Books you should read before you die

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies . . . The man who never reads lives only one.” – George R.R. Martin

If you're a book worm and were asked to summarize their love for reading, you would probably be stuck. There is no way to articulate the love for books, but the quote above comes pretty close.

A book-lover knows that only a couple of things can provide you the joy you have of reading a great book. However, every bibliophile feels like they're missing out on great a masterpiece!

As Frank Zappa once said: “So many books and so little time!”.

How in the world are you, a bibliophile, supposed to know which books you should pick to read in the limited time granted to us?

We will try to help you out by crafting a list of books you should read before you die.

The top books you should read before you die are:

  1. Pride and Prejudice
  2. Beloved
  3. Things fall apart
  4. Never let me go
  5. The God of small things
  6. Frankenstein
  7. 1984
  8. To kill a Mocking bird
  9. All about love
  10. The handmaid's Tale
  11. books on stack

Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen's ‘Pride and Prejudice' is a novel that beckons you over and over again with its eternality of contemporariness.

In essence, this book is a satire on the rigid and shallow class structures and a great expose on the marriage market of Georgian England.

Be that as it may, if you read this, you might get shocked to realize that that society has not changed that much in modern times!

One of the main reasons you should start reading “Pride and Prejudice” is to get to know Elizabeth's character, from whom you'll learn a lot. Through her character, you will be taught that all the realities a woman must face and the stereotypes she is constantly faced with.

To describe the character, Elizabeth is a young woman, who loves to think only for herself and refuses to let anyone even close to controlling her life.

Another reason is Mr.Darcy. His hauntingly beautiful wit and intelligence is something you will find very fun and amusing to read about. He can be described as the ideal character that most readers fall in love with.

After all, who wouldn't want a Mr.Da

Never let me go

This sci-fi (science fiction) novel was written by Kazuo Ishiguro, a Nobel Prize winner.

The book is about the intricacies of

  • Love
  • Friendship
  • Freedom
  • Youth
  • Loss 
  • Acceptance

The main characters of ‘Never let me go' are flawed, which symbolizes pretty much the average human, even though they're “clones” of a dystopic world.

This book is a tremendously emotional read that teaches the read valuable life lessons and is one of the best books to read before you die.


“Beloved” was written by Toni Morrison and is a very important book to read for so many reasons.

One of the reasons you should buy this book and read it immediately is the fact that it was written by a woman of color, who won the Pulitzer prize for this very book. Amazing, right?

This very famous classic is a direct critique of the slave trade that happened in America.

The painful spirit of “Beloved” that haunts the main character is a great way to symbolize America's tainted past.

The thing to know before you read “Beloved” is that it's not like any other fiction novel you have ever read.

One of the main things for you to do is to keep an open mind and recognize that it's not a very traditional style of narrative. Pay very close attention when reading this. Go slowly, and don't skim because it could cause you to miss a big change in a narrator or time period.

Things fall apart

They do, don't they?

“Things fall apart” is a book written by Chinua Achebe and it can be described as an illuminating glips into African culture and literature.

The novel “Things fall apart” deals mostly with the shifting power dynamics in a colonized Africa.

In this book, the main character is Okonwo and finds it difficult to accept most of the laws and norms imposed on his community.

The main reason why this is listed in the best books to read before you die is that it's highly recommended by bibliophiles around the globe. You can't find a person who read this book and wouldn't recommend it to you. Also, it tops the list because it teaches and strengthens your perspective mainly on what civilization and community mean.

books stacked up


Mary Shelly's “Frankenstein” is a tremendously important contribution to the world of literary.

It can very easily qualify as the first science-fiction book to ever be written.

The plot is mainly revolving around an obsessed scientist called Frankenstein and the monster he creates through the book. Having read this amazing piece of fiction, you will be left with a lot of questions about the ethos and pathos that will crowd your mind for a month.

The most important question you will be asking yourself at the end is: who is the real monster in this book?

There are a lot of reasons why you should read Frankenstein:

  • Because of the prose – It's more than excellent! Shelley is adept at story-telling and through her description, knows how to make out of the most ordinary things, something very beautiful.
  • It's not as ordinary as you think it is – If you think the book is purely about the conflict between a monster and his creator, you are terribly mistaken. If you're sharp enough, you'll find out all the subliminal messages and understand why it's ranked so high.

The God of small things

If there's only one book to recommend out of all the books to read before you die, I would recommend “The God of small things” written by Arundhati Roy.

Roy's very first fictional work and her debut novel got her to earn the Booker prize! A lot of reviews on this book are descriptions of how it is a hauntingly beautiful tale of caste taboos, and what does it mean to break them in orthodox and rigid societies.

There are a lot of reasons why you should read “The God of small things”, such

  • It's a Booker Prize Winner
  • It's very humorous
  • It is incredibly touching
  • It also has a great way of describing the story
  • In essence, it's a modern gem

To kill a Mocking bird

“Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.”

A  timeless classic. Definitely on the top three of my favorite books of all time.

Harper Lee's ‘To kill a Mocking bird” is a tremendously educational considering the way it was written.

It represents the oppressive power structure in the USA through the eyes of the young and innocent protagonist, Scout. 

This definitely goes on the list of the books you should read before you die.

Considering that it was written in the 20th century, American society still seems eerily similar to it today.


“War is peace.
Freedom is slavery.
Ignorance is strength.”

The dystopia described in George Orwell's “1984” suddenly feels all a little bit too familiar.

A world in which the “Big brother” (often dubbed as the NSA) is always listening in and high-tech devices can eavesdrop in people's homes.

A book that explains how the world is in an endless war, where fear and hate are drummed up against foreigners and movies only show boatloads of refugees dying at sea.

The hero, Winston Smith, sees it that the Pary “told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears”. Knowing this, he vows to defend the “obvious” and the “true”.

“2 + 2 = 5” – Keep this in mind.

It was not accidentally Amazon's best-seller for a very long time.

The handmaid's Tale

Interestingly enough, Margaret Atwood's “The handmaid's Tale” is often described as terrifying, and it is probably the best description for this book.

The novel is quite disturbing and yet very plausible dystopic society is a sharp criticism of the patriarchal status quo of women's rights in America.

This impactful book raises a lot of political concerns for today's world, as it's still relevant in the majority part of the world.

Atwood's story is very intense, and not just because of the content and themes. It also tremendously vivid descriptions throughout the book. Through the narration, you will feel like Offred (the protagonist) feels disturbingly real to you!

All about love

And last but not least, “All about love” is a must suggestion on the books you should read before you die.

Written by Bell Hook, it can be described as an astounding book that teaches us all about the idea of “love”. In this book, love is the most important quality a human can possess.

The novel states the fact that love is more of a noun that it is a verb. Intrigued?

It also explains the way our society has allocated and distorted the meaning of “love”.

Reading this book allows you to know how you can fall, stay and cultivate love the proper way. The way it was meant to be!

If you feel like a book should've made the list and we left it out, please leave a comment below. Or contact us describing why the book should be mentioned here :).