50 Books To Read Before You Die

If books are your best friends, I’ve about a thousand friends just waiting for me to get home. If books are teleportals, I’ve travelled all across the world and recently even to Mars. If reading is the only therapy you need, here’s a list that’ll cure everything that ails you. Presenting, the 50 books you must read before you die.

#1 19841984-book-cover

By: George Orwell (Penguin)

Genre: Social Science Fiction/Dystopian Fiction

“War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, Ignorance
is Strength”

#2 Little Womenlittle-women-cover-goodreads-213x300

By: Louisa May Alcott (Vintage Classics)
Genre: Coming of Age/ Bildungsroman

“Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well.  Then youth will be delightful, old age will bring few regrets, and life will become a beautiful success, in spite of poverty.”

#3 Catch 22220px-catch22

By: Joseph Heller (Vintage Books)

Genre: Satire/Historical Fiction

“Some men are born mediocre, some men achieve mediocrity, and some men have mediocrity thrust upon them.” 

#4 To Kill A Mockingbirdto-kill-a-mockingbird1

By: Harper Lee (Arrow Books)

Genre: Coming of Age/ Bildungsroman

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”


#5 The Help

By: Kathryn Stockett (Penguin)

Genre: Southern Fiction

“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” 

#6 The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxythe_hitchhikers_guide_to_the_galaxy

By: Douglas Adams (Random House)

Genre: Comic Science Fiction

“Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, m
ind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.”

#7 One Hundred Years Of Solitude51niybid7zl-_sx326_bo1204203200_

By: Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Penguin)

Genre: Fantastical Drama

“The world must be all fucked up,” he said then, “when men travel first class and literature goes as freight.” 

#8 A Clockwork Orangef31ae862ca222eb1e77e91ba22914596

By: Anthony Burgess (Penguin)

Genre: Dystopian Fiction

“It is as inhuman to be totally good as it is to be totally evil.” 


#9 The Kite Runner51m3kl80zl-_sx326_bo1204203200_

By: Khaled Hosseini (Bloomsbury Publishing)

Genre: Historical Drama

“It may be unfair, but what happens in a few days, sometimes even a single day, can change the course of a whole lifetime.” 

#10 White Fang41xgvx4fkyl

By: Jack London (Rupa & Co)

Genre: Adventure Fiction

“White Fang knew the law well: to oppress the weak and obey the strong.” 

#11 Pride And Prejudice41bwuzojkll

By: Jane Austen (Rupa Publications)

Genre: Romance

“A lady’s imagination is very rapid; it jumps from admiration to love, from love to matrimony in a moment.”

#12 The Great Gatsby41mijofbi8l

By: F. Scott Fitzgerald (Wisehouse Classics)

Genre: Historical Drama

“I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.”

#13 Lolita810kz44ewfl

By: Vladimir Nabokov (Penguin)

Genre: Tragicomedy

“We loved each other with a premature love, marked by a fierceness that so often destroys adult lives.”

#14 Gone With The Wind51ap7cbapfl

By: Margaret Mitchell (Macmillan)

Genre: Romace/Drama

“Life’s under no obligation to give us what we expect. We take what we get and are thankful it’s no worse than it is.”

#15 Memoirs Of A Geisha41hjj6bf2fl

By: Arthur Golden (Penguin)

Genre: Historical Fiction/Drama

“This is why dreams can be such dangerous things: they smolder on like a fire does, and sometimes they consume us completely.”

#16 The Catcher In The Rye7108sdeuegl

By: J.D. Salinger (Penguin)

Genre: Coming of Age

“I like it when somebody gets excited about something. It’s nice.”


#17 The Godfathergodfather-novel-cover

By: Mario Puzo (Random House)

Genre: Crime Fiction

“I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse.”

#18 Hamlet51skga45bbl

By: William Shakespeare (Fingerprint Publishing)

Genre: Tragedy

“Doubt thou the stars are fire;Doubt that the sun doth move;Doubt truth to be a liar; But never doubt I love.”


#19 Frankenstein 81tq4ddaadl

By: Mary Shelley (Peacock)

Genre: Gothic Fiction

“Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.”

#20 Of Mice And Men81pb7s88r0l

By: John Steinbeck (Penguin)

Genre: Tragedy

“Maybe ever’body in the whole damn world is scared of each other.”

#21 Wuthering Heights81de2qmvl

By: Emily Bronte (Fingerprint Publishing)

Genre: Gothic Fiction/Romance

“He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”

#22 The Color Purple5198m6ppdll

By: Alice Walker (Orion Publishing)

Genre: Epistolary Novel/ Fiction

“Time moves slowly, but passes quickly.”

#23 The Girl With A Dragon Tattoo515qghei9il

By: Steig Larsson (Quercus)

Genre: Psychological Thriller

“I can be a regular bitch. Just try me.”

#24 Anna Karenina71zzdn1ynnl

By: Leo Tolstoy (Penguin)

Genre: Drama/Romance

“If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.”


#25 Les Miserables81wetmqvpl

By: Victor Hugo (Penguin)

Genre: Realism/Historical Fiction

“To love another person is to see the face of God.”

#26 Where The Wild Things Are61qh-37i4bl

By: Maurice Sendak (Random House)

Genre: Children’s Literature

“There should be a place where only the things you want to happen, happen.”

#27 Delirium71nioh5smrl


By: Lauren Oliver (HarperCollins)

Genre: Dystopian Fiction/Romance

“I’d rather die my way than live yours.”

#28 Breakfast At Tiffany’s91vhdp4n-wl


By: Truman Capote (Penguin)

Genre: Comedy/Drama/Romance

“Anyone who ever gave you confidence, you owe them a lot.”

#29 The Age Of Innocence81ftjshhzsl

By: Edith Wharton (Peacock)

Genre: Romance

“Women ought to be free – as free as we are,’ he declared, making a discovery of which he was too irritated to measure the terrific consequences.”

#30 Norwegian Wood 41rw1dhw2fl

By: Haruki Murukami (Randome House)

Genre: Romance/Bildungsroman

“If you only read the books that everyone else is reading, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”

#31 The Odyssey51nwijz6edl

By: Homer (Penguin)

Genre: Poetry

“Of all creatures that breathe and move upon the earth, nothing is bred that is weaker than man.”

#32 The God Of Small Things41b2goyowl

By: Arundhati Roy (Penguin)

Genre: Fiction/Drama

“It is curious how sometimes the memory of death lives on for so much longer than the memory of the life that is purloined. ”

#33 Requiem For A Dream91v6af2grkl

By: Hubert Selby Jr. (Penguin)

Genre: Tragedy

“Eventually we all have to accept full and total responsibility for our actions, everything we have done, and have not done. ”

#34 Harry Potter And The Philosophers Stone51n3ipqtmnl

By: J.K. Rowling (Bloomsbury)

Genre: Fantasy Literature

“There is no good and evil, there is only power and those too weak to seek it.”

#35 The Diary Of A Young Girl51nneab0fnl

By: Anne Frank (General Press)

Genre: Autobiography

“I wish to go on living even after my death.”


#36 One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest71m-ie5ezfl

By: Ken Kesey (Penguin)

Genre: Modern Fiction/Drama

“Good writin’ ain’t necessarily good readin’.”

#37 Charlotte’s Webbaceaf0c482025b845a322ceaa726b20

By: E.B. White (HarperCollins)

Genre: Children’s Fiction

“It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer.”

#38 Animal Farm71rjpveyscl-1

By: George Orwell (Penguin)

Genre: Political Satire

“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

#39 Vanity Fair61zh669re7l

By: William Thackeray (HarperCollins)

Genre: Social Satire

“Life is a mirror: if you frown at it, it frowns back; if you smile, it returns the greeting.”

#40 The Prophet41cps2rfml


By: Kahlil Gibran (Macmillan)

Genre: Prophetic Literature

“To belittle, you have to be little.”

#41 Jane Eyre61qakfs0ul

By: Charlotte Bronte (HarperCollins)

Genre: Gothic Romance

“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”

#42 Great Expectations91zmiwtqrkl

By: Charles Dickens (Penguin)

Genre: Bildungsroman

“The broken heart. You think you will die, but you just keep living, day after day after terrible day.”

#43 Brave New World61svhfelxkl

By: Aldous Huxley (Random House)

Genre: Dystopian Fiction

“Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly — they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.”

#44 Tess of D’Urbervilles91kevty02ol

By: Thomas Hardy (Penguin)

Genre: Tragedy

“A strong woman who recklessly throws away her strength, she is worse than a weak woman who has never had any strength to throw away.”

#45 Madame Bovary51l9be7yykl


By: Gustav Flaubert (Penguin)

Genre: Realism

“An infinity of passion can be contained in one minute, like a crowd in a small space.”

#46 Metamorphosis51dctbv4jil-_sx319_bo1204203200_


By: Franz Kafka (Fingerprint Publishing)

Genre: Modern Fiction

“He was a tool of the boss, without brains or backbone.”

#47 A Tale Of Two Cities91gnlrzvfbl

By: Charles Dickens (Penguin)

Genre: Historical Fiction

“I wish you to know that you have been the last dream of my soul.”

#48 War And Peace41x4adly8wl

By: Leo Tolstoy (Penguin)

Genre: Philosophical Literature

“Nothing is so necessary for a young man as the company of intelligent women.”

#49 The Count Of Monte Cristo51wjhbdxddl


By: Alexandre Dumas

Genre: Historical Fiction

“All human wisdom is contained in these two words – Wait and Hope”

#50 The Wind In The Willow91aua-sgk6l

By: Kenneth Grahame (Penguin)

Genre: Children’s Fiction

“There’s nothing––absolutely nothing––half so much worth doing as messing about in boats.”

Get. Set. Binge. 

Sunakshi Mehta
Sunakshi Mehta

Reader, writer, pizza lover and blogger: Sunakshi is all of these things. She believes language is the best thing invented by man and has a passionate new-word-learning fetish. Even though she is forever in a dilemma between weight loss and food love, her love for books surpasses all other addictions.

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