100 books to read before you die. What do y'all think?


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Mike Honcho

Trad climber
Glenwood Springs, CO
Topic Author's Original Post - Sep 8, 2018 - 06:13pm PT
Amazon, which owns Goodreads, had its editors agonize over their own list, but the two turned out very different.

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

My list would not include- Game Of Thrones, all 3 of the Harry Potter silliness. I like Mark Twain, but not Tom Sawyer or Huck Finn, Watership Down, Charlotte's Web, The Chronicles Of Narnia, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory and The King James Bible alone seems silly without other cultures version of their God or Gods books, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and The Hunger Games seem like obviously weak choices, at least in my opinion.

Oh yeah, Lolita is not on this list but I absolutely thought that book was waaay overblown. Again, just my opinion.


Social climber
Sep 8, 2018 - 06:33pm PT
I think that SuperTopo is the wrong forum for this topic.

Social climber
The internet
Sep 8, 2018 - 06:36pm PT
Looks like an east coast college student kind of list.

For climbers - in the west - a few mega classics missing:

Desert Solitaire
Monkey Wrench Gang
On the Road
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Sep 8, 2018 - 07:25pm PT

Another Amazon plot so everyone will buy the books from them.

Sep 8, 2018 - 07:59pm PT
Really weak sauce, made from an envelope. What, practically no non-fiction books???!?!??! Fewer than 10 percent from writers in other languages? Lame advertising by idiots.

Ice climber
hartford, ct
Sep 8, 2018 - 08:09pm PT

Sep 8, 2018 - 06:33pm PT
I think that SuperTopo is the wrong forum for this topic

If its not a politaRd thread, it'll do.

Trad climber
Ventura, CA
Sep 8, 2018 - 08:10pm PT
No Moby Dick?!?! Unacceptable!!!!

I'd agree with others the list is pretty one dimensional...all English, all fiction....yes just like a high school English class.

How about Seven Years in Tibet? Written by an Austrian dude about an exotic ancient culture that has been all but erased from the planet....

Trad climber
minneapolis, mn
Sep 8, 2018 - 08:17pm PT
first thought on scanning that Is that there's a lot of fluff

second thought on reading through comments is that there are unpardonable omissions, which in light of the fluff is doubly damning

Mountain climber
Sep 8, 2018 - 08:40pm PT
My favorite Russian book "Master and Margarita" by Bulgakov is missing.

Too much of J.K. Rowling.

some eastside hovel
Sep 8, 2018 - 08:47pm PT
The list is incomplete without Endurance. ;-)

The Good Places
Sep 8, 2018 - 08:52pm PT
juge not lest ye be juged.

but seriously, what about Enchanted Vagabonds?

v V Jack Burns approves of MWG and TBC but DS is rosy toiletwater V vvvvvv

Mountain climber
Timbers of Fennario
Sep 8, 2018 - 08:53pm PT
I thought Watership Down was a great book. This list is missing Lonesome Dove and Shogun As far as fiction goes, those two are brilliant.

The Monkey Wrench Gang and Desert Solitaire should be there for sure. As should The Brave Cowboy. (the book)
August West

Trad climber
Where the wind blows strange
Sep 8, 2018 - 09:23pm PT
Yes it is heavy on fluff. But the list isn't 100 best classics, but rather 100 books to read.

So maybe that is ok.

But even so I would ditch half that list.

And reorder it.

Alice in Wonderland and Anna Karenina would be in my top five.

Mountain climber
Sep 8, 2018 - 09:29pm PT
Yeah, for adventurers the list is way different. Anything by Abbey, Roberts, Krakauer. Twain’s “Roughing It” is awesome. Shackleton, Messner, Lowe, Twight, Terray, etc.

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Sep 8, 2018 - 09:53pm PT
A lot of modern stuff that is entertaining, but hardly classic.
Even limiting the list to novels written in English, it's pretty poor. No Cormac McCarthy and several Hunger Games books?

Social climber
Sep 8, 2018 - 09:53pm PT
hey there say, ...

oh my!

they did NOT include these:

JAKE ... 'I'm thinkin'...' by Neebeeshaabookway

JAKE AND SOFIA by Neebeeshaabookway

JAKE HUGS TEXAS by Neebeeshaabookway


short stories:



The Prisoner of Zenda by Anthony Hope

Heidi by Johanna Spyri

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Barnett

and, true story memoirs:

I'll Scream Later, by Marlee Matlin

(wouldn't hurt the guys to read the 'heidi' actually... even though
it sounds a bit weak...

Grey Matter
Sep 8, 2018 - 10:26pm PT
PBS is having a similar voted list for the next month.
It's also a list of 100, but unranked so far and they want people to vote.

It is somewhat similar to the Amazon list in the general sense, with too many recent popular books. However they only have 32 books in common.


Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Sep 8, 2018 - 10:27pm PT
That’s rather an inbred list, if you will, or outright xenophobic.
Crime and Punishment at 91 with Harry Potter at 5? Seriously?
No Hesse, Mann, Undset, Dante, Eco, Hamsun, Strindberg, Ibsen, Turgenev, Proust, Camus, Moliere, Thomas More, Joyce, Bulgakov, Nin, Solzhenitsen, Gogol, Conrad, Becket?

What a joke.

Trad climber
Costa Mesa, CA
Sep 9, 2018 - 05:11am PT
Joke for sure.

The Brothers Karamazov
The Bible
The Idiot
Crime and Punishment

Four there that you have to read. :)
little Z

Trad climber
un cafetal en Naranjo
Sep 9, 2018 - 05:33am PT
why read? I can just watch the movies and knock off 80% of that stupid list
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