The List

Welcome to my reading challenge. I started this list in 2015 with no specific end date in mind. It’s compiled from a different sources of ‘Nation’s Favourite Books’ or ‘Top Books to Read before you Die’ articles but didn’t include any that I had already read. I thought that would be cheating.

I started it with the view that this would be a real achievement – all these hard books that I was going to read. However, as I have gone through the list I have realised that many of these books are not the dense, tricky challenge I thought they would be. I am now out to persuade you that whoever you are, you can find a classic to read and enjoy. I will also be honest and frank about why I think these books ended up on these lists and whether I think they deserve it or not.

*Hyperlinks denote read and reviewed. Ticks indicate read but not reviewed. All others… yet to read!

  1. Pride & Prejudice – Jane Austen
  2. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring – J.R.R. Tolkien
  3. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers – J.R.R. Tolkein
  4. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – J.R.R. Tolkein
  5. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
  6. Catch-22 – Joseph Heller
  7. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
  8. The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
  9. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
  10. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis de Bernieres
  11. War & Peace – Leo Tolstoy
  12. The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkein
  13. The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
  14. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  15. The Pillars of the Earth – Ken Follet
  16. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
  17. Little Women – Louisa M. Alcott
  18. Persuasion – Jane Austen ✓
  19. Emma – Jane Austen ✓
  20. The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexander Dumas
  21. Animal Farm – George Orwell
  22. Of Mice & Men – John Steinbeck
  23. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
  24. A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
  25. Crime & Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevksy
  26. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
  27. A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
  28. The Color Purple – Alice Walker
  29. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
  30. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
  31. The Female Eunuch – Germaine Greer
  32. Lord of the Flies – William Golding ✓
  33. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
  34. Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad
  35. Middlemarch – George Eliot
  36. Mrs Dalloway – Virginia Woolf
  37. Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  38. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
  39. Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
  40. A Passage to India – E.M. Forster
  41. Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe ✓
  42. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
  43. Dr Zhivago – Boris Pasternak
  44. All Quiet on the Western Front – Erich Remarque
  45. On the Road – Jack Kerouac
  46. The Golden Notebook – Doris Lessing
  47. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – John le Carré
  48. Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
  49. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo
  50. Cold Comfort Farm – Stella Gibbons
  51. The Secret History – Donna Tartt
  52. The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway
  53. The Chronicles of Narnia – C.S. Lewis
  54. A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving
  55. Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
  56. Sense & Sensibility – Jane Austen
  57. Far From the Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
  58. Tess of the D’Urbevilles – Thomas Hardy ✓
  59. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte ✓
  60. Slaughterhouse 5 – Kurt Vonnegut
  61. Call of the Wild – Jack London
  62. The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje ✓
  63. A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
  64. Sons & Lovers – D.H. Lawrence
  65. Lady Chatterley’s Lover – D.H. Lawrence
  66. Wolf Hall – Hilary Mantel ✓
  67. Bring up the Bodies – Hilary Mantel ✓
  68. The Virgin Suicides – Jeffrey Eugenides
  69. Dracula – Bram Stoker
  70. Regeneration – Pat Barker
  71. North & South – Elizabeth Gaskell
  72. Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
  73. The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt ✓
  74. The Diary of Anne Frank – Anne Frank
  75. 1984 – George Orwell ✓
  76. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte ✓
  77. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou ✓
  78. Gone with the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
  79. Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
  80. In Cold Blood – Truman Capote

2 thoughts on “The List

  1. My Book Spin List for the Classics Club (https://theclassicsclubblog.wordpress.com) is:
    1. Love in the Time of Cholera
    2. Catch 22
    3. Little Women
    4. Crime & Punishment
    5. Farenheit 451
    6. The Hobbit
    7. The Pillars of the Earth
    8. Regeneration
    9. 1984
    10. Jude the Obscure
    11. Lord of the Flies
    12. The Diary of Anne Frank
    13. A Tale of Two Cities
    14. Slaughterhouse 5
    15. Animal Farm
    16. Madame Bovary
    17. All Quiet on the Western Front
    18. Frankenstein
    19. Mrs Dalloway
    20. Brave New World

    Liked by 1 person

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