100 Books Before You Die: An Update

100 Books Before You Die: An Update Life With Ktkinnes
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Another Wednesday dawns, and it’s another one not in work. I’d be sad, but it means I once again have time to read, write, and just generally keep on top of all things blogging. Some of you might remember back to 2016 when I looked at the Amazon list of 100 books to read before you die. Well, four years later I decided it might be time to revisit that list! This post contains affiliate links – read more in my disclaimer.

It dawned on me that in exactly 9 posting days, I will be posting on my 25th birthday – a rather terrifying thought! As I reach the quarter of a century milestone in age, now seems as good a time as ever to take stock of how many of the 100 books before you die list I have actually read. I had started off putting a strike through the books I’ve read, but realised pretty quickly that means you can’t read them! So instead, any I have read are in bold.  As I said, this post contains affiliate links. If you would like to learn more about affiliate sales, check out the Beginners Guide to Affiliate Sales [AFF].

100 Book Before You Die Pin - girl sitting in library reading
  1. To Kill A Mockingbird – Harper Lee
  2. Lord of the Flies – William Golding
  3. The Tiger Who Came to Tea – Judith Kerr
  4. The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
  5. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt – Michael Rosen
  6. American Gods – Neil Gaiman
  7. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  8. A Brief History of Time – Stephen Hawking
  9. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat – Oliver Sacks
  10. Never Let Me Go – Kazuo Ishiguro
  11. The Secret History – Donna Tartt
  12. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas – John Boyne
  13. Freakonomics – Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
  14. Noughts & Crosses – Malorie Blackman
  15. Atonement – Ian McEwan
  16. Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë
  17. In Cold Blood – Truman Capote
  18. The Tale of Peter Rabbit – Beatrix Potter
  19. The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
  20. Catch-22 – Joseph Heller and Howard Jacobson


  21. Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemmingway
  22. Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
  23. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov
  24. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  25. Frankenstein – Mary Shelley
  26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
  27. Norwegian Wood – Haruki Murakami
  28. Bad Science – Ben Goldacte
  29. The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 – Sue Townsend
  30. A Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
  31. The Stand – Stephen King
  32. American Psycho – Bret Easton Ellis
  33. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Maarquez and Gregory Rabassa
  34. The Colour of Magic – Terry Pratchett
  35. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
  36. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – Philip K. Dick
  37. The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
  38. Brighton Rock – Graham Greene
  39. The Road – Cormac McCarthy
  40. The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
  41. The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
  42. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas – Hunter S. Thompson
  43. Trainspotting – Irvine Welsh
  44. Artemis Fowl – Eoin Colfer
  45. All Quiet on the Western Front – Erich Maria Remarque
  46. A History of the World in 100 Objects – Neil MacGregor
  47. Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China – Jung Chang
  48. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy – John le Carré
  49. Tess of the d’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
  50. The Hare With Amber Eyes – Edmund de Waal
  51. The Sense of an Ending – Julain Barnes
  52. White Teeth – Zadie Smith
  53. Nineteen Eighty-Four – George Orwell
  54. I Capture the Castle – Dodie Smith
  55. The Selfish Gene – Richard Dawkins
  56. Cider With Rosie – Laurie Lee MBE
  57. Brideshead Revisited – Evelyn Waugh
  58. London: The Biography – Peter Ackroyd
  59. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  60. Long Walk To Freedom – Nelson Mandela
  61. Murder on the Orient Express – Agatha Christie
  62. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring – J R R Tolkien
  63. To The Lighthouse – Virginia Woolf
  64. Casino Royale – Ian Fleming
  65. Knots and Crosses – Ian Rankin
  66. The Story of Tracy Beaker – Jacqueline Wilson
  67. The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje
  68. Venice – Jan Morris
  69. Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathon Swift
  70. Last Orders – Graham Swift
  71. London Fields – Martin Amis
  72. Schindler’s Ark – Thomas Keneally
  73. The Hound of the Baskervilles & The Valley of Fear – Arthur Conan Doyle
  74. Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit – Jeanette Winterson
  75. The Gruffalo – Julia Donaldson
  76. The Mill On The Floss – George Eliot
  77. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
  78. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
  79. The Commitments – Roffy Doyle
  80. A Game of Thrones – George R. R. Martin
  81. Midnight’s Children – Salman Rushdie
  82. Dissolution – C. J. Sansom
  83. The Time Machine – H. G. Wells
  84. Winnie-the-Pooh – A. A. Milne
  85. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
  86. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
  87. Watership Down – Richard Adams
  88. Stormbreaker – Anthony Horowitz
  89. The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank
  90. The Enchanted Wood – Enid Blyton


  91. Notes From A Small Island – Bill Bryson
  92. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson
  93. My Man Jeeves – P. G. Wodehouse
  94. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – J. K. Rowling
  95. Watchmen – Dave Gibbons
  96. High Fidelity – Nick Hornby
  97. Goodnight Mister Tom – Michelle Magorian
  98. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
  99. Bridget Jones’ Diary – Helen Fielding
  100. The Worst Witch – Jill Murphy

So all together, I have read 31 out of the 100 books to read before you die. Compared to 24 books back in 2016, I would say that’s reasonable. How many have you read? Pin this post to come back and tick them off as you read!

Girl reading on a pier - 100 books before you die pin

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8 thoughts on “100 Books Before You Die: An Update

  1. Tea Spangsberg

    I’ve read 9 on this list. There’s some good books on that list that’s already on my shelves ready to be read 😂 I just need to actually do it. And then there’s a few I’ll probably never get close to reading. Good job on getting through so many

  2. Vox

    I have probably read about a quarter of these, but then again, my day job requires that I am familiar with many of them. Recently, I have been trying to crack open the ones that interest me most—instead of just the ones o am required to read. 📚

  3. Pea Green

    I’ve read 52 of these! Loads that I need to put on a list though.
    If you want to pick one of these next to read for the first time, please please make it be Hitchhiker’s! It’s the best, funniest, silliest read. Even better, try and get hold of the original radio recordings. I had a link somewhere but can’t find it again just now.

  4. Bianca Leer

    Hi Katie, I really enjoyed this post! I’ve read either 18 or 19 of these (Tracy Beaker I may or may not have read – it was long ago 😂).

    The Book Thief was absolutely beautiful, touching and so sad. I leaned against my bed and just CRIED the first time I read it.

    I started the Hitchhiker’s Guide when I was 14, gave up and continued when I was 18. Very confusing to my addled brain but otherwise a work of art and very entertaining, especially that bit about the whale. 😂

    The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett (and the next one, The Light Fantastic) were a bit meh BUT the next forty-something of them were brilliant and are my favorite books in the world, besides Pride and Prejudice! Really, the entire Discworld by T.P. is a hilarious, thought-provoking masterpiece and I highly recommend the following:

    – Pyramids (ancient Egypt; tradition vs progress)
    – Small Gods (religion and/or indoctrination, abuse of power)
    – Jingo (racism/xenophobia)
    – Monstrous Regiment (war, feminism)
    – Thud! (Racism again)
    – Going Postal + Making Money (corruption, bad guy turned good)
    – Men At Arms (just because I love the Night Watch crew)

    I hope you decide to read and enjoy them! 😁

  5. Bianca Leer

    Hi Katie, great post! I really enjoyed reading through this list. I’ve read either 18 or 19 of these (I may or may not have read Tracy Beaker, it was long ago 😂).

    The Book Thief was absolutely beautiful, touching and so very sad. I just leaned against by bed and CRIED the first time I read it.

    I started the Hitchhiker’s Guide when I was 14, promptly gave up and continued/finished the series at 18. It was very confusing to my addled brain but otherwise very entertaining, especially that bit about the whale. 😂

    I didn’t enjoy the Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett, and next book was a bit meh as well, BUT he’s my favourite author and the next forty-something books in the series are absolutely hilarious and brilliant! I highly recommend the following:

    – Pyramids (tradition va progress)
    – Small Gods (religion and indoctrination/abuse of power)
    – Jingo (racism/xenophobia)
    – Thud! (racism again)
    – Monstrous Regiment (war, feminism)
    – Going Postal + Making Money (corruption, bad guy gone good)
    – Men At Arms (because anything featuring the Night Watch crew is worth reading over and over again)

    I hope you decide to read and enjoy them! 😜😊

  6. Helen

    I’ve only read 19, most I read when I was in high school lol So glad to see Anne Frank’s Diary on there. I think ALL of the Harry Potter books should be on there lol
    Which would you say was the most influential book that you’ve read from that list?

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