PBT Top 100 Lists

My favorite online bookish hangout is a group called Play Book Tag, which is hosted by Goodreads. In 2015, we voted on our favorite 100 fiction titles. This is not a "list to read before you die" or even an "absolute best." This is a list of books loved by a very diverse group of passionate readers because they remind us of why we read fiction: a story well told, beautiful writing, unforgettable characters, etc. Some of the books are very recent, some are standards in the classics genre. In 2016, we decided to create another list, this one for nonfiction, using the same criteria as our fiction list. Titles in gray are those I have read in the recent past (ten years or less) and have no plans to reread in the near future. A number of the titles, mostly classics, I have read but would like to revisit, so I did not mark them as read.

100 Fiction Books PBT Members Think You Should Read:


11/22/63 by Stephen King
1984 by George Orwell
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner (own)
Animal Farm by George Orwell
Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver (own)
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Birds without Wings by Louis de Bernieres (own)
Blindness by Jose Saramago
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens (own)
The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guinn
Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
Dune by Frank Herbert
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (own)
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (own)
Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger
The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng (own)
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck (own)
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck (own)
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
Hawaii by James Michener
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Investigation by Jung-Myung Lee
I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (own)
The Lions of al-Rassan by Guy Gavriel Kay
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (own)
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
Lord of the Rings (Trilogy) by J. R. R. Tolkien 
Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes
Maus: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (own)
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
On the Beach by Nevil Shute
The Once and Future King by T. H. White (own)
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
The Painter by Peter Heller
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (own)
The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving (own)
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
The Princess Bride by William Goldman (own)
Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (own)
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Room by Emma Donoghue
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Shipping News by Annie Proulx (own)
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell (own)
The Stand by Stephen King
Still Alice by Lisa Genova
The Supremes at Earl’s All-You-Can-Eat by Edward Kelsey Moore
Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (own)
The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien (own)
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (own)
The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough 
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
A Thread of Grace by Mary Doria Russell (own)
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf (own)
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (own)
Watchmen by Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons
Watership Down by Richard Adams
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (own)
Wonder by R. J. Palacio
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (own)
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

100 Nonfiction Books PBT Members Think You Should Read:

102 Minutes: The Unforgettable Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers by Jim Dwyer
12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup
84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah
A Night to Remember by Walter Lord
A Reporter's Life by Walter Cronkite
A Room of One's Own by Virginia Wolfe
A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold
Ada Blackjack: A True Story of Survival in the Arctic by Jennifer Niven
All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot
And the Band Played On by Randy Shilts
Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt (own)
Band of Brothers by Stephen Ambrose (own)
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
Black Count by Tom Reiss (own)
Blood and Thunder by Hampton Sides
Bonk by Mary Roach
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
Columbine by Dave Cullen
Desert Queen by Janet Wallach
Dewey by Vicki Myron, Bret Witter
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (own)
Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer
Endurance by Alfred Lansing
Far from the Tree by Andrew Solomon
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink
Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley, Ron Powers
Four Queens by Nancy Goldstone
Freakonomics by Steven Levitt, Stephen Dubner
Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
Ghost Girl by Torey Hayden
Ghost Soldiers by Hampton Sides
Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond (own)
Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristoff, Sheryl Wudunn
Hero by Michael Korda (own)
Hiroshima by John Hershey
Homer's Odyssey by Gwen Cooper
I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai (own)
I Know Why a Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
If This is a Man by Primo Levi
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
In the Kingdom of Ice by Hampton Sides
Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
Isaac's Storm by Erik Larson (own)
John Adams by David McCullough
King Leopold's Ghost by Alan Hochschild
Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams
Maus: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman
Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick
Never Cry Wolf by Mowat
Nicholas and Alexandra by Massie
Night by Ellie Wiesel
Notes of a Native Son by Baldwin
On Writing by Stephen King
Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen
People of the Deer by Farley Mowat
Quiet by Susan Cain
Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi
Roots by Alex Haley
Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand
Spillover by David Quammen
Stiff by Mary Roach
Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman by Richard Feynman
The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Alex Haley, Malcolm X
The Big Burn by Timothy Egan
The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan 
The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
The Boys of Summer by Roger Kahn
The Colony by John Tayman
The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean
The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee
The Future of Life by Edward O. Wilson
The Girls of Atomic City by Denise Kieran
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom
The Hot Zone by Richard Preston
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch, Jeffrey Zaslow
The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan (own)
The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester (own)
The River of Doubt by Candice Millard
The Seven Storey Mountain by Thomas Merton
The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen (own)
The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman (own)
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
The Water is Wide by Pat Conroy
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
Touching the Void by Joe Simpson
Truman by David McCullough (own)
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose
Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer
West with the Night by Beryl Markham
Winterdance by Gary Paulson (own)

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