40 Books to Read by the Time you Turn 40

This blog post is harder to write than I thought it was going to be. I know I’ve read a lot of books, but I didn’t know it would be this difficult to narrow down this list. Not to mention the fact that there’s some real gems that I left out. I even left my very favorite books off of this list in favor of some that I think everybody should read. I’m a book lover, and I especially love old sci-fi and dystopian fiction. But I’m a sucker for classics. And I have so many more books to read before I die, I’ll never get through them all! So if you’re like me, you probably have read most of these if not all of them. If you’re a little less enthusiastic, then I suggest reading all of these books. Some of them are controversial, yes. All of them are worth reading. So without further ado, let’s get into this list of 40 books to read before you turn 40.

1. Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell

2. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe

3. Lord of the Flies by William Golding

4. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

5. War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells

6. The Art of War by Sun Tzu

7. The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

8. Walden and Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau

9. The Daodejing by Laozi

10. A Million Little Pieces by James Frey

11. The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne

12. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

13. The Giver by Lois Lowry

14. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

15. Anthem by Ayn Rand

16. 1984 by George Orwell

17. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

18. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

19. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

20. Don Quixote by Michael De Cervantes

21. The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton

22. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

23. The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells

24. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

25. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

26. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

27. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

28. The Call of the Wild by Jack London

29. Animal Farm by George Orwell

30. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

31. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

32. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

33. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

34. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

35. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

36. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kelsey

37. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

38. Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne

39. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle

40. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

So there you go. I told you I liked early sci-fi. This list is 40 books long, and I feel like it is so incomplete. But this is a good starting point. I read all of these books before I turned 40, and I don’t regret a minute of it. Don’t be dismayed when reading The Count of Monte Cristo, it does have some very slow spots but it’s still worth the read 😉. I encourage you to add your own favorite books to this list, and keep on reading. Not only is it good for you, but it’s magical, too. Until next time,

Andrea xo


Published by andrea137

Content writer by day, masked and caped Super Lifestyle and wellness blogger by night, painter, author of short story erotica. Craves attention, loves to engage, all around creative

3 thoughts on “40 Books to Read by the Time you Turn 40

  1. Great list! I am currently reading Journey by Verne and am introducing this story to my grandkids so they can get an earlier start on this classic. It took me 60 years to find this amazing adventure. How can I get to Iceland? and When?


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