30 books you should read before you turn 30

In the world of books, we all are obsessed with lists, aren’t we? There are an umpteen number of lists which can help you decide what books you want to read. Here is a list of lists (how about that?):

1. New York’s Best Sellers

2. 1001 books to read before you die.

3. The Big Read – BBC’s list of top 100 books

You get the point right? There are lists everywhere. One list which caught my eye was this one: 30 books you should read before you turn 30.

1.    Siddhartha by Hermann
2.    1984  by George Orwell
3.    To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper
4.    A Clockwork Orange  by Anthony Burgess
5.    For Whom the Bell Tolls  by Ernest Hemingway
6.    War and Peace  by Leo Tolstoy
7.    The Rights of Man  by Tom Paine
8.    The Social Contract  by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
9.    One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
10.    The Origin of Species  by Charles Darwin
11.    The Wisdom of the Desert  by Thomas Merton
12.    The Tipping Point  by Malcolm Gladwell
13.    The Wind in the Willows  by Kenneth Graham
14.    The Art of War  by Sun Tzu
15.    The Lord of the Rings  by J.R.R. Tolkien
16.    David Copperfield  by Charles Dickens
17.    Four Quartets  by T.S. Eliot
18.    Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
19.   The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
20.   The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
21.    Crime and Punishment  by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
22.    The Prince  by Niccolo Machiavelli
23.    Walden  by Henry David Thoreau
24.    The Republic  by Plato.
25.    Lolita
26.    Getting Things Done
27.    How To Win Friends and Influence People  by Dale Carnegie
28.    Lord of the Flies by William Golding
29.    The Grapes of Wrath  by John Steinbeck
30.    The Master and Margarita  by Mikhail
31.    BONUS:  How To Cook Everything  by Mark Bittman
32.    BONUS:  Honeymoon with My Brother  by Franz Wisner.

Bold titles are books I have already read. Striked out ones are the ones I am not going to read.

I still have a couple of years before I turn 30, but I have decided to give this list a shot. Not because I take this list seriously, but because this list is different from others. For one, I don’t see Harry Potter and Dan Brown’s books (what a relief that is!). Secondly, there are some books on this list which I always wanted to read but never got around to read it.  Apart from the challenge that I have every year, to read 50 books in a year, I am going to take up this challenge too – to read all 30 books on this list.

Before I even start, I have to declare that I will not be reading some books on that list. I tried reading One Hundred Years of Solitude and failed.  Same goes with Catch-22. I am not going to waste time on those books again. The Lord of the Rings is not my cup of tea, so that too goes off the list. Lolita – I know what it is about and I don’t look forward to reading it, so I might not read that either. That leaves me with 26 books, out of which 4 I have already read, so I have to read 22 more if I don’t count the bonus books. Among all the books, War and Peace is the most challenging. What say you?

Does anybody want to take up this challenge with me?

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13 Responses to “30 books you should read before you turn 30”

  1. JoV Says:

    I would like to take up on your challenge, unfortunately I’m past 30 and sign-up for 6 reading challenges already (Do check up some of my reading challenges, some are quite easy).

    I have 6 of your “before 30” list. But Lord of the Ring is something I don’t want to read, also given up Catch-22. Not sure about Lolita, but just so curious what’s the hype all about. So we basically struck off more or less the same books! 🙂

    But I do love the BBC 100 books challenge. The BBC list got me excited. We can do this together if you like. if Yes, how long and what is the acceptable % of completion?

    I don’t know why so many of Nicholas Spark’s novels are up there on the NYC list. I’m not inspired to read any of his books.

  2. JoV Says:

    Oh Under BBC big read list, it says Nightwatch by Terry Prachett. But I’m sure it’s Nightwatch by Sarah Waters.

  3. Helen Says:

    Oh! I’m in trouble, I’m 30 in a few months and I’ve only read one book on the list (Lord of the Flies). I’d like to join the challenge, but I’m not that fast at reading! ;0)

    I look forward to hearing what you think of all of the books and perhaps I’ll read a few of your recommendations.

    Nice blog by the way

    x hel x

  4. anaamica Says:

    JoV, now I am tempted. I so badly want to take up that challenge. What the heck.. lets do it. Some books are common in BBC list and 30 books list, so I might be able to pull it off. I am sure I can’t read all of them. I can aim for 50% by the end of this year. How about you?

  5. anaamica Says:

    Helen, it’s never too late. Take it up as a challenge to read as many books as you can before you turn 30. Of course, only if you really _want_ to read the books on the list.

  6. JoV Says:

    50% of the BBC Big read by this year end is a achievable target! Taking into account I have 2 boys under 5 years of age that kept me my hands full. 🙂

    I have prepared a quick spreadsheet on books I have read, what I wanted to read and books that I’ll never read. I’ll send it over to you soon!

  7. Kshitiz Says:

    A good list. I would love to take up the challenge. I have read about half the books here, so I have a head start 🙂

    Believe me, if you miss out Catch 22 you miss out on a great experience. The book is outrageously funny. It seems bizarre in the first few chapters but once you get through them it is a pleasure read.

  8. anaamica Says:

    Hi Kshitiz, welcome to the club! I am glad I have company for the challenge.

    You know what? This Catch-22 is a guys thing. I always see guys liking it. I sincerely tried reading it until like half the book and then I just gave up. Another great book according to guys is ‘The world according to garp’. I read the whole book with a lot of patience and it was one big disappointment. Ask any guy and he will say it was a great book.

  9. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame « What I have been reading… Says:

    […] I saw that this book appears on BBC’s The Big Read – ‘Top 100′ and 30 books to read before you turn 30, I set really high expectations on this book. I had the memories of The Secret Garden fresh in my […]

  10. person Says:

    I am Thirteen and i have read the cacher and the rye and The Origin of Species. i tried to read to kill a mockingbird. i fell asleep. i will try to read the rest

  11. Laura Says:

    Too bad- one Hundred Years of Solitude is a fascinating story. I think you should give it a second chance.

  12. Michelle Says:

    So it’s October 2011. How did you do for the list?

    • anaamica Says:

      Oh dear, now I feel as if the whole world is watching me. I still have half a year before I turn 30, but I have to admit I haven’t been doing well with this list. I have taken up a few other challenges this year which have shadowed this list. The only book I have read on that list since I started this challenge is ‘Wind in the Willows’. Looking at how badly I have done, I don’t have hopes of completing this challenge.


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