Telegraph's 110 Best Books List (By Genre)

I've always been a sucker for lists (despite my inability and unwillingness to keep a strict TBR list) so imagine my delight when Brenna a Literary Musings recently posted a book reading list I'd never seen before, which she had just discovered in a post from Amanda at Dead White Guys on BookRiot about reading lists.

Anyway, here's the list: Telegraph's 110 Best Books List. It's organized by genre, which I love, and I've read a measly number to date:

Read for an assignment, which only half counts
Read it! Take that!
Own/planned to read in short order/but let’s face it those plans never really work out anyway

  1. The Iliad and The Odyssey, Homer
  2. The Barchester Chronicles, Anthony Trollope
  3. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
  4. Gulliver's Travels, Jonathan Swift
  5. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
  6. War and Peace, Tolstoy
  7. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
  8. Vanity Fair, William Makepeace Thackeray
  9. Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert
  10. Middlemarch, George Eliot

  1. Sonnets, Shakespeare
  2. Divine Comedy, Dante
  3. Canterbury Tales, Chaucer
  4. The Prelude, William Wordsworth
  5. Odes, JohnKeats
  6. The Waste Land, T. S. Eliot
  7. Paradise Lost, John Milton
  8. Songs of Innocence and Experience, William Blake
  9. Collected Poems, W. B. Yeats
  10. Collected Poems, Ted Hughes

  1. The Portrait of a Lady, Henry James
  2. A la recherche du temps perdu, Proust
  3. Ulysses, James Joyce
  4. For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway
  5. Sword of Honour trilogy, Evelyn Waugh
  6. The Ballad of Peckham Rye, Muriel Spark
  7. Rabbit series, John Updike (I've read the first book in the series)
  8. One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
  9. Beloved, Toni Morrison
  10. The Human Stain, Philip Roth

  1. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
  2. Le Morte D'Arthur, Thomas Malory
  3. Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Choderlos de Laclos
  4. I, Claudius, Robert Graves
  5. Alexander Trilogy, Mary Renault
  6. Master and Commander, Patrick O'Brian
  7. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
  8. Dr Zhivago, Boris Pasternak
  9. Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
  10. The Plantagenet Saga, Jean Plaidy

  1. Swallows and Amazons, Arthur Ransome
  2. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis
  3. The Lord of the Rings, J.R. R. Tolkien
  4. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
  5. Babar, Jean deBrunhoff
  6. The Railway Children, E. Nesbit
  7. Winnie-the-Pooh, A.A. Milne
  8. Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling
  9. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
  10. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson

  1. Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
  2. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, Jules Verne
  3. The Time Machine, H.G. Wells
  4. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
  5. 1984, George Orwell
  6. The Day of the Triffids, John Wyndham
  7. Foundation, Isaac Asimov
  8. 2001: A Space Odyssey, Arthur C. Clarke
  9. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
  10. Neuromancer, William Gibson

  1. The Talented Mr Ripley, Patricia Highsmith
  2. The Maltese Falcon, Dashiell Hammett
  3. The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  4. The Big Sleep, Raymond Chandler
  5. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, John le Carré
  6. Red Dragon, Thomas Harris
  7. Murder on the Orient Express, Agatha Christie
  8. The Murders in the Rue Morgue, Edgar Allan Poe
  9. The Woman in White, Wilkie Collins
  10. Killshot, Elmore Leonard

  1. Das Kapital, Karl Marx
  2. The Rights of Man, Tom Paine
  3. The Social Contract, Jean-Jacques Rousseau
  4. Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville
  5. On War, Carlvon Clausewitz
  6. The Prince, Niccolo Machiavelli
  7. Leviathan, Thomas Hobbes
  8. On the Interpretation of Dreams, Sigmund Freud
  9. On the Origin of Species, Charles Darwin
  10. L'Encyclopédie, Diderot, et al

  1. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert M. Pirsig
  2. Jonathan Livingston Seagull, Richard Bach
  3. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
  4. The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell
  5. The Beauty Myth, Naomi Wolf
  6. How to Cook, Delia Smith
  7. A Year in Provence, Peter Mayle
  8. A Child Called 'It', Dave Pelzer
  9. Eats, Shoots and Leaves, Lynne Truss
  10. Schott's Original Miscellany, Ben Schott

  1. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon
  2. A History of the English-Speaking Peoples, Winston Churchill
  3. A History of the Crusades, Steven Runciman
  4. The Histories, Herodotus
  5. The History of the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides
  6. Seven Pillars of Wisdom, T. E. Lawrence
  7. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Compiled at King Alfred's behest
  8. A People's Tragedy, Orlando Figes
  9. Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution, Simon Schama
  10. The Origins of the Second World War, A.J.P. Taylor

  1. Confessions, St Augustine
  2. Lives of the Caesars, Suetonius
  3. Lives of the Artists, Vasari
  4. If This is a Man, Primo Levi
  5. Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man, Siegfried Sassoon
  6. Eminent Victorians, Lytton Strachey
  7. A Life of Charlotte Brontë, Elizabeth Gaskell
  8. Goodbye to All That, Robert Graves
  9. The Life of Dr Johnson, Boswell
  10. Diaries, AlanClark

7 books read as a school assignment, which only half counts, so 3.5
14 books read, so take that. Six were from the children’s book section. What does that say about my reading selections?
14 books that I already own and already planned to read... someday. Which is not to say I won’t read the others, but it is to say I may not have necessarily heard of all of the others.
So, 14 or 17.5 or 21 books read in total, depending on how you count.
14 books on my radar.
Which leaves approximately 2/3 of the list, however you cut it, on which I grade myself a complete Fail. How many have you read? What reading lists do you get excited about?


  1. Assignment or otherwise, I would def count those books fully.

    Plus I wouldn't worry about passing this list. They lost me on the Books That Changed Your World category. Not that I think they are bad books, just "don't tell me what change my world, Telegraph list!".

  2. I agree~a book read is a book READ! I ended up with 23 total ( 7 "children's") but only with 4 on my TBR list-with no intentions of reading the others, unless I run out of things to read! ;)


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