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With so many great books you must read, our Best Books to Read in a Lifetime Book Bucket List features the books that have inspired, entertained and taught generations of readers. Among the fiction books are the best novels of all time.

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Best Books to Read in a Lifetime

With so many great books you must read, our Best Books to Read in a Lifetime Book Bucket List features the books that have inspired, entertained and taught generations of readers. Among the fiction books are the best novels of all time.

  • AADNT

    1984 (Paperback)

    George Orwell

    A famous novel that covers many questions that are still relevant today, it is easy to see why George Orwell's 1984 has been applauded and acclaimed by so many. Winston Smith works for the Ministry of Truth in London, where Big Brother stares out from every poster and the Thought Police uncover every act of betrayal. When he finds love with Julia, he discovers life does not have to be dull and mundane, and opens up to new possibilities. Despite the police helicopters that hover and circle overhead, Winston and Julia begin to question the Party and are drawn towards conspiracy theories. But Big Brother will not tolerate dissent, even in the mind. A terrifying vision of a totalitarian future in which everything and everyone is slave to a tyrannical regime. This is a classic story that just has to be read!

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  • ADDBS

    The Hobbit / The Lord of the Rings Box Set (Paperback)

    JRR Tolkien

    (1)
    A 75th anniversary box set of Tolkien's four books, telling the complete story of Bilbo Baggins and the Hobbits' epic encounters with Gandalf, Gollum, and the quest to destroy the One Ring. Steeped in unrivalled magic and otherworldliness, these works of sweeping fantasy have touched the hearts of young and old alike. Between them, more than 150 million copies have been sold around the world.

    This new box set, published to mark the 75th anniversary of the publication of The Hobbit, offers readers a new opportunity to discover Tolkien's remarkable world of Middle-earth and to follow the complete story of Bilbo Baggins and the Hobbits' part in the epic quest for the Ring - beginning with Bilbo's fateful visit from Gandalf and culminating in the dramatic climax between Frodo and Gollum atop Mount Doom and Bilbo's departure to the Grey Havens.
    • £28.00
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  • AOJJW 14 years +

    Rebecca (Paperback)

    Daphne Du Maurier

    On a trip to the South of France, the shy heroine of Rebecca falls in love with Maxim de Winter, a handsome widower. Although his proposal comes as a surprise, she happily agrees to marry him. But as they arrive at her husband's home, Manderley, a change comes over Maxim, and the young bride is filled with dread. Friendless in the isolated mansion, she realises that she barely knows him. In every corner of every room is the phantom of his beautiful first wife, Rebecca, and the new Mrs de Winter walks in her shadow.
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  • AAKWI

    Man's Search for Meaning (Paperback)

    Viktor E. Frankl

    A prominent Viennese psychiatrist before the war, Viktor Frankl was uniquely able to observe the way that both he and others in Auschwitz coped (or didn't) with the experience. He noticed that it was the men who comforted others and who gave away their last piece of bread who survived the longest - and who offered proof that everything can be taken away from us except the ability to choose our attitude in any given set of circumstances. The sort of person the prisoner became was the result of an inner decision and not of camp influences alone. Only those who allowed their inner hold on their moral and spiritual selves to subside eventually fell victim to the camp's degenerating influence - while those who made a victory of those experiences turned them into an inner triumph. Frankl came to believe man's deepest desire is to search for meaning and purpose. This outstanding work offers us all a way to transcend suffering and find significance in the art of living.
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  • AADBC

    Slaughterhouse 5 (Paperback)

    Kurt Vonnegut

    Prisoner of war, optometrist, time-traveller - these are the life roles of Billy Pilgrim, hero of this miraculously moving, bitter and funny story of innocence faced with apocalypse. "Slaughterhouse 5" is one of the world's great anti-war books. Centring on the infamous fire-bombing of Dresden in the Second World War, Billy Pilgrim's odyssey through time reflects the journey of our own fractured lives as we search for meaning in what we are afraid to know.
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  • ALQSI

    Brave New World (Paperback)

    Aldous Huxley

    This title comes with introductions by Margaret Atwood and David Bradshaw. Far in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs all its members are happy consumers. Bernard Marx seems alone harbouring an ill-defined longing to break free. A visit to one of the few remaining Savage Reservations where the old, imperfect life still continues, may be the cure for his distress...Huxley's ingenious fantasy of the future sheds a blazing light on the present and is considered to be his most enduring masterpiece.
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  • AJJNV

    A Song of Ice and Fire (1) - A Game of Thrones (Paperback)

    George RR Martin

    HBO's hit series A GAME OF THRONES is based on George R R Martin's internationally bestselling series A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE, the greatest fantasy epic of the modern age. A GAME OF THRONES is the first volume in the series. Summers span decades. Winter can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne has begun. As Warden of the north, Lord Eddard Stark counts it a curse when King Robert bestows on him the office of the Hand. His honour weighs him down at court where a true man does what he will, not what he must ...and a dead enemy is a thing of beauty. The old gods have no power in the south, Stark's family is split and there is treachery at court. Worse, the vengeance-mad heir of the deposed Dragon King has grown to maturity in exile in the Free Cities. He claims the Iron Throne.
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  • AGLEA

    Les Miserables (Paperback)

    Victor Hugo

    WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY ADAM THIRLWELL. Sensational, dramatic, packed with rich excitement and filled with the sweep and violence of human passions, Les Miserables is one of the greatest adventure stories ever told. It is a novel peopled by colourful characters from the nineteenth-century Parisian underworld; the street children, the prostitutes and the criminals. In telling the story of escaped convict Jean Valjean, and his efforts to reform his ways and care for the little orphan girl he rescues from a life of cruelty, Victor Hugo drew attention to the plight of the poor and oppressed. Les Miserables is a masterful detective story, a comic and tragic story of romance and revolution and, ultimately, a tale of redemption and hope.
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  • AGIQQ

    A Brief History Of Time (Paperback)

    Stephen Hawking

    (1)
    The late, great Stephen Hawking's classic book about who we are, how we came to be and the secrets that still lie at the heart of space and time.

    From the Big Bang to black holes, via spiral galaxies and strong theory, this book uses accessible language to cover the concept of the universe and answer questions including when time began and if it could run backwards.
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  • AFBEX 9 years +

    The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Paperback)

    Mark Twain

    'There comes a time in every boy's life when he has a raging desire to go somewhere and dig for hidden treasure' Impish, daring young Tom Sawyer is a hero to his friends and a torment to his relations. For wherever there is mischief or adventure, Tom is at the heart of it. During one hot summer, Tom witnesses a murder, runs away to be a pirate, attends his own funeral, rescues an innocent man from the gallows, searches for treasure in a haunted house, foils a devilish plot and discovers a box of gold. But can he escape his nemesis, the villainous Injun Joe?
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  • AAEIV

    The Lord of the Rings (Paperback)

    JRR Tolkien

    All three parts of the epic masterpiece 'The Lord of the Rings' in one paperback. Features brand new packaging, the definitive edition of the text, fold-out flaps with the original two-colour maps, and a revised and expanded index. Sauron, the Dark Lord, has gathered to him all the Rings of Power -- the means by which he intends to rule Middle-earth. All he lacks in his plans for dominion is the One Ring -- the ring that rules them all -- which has fallen into the hands of the hobbit, Bilbo Baggins. In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as the Ring is entrusted to his care. He must leave his home and make a perilous journey across the realms of Middle-earth to the Crack of Doom, deep inside the territories of the Dark Lord. There he must destroy the Ring forever and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose. Since it was first published in 1954, 'The Lord of the Rings' has been a book people have treasured. Steeped in unrivalled magic and otherworldliness, its sweeping fantasy has touched the hearts of young and old alike. Now, to coincide with the publication of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Children of Hurin, the definitive 50th Anniversary text, fully restored with almost 400 corrections -- with the full co-operation of Christopher Tolkien -- is reissued with a striking new cover.
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  • AADCO

    The Secret History (Paperback)

    Donna Tartt

    A misfit at an exclusive New England college, Richard finds kindred spirits in the five eccentric students of his ancient Greek class. But his new friends have a horrific secret. When blackmail and violence threaten to blow their privileged lives apart, they drag Richard into the nightmare that engulfs them. And soon they enter a terrifying heart of darkness from which they may never return.
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  • AABDF

    And Then There Were None (Paperback)

    Agatha Christie

    Agatha Christie's world-famous mystery thriller, reissued with a striking new cover designed to appeal to the latest generation of Agatha Christie fans and book lovers. Ten strangers, apparently with little in common, are lured to an island mansion off the coast of Devon by the mysterious U.N.Owen. Over dinner, a record begins to play, and the voice of an unseen host accuses each person of hiding a guilty secret. That evening, former reckless driver Tony Marston is found murdered by a deadly dose of cyanide. The tension escalates as the survivors realise the killer is not only among them but is preparing to strike again! and again!
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  • AJXYP

    A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Paperback)

    Betty Smith

    The Nolans lived in the Williamsburg slums of Brooklyn from 1902 until 1919. Their daughter Francie and their son Neely knew more than their fair share of the privations and suffering that were the lot of New York's poor. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is the story of Francie, an imaginative, alert, resourceful child, and of her family.
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  • AITXC

    Life After Life (Paperback)

    Kate Atkinson

    (2)
    Winner of the Costa Novel Award and shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction 2013, Kate Atkinson, author of the bestselling detective series featuring Jackson Brodie (and now BBC television series Case Histories, starring Jason Isaacs), returns with the moving and astonishing tale Life After Life.

    What if there were second chances? And third chances? In fact, an infinite number of chances to live your life? Would you eventually be able to save the world from its own inevitable destiny? And would you even want to? Follow Ursula Todd as she lives through the turbulent events of the last century again and again. With wit and compassion, Kate Atkinson finds warmth even in life's bleakest moments, and shows an ingenious ability to evoke the past.

    A truly remarkable read for fans of The Time Traveler's wife by Audrey Niffenegger or Martin Amis's Times Arrow.
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  • Clearance
    AFPYK

    Penguin English Library Edition: Pride and Prejudice (Paperback)

    Jane Austen

    This is the "Penguin English Library Edition" of "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen. 'No sooner had he made it clear to himself and his friends that she had hardly a good feature in her face, than he began to find it was rendered uncommonly intelligent by the beautiful expression of her dark eyes...' When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited; he is indifferent to her good looks and lively mind. When she later discovers that Darcy has involved himself in the troubled relationship between his friend Bingley and her beloved sister Jane, she is determined to dislike him more than ever. In the sparkling comedy of manners that follows, Jane Austen shows the folly of judging by first impressions and superbly evokes the friendships, gossip and snobberies of provincial middle-class life. "The Penguin English Library" - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.
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  • ACGKX

    Catch-22 (Paperback)

    Joseph Heller

    Explosive, subversive, wild and funny, 50 years on the novel's strength is undiminished. Reading Joseph Heller's classic satire is nothing less than a rite of passage. Set in the closing months of World War II in an American bomber squadron off the coast of Italy, "Catch-22" is the story of a bombardier named Yossarian who is frantic and furious because thousands of people he has never even met keep trying to kill him. Joseph Heller's bestselling novel is a hilarious and tragic satire on military madness, and the tale of one man's efforts to survive it.
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  • AADDP

    White Teeth (Paperback)

    Zadie Smith

    One of the most talked about fictional debuts of recent years, "White Teeth" is a funny, generous, big-hearted novel, adored by critics and readers alike. Dealing - among many other things - with friendship, love, war, three cultures and three families over three generations, one brown mouse, and the tricky way the past has of coming back and biting you on the ankle, it is a life-affirming, riotous must-read of a book.
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  • AAAER

    The Time Traveler's Wife (Paperback)

    Audrey Niffenegger

    (5)

    Adapted into a film starring Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams, Audrey Niffenegger's extraordinary and magical debut novel is the story of Clare Abshire and Henry DeTamble, a couple who have to live with Henry's Chrono-Displacement Disorder - a rare condition that means his genetic clock resets spontaneously and he can find himself suddenly being pulled through time. The novel depicts the effects of time travel on Henry and Clare's passionate love for each other with grace and humour, and confronts their struggle to lead normal lives in the face of a force they can neither prevent nor control. The Time Traveler's Wife is a stimulating mixture of romance and science fiction.

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  • AMIQT

    Outlander (Paperback)

    Diana Gabaldon

    (1)
    This is the first novel in the bestselling Outlander series - soon to be a major new TV series. What if your future was the past? 1945, and Claire Randall goes to the Scottish Highlands with her husband Frank. It's a second honeymoon, a chance to learn how war has changed them and to re-establish their loving marriage. But one afternoon, Claire walks through a circle of standing stones and vanishes into 1743, where the first person she meets is a British army officer - her husband's six-times great-grandfather. Unfortunately, Black Jack Randall is not the man his descendant is, and while trying to escape him, Claire falls into the hands of a gang of Scottish outlaws, and finds herself a Sassenach - an outlander - in danger from both Jacobites and Redcoats. Marooned amid danger, passion and violence, her only chance of safety lies in Jamie Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior. What begins in compulsion becomes urgent need, and Claire finds herself torn between two very different men, in two irreconcilable lives.
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  • AJDQU

    Love in the Time of Cholera (Paperback)

    Gabriel Garcia Marquez

    Nobel prize winner and author of One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel Garcia Marquez tells a tale of an unrequited love that outlasts all rivals in his masterpiece Love in the Time of Cholera. 'It was inevitable: the scent of bitter almonds always reminded him of the fate of unrequited love.' Fifty-one years, nine months and four days have passed since Fermina Daza rebuffed hopeless romantic Florentino Ariza's impassioned advances and married Dr Juvenal Urbino instead. During that half-century, Flornetino has fallen into the arms of many delighted women, but has loved none but Fermina. Having sworn his eternal love to her, he lives for the day when he can court her again. When Fermina's husband is killed trying to retrieve his pet parrot from a mango tree, Florentino seizes his chance to declare his enduring love. But can young love find new life in the twilight of their lives? "The most important writer of fiction in any language". (Bill Clinton). "An exquisite writer, wise, compassionate and extremely funny". (Sunday Telegraph). "An amazing celebration of the many kinds of love between men and women". (The Times). As one of the pioneers of magic realism and perhaps the most prominent voice of Latin American literature, Gabriel Garcia Marquez has received international recognition for his novels, works of non-fiction and collections of short stories. Those published in translation by Penguin include Autumn of the Patriarch, Bon Voyage Mr. President, Collected Stories, Chronicle of a Death Foretold, The General in his Labyrinth, Innocent Erendira and Other Stories, In the Evil Hour, Leaf Storm, Living to Tell the Tale, Memories of My Melancholy Whores, News of a Kidnapping, No-one Writes to the Colonel, Of Love and Other Demons, One Hundred Years of Solitude, The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor and Strange Pilgrims.
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  • AGWTD

    The Wasp Factory (Paperback)

    Iain Banks

    'Two years after I killed Blyth I murdered my young brother Paul, for quite different reasons than I'd disposed of Blyth, and then a year after that I did for my young cousin Esmerelda, more or less on a whim. That's my score to date. Three. I haven't killed anybody for years, and don't intend to ever again. It was just a stage I was going through.' Enter - if you can bear it - the extraordinary private world of Frank, just sixteen, and unconventional, to say the least.
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  • AFBDK

    Casino Royale (Paperback)

    Ian Fleming

    (1)
    'Surround yourself with human beings, my dear James. They are easier to fight for than principles.' In "Casino Royale", the first of Fleming's 007 adventures, a game of cards is James Bond's only chance to bring down the desperate SMERSH agent Le Chiffre. But Bond soon discovers that there is far more at stake than money.
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  • AEECU

    A Tale of Two Cities (Paperback)

    Charles Dickens

    'Liberty, equality, fraternity, or death; - the last, much the easiest to bestow, O Guillotine!' Described by Dickens as 'the best story I have written', "A Tale of Two Cities" interweaves thrilling historical drama with heartbreaking personal tragedy. It vividly depicts a revolutionary Paris running red with blood, and a London where the poor starve. In the midst of the chaos two men - an exiled French aristocrat and a dissolute English lawyer - are both redeemed and condemned by their love for the same woman, as the shadow of La Guillotine draws closer...This is the Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.
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