101 Best Books


I’m sure they’re designed simply to make me feel inadequate. They’re the lists that pop up from time to time that sit there mocking me. They leave me scratching my head wondering what I’ve done with my life.

Bookshop Dymocks has come up with a list of The Best 101 Books as Voted by Dymocks Booklovers.

Here’s their top ten:

1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
3. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
4. Magician by Raymond Feist
5. The Lord of the Rings (Books 1-3) by J.R.R. Tolkien
6. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
7. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
8. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
9. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
10. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

I’ll admit that I’ve heard of most of the books on the list. I’ve read some, like Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca and The Bible. Animal Farm by George Orwell was required reading in school. I’ve seen the movie of The Princess Bride several times. Both 1984 and Wuthering Heights were amazing songs and I can sing along to both, even if I can’t get the high notes that Kate Bush can reach … or David Bowie for that matter.

What I need is someone to fund me to take a year or two off to just sit around and read. I need to catch up. Any takers?

To be honest, I do know what’s happening here. Those lists are designed to create what we now know as FOMO. Fear of missing out. If I haven’t read those books I’m inadequate so I need to rush out right now and by some copies … from Dymocks.

Yes, I should spend more time reading and there are probably many books on that list that I should lose myself in but my life is never going to be measured on whether I’ve read a list of books that others think I should.

There are dozens of books that I’ve read and enjoyed that aren’t on that list. There are still others on my shelf and in my electronic library that I would prefer to read before many that are in the top 101.

Just out of curiousity. If you were compiling a list of top books, what would your top three be?

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About the author

Rodney Olsen

Rodney is a husband, father, cyclist, blogger and podcaster from Perth Western Australia.

He previously worked in radio for about 25 years but these days he spends his time at Compassion Australia, working towards releasing children from poverty in Jesus' name.

The views he expresses here are his own.

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  • I’m clueless as to what would be my favorites. Fiction it would probably be Wisdom Hunter by Randall Dodd. Leadership I would say probably Love Works by Joel Manby. The third might by No Perfect People Allowed (John Burke) or Gospel (J.D. Greear) or Love Does (Bob Goff). I can’t really put my finger on any 3 books.

  • And of course (same with the IMDB Top lists), 25% of them have been released in the last 2 years; another 25% in the last 10. They’re just a count of what’s popular.

    My top 3? Well presumably the Bible, but I can’t pick any given 3 (Christian or not) otherwise. If I had to pick from their list (excluding Bible), it’d be Hitchhiker’s Guide, Lion Witch & Wardrobe, and either Hunger Games or Great Gatsby. That’s mostly just enjoyment value though.

    If I had to look through my Goodreads account at 5-star rated ones, we’ll try adding (in no given order) The Forever War, Ender’s Game, Eon: Dragoneye Reborn, Spin, the Gateway series, Ringworld, the Left Behind series, Redshirts, the Retrieval Artist series, Regarding Ducks and Universes, and the Jon and Lobo series. (Yes, I’m a sci-fi man.)

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