Top 100 books to read in a lifetime… my thoughts, part 1

BOOK REVIEW BANNER -Top 100 books to read in a lifetime pt1

I’ve seen a few people talk about “the top 100 books to read in a lifetime” recently and I wanted to jump on-board. I’ve seen the Amazon list, The Times list, the BBC list etc, etc, and they’re all very samey. Then I got an email through from AbeBooks and the books they featured on the list had a little bit more variety, so I’m going to talk through that one! My idea is to discuss what I think of each book and say whether I will ever read it, or not… or if I have already!

Now, 100 books is a lot to talk about in one go, so I’m going to split this post up into 10 parts. That feels like a big commitment… and it is… but that’s fine! I can do it.

Here is a link to the list I’ve taken these books from.


1984 by George Orwell
1984 by George Orwell

I actually have this one on my bookshelf at home, just waiting to be read! I think I’ll be featuring it in my TBR pile in the near future.

This book appears on all the “top 100 books” lists. I really hope I enjoy & understand the message in it, everyone says it’s a really thought-provoking novel.


The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

I’m not 100% sure why this book is on this list! It seems really random to me. It’s not one of those books that’s super highly renowned.

I have actually read this one and I only gave it 3 stars. It was really quite dull.


A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Yawn. No I don’t think I could ever put myself through this novel. I was lucky enough to skip out on Dickens in school because I did Thomas Hardy instead. Everyone in the other class who did Dickens said it bored the brains out of them.


Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

This is another novel that I’ve got on my shelves at home! I don’t know much about this, other than it’s one of those books you just have to read.

Again, I will have to add this to my TBR soon. I have a good feeling I’ll get along with this one.


Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

I really don’t want to read this novel. It doesn’t appeal to me in the slightest. I know a few girls who enjoyed it at school but it’s really not my kind of read.

I even tried to listen to the audiobook, but even that bored me.


Watership Down by Richard Adams

Watership Down by Richard Adams

I do actually have this one on my shelves at home, however, I only bought it because it was a cute vintage copy. I don’t really think I will ever get round to reading this one, it doesn’t seem to my tastes.


A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute

A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute

I had never even heard of this novel before looking through this list! The first of many unknown books to me.

After reading the synopsis on Goodreads, I know this one isn’t the kind of book I would enjoy reading either, so this is another book from the list I will not be reading.


Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I can see why this novel is on the list, it sounds like an important piece of fiction on race, but I don’t think I would enjoy it, purely for the romance element in it.


The Vegetarian by Han Kang

The Vegetarian by Han King

This is a novel I’m really interested in reading! I always worry with these cultural books that I may miss the bigger picture of the story, but I still want to give it a shot.

I saw this one in a charity shop and almost picked it up, but the cover was really damaged and that bugged me, so I’l just have to buy it new at some point.


Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

A while back I did a Top Ten Tuesday about authors I’ve not read from yet, and Arthur Conan Doyle is one of them! Considering I’m such a lover of mysteries, you would have thought I would have made some time to pick one of the Sherlock Holmes books up, but not yet!

I do want to read some of the Holmes series.


So there we have it for part one! I’ve already found this top 100 list that little bit more interesting than the others, with the choice of books they’ve decided to put on it. It’s nice to see such modern novels mixed in with older “classics”.

I’d love to know how many of these first 10 books you’ve read, and what you thought of them!

37 thoughts on “Top 100 books to read in a lifetime… my thoughts, part 1

  1. Ah such a nice idea for a blogpost! I only read two of these books (Jane Eyre and Americanah) I loved them both, I would highly recommend reading Americanah. I understand why you don’t want to read Jane Eyre, but it suprised me in such a positive way. I also want to read 1984 and Lord of the Flies soon. I only read one Dickens book, but I thought it was a bit boring to be honest 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Watership Down is AMAZING! I love that book. Do give it a try! Apart from that, I have only read 1984 and Jane Eyre. Was not a massive fan of Jane Eyre to be honest – Jane annoyed me quite a bit in the second half of the book 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve tried reading Americanah, but I couldn’t but I still want to go back to it in future, uhm I enjoyed Jane Eyre, suprisingly. Lord of the Flies, was a book that I had to read, not because I wanted to, because of Literature class.

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  4. Cool idea, Zuky! I haven’t read any of these books and it seems on these top 100 lists I have usually only read a handful. It’s always full of classics and it’s not often that I want to read classics. I am interested in Animal Farm though 🙂

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  5. 1984 is one of my favorite books so I hope you enjoy it too!

    I didn’t think I was going to enjoy Jane Eyre, but it was actually very dramatic and became a real page-turner for me.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is awesome! Thank you for sharing this particular Top 100 list, it really is interesting to see more recent works mixed in with older classics. It should give people more motivation to read through the list should they decide to do it. Awesome project you got here, I can’t wait to know more about it 😊❤

    P.S. are you gonna do reviews on all the books or just some of them?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! I’m probably only going to commit myself to reading books on the list that I really do like the sound of, so I won’t review them all – too many other books I want to read to commit myself to these 100! 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You should totally read Lord of the Flies and Jane Eyre!!! I loved them both and agree that everyone should read them. However I do understand why you didn’t like Jane Eyre, the writing style is not for everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t like any of the Jane Eyre-esque books. I did Wuthering Heights and P&P in school and disliked them both! I don’t think I’ll get on with Eyre for this reason 🙂 But I am looking forward to Lord of the Flies!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well then, if you know it’s not your thing, maybe it’s best you try different genres 🙂 Hope you let us know what you think about Lord of the Flies!

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Loved this post! I tend to stay away from those lists because it just emphasizes the reading stress I have in me. I stop reading books I actively want to read, only to be disappointed by acclaimed novels I find completely boring. But I’m happy to see I’ve read quite a few of these books!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 🙂 I usually ignore these lists because I’m not a big classic reader, but I liked the small amount of variety on this one. It does stress me out though, to think I’ve got to get at least some of these read at some point!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I’ve read Lord of the Flies and Sherlock Holmes (or at least a good chunk of the Holmes stories; not sure if I’ve read them all or not). They’re both worth reading! Though, don’t feel you need to read the ENTIRE Holmes. If you like it, great. If not, they do get somewhat repetitive in theme… big unsolvable mystery, Holmes shows up and acts mysterious, some kind of suspense, Holmes announces that he solved the mystery. Granted, some of the stories are better than others — more suspenseful, better subplot, etc — but reading a few of the stories should give you a taste for whether or not you will enjoy the bulk of them.

    I’m doing a modified 100 books list this year, where I took several “must read” lists and pulled the ones I was interested in reading from them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wouldn’t commit myself to all of the Sherlock Holmes books if I didn’t REALLY love the first one I read. But I will definitely read one!

      Ahh, that’s a good idea! Good luck with getting them all read, that’s a big task! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks! It seemed better than trying to choose only one list. None of them was exactly suited to my tastes, and not all of the books I wanted to read were on all the lists.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I love book lists!! I really want to read Watership Down, I’ve heard it’s so good and I’ve got the DVD already to watch after lol. This list features a lot of “outside what I usually read” books so I’m slowly working my way through the “Amazon UKs 100 crime books and thrillers to read in a lifetime” – the books are much more up my alley!

    Liked by 1 person

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