30 books to read before you turn 30

I am continuing on my trend of 30 before 30 because why not? I’m not necessarily going to actually read all these books before I turn 30 because I really don’t have that much time left to go. You can find countless versions of this list in every corner of the internet but I went with the list posted at Goodreads because I figure it’s voted by multiple people and less likely to be skewed by one persons opinion. Or by one person showing off how intellectual and well-read they are by picking the most pretentious books possible. I suppose  it’s all down to what you consider must reads. Is it the most lauded books of all time? The classics? Or books that you should read because everyone else has read them and you’ll be left out (has anyone not read Harry Potter?). So here goes the list from Goodreads, there is actually more than 30 books on the list, I’m just going with the first 30.

  1. Siddhartha – Hermann Hesse (Read)
  2. The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao – Junot Diaz (read)
  3. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
  4. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee (Read for school in 8th grade but don’t remember much, should probably re-read)
  5. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay – Michael Chabon (haven’t even heard of this book before…)
  6. The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera
  7. Giovanni’s Room – James Baldwin (haven’t heard of this one either…)
  8. The Sun Also Rises – Ernest Hemingway
  9. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  10. The Tipping Point – Malcolm Gladwell (Read)
  11. The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald (Read)
  12. The Demon-Haunted World – Carl Sagan
  13. The Golden Notebook – Doris Lessing ( Haven’t heard of this one either, maybe I’m not so well read as I thought…)
  14. A Room of One’s Own – Virginia Woolf
  15. The Autobiography of Malcolm X – Malcolm X
  16. Birds of America – Lorrie Moore
  17. How should a Person Be – Sheila Heti
  18. You Shall know our Velocity – Dave Eggers
  19. A People’s History of the United States – Howard Zinn
  20. The Portrait of a Lady – Henry James
  21. Enormous Changes at the Last Minute – Grace Paley
  22. Letters to a Young Contrarion – Christopher Hitchens
  23. Leaves of Grass – Walt Whitman
  24. Slouching Towards Bethlehem – Joan Didion
  25. Infinite Jest – David Foster Wallace
  26. Song of Solomon – Toni Morrison
  27. Critique of Pure Reason – Immanuel Kant
  28. Native Son – Richard Wright
  29. Hateship, Frienship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage: Stories – Alice Munro
  30. A collection of Essays – George Orwell

Well now I fell rather uneducated, five out of 30, geez… Do I get extra points since the five I did read are all near the top? Once again the list reads a little overly intellectual, but I suppose that classics are that for a reason. They transcend generations and connect with us on a deeper level about life. Looks like I have some more reading to do.


One thought on “30 books to read before you turn 30

  1. Pingback: Fall Reading List

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