52 Books Everyone Should Read – Adult Edition

You see them all the time don’t you, lists of books to read before you die, lists of bucket list books and lists of books that will enlighten you and change your life. Many of these lists are written by academics and we wondered how much those lists might differ from our own if we asked you for your suggestions.

You were all very enthusiastic, giving us almost 800 replies in all and so after tallying them all up and skimming off the ones that got the most votes we have a top 52 books everyone should read at least once!

To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

Maybe an unsurprising first place, but outstripping second place with two and a half times as many votes is To Kill a Mockingbird, the timeless warning of bigotry and acceptance.

To Kill a Mockingbird US
To Kill a Mockingbird UK

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1984 – George Orwell

Next up is the cautionary, and it seems ever current story of the political nightmare endured by Winston Smith in 1984. The novel that gave us ‘Big Brother’ and ‘Room 101’ is second on our books everyone should read.

1984 US
1984 UK

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Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

A true classic and always popular in our polls is Pride and Prejudice, taking third place on our list with many saying ‘especially for girls’

Pride and Prejudice US
Pride and Prejudice UK

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Tuesdays With Morrie – Mitch Albom

Mitch makes it into the list more than once, and the memoir Tuesdays with Morrie about a young man’s visits to a professor with a terminal illness is jam packed with life and advice and thoughtful moments.

Tuesdays With Morrie US
Tuesdays With Morrie UK

Review of Tuesdays with Morrie

The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

Although considered by many to be young adult fiction, Zusak has stated several times that although Leisl is a young girl, the book wasn’t written with children in mind. This beautiful story of a young German girl during WWII takes joint fourth place with Tuesdays with Morrie on our list.

The Book Thief US
The Book Thief UK

Review of The Book Thief

The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini

The Kite Runner is a sensational novel about growing up and getting on, and it seems that while this is set in Afghanistan, the world over we’re all just trying to get on.

The Kite Runner US
The Kite Runner UK

A Review of The Kite Runner

The Alchemist – Paulo Coehlo

Taking joint sixth place with The Kite Runner is Coehlo’s The Alchemist, always popular on our page many of you said it’s simply a ‘must read’ book.

The Alchemist US
The Alchemist UK

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The Lord of the Rings Trilogy – J. R. R. Tolkien

They say the truth is found in fiction, and in eighth place is The Lord of the Rings with many of you saying it’s one of those series you just have to read at least once!

Lord of the Rings US
Lord of the Rings UK

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The Catcher in theRye – J. D Salinger

In joint ninth place, completing our top ten is the hugely popular and sometimes controversial The Catcher in the Rye, considered an American Classic and chosen by many of you.

The Catcher in the Rye US
The Catcher in the Rye UK

Review of The Catcher in the Rye

Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury

And completing our top ten is Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury’s classic dystopian future where books are burned and knowledge is feared is a book that many of you felt everyone should read!

Fahrenheit 451 US
Fahrenheit 451 UK

Review of Fahrenheit 451

11. The 5 People you Meet in Heaven – Mitch Albom

12. Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank (review)

13. Night – Elie Wiesel

14. Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck

15. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn – Betty Smith

16. Gone With the Wind – Margaret Mitchell

17. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

18. The Stand – Stephen King

19. A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini (review)

20. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood (review)

And after the featured top 20, here we take the list to the full 52 books:

Atlas Shrugged – Ayn Rand
Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
Animal Farm – George Orwell
The Outsiders – S. E Hinton
Sophie’s World – Jostein Gaarder
Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier
Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor Franki
The Giver – Louis Lowry 4
East of Eden – John Steinbeck
The Shack – William P. Young
A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
The Physician – Noah Gordon
Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
Ishmael – Daniel Quinn
The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
Dune – Frank Herbert
The Last Lecture – Randy Pausch
Good Omens – Neil Gaiman Terry Pratchett
Mockingbird – Sean Stewart
The Little Prince – Antoine De Saint-Exupery
Unbroken – Laura Hillenbrand
Sherlock Holmes – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
Lord of the Flies – William Golding
Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
David Copperfield – Charles Dickens
The Poisonwood Bible – Barbara Kingsolver
Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafron
Catch 22 – Joseph Heller
Angela’s Ashes – Frank McCourt

Look out for the YA Edition coming soon!

The Bestselling Fiction of the Last One Hundred Years: 1919

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A few days ago we brought you the start of a new blog series with the ten best selling books of 1918. Over the next few months we’ll be bringing you the bestselling books of the next one hundred years and today we’re onto the next year with 1919.

This list, and all the lists will be the top ten bestselling books of that year, from 1918 to 2018. As the lists continue you’ll see trends through the years as popular authors shine through, but for today it’s the ten bestselling books of 1919.

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The Bestselling Fiction of the Last One Hundred Years: 1918

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We’re starting a new blog series today, and it’s likely to be a while until we finish it. We’re going to cover the bestselling fiction of the last one hundred years, one year at a time.

Each list will be ten books, the ten bestselling books of the last one hundred years and as we’re still in 2018 (just) we’re starting with 1918.

As the lists continue you’ll see trends through the years as popular authors shine through, but for today it’s the ten bestselling books of 1918.

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6 Best Books About Pearl Harbor

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On December 7th, 1941 at 7:48am, the Japanese Navy launched an air strike on a United States naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. In the attack more than 2,400 American servicemen were killed forcing the United States into World War II.

To mark the date, we’re making some recommendations today, if you’d like to know more about this event with books that offer an in-depth look into the day, its personal impact and its place in history.

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The New York Times Best Books of 2018

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The New York Times is generally a respected source for those looking for book recommendations and we trust their judgement, so when we saw today they had announced their Top Ten Books of 2018 we knew we’d have to share it with you.

We’ve seen many of these books recommended across a variety of sources this year, including recommendations from you, so without further ado here are the top ten books of 2018, according to the New York Times.

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FRA Readers’ Choice Top 20: December 2018

By | Hit of the Lits! | No Comments
Another month has flown by and it’s time for a new Top 20, the final Top 20 of 2018. Each month we list your top 20 reads of the month, chosen by members of our reading group, The Cwts @ Reading Addicts.

This month is a mix-up of classic books, new releases and recommendations from the Cwts, including some books that have featured heavily in the Top 20 every month. We hope you find something that interests you. Here are the top 20 books for December, chosen by you! Read More

John Boyne Chooses His Favourite Reads of 2018

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During an event for Birmingham Literature Festival with John Boyne, he explained that he reads around 120 books a year and believes it is a key part of being a writer. The books he reads each year include many published that year. As Christmas fast approaches, Boyne has taken to Twitter to treated us all to his pick of the best books published in 2018 that he has read this year. In no particular order, these are the book Boyne recommends:
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NYPL Best Books of 2018: Books for Kids

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Every year the New York Public Library curates a selection of recommended reads selected by their expert librarians. The books encompass an array of genres, diverse stories and inspiring ideas with the top ten books for adults, teens and kids included.

This weekend we’re going to feature all three lists to give you some recommendations. Today we have the kids list ranging from picture books to middle-grade fiction, graphic novels, folklore & fairy tales, poetry, and nonfiction.

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14 Comments

  • Steve Anthony says:

    Who compiled this list, Mitch Albom’s literary agent?

    • Kath says:

      As it states in paragraph one, the question was thrown out to our 400,000 FB users. I just added the results and collated them.

  • Joel R. Dennstedt says:

    This is actually one of the best lists I have seen. Sort of a combination of quality and popularity is represented. I did not feel all aggrieved when I disagreed, because I could still see why a particular book was chosen.

  • Kathy Papst says:

    All in all this is a pretty good list. Some must read lists are too geared toward the classics, which is usually “old dead white guys” or others are too young adult oriented and have a lot of fantasy or sci-fi that many older readers don’t relate to. I think that I will try to read the books on this list that I am unfamiliar with or haven’t made the time to read. I do wish that there was one or two from Latin or South American writers, not just Anglo-American or northern European writers.

  • Robin says:

    I read 14, I’ll have to get busy

  • Lance says:

    I have probably averaged a book every 2 weeks since I was in 7th grade, 1981, and have only read 3 of these. I think I will work my way through your list. Is there a version of this list that can be printed?

  • dee says:

    This is probably the whitest list I’ve ever seen.

  • Chris says:

    we know that there is not just one Sherlock Holmes book but in fact a handful of novels and a truckload of short stories…

  • Nya says:

    I have to agree that these are must reads – classics that pass the test of time. I am making my next year resolution to read more classic books.

  • Eric Lane Barnes says:

    No ‘Beloved’? No ‘Their Eyes Were Watching God?’ No ‘Another Country?’ No ‘Color Purple?’

    This just in: African Americans have been a vibrant part of American literature for hundreds of years. This list is shamefully white-centric.

  • Great list! Given me lots of inspiration. Glad to see A Thousand Splendid Suns on the list – one of the most moving books I’ve ever read

  • Prashant says:

    What a rubbish list!!!Consists only of American and British writers. Surely you aren’t familiar with Russian and French literature…What a pity

    • Kath says:

      As the opening paragraphs state, this list is made up of reader choices. We asked people on the page to recommend books and added up their replies to create the list. It’s not a list of literature I’m familiar with, it’s a reader generated list of recommendations.

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