30 Books to Read Before You Are 30

Friday, May 16, 2014


A few years ago I found this list of 30 Books to Read Before You Are 30. I decided to tackle it before my own 30th, which is now 3 days away. I finally finished it! I've linked the the books I read and reviewed on the blog. Others I read, but it was either pre-blogging or I didn't write a review.

Not every one was my cup of tea and I definitely don't think this is the definitive list of books to read before you're 30, but I still glad I read them all! What would be on your "MUST" list for others to read before they turn 30? I think I might add Kerouac because I don't think many people would love him as much after their 20s.

-Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
-1984 by George Orwell
-To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
-A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
-For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
-War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
-The Rights of Man by Tom Paine
-The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
-One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
-The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
-The Wisdom of the Desert by Thomas Merton
-The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
-The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham
-The Art of War by Sun Tzu
-The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
-David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
-Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot
-Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
-The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
-The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
-Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
-The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
-Walden by Henry David Thoreau
-The Republic by Plato
-Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
-Getting Things Done by David Allen
-How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
-Lord of the Flies by William Golding
-The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
-The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
 
Image from here.

9 comments:

Lisa said...

I think I'd add Uncle Tom's Cabin (Harriet Beecher Stowe), A Vindication of the Rights of Women (Mary Wollstonecraft) (which I still haven't read though I have ac copy!), and probably Austen and C. Bronte (Pride & Prejudice and Jane Eyre?). I might even add Little Women!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Lisa - Definitely Jane Eyre and P&P! I'm with you on Little Women. I think that one is best when you read it when you're young and have the chance to re-read it at different stages of life.

misfortuneofknowing said...

There are definitely quite a few books I love on this list(such as To Kill a Mockingbird, Catcher in the Rye, and Grapes of Wrath).

It's unfortunate that it doesn't include more female authors, though. I'd add Anne Fadiman's The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Jane Austen (particularly Persuasion), Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre, and Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South.

Happy Birthday (in advance)!

wordsandpeace.com said...

cool! and happy birthday! I read 15 of these, but I can't even remember when I was 30, lol

Mary R. said...

I'm looking at this question from well beyond the 30 mark, but I would agree that Little Women is a great book to read when you are young and revisit at various later points. I would also add Dorothy Sayers' Gaudy Night because it is full of excellent insight about how to deal with relationships and life generally.

Ruth said...

I agree w/ Lisa: Uncle Tom's Cabin, P&P and JE. There are a lot of great books on this list that I wish I read before I was 30.

Carrie Haner said...

The Bell Jar might be a good one to add to the list. I am now off to go look up Gaudy Night. CONGRATS on this accomplishment! and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Belle Wong said...

It's interesting and a little unexpected that Getting Things Done made the list. An early happy birthday to you!

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

misfortuneofknowing - I'm with you on the female authors. I wonder if that's because the list was made by a guy.

wordsandpeace - There's so many books that we could add to the list.

Mary R - I just read and loved Strong Poison, so I'm looking forward to Gaudy Night.

Ruth - There are so many more that we could add to it!

Carrie - The Bell Jar is a great addition! I still have Gaudy Night to look forwrad to.

Belle - I thought so too! It was interesting, but definitely not a must read for me.