A Literary Bucket List: 50 Classics I Want to Read Before I Die

50 Classics I Want to Read Before I Die.png


Over the past few years, I have started to read a lot of classics, and, the more I read, the easier they become to understand (and enjoy). I have read some fantastic books, from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet to Bram Stoker’s Dracula, yet there are still quite a few of the ‘well-known’ classics that I have never gotten around to reading. This isn’t necessarily a problem; there are a lot of classics out there, and I still (hopefully) have a long time to read them, but I thought it might be interesting to write down fifty of the books that I hope to read before I die; the idea is that I’ll be able to cross a couple of these titles off each year!

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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy.
Anthony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare.
As You Like It by William Shakespeare.
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell.
Bleak House by Charles Dickens.
The Call of the Wild by Jack London.
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky.
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens.
The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo.
The Iliad by Homer.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë.
Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare.
The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling.
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo.
Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.
Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov.
The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle.
Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare.
The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare.
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka.
Middlemarch by George Eliot.
The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot.
Moby Dick by Herman Melville.
The Monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis.
Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf.
Much Ado about Nothing by William Shakespeare.
Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens.
Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell.
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell.
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens.
Pericles by William Shakespeare.
The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe.
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway.
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.
The Tempest by William Shakespeare.
Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy.
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf.
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne.
Ulysses by James Joyce.
Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray.
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy.
The Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare.
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins.

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Do you want to read any of these books? Perhaps you can recommend me some more classics that I can add to my list? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below!

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18 thoughts on “A Literary Bucket List: 50 Classics I Want to Read Before I Die

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  1. That’s a great list, and many I haven’t read. I would definitely recommend Pride & Prejudice, it’s one of my favourite books. And Les Miserables is a masterpiece..it’s hard work but it’s so so worth it! Enjoy 🙂

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    1. Thank you so much! I read a Jane Austen book last year, and it kind of put me off reading any of her other books, but I feel as though I should give her a second chance – particularly as Pride and Prejudice is so immensely well-known!

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  2. Of those on your list I have only read Dickens, Tale of Two Cities and Shakespeares Julius Caesar and Merchant of Venice. I have seen Winter’s tale at the Globe theatre and it was a strange one, but good. I have just bought Vanity Fair but haven’t read it yet. Good luck with your list.

    Also I wanted to let you know, based on your recommendation, I got the Picture of Dorian Gray for Christmas, Its on my reading pile. 🙂

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    1. Ooh, that’s great! I’m really keen to read A Tale of Two Cities – I think it will be right up my street!

      I’m so glad to hear that I influenced your reading. I really hope you enjoy Dorian Gray – it is definitely my favourite classic!

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  3. I love classics. Jane Eyre is my favourite. But I also like books by Jane Austen and Thomas Hardy. I’m trying to read more and often read a classic a month along with people on a book forum. This month is Heidi. I recommend Sherlock Holmes too

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    1. That’s great! I’ve struggled reading both Austen and Hardy in the past, but I’m really keen to give them a second chance. As for Bronte – I loved both Wuthering Heights (Emily) and Villette (Charlotte), so I think it’s about time that I gave Jane Eyre a read.

      It’s great to hear you’re reading more classics! They’re so important to literature and tell some really spectacular stories.

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  4. I recommend Silas Marner by George Eliot – it’s quite short compared to many other classics of that period so it’s not a huge time investment to read it 🙂
    Best of luck with getting these ones read – I found Robinson Crusoe difficult to read, but Moll Flanders was quite readable.
    Oh and add Evelina by Fanny Burney to your list, if you haven’t already read it 🙂

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