What book must you read before you die?

1001Sorry to be morbid. But hey, there’s no denying that time is ticking, and every second of your life that you spend buried in a book is time well spent! We’ve been inspired at gr by Peter Boxall’s 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die, and we thought we’d compile our own list of outstanding, perception-warping, eye-opening books you should strive to read before dropping off the mortal coil.

That’s where you come in! We want you to send us your suggestions about which titles should make the list. If you’re the first person to suggest the book and it gets included on the list, your name will be immortalised in gr and you’ll go in the draw win an awesome prize!

Send your Book You Must Read Before You Die suggestion to editorial@goodreadingmagazine.com.au. Convince us why you think the book should be included in a sentence or two!

To help you choose, here’s what the bookworms in our office have to say:

Rowena Morcom (Editor of gr):9780140320091

A Fortunate Life by A B Facey is one everyone should read. It’s a true Australian classic. A full and fascinating life that included Gallipoli, sheep farming, the Depression, being lost in the bush and being illiterate until a great age. An incredible life that the author still considered a ‘fortunate one’. Everyone should read it.


the-poisonwood-bibleMerle Morcom (Editorial Manager of gr‘s sister publications PK mag & SpineOut):

I suggest The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver.

A few years ago, I had a lovely girl who came each week and cleaned my house. One day she came to me and said ,’You have a book by the side of your bed called The Poisonwood Bible. I don’t suppose I could borrow it when you’re finished.’

I was thrilled. She was a non-reader.

A few weeks later she brought the book back.

‘I was so upset,’ she confided in me,’ when I was nearly finished this book as I didn’t want to lose it. But now I know I will never lose it. It will stay with me forever.’

You should read The Poisonwood Bible.

It may change the way you think.


Anna KareninDanielle Cairis (Art Director):

Anna Karenina by Tolstoy is unmatched. Tolstoy has an incredible insight into human nature. His writing is so wonderfully lyrical; other books pale in comparison.


Missionary_Position_book_Mother_TeresaTim Graham (Deputy Editor):

You must read The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in theory and practice by the late Christopher Hitchens. Finding out the unattractive truth about this icon of virtue and apparent selflessness was a revelation. It serves as a wake-up call to investigate the background of every hero and heroine whose reputation goes unchallenged. It’s only about 100 pages long, so you’ll knock it over within two to three hours.


Emma Stephens (gr intern)9780330424738

The Messenger by Markus Zusak is definitely a book you should read before you die. Get ready for your heart to be warmed. Funny, tragic, exciting and mysterious, this book will make you feel like you can change the world, with just a little kindness.


mao-s-last-dancerAngus Dalton (Editorial Assistant)

It’s been ages since I read it, but Mao’s Last Dancer by Li Cunxin is a must-read if you haven’t been touched by this story already. I picked it up when I was 11 or 12, and it was one of the first books that altered the way I saw the world, that shook me by the shoulders (and the heart strings) and urged me to better myself. It taught me about oppression, poverty, perseverance and love. Unforgettable.

Send through your suggestions now, we can’t wait to read them!

2 responses to “What book must you read before you die?

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