Since October 2013


110 Best Books: The Perfect Library

From classics and sci-fi to poetry, biographies and books that changed the world… we present the ultimate reading list.

– The Telegraph

  1. 1984 by George Orwell

  2. 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke

  3. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle by Unknown

  4. The Ballad of Peckham Rye by Muriel Spark

  5. The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf

  6. Beloved by Toni Morrison

  7. The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

  8. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley*

  9. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

  10. A Child Called ‘It’ by Dave Pelzer

  11. The Chronicles of Barsetshire by Anthony Trollope

  12. Citizens by Simon Schama

  13. Collected Poems of Ted Hughes by Ted Hughes

  14. Collected Poems of W. B. Yeats by W. B. Yeats

  15. The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

  16. Confessions by St. Augustine*

  17. Dangerous Liaison by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos

  18. Das Kapital by Karl Marx

  19. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

  20. The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

  21. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon

  22. Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville

  23. Diaries by Alan Clark

  24. Divine Comedy by Dante

  25. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

  26. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak

  27. Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss

  28. Eminent Victorians by Lytton Strachey

  29. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway*

  30. Foundation by Isaac Asimov

  31. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

  32. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

  33. Good-Bye to All That by Robert Graves

  34. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift

  35. Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling*

  36. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

  37. Histoire de Babar by Jean de Brunhoff

  38. The Histories of Herodotus by Herodotus*

  39. A History of the Crusades by Stephen Runciman

  40. A History of the English-Speaking Peoples by Winston Churchill

  41. The History of the Peloponnesian War by Thucydides

  42. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

  43. How to Cook by Delia Smith

  44. The Human Stain by Philip Roth

  45. I, Claudius by Robert Graves

  46. If This Is a Man by Primo Levi

  47. The Iliad by Homer

  48. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust

  49. The Interpretation of Dreams by Sigmund Freud

  50. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë*

  51. Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach

  52. Killshot by Elmore Leonard

  53. Le Morte d’Arthur by Thomas Malory

  54. L’Encyclopédie by Diderot

  55. Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes

  56. The Life of Charlotte Brontë by Elizabeth Gaskell

  57. The life of Samuel Johnson by Boswell

  58. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis*

  59. Lives of the Artists by Giorgio Vasari

  60. Lives of the Caesars by Suetonius

  61. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien*

  62. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

  63. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett

  64. Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brian

  65. Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man by Siegfried Sassoon

  66. Middlemarch by George Eliot

  67. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

  68. The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe

  69. Neuromancer by William Gibson

  70. Odes by John Keats

  71. The Odyssey by Homer

  72. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

  73. On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin

  74. On War by Carl Von Clausewitz

  75. The Origins of the Second World War by A. J. P. Taylor

  76. Paradise Lost by John Milton*

  77. A People’s Tragedy by Orlando Figes

  78. The Plantagenet Saga by Jean Plaidy

  79. The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James*

  80. The Prelude by William Wordsworth

  81. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen*

  82. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli

  83. Rabbit at Rest by John Updike

  84. Rabbit Is Rich by John Updike

  85. Rabbit Redux by John Updike

  86. Rabbit, Run by John Updike

  87. The Railway Children by Edith Nesbit

  88. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

  89. Red Dragon by Thomas Harris

  90. Rights of Man by Thomas Paine

  91. Schott’s Original Miscellany by Ben Schott

  92. Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence

  93. The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau

  94. Songs of Innocence and Experience by William Blake

  95. The Sonnets by William Shakespeare

  96. Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome

  97. The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith

  98. Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

  99. The Time Machine by H. G. Wells*

  100. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John Le Carre

  101. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

  102. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

  103. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne

  104. Ulysses by James Joyce

  105. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

  106. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

  107. The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot

  108. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

  109. Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne

  110. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

  111. A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle

  112. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig

Other books not on the list that I’ve read and reviewed:

1. Candide by Voltaire
2. Ooh La La! French Women’s Secrets to feeling beautiful every day by Jamie Cat Callan
3. How to be a Lady by Candace Simpson-Giles
4. Oh no she didn’t by Clinton Kelly
5. Relish by Daphne Oz
6. The Duchess who wouldn’t sit down by Jesse Browner
7. On Marriage and Family Life by St. John Chrysostom
8. To Hell with All that: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife by Caitlin Flanagan
9. A Man is His Faith: Ivan Kireyevsky and Orthodox Christianity by Alexey Young

*books I will re-read and review

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