30 Books To Read Before Your 30th Birthday

According to this article by Marc Chernoff, there are 30 books you should read before your 30th birthday. If you have passed your 30th birthday, you should’ve read all of them, I suppose. I bet nobody except him has read all 30 of them, personally – not even the ‘bonuses’! This is the list:

1. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
2. 1984 by George Orwell
3. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
4. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
5. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
6. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
7. The Rights of Man by Tom Paine
8. The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
9. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez
10. The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
11. The Wisdom of the Desert by Thomas Merton
12. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
13. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graham
14. The Art of War by Sun Tzu
15. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
16. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
17. Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot
18. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
19. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
20. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
21. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
22. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
23. Walden by Henry David Thoreau
24. The Republic by Plato
25. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
26. Getting Things Done by David Allen
27. How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
28. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
29. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
30. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
31. BONUS: How To Cook Everything by Mark Bittman
32. BONUS: Honeymoon with My Brother by Franz Wisner

Bolded are the ones I’ve read, and italics are the ones I want to read. You know, I like lists like 100 Most Popular Books of the Decade, but I don’t think I like lists like this, that ‘dictates’ books you should have read by a certain age or something. For one, there’s nothing catered to the female audience despite the call for ‘everyone’ to have read these titles by their 30th birthday. It looks more like a man’s list than a woman’s list. For another, many on the list are not even classics, so I’m not sure why should people have read them by the time they’re 30, much less heard of those books even. Lastly, this list will not suit everyone because nobody is looking for the same kind of experience or knowledge or pleasure when they choose what to read!


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