PROGRESS: 100 books to read before I’m 30

The title of this post is incredibly deceptive considering that, since making this list in November of 2010, I have read exactly 4 books on the list. That’s right, 4.  A blind lizard could read faster than that. Well, I’ve technically read way more than 4 books over the past year and a half, but only about 1% have been from my classics list.

(PS – if you’re on Goodreads, come be friends with me and make me follow through with this!)

I’m going to make my life a tid bit easier and pull out the books I’d like to read this summer (summer being Monday night after my last final until classes start in August. So, about 4 months). This is a bit ambitious, but I think I can do it. (Note: this is in addition to all the other summer reading I want to do which includes at least 8 more books). I have included two Russians, but I’m balancing it out with a lot of fun English writing (my favorite) and some sultry French/Spanish work. This is actually my third time attempting Anna K: I finished about 80% of it when I was living in Manhattan, but work got crazy and it was long overdue from the library (I’m not allowed to go to libraries) and I never finished it. Then I tried again back in January before this semester started, but I got distracted by new, shiny books. My plan is to do about one classic per week, with longer for the Russians.


  1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen (about halfway done)
  2. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
  3. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
  4. The Beautiful and Damned – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  5. The Arabian Nights – Anonymous
  6. Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  7. Emma – Jane Austen
  8. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoevsky
  9. Les Liasons Dangereuses – Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
  10. A Room with a View – E.M. Forster
  11. Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathon Swift
  12. Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray

THE FULL LIST (bolded titles are complete)

  1. This Side of Paradise – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  2. Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
  3. Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
  4. The Beautiful and Damned – F. Scott Fitzgerald
  5. Emma – Jane Austen
  6. Adventures of Tom Sawyer – Mark Twain
  7. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
  8. The Aeneid – Vergil
  9. The Age of Innocence – Edith Wharton
  10. Agnes Grey – Anne Bronte
  11. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass – Lewis Carroll
  12. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
  13. The Arabian Nights – Anonymous
  14. The Awakening – Kate Chopin
  15. Babbitt – Sinclair Lewis
  16. Billy Budd and the Plaza Tales – Herman Melville
  17. Bleak House – Charles Dickens
  18. The Bostonians – Henry James
  19. The Brothers Karamazov – Fyodor Dostoevsky
  20. Candide – Voltaire
  21. The Canterbury Tales – Geoffrey Chaucer
  22. A Christmas Carol & The Cricket on the Hearth – Charles Dickens
  23. Collected Works of Oscar Wilde
  24. Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson
  25. Common Sense – Thomas Paine
  26. The Communist Manifesto – Karl Marx
  27. Confessions – Saint Augustine
  28. The Count of Monte Christo – Alexandre Dumas
  29. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoevsky
  30. Daisy Miller and Washington Square – Henry James
  31. Don Quixote – Miguel de Cervantes
  32. Essays & Poems by Ralph Waldo Emerson
  33. Essential Dialogues of Plato
  34. Fairy Tales – Hans Christian Andersen
  35. Far from the Madding Crowd – Thomas Hardy
  36. The Federalist – Hamilton, Madison, Jay
  37. The Good Soldier – Ford Maddox Ford
  38. Grimm’s Fairy Tales – Jacob and Willhelm Grimm
  39. Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathon Swift
  40. Hard Times – Charles Dickens
  41. The Idiot – Fyodor Dostoevsky
  42. The Illiad – Homer
  43. The Importance of Being Earnest & Other Plays – Oscar Wilde
  44. The Inferno – Dante
  45. The Interpretation of Dreams – Freud
  46. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte *technically re-reading*
  47. The Jungle – Upton Sinclair
  48. Lady Chatterly’s Lover – D.H. Lawrence
  49. The Last of the Mohicans – James Fenimore Cooper
  50. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow & Other Writings – Washington Irving
  51. Les Miserables – Victor Hugo
  52. Les Liasons Dangereuses – Pierre Choderlos de Laclos
  53. Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  54. The Mayor of Cambridge – Thomas Hardy
  55. The Metamorphoses – Ovid
  56. Moby-Dick – Herman Melville
  57. Moll Flanders – Daniel Defoe
  58. Mrs. Dalloway – Virginia Woolf
  59. My Antonia – Willa Cather *technically re-reading*
  60. My Bondage and My Freedome – Frederick Douglass
  61. My Name is Red – Orhan Pamuk
  62. Nicholas Nickleby – Charles Dickens
  63. Night and Day – Virginia Woolf
  64. Nostromo – Joseph Conrad
  65. The Odyssey – Homer *technically re-reading*
  66. Of Human Bondage – W. Somerset Maugham
  67. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
  68. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  69. The Origin of Species – Charles Darwin
  70. Paradise Lost – John Milton
  71. The Paradiso – Dante
  72. Persuasian – Jane Austen
  73. Peter Pan – J.M. Barrie
  74. The Phantom of the Opera – Gaston Leroux
  75. The Picture of Dorian Gray – Oscar Wilde
  76. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man – James Joyce
  77. The Portrait of a Lady – Henry James
  78. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  79. The Prince and the Pauper – Mark Twain
  80. The Purgatorio – Dante
  81. Pygmalion and Other Plays – George Bernard Shaw
  82. Republic – Plato
  83. A Room with a View – E.M. Forster
  84. The Scarlet Letter – Nathaniel Hawthorne
  85. The Scarlet Pimpernel – Baroness Orczy
  86. The Secret Garden – Frances Hodgson Burnett
  87. Selected Stories of O. Henry
  88. Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen
  89. Siddhartha – Hermann Hesse
  90. Sister Carrie – Theodore Dreiser
  91. A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
  92. Tess of d’Urbervilles – Thomas Hardy
  93. Vanity Fair – William Makepeace Thackeray
  94. The Varieties of Religious Experience – William James
  95. Villette – Charlotte Bronte
  96. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
  97. The Way We Live Now – Anthony Trollope
  98. Women in Love – D.H. Lawrence
  99. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz – L. Frank Baum
  100. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

3 thoughts on “PROGRESS: 100 books to read before I’m 30

  1. One classic for the week is quite ambitious. But maybe you can make a challenge/group of support – make people read with you and compare the progress – provide motivation? All in all I admire your list, though it has a bit too much Dickens for my taste. Good luck in your quest 🙂

    • Thanks so much! I know it’s pretty ambitious, luckily I’m a fast reader which I’m hoping will be in my advantage. I definitely prefer other English writers to Dickens, but I read about a quarter of Great Expectations and really enjoyed it.

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