rye/

#17 Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë

#16 Shantaram – Gregory David Roberts (Read it)

#15 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis de Bernieres

#14 The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien (Read it)

#13 The Power of One – Bryce Courtney

#12 Spud – John van de Ruit (Read it)  https://myhartfeltopinion.wordpress.com/2009/07/01/101-books-to-read-before-you-die-catcher-in-the-rye/

#11 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden

#10 The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy

#9 The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown (Read it)

#8 Life of Pi – Yann Martel (Read it)

#7 The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho (Read it)

#6 The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver (Read it)

#5 Harry Potter – J.K Rowling (Read it)

#4 To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee (Read it)

#3 Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen (Read it)

#2 The Kite-Runner – Khaled Hosseini

#1 The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R Tolkein (Read it)

One response to “101 Books to Read Before You Die

  1. Review the Fugitive Pieces. I’m curious what you’d say.

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