150 Books to Read in your Lifetime

In honor of Augustana College’s Sesquicentennial, we asked our faculty and staff for the titles of the books they recommend.

This is not a list of the “best” 150 books or the “most important” 150 books, but rather a fascinating snapshot of this group of people in the year 2010 and the books they have loved and want others to also read and enjoy. You may find titles that you already know, titles that surprise and intrigue you, and we hope a healthy list of what you’d like to read next!

During the 2010-2011 celebration, we passed along the recommendations that originated with Augustana readers of note ... it might have been your favorite English professor or a staff person or someone whose taste in reading complements your own.

That’s what this list is ... a way to see the wide variety of reading that Augustana engenders, and a beautiful demonstration how reading enriches our lives.

  1. Illusions: Tales of a Reluctant Messiah, by Richard Bach
  2. The Snow Tree, by Caroline Repchuck
  3. A Very Easy Death, by Simone de Beauvoir
  4. Black Child, by Camara Laye
  5. If it Die, by André Gide
  6. Remembrance of Things Past, by Marcel Proust
  7. The Fellowship of the Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkein
  8. The Two Towers, by J.R.R. Tolkein
  9. The Return of the King, by J.R.R. Tolkein
  10. The Bible
  11. The Last Lecture, by Randy Pausch
  12. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, by Jonathan Safron Foer
  13. Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov
  14. Straight Man, by Richard Russo
  15. Last Moon Dancing, by Monique Schmidt, '98
  16. Saint Maybe, by Anne Tyler
  17. Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte
  18. Practical Gods, by Carl Dennis
  19. Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card
  20. Peace Like a River, by Leif Enger
  21. The Next Place, by Warren Hanson
  22. Good-Night Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown
  23. Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett
  24. The Giver, by Lois Lowry
  25. The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein
  26. Catch-22, by Joseph Heller
  27. Up the Down Staircase, by Bel Kaufman
  28. QB VII, by Leon Uris
  29. Nicholas & Alexandra, by Robert K. Massie
  30. The Shack, by William P. Young
  31. My Sister’s Keeper, by Jodi Picoult
  32. The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant
  33. Dear & Glorious Physician, by Taylor Caldwell
  34. The Audacity of Hope, by Barack Obama
  35. My Name is Asher Lev, by Chaim Potok
  36. Tarzan of the Apes, by Edgar Rice Burroughs
  37. London, by Edward Rutherford
  38. Possessing the Secret of Joy, by Alice Walker
  39. A Time to Kill, by John Grisham
  40. The Thorn Birds, by Colleen McCullough
  41. Love you Forever, by Robert Munsch
  42. Wizard of Oz series, by L. Frank Baum
  43. The Worldly Philosophers, by Robert Heilbroner
  44. Cutting for Stone, by Abraham Verghese
  45. Three Cups of Tea, by Greg Mortenson
  46. Stones Into Schools, by Greg Mortenson
  47. The Things They Carried, by Tim O'Brien
  48. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  49. The Magus, by John Fowle
  50. The Chronicles of Narnia (series), by C. S. Lewis
  51. Christ and Culture, by H. Richard Niebuhr
  52. Summa Theologica, by St. Thomas Aquinas
  53. Confessions, by St. Augustine
  54. The Second Coming, by Walker Percy
  55. A Sand County Almanac, by Aldo Leopold
  56. Varieties of Religious Experience, by William James
  57. "The Fixation of Belief" (essay), by Charles Peirce
  58. Poetics and Metaphysics, by Aristotle
  59. Night Flight (Vol de nuit), by Antoine de St.-Exupéry,
  60. Perelandra, by C.S. Lewis
  61. Miracles, by C.S. Lewis
  62. The Last Battle, by C.S. Lewis
  63. Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis
  64. Tree and Leaf, by J.R.R. Tolkien
  65. Smith of Wootton Major, by J.R.R. Tolkien
  66. Walden; "Walking", by Henry David Thoreau
  67. Nature, by Ralph Waldo Emerson
  68. Leviathan, by Thomas Hobbes
  69. Miss Rumphius, by Barbara Cooney
  70. Jeeves and Wooster, by P.G. Wodehouse
  71. The Nine Tailors, by Dorothy Sayers
  72. The Gift: Imagination and the Erotic Life of Property, by Lewis Hyde
  73. Five Quarters of the Orange, by Joanne Harris
  74. Sarah's Key, by Tatiana de Rosnay
  75. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak
  76. Hop on Pop, by Dr. Seuss
  77. A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens
  78. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
  79. Gone with the Wind, by Margaret Mitchell
  80. Mary Russell series, by Laurie R. King
  81. The Name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco
  82. The Question of Hu, by Jonathan Spence
  83. Aging: The Fulfillment of Life, by Henri J.M. Nouwen
  84. Game Change, by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin
  85. 1776, by David McCullough
  86. D-Day, by Anthony Beavor
  87. The Whistling Season, by Ivan Doig
  88. The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  89. The Life You Can Save, by Peter Singer
  90. The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams
  91. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, by Lisa See
  92. The Sparrow, by Mary Russell Doria
  93. Children of God, by Mary Russell Doria
  94. Blind Your Ponies, by Stanley Gordon West
  95. The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver
  96. Master Butchers' Singing Club, by Louise Erdrich
  97. The Greatest Miracle in the World, by Og Mandino
  98. Harry Potter Series, by J.K. Rowling
  99. The Wedding, by Nicholas Sparks
  100. The Gift From the Sea, by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
  101. Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
  102. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, by Arthur Conan Doyle
  103. The Big Sleep, by Raymond Chandler
  104. The Cave, by Jose Saramago
  105. Free To Choose, by Milton & Rose Friedman
  106. Alphabet series mysteries, by Sue Grafton
  107. Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston
  108. My Antonia, by Willa Cather
  109. Beloved, by Toni Morrison
  110. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy
  111. The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  112. The Stone Diaries, by Carol Shield
  113. Traveling Mercies, by Anne Lamott
  114. A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L'Engel
  115. A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
  116. The Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov
  117. The Wind-up Bird Chronicle, by Haruki Murakami
  118. Snow, by Orhan Pamuk
  119. Night, by Elie Wiesel
  120. One Hundred Years of Solitude, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  121. Loving Frank, by Nancy Horan
  122. Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
  123. The Adventures of Augie March, by Saul Bellow
  124. Waiting for Godot, by Samuel Beckett
  125. Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoesvsky
  126. Don Quixote, by Cervantes
  127. King Lear, by Shakespeare
  128. Hamlet, by Shakespeare
  129. A Fine Balance, by Rohinton Mistry
  130. Ulysses, by James Joyce
  131. The Witness of Combines, by Kent Meyers
  132. Two-Part Invention: the story of a marriage, by Madeleine L'Engel
  133. Waterland, by Graham Swift
  134. People of the Book, by Geraldine Brooks
  135. March, by Geraldine Brooks
  136. The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde
  137. The Dante Club, by Matthew Pearl
  138. Me Talk Pretty One Day, by David Sedaris
  139. Good Harbor, by Anita Diamant
  140. Buffalo For The Broken Heart, by Dan O'Brien
  141. Prodigal Summer, by Barbara Kingsolver
  142. Asylum, by Patrick McGrath
  143. Staggerford, by John Hassler
  144. The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion
  145. It's Your Ship, by Mike Abrashoff
  146. Once a Runner, by John L. Parker
  147. The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway
  148. Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand
  149. Five Smooth Stones, by Ann Fairbairn
  150. The Road Less Traveled, by M. Scott Peck

The Augustana Bookstore and the Sioux Falls' Barnes & Noble hosted displays of these titles throughout the Sesquicentennial year. You may also note that the Mikkelsen Library has most of these books in its collection.