Book List

101 Books to Read Before You Die

list at the 2007 Cape Town Book Fair

I was stuck in the Johannesburg airport once for a few days. After being restless by the 2nd day, I found the amazing 101 Books to Read Before You Die list by the Exclusive Publishing company. These were selected by the readers themselves.

“The books that made the list are the books you’ve read, and re-read, books which define eras, created friends instead of characters, entertained generations and have become legends….” 

  1. The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien
  2. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
  3. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen [love this, try the Zombies version]
  4. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  5. The Harry Potter series – JK Rowling [who doesn't love these books?]
  6. The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
  7. The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho [talented writer]
  8. Life of Pi – Yann Martel
  9. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
  10. The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy
  11. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
  12. Spud – John van de Ruit [absolutely the funniest book I've read]
  13. The Power of One – Bryce Courtenay
  14. The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
  15. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis de Bernieres
  16. Shantaram – Gregory David Roberts
  17. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
  18. Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger [I could not warm up to Holden, ugh]
  19. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte [Another classic, Jane is intriguing ]
  20. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
  21. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez [awful, awful, awful]
  22. Disgrace – J. M. Coetzee
  23. My Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Picoult
  24. The Time Traveller’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
  25. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
  26. Catch-22 – Joseph Heller
  27. Pillars of the Earth – Ken Follett
  28. Gone with the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
  29. Cry, the Beloved Country – Alan Paton
  30. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald [took years to love, but now I appreciate it]
  31. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
  32. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time – Mark Haddon
  33. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
  34. Atonement – Ian McEwan [could only read 1/2 of it. Too depressing when I know the ending]
  35. Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand
  36. The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
  37. The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje
  38. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
  39. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie [had no interest for it]
  40. Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  41. The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  42. I Know This Much is True – Wally Lamb
  43. A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
  44. Nineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell
  45. War And Peace – Leo Tolstoy
  46. Clan of the Cave Bear – Jean M. Auel [love this story!]
  47. The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera
  48. The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupery [can reread it again and again]
  49. The Secret History – Donna Tartt
  50. Possession – A. S. Byatt
  51. Perfume – Patrick Suskind
  52. The House of the Spirits – Isabel Allende
  53. Chocolat – Joanne Harris
  54. The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency – Alexander McCall Smith
  55. Q & A – Vikas Swarup
  56. Dune – Frank Herbert
  57. The Wind in the Willows – Kenneth Grahame
  58. Fugitive Pieces – Anne Michaels
  59. River God – Wilbur Smith
  60. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
  61. Lord of the Flies – William Golding [read it as a child, good story]
  62. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis [read it as a child]
  63. Mort – Terry Pratchett
  64. Crime and Punishment – Feodor Dostoyevsky
  65. The Blind Assassin – Margaret Atwood
  66. East of Eden – John Steinbeck
  67. The Name of the Rose – Umberto Eco
  68. The Other Boleyn Girl – Philippa Gregory
  69. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne
  70. The Prince of Tides – Pat Conroy
  71. Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier
  72. Bridget Jones’ Diary – Helen Fielding
  73. The Shipping News – E. Annie Proulx
  74. Alice in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll [I am so intrigued by this story]
  75. Animal Farm – George Orwell
  76. The Red Tent – Anita Diamant
  77. Watership Down – Richard Adams
  78. Magician – Raymond E Feist
  79. Middlemarch – George Eliot
  80. The Day of the Jackal – Frederick Forsyth
  81. We Need to Talk About Kevin – Lionel Shriver
  82. The Magus – John Fowles
  83. The Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguro
  84. Agaat – Marlene van Niekerk
  85. The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
  86. The Shell Seekers – Rosamunde Pilcher
  87. The Colour Purple – Alice Walker
  88. The Beach House – James Patterson
  89. Doctor Zhivago – Boris Pasternak
  90. Kringe in ‘n Bos – Dalene Matthee
  91. The World according to Garp – John Irving
  92. Northen Lights – Phillip Pullman 
  93. Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides 
  94. Shades – Marguerite Poland
  95. Kane and Abel – Jeffrey Archer
  96. Fiela se kind – Dalene Matthee
  97. Story of an African Farm – Olive Schreiner
  98. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl [A chocoholic's must]
  99. The Magic Faraway Tree – Enid Blyton
  100. Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe
  101. Winnie-the-Pooh – A.A. Milne

2 thoughts on “Book List

  1. This book list is awesome. Hope you don’t mind I copy the list to my blog…I’ll credit the idea back to you of course! :)

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