Earlier this Autumn I read a nice post that inspired me to create this one. The post was written by Joce from Write Through The Night and it was about lists of books “to read before you’re 20”. As I am well past my 20s, I am going to use BookBuB’s list “40 Books to Read Before You’re 30” to find some reading inspiration.

To spice up this post I added some illustrations by Mura, one of my favourite illustrators from Romania! All images (including the cover picture) were created by Mura and were taken from her Behance page. Enjoy! ❤

mura illustration behance readers high tea

Modern fiction

§ “Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie already on my TBR list

§ “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz

§ “Middlesex” by Jeffrey Eugenides 

§ “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” by Ben Fountain

§ “A Lesson Before Dying” by Ernest J. Gaines

§ “Welcome to Braggsville” by T. Geronimo Johnson

§ “A Little Life” by Hanya Yanagihara

§ “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy

§ “The Inheritance of Loss” by Kiran Desai

§ “Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini

§ “Still Alice” by Lisa Genova

§ “Cutting for Stone” by Abraham Verghese

§ “Freedom”  by Jonathan Franzen

§ “A Spool of Blue Thread” by Anne Tyler

mura illustration readers high tea 2


§ “Night” by Elie Weisel

§ “The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank 

§ “Just Kids” by Patti Smith

§ “Half a Life” by Darin Strauss

§ “Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand

§ “The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace” by Jeff Hobbs

§ “The Year of Magical Thinking” by Joan Didion

§ “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert

§ “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot

§ “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed

§ “When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi already on my TBR list

mura illustration readers high tea 3


§ “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen ✅

§ “1984” by George Orwell ✅

§ “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand

§ “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee ✅

§ “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott ✅

§ “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood ✅

§ “A Prayer for Owen Meany” by John Irving

§ “Mrs Dalloway” by Virginia Woolf

§ “Vanity Fair” by William Thackeray

§ “Beloved” by Toni Morrison

§ “A Room with a View” by E.M. Forster

§ “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë ✅

§ “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Brontë ✅

§ “Bleak House” by Charles Dickens

§ “The Colour Purple” by Alice Walker

mura illustration behance readers high tea 4

Conclusion: 10 out of 40. Seems like I’ve got a lot of reading to do before turning 30 🙂

It’s clear that I am more into classics than into modern fiction or non-fiction! One might argue that this list is not necessarily representative, that I might’ve read other modern fiction and non-fiction books … Yes, that is all true. But it’s also true that I focused a lot more on classics than on any other genre, and I am very happy about it.

However, I plan to read some non-fiction books (for example, “When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi) and also some modern fiction books (for example, “Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini – I heard many good impressions about it).

Do you have any other recommendation of “must read before you’re 30” that was not included in the list?

‘Till next time … happy reading!


One thought on “Reading inspiration: 40 Books to Read Before You’re 30 (adorable illustrations included)

  1. aww i love that you decided to write your own post 🙂 I read 12 on the list!! I would highly highly recommend you read a thousand splendid suns it was incredible. Happy reading!


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