70 must-read books

A young Richard Branson dressed up as Peter Pan holds his daughter Holly Branson who is dressed up as Tinkerbell
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Published on 20 April 2017

Sunday is World Book Day, so to celebrate I’ve put together a list of 70 books that I recommend everyone read. From children’s books to autobiographies, scientific texts to adventure epics, hopefully there’s something to suit all readers. Here they are, in no particular order:

1.            Where the Wild Things Are – Maurice Sendak

2.            Tales of the Unexpected – Roald Dahl

3.            George's Marvellous Medicine – Roald Dahl

4.            The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain

5.            Oh, The Place You’ll Go – Dr Seuss

6.            Peter Pan – J. M. Barrie

7.            The Jungle Book – Rudyard Kipling

8.            The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – Mark Twain

9.            Swallows and Amazons – Arthur Ransome

10.          The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy – Douglas Adams

11.          Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stephenson

12.          The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien

13.          Jurassic Park – Michael Crichton

14.          Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea – Jules Verne

15.          1984 – George Orwell

Scene from 1984 the film where hundreds of people are gathered, 'Nineteen Eight-Four' written in red capital letters across the screen
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16.          Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

17.          The Quiet American – Graham Greene

18.          The Dice Man – Luke Rhinehart

19.          Shantaram – Gregory Roberts

20.          One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez

21.          Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World – Tracy Kidder

22.          The Outermost House – Henry Beston

23.          Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China – Jung Chang

24.          Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege – Antony Beevor

25.          The Right Stuff – Tom Wolfe

26.          In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex – Nathaniel Philbrick

27.          I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou

28.          Travels with Charley – John Steinbeck

29.          Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela – Nelson Mandela

Richard Branson with Nelson Mandela
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30.          Mao: The Unknown Story – Jung Chang

31.          A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety – Jimmy Carter

32.          No Future Without Forgiveness – Desmond Tutu

33.          Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time – Dava Sobel

34.          Mandela's Way: Lessons on Life, Love, and Courage – Stengel

35.          Limitless: Leadership That Endures – Ajaz Ahmed

36.          Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World – Adam Grant

37.          If I Could Tell You Just One Thing: 50 of the world's most remarkable people pass on their best piece of advice – Richard Reed

38.          Remote: Office Not Required – Jason Fried

39.          Start With Why – Simon Sinek

Richard Branson reading a book
Image by Owen Buggy

40.          101 Reasons to Get Out of Bed – Natasha Milne

41.          Letters to a Stranger: A publishing project in aid of MIND – Various

42.          Self Belief: The Vision – Jamal Edwards

43.          The Meaning of the 21st Century – James Martin

44.          Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life's Most Important Skill – Matthieu Ricard

45.          A Time for New Dreams – Ben Okri

46.          A Brief History of Time – Stephen Hawking

47.          The Overview Effect: Space Exploration and Human Evolution – Frank White

48.          Beyond The Blue – Jim Campbell

49.          Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think – Peter Diamandis

50.         Ending the War on Drugs – Various 

Richard Branson sitting next to Nick Clegg at a table
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51.          The Weather Makers: How Man Is Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth – Tim Flannery

52.          Big World, Small Planet – Johan Rockström and Mattias Klum

53.          An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It – Al Gore

54.          Necker: A Virgin Island – Russell James

Richard reading 'A Virgin Island' on a sofa on a balcony in his Necker Island  property alongside the author
Image by Russell James

55.          Lost Ocean – Johanna Basford

56.          Arctica: The Vanishing North – Sebastian Copeland

57.          In Patagonia – Bruce Chatwin

58.          Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster – Jon Krakauer

59.          The World Without Us – Weisman

60.          In-N-Out Burger: A Behind-the-Counter Look at the Fast-Food Chain That Breaks All the Rules – Stacy Perman

61.          In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto – Michael Pollan

62.          Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal – Eric Schlosser

63.          Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption – Bryan Stevenson

64.          Lean In – Sheryl Sandberg

65.          Cosmos – Carl Sagan

66.          Obama: The Historic Presidency of Barack Obama - 2,920 Days – Mark Greenberg

67.          Little Wins, The Huge Power of Thinking Like a Toddler – Paul Lindley

68.          Black Box Thinking – Matthew Syed

69.           Winners: And How They Succeed – Alastair Campbell

70.           Homo Deus - Yuval Noah Harari

What book are you planning to read this World Book Day? And why do you recommend that others read it too?