I recently celebrated my 29th birthday, and as birthdays often do it prompted me to think about the year ahead and what I would like to achieve. One thing was for sure – I wanted to create a list of books to focus my attentions on. And so the list of 30 books to read before 30 was created!

This is a totally subjective list, based on my own reading habits, books I have been meaning to read for a long time, and a mix of books that I think might be important for me to read. I chose 15 of these myself, from my existing To-Be-Read pile, and 15 were suggestions from friends, family or followers.

As I read and review each of the books listed below I will update this page with a link to the reviews, so check back if you would like to see how I am progressing.

I would love to see more people creating their own list like this, perhaps you might want to start earlier than your 29th birthday to give yourself more time to read all the very best books on your list. If you do create your own list please send me a link or tag me if you post about it on Instagram, I would love to have a read of your top 30 books to read before you turn 30.

*Edit 14 March 2019* Since beginning to read through this list I’ve realised that my 30 Books to Read Before 30 list is actually 33 Books to Read Before 30! The Haruki Murakami volume I have is actually 2 books, Hear the Wind Sing, and Pinball. And His Dark Material by Phillip Pullman is, of course, actually a trilogy. But I shall persist!

30 Books to Read Before 30. A large stack of 30 books I want to read before I turn 30.

30 Books to Read Before 30: Fiction

The Bear and the Nightingale, Katherine Arden
Mansfield Park, Jane Austen
The Martian Chronicles, Ray Bradbury
Middlemarch, George Eliot
Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez
Monkey Grip, Helen Garner
Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi
Under the Greenwood Tree, Thomas Hardy
Deep Water, Patricia Highsmith
Dark Roots, Cate Kennedy
The History of Love, Nicole Krauss
Pachinko, Min Jin Lee
The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin
On the Jellicoe Road, Melina Marchetta
Jamaica Inn, Daphne du Maurier
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers
Wind/Pinball, Haruki Murakami
Half of a Yellow Sun, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger
His Dark Materials (Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass), Philip Pullman
The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
Sing, Unburied, Sing, Jesmyn Ward
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, Jeanette Winterson
Mrs Dalloway, Virginia Woolf
The Swan Book, Alexis Wright
The Messenger, Marcus Zusak

30 Books to Read Before 30: Non-Fiction

The Hate Race, Maxine Beneba Clarke
The Beautiful Struggle, Ta-Nehisi Coates
The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between, Hisham Matar
Homage to Catalonia, George Orwell

Looking for more recommendations?

Check out my Book Reviews

#gifted Monkey Grip was sent to me by Text Publishing without obligation to review or include in this post

Tamsien - Babbling Books
Reader, blogger, photographer with perpetually itchy feet. Host of Babbling Books' Readalongs and curator of a very eclectic Instagram account.

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