I am taking a break from my normal posting pattern of postings this week to perfect my blog on The Color Purple; instead I offer you something a little different. Inspired by Simon of Savidge Reads 40 before 40, I am planning on compiling a list of books to read before I am 30. Novels that I not only have a great interest in reading but also classics, trash lit (the rest of Twilight for example; I cannot moan about something I have not read) and books my friends adore; even if these fall outside of what I find interesting and genres I tend to get drawn back to. Like a rebellious child I often stray from classics because I do not believe that the High Canon of literature is correct – this list will help me overcome this preconception.

I will be 30 in 4 years, two months and 10 hours, a large period of time, so I want to make this list expansive but not overwhelming. I would also like to have a reason for reading each one, to assist in motivation. At any point I can add but at no point can I remove a book – everything needs to be tried even if it is not finished. If I dislike or cannot finish anything that is fine; this will be a learning process of reading, and an expansion of taste.

I would really like some recommendations, of books you love and books and authors you have always been told you should read.

So far I have the following:

The Warden by Anthony Trollope
Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh
The Beautiful and the Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Dune by Frank Herbert
Nineteen Eighty Four by George Orwell
The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin
Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Birdsong by Sebastian Faulk
Twilight novels 3 and 4 by Stehpenie Meyer
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins

I have included my reasons on my newly created ‘Books Before 30‘ page, to keep track of my progress.

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Before I am 30; a Reading Goal – Part 2 | of Books | of BooksBrandi {not your average ordinary}AliceCharlieCrissy Recent comment authors

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I’m happy to see Jane Eyre is on your list. It’s one of my favourites, and if you enjoyed the BBC adaptation, I’m positive you will love the book :) My first recommendation would be The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. I think it’s better not to know much about the plot before reading it. Wikipedia says: “[…] woven around the premise of a visit by the Devil to the fervently atheistic Soviet Union.” And that’s all you need to know :P It’s hard for me to be very objective about this book, because it’s probably my all-time favourite.… Read more »


Like Crissy, I’m glad to see Jane Eyre there, too. And Pride And Prejudice. Both very good books – the sorts of classics that if you’ve been put off classics may help you to reverse that, Austen especially is so brilliantly no-nonsense. I would suggest adding Dickens, but from what I’ve read (Great Expectations) and what I’ve heard from others, while the stories are good, if you’re looking to find hope in the classics, the extreme number of unnecessary words can be very off-putting – worth adding later, perhaps. If you don’t mind anti-heroes I’d add Wuthering Heights to the… Read more »

Brandi {not your average ordinary}

I think your list is fantastic — and I especially love the third and fourth Twilight novels are thrown in there. (Secret: I have a guy friend who is the same age as me – 31 – who has read that fourth book 6 times!) 1984 is one of my favorite novels. I read it in high school, along with Brave New World, and while most people liked BNW better, I found 1984 to be more haunting because I thought it was closer to the way the world could be — and maybe even is on some levels. Some of… Read more »


[…] have not come a long way since my last post; two books have now been crossed of the list, one which I loved, and another I could not finish. […]