100 books to read in a lifetime : my Goodreads challenge

goodreads 100 books to read in a lifetime

Today I stray from my usual topic, the Bullet Journal, to talk about my second passion in life, books. More precisely, I want to present you the list of 100 books you must read in your lifetime, from Goodreads.

But first, do you know the website Goodreads? (By the way, this post is not sponsored by Goodreads) I, myself, have only recently discovered this website, and I really don’t understand how come I didn’t know about it. Goodreads is a social media for people who like to read (Hello!).

What is Goodreads?

On the website, you can loom through book reviews, learn more about the authors by clicking on their profile, and share what you have read in the past and what you are currently reading. By linking your Facebook account, you can even see what your friends are currently reading, have read and are recommending.

Based on your reading history, Goodreads also presents you with some recommendations for new books you might like to read. There are also articles to read on their blog, reading lists, etc, basically, a bunch of interesting things for people that love to read.

And, among other things, you can find the list of 100 books to read in a lifetime, as voted by the members of Goodreads. I stumbled upon this list a few weeks ago, and since then, it stayed at the back of my mind. Click here to go to the list on Goodreads, or keep reading!

The list

Here’s the famous list of 100 books to read in a lifetime from Goodreads!

  1. To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee
  2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
  3. The Diary of a Young Girl, Anne Frank
  4. 1984, George Orwell
  5. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, J.K. Rowling
  6. The Lord of the Rings (#1-3), J.R.R. Tolkien
  7. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
  8. The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien
  9. Animal Farm, George Orwell
  10. Charlotte’s Web, E.B. White
  11. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
  12. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
  13. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
  14. The Book Thief, Markus Zusak
  15. The Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger
  16. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
  17. The Hunger Games (#1), Suzanne Collins
  18. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia, #1), C.S. Lewis
  19. The Help, Kathryn Stockett
  20. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain
  21. Lord of the Flies, William Golding
  22. The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini
  23. The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck
  24. Le Petit Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  25. Night (The Night Trilogy, #1), Elie Wiesel
  26. Hamlet, William Shakespeare
  27. Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
  28. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (#1), Douglas Adams
  29. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
  30. A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet, #1), Madeleine L’Engle
  31. The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett
  32. Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare
  33. A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
  34. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
  35. The Giver (#1), Lois Lowry
  36. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J.K. Rowling
  37. The Handmaid’s Tale (#1), Margaret Atwood
  38. The Fault in Our Stars, John Green
  39. Where the Sidewalk Ends, Shel Silverstein
  40. Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
  41. Anne of Green Gables (#1), L.M. Montgomery
  42. Frankenstein: The 1818 Text, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
  43. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millenium #1), Stieg Larsson
  44. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain
  45. The Count of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
  46. Macbeth, William Shakespeare
  47. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J.K. Rowling
  48. The Color Purple, Alice Walker
  49. Alice in Wonderland, Jane Carruth
  50. East of Eden, John Steinbeck
  51. A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1), George R.R. Martin
  52. Memoirs of a Geisha, Arthur Golden
  53. Ender’s Game (Ender’s Saga, #1), Orson Scott Card
  54. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith
  55. Catch-22 (#1), Joseph Heller
  56. The Stand, Stephen King
  57. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
  58. Outlander (#1), Diana Gabaldon
  59. In Cold Blood, Truman Capote
  60. Les Misérables, Victor Hugo
  61. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
  62. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, J.K. Rowling
  63. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
  64. The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway
  65. Watership Down (#1), Richard Adams
  66. Life of Pi, Yann Martel
  67. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Sherlock Holmes, #3), Arthur Conan Doyle
  68. The Chronicles of Narnia (#1-7), C.S. Lewis
  69. Dracula, Bram Stocker
  70. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
  71. The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne
  72. Catching Fire (The Hunger Games, #2), Suzanne Collins
  73. The Pillars of the Earth (Kingsbridge, #1), Ken Follett
  74. The Princess Bride, William Goldman
  75. Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen
  76. One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  77. The Odyssey, Homer
  78. The Secret Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd
  79. The Raven, Edgar Allan Poe
  80. The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger
  81. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver
  82. And Then There Were None, Agatha Christie
  83. Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, #3), Suzanne Collins
  84. Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  85. The Good Earth (House of Earth, #1), Pearl S. Buck
  86. The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCullough
  87. The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls
  88. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot
  89. A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving
  90. The Road, Cormac McCarthy
  91. Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse
  92. Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
  93. The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien
  94. Beloved, Toni Morrison
  95. The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster
  96. The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  97. Cutting for Stone, Abraham Verghese
  98. The Story of My Life, Helen Keller
  99. Where the Wild Things Are, Maurice Sendak
  100. Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn

Note: I chose not to include religious texts in this list.

My score

I saw this list as a challenge. A reading challenge. What was my score out of a 100?

I counted 25 (thanks mostly to high school). As I am writing these lines, I am 26 years old. So, 25 books in twenty-six years. That’s not so bad, but not that good either.

As such, I decided to give myself a challenge, and you are all my witnesses: I want to get to 50/100 before my thirtieth birthday. I know this isn’t the hardest challenge. However, I must be realist: I know I’m going to want to read other books that are not on the list throughout, so I’m giving myself some “room to maneuver”.

In my Bullet Journal

You’ll have guessed it, I couldn’t totally put away my Bullet Journal for this. I wanted to have a version of this list with me. Here’s the spread I did in my Bullet Journal:

goodreads 100 books lifetime
Goodreads’ 100 books to read in a lifetime, #1-63
goodreads lifetime books challenge
Goodreads’ 100 books to read in a lifetime, #64-100, as well as a page to write my progress in my challenge of 50 books before 30.

(Update 2020: The above list has been updated as the list has changed on Goodreads. I haven’t modified the list in my Bullet Journal, however. To check out the list on Goodreads, click here!)

So, what’s YOUR score? How many books from the list have you read already? Let me know in the comments below! Will you challenge yourself too? 😉

Until next time!





  1. Sue says:

    I’m 67 and an avid reader since retirement, but I would love a challenge and I’m looking for 100 books to read before I die…

  2. Leah says:

    Books and bullet journals are two of my very favorite things! Love your post.

  3. Torrie says:

    I noticed when I went to the link that there are several thousand books on the list. Out of curiosity, did you choose pick the top 100 and count that? Or did you go through the first several hundred and create your own list?

    1. I picked the top 100 ones. 🙂 People voted so that’s why there are thousands and thousands of books, but I really picked the first 100, which were voted the top books to read in a lifetime! 🙂

  4. Jeanette says:

    I love Goodreads and I also have a list in my Bujo. But I’m a mood reader and can’t pick out so many books in advance that I want to read in the month. I like to pick a book I feel the mood for that time 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.