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100 Books To Read

"Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind"
                                      - Virginia Woolf


I could have titled this 100 books you should read before 100, but I could not bring myself to do so. 

As a literature student, it has come to my attention that my blog features very little about my degree. Second-year Summative Stress is a thing – but after handing in a 3,500-word essay, two 4,000-word essays and a 5,000-word creative writing portfolio I am giving myself a few days rest bite from essay writing. This is not to say I am not working – the grind never stops when you are in your second year at uni. But hey, I am using this opportunity to write in a more relaxed way.

After the blog drought, I am compiling a list of books that I have read and would encourage you to also.

I am going to split the books I mention into their rough genre, although, there is some overlapping with novels that do not fit a prescribed category so (as Tilly in Miranda would say) “bear with”. 

Fiction
1.     The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath – if you decide to read any book from this list, please let it be this one.
2.     Emma by Jane Austen
3.     The Hour of the Star by Clarice Lispector
4.     Girl, Interrupted by Susana Kaysen
5.     Maria or the Wrongs of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft
6.     Pale Horse, Pale Rider by Katherine Anne Porter 
7.     The Vegetarian by Han Kang
8.     The Colour Purple by Alice Walker
9.     List of the Lost by Steven Patrick Morrissey
10.  1984 by George Orwell
11.  Persuasion by Jane Austen
12.  Molloy by Samuel Beckett
13.  Animal Farm by George Orwell
14.  A Mercy by Toni Morrison
15.  Villette by Charlotte Bronte 
16.  Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins
17.  Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
18.  Mildred Pierce by James M Cain
19.  The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith
20.  The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
21.  Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
22.  The Devil Wears Prada by Laura Weisenberger
23.  Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
24.  Quicksand by Nellie Larsen
25.  The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chobsky
26.  A City Girl by Margaret Harkness 
27.  Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty


Non-Fiction
28.  A Million Little Pieces by James Frey. Like The Bell Jar, this book holds a very deep meaning to me.
29.  The Time in Between by Nancy Tucker
30.  An Apple a Day by Emma Woolf
31.  Autobiography by Steven Patrick Morrissey
32.  A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
33.  Why I Write by George Orwell
34.  Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig
35.  The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson
36.  The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud
37.  The Death of the Moth by Virginia Woolf
38.  The Body Book by Cameron Diaz
39.  A Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowen
40.  Thin by Grace Bowen
41.  Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman
42.  Body Positive Power by Megan Jayne Crabbe
43.  Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
44.  The Ministry of Thin by Emma Woolf
45.  Regarding the Pain of Others by Susan Sontag
46.  Persepolis by Marjanne Satrapi

Gothic
*on another note, I am obsessed with the Gothic. 
47.  Dracula by Bram Stoker
48.  Northanger Abbey by Charlotte Bronte
49.  The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
50.  Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley. An A Level classic.
51.  The Madwoman in the Attic by Charlotte Gilman Perkins
52.  The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter 

Children’s Books/Teen fiction
53.  The Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. These books were literally my childhood. I could write a separate blog post about each individual book but I thought it better just to combine the series as one.
      My favourite ones are: The Bad Beginning, The Wide Window, The Miserable Mill and The Austere Academy.
54.  The Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer. Twilight is my favourite out of all of them.
55.  War Horse by Michael Morpurgo
56.  Harry Potter by J.K Rowling. My personal favourite is The Prisoner of Azkaban!
57.  Girl, Missing by Sophie McKenzie. I remember a time where everyone in reading period was hooked on this book!
58.  Malory Towers by Enid Blyton
59.  Kensuke’s Kingdom by Michael Murpurgo
60.  Matilda by Roald Dahl
61.  The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis
62.  The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
63.  Charlotte’s Web by E.B White
64.  Divergent by Veronica Roth
65.  My Naughty Little Sister by Dorothy Edwards
66.  The Tulip Touch by Anne Fine 
67.  Goodnight Mister Tom by Michelle Magorian 

Poetry
68.  Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti
69.  Ariel by Sylvia Plath
70.  Howl by Allen Ginsberg
71.  Poems of 1912 - 1913 by Thomas Hardy
72.  Sincerity by Carol Ann Duffy
73.  Lunch Poems by Frank O’Hara
74.  The Waste Land by T.S Eliot
75.  Don’t Tell Me Not To Ask Why by Samantha King
76.  Shakespeare’s Sonnets 
77.  Running Upon The Waves by Kate Tempest

Short Stories
78.  The Lottery by Shirley Jackson
79.  I Stand Here Ironing by Tillie Olsen
80.  Paper Losses by Lorrie Moore
81.  Mrs Fox by Sarah Hall
82.  Track by Nicole Flattery
83.  Half of What Atlee Rouse Knows About Horses by Bret Anthony Johnston
84.  This is How They Tame Us by Rupert Dastur
85.  The Lady of the House of Love by Angela Carter

Classics 
86.  Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
87.  Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
88.  Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
89.  Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
90.  A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
91.  The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald
92.  Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad 
93.  Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
94.  Venus and Adonis by William Shakespeare 

Plays
95.  Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare 
96.  An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde
97.  A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen
98.  Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare
99.  Endgame by Samuel Beckett 
100.         Twelve Angry Men by Reginald Rose

You don’t have to be reading 100 books a year, but even setting yourself the goal of 6 books a year (that is one every two months) is achievable. Consuming knowledge from literature is an invaluable skill to have. 

Admittedly, I know reading is not for everyone, but there are also other ways of “reading” books without actually having to read. For example, Amazon offers the app Audible, which is an accessible way of listening to books on the go. I have recently taken to audible as a great way of keeping on top of my reading when I do not have the time to be at my desk. I have even been known to listen to books on the treadmill.

I hope you find this list useful or perhaps inspiring to encourage you to read more.

Lots of love,

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Is xxx

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