100 (fiction) books to read in a lifetime

100 books to read

We've seen these lists before - from to the Telegraph to Time Magazine and beyond. Plenty of folks have lists of the 100 best books of all time, the 100 books you should read, and on. And beautifully, despite overlap, they are all different. The glorious subjectivity of art means that no two of these lists should ever be exactly alike. So this is ours, our special snowflake of a list, born out of our passion for books. We kept it to fiction this time. Some of the expected classics are there, alongside some more contemporary fare. There is some science fiction, some YA, and above all else, some unforgettable stories.

Do any of the included titles shock you? Are you outraged by any omissions? Leave your thoughts at the bottom of the page.


100 Books to read

By Ray Bradbury
By Sarah Waters
By Charlotte Brontë
By Richard Adams
By William Golding
By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
By Nevil Shute
By Han Kang
By Lucy Maud Montgomery
By Arthur Conan Doyle
By Paulo Coelho
By Alice Walker
By Erich Maria Remarque
By Mary Shelley
By Margaret Atwood
By George Orwell
By Ian McEwan
By Mordecai Richler
By Richard Marsh
By Sylvia Plath
By Lawrence Hill
By Markus Zusak
By Lois Lowry
By Aldous Huxley
By Leo Tolstoy
By Kurt Vonnegut
By Fyodor Dostoyevsky
By Joseph Heller
By J.D. Salinger
By E.B. White
By John Wyndham
By David Benioff
By Anthony Burgess
By Fyodor Dostoevsky
By J.M. Coetzee
By Cervantes
By Connie Willis
By Bram Stoker
By Arundhati Roy
By Margaret Mitchell
By John Steinbeck
By Charles Dickens
By F. Scott Fitzgerald
By Zora Neale Hurston
By Jonathan Swift
By Charles Bukowski
By Kathryn Stockett
By J.R.R Tolkien
By Suzanne Collins
By Sidney Sheldon
By Ralph Ellison
By Octavia Butler
By Khaled Hosseini
By Victor Hugo
By Yann Martel
By Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
By Vladimir Nabokov
By Gabriel Garcia Marquez
By Mikhail Bulgakov
By Art Spiegelman
By George Eliot
By Salman Rushdie
By Herman Melville
By James Joyce
By Virginia Woolf
By Richard Wright
By Kazuo Ishiguro
By Elizabeth Gaskell
By John Steinbeck
By Ernest Hemingway
By Gabriel Garcia Marquez
By Jane Austen
By Cormac McCarthy
By Stephen King
By Toni Morrison
By George Orwell
By William Faulkner
By Ernest Hemingway
By Shel Silverstein
By Chinua Achebe
By by Audrey Niffenegger
By Franz Kafka
By Henry Miller
By Leo Tolstoy
By Arthur Golden
By Frances Hodgson Burnett

More essential reading lists

03 June, 2021
Welcome to the Weird Book Room on AbeBooks, where you'll find some of the most funny and bizarre books, the world has ever known.
1 Min Read
By Richard Davies
21 June, 2021
This was a virtually impossible task. Put together a list of 50 must-read science fiction books and don’t make anyone angry. See our list of the best science fiction books to read.
1 Min Read
By Richard Davies
21 June, 2021
A good author should always suffer for his or her art. Well, the best travel writers suffer more than most, so perhaps that's why their books are so memorable. Here's our list of the best travel books to read.
1 Min Read