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Recently I saw a post by A life in books listing her “100-Book-Library”, which was inspired by Paula’s post from Book Jotter. Well, since I’ve seen and subsequently participated in these (very fun) list making activities such as the 20 Books of Summer Challenge (since revised to be this Updated Edition) and the I Spy Challenge, I thought why not? Why not focus my brain on creating more bookish lists instead of reading about world and/or provincial news? I’m having to do a lot of this lately because of the world/province of Ontario news!!!

Anyway, what is the 100-Book-Library all about? What does it mean? Paula was inspired by Will Schwable’s Books for Living and decided to create her own autobiography composed of books:

“If you own a copy of Will Schwable’s Books for Living, please turn to page 183 where you will find a chapter entitled ‘Song of Solomon: Admiring Greatness’. Here the author writes of a close friend who “loved books passionately” and “amassed a great collection” during his life. Upon reaching the age of 80, however, he decided to “keep exactly one hundred books” and no more. He proceeded to give away most of his voluminous library and remained true to his resolution for the rest of his days, He hung on only to those that held meaning for him and the rest were rehomed.

Schwable describes the one hundred books his friend left behind after his death as a “remarkable portrait of his life: an autobiography composed not of sentences but of books.”


Should any of you wish to attempt this challenge, there are a few rules (well, suggestions):

a) You may add up to 100 books (fiction or non-fiction) to your figmental collection.

b) Titles may be added or removed at any point, but the number of individual books on your virtual shelf must never exceed 100, i.e. one in, one out. Alternatively, you may set the size of your library at (for instance) 50 or 30. The choice is entirely your own.

c) You can include an author’s collected works (or a series) on your shelf provided it has at some point genuinely been published in a single volume.

d) This isn’t meant to be a list of great titles or the most highbrow books you have read. Indeed, your choices don’t have to be particularly well-known. Please include only published works (it doesn’t matter if they are out of print) that have been significant to you in some way during your life. Books holding your most powerful memories.

e) Please include a link back to this post (I would love to know who, if anyone, takes on this challenge).


My 100-Book-Library has been gleaned only from those books read recently in my adult years. I did not include any books from my childhood, teens or school-read books for the purposes of this particular list. What would this list of books say about me? I’m not really sure – I only know that this list holds books that have the most powerful memories and were ones that I genuinely loved, appreciated and that have had the greatest impact upon me as a reader. There are maybe only two or three non-fiction appearing in this list and it doesn’t hold any of the classics. I’m sure there are some in this 100 that could be replaced with others that may pop into my head at a later date, for sure, but for now this is the list I came up with at this moment: (100 books is a lot to list isn’t it?? ;-) )

There are quite a few on Susan / A life in books’ list that are on my TBR and I’m encouraged to see them there, it could very well mean I remove some from my list and replace them with those as I read them.

This list is also not in any order where my favourites are listed first, instead it was originally compiled in Excel and then sorted by gender. Therefore what is below is listed alphabetically by author’s first name and gender. I tried to add in other statistics so that I could perhaps produce pie-charts or something to visually express the 100. But I’m definitely not that savvy in figuring out how to do that. Instead, I’ll probably just list the tiny bit of statistics I entered so no visual gymnastics at all, sadly.

Title Author
The Dovekeepers Alice Hoffman
The Lighthouse Alison Moore
The Birth House Ami McKay
The Red Tent Anita Diamant
The Weight of Water Anita Shreve
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society Annie Barrows / Mary Ann Shaffer
The Shipping News Annie Proulx
Fall on Your Knees Ann-Marie MacDonald
The Way the Crow Flies Ann-Marie MacDonald
Fin and Lady Cathleen Schine
The Very Marrow of Our Bones Christine Higdon
Mennonites Don’t Dance Darcie Friesen Hossack
The Whipping Club Deborah Henry
The Thirteenth Tale Diane Setterfield
A Place Called Sorry Donna Milner
An Unremarkable Body Elisa Lodato
With No One as Witness Elizabeth George
This Body of Death Elizabeth George
Code Name Verity Elizabeth Wein
To The Bright Edge of the World Eowyn Ivey
Deafening Frances Itani
People of the Book Geraldine Brooks
The Summer Before the War Helen Simonson
Mudbound Hillary Jordan
All Our Worldly Goods Irene Nemirovsky
A Dictionary of Mutual Understanding Jackie Copleton
The Mapping of Love and Death Jacqueline Winspear
Faith Jennifer Haigh
The Homecoming of Samuel Lake Jenny Wingfield
Glow Jessica Maria Tuccelli
Latitudes of Melt Joan Clark
The Trouble With Goats and Sheep Joanna Cannon
And the Birds Rained Down Jocelyne Saucier
The Buddha in the Attic Julie Otsuka
Dracula in Love Karen Essex
Life After Life Kate Atkinson
My Notorious Life Kate Manning
The Long, Hot Summer Kathleen MacMahon
Mother, Mother Koren Zailckas
Monsters of Templeton Lauren Groff
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan Lisa See
Shanghai Girls / Dreams of Joy Lisa See
Heft Liz Moore
Tigers in Red Weather Liza Klaussmann
How The Light Gets In Louise Penny
Alias Grace Margaret Atwood
The Blind Assassin Margaret Atwood
Crow Lake Mary Lawson
Above Us Only Sky Michele Young-Stone
All the Light There Was Nancy Kricorian
The History of Love Nicole Krauss
Glass Boys Nicole Lundrigan
The Bird Sisters Rebecca Rassmussen
The Silence of Bonaventure Arrow Rita Leganski
A Tale for the Time Being Ruth Ozeki
Bone and Bread Saleema Nawaz
The Josephine Bonaparte Collection Sandra Gulland
Tin Man Sarah Winman
The Little Giant of Aberdeen County Tiffany Baker
The Girls of Atomic City Denise Kiernan
Cutting for Stone Abraham Verghese
A Good American Alex George
Remembrance Alistair Macleod
Rules of Civility Amor Towles
Memoirs of a Geisha Arthur Golden
Did You Ever Have a Family Bill Clegg
The Power of One Bryce Courtenay
Whitethorn Bryce Courtenay
The Shadow of the Wind Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Secret Wisdom of the Earth Christopher Scotton
The Thing About December Donal Ryan
What Echo Heard Gordon Sombrowski
Homesick Guy Vanderhaeghe
Sutton J.R. Moehringer
A History of Loneliness John Boyne
The Absolutist John Boyne
The Longest Trip Home John Grogan
A Prayer for Owen Meany John Irving
The Rain Before it Falls Jonathon Coe
No Country Kaylan Ray
Consumption Kevin Patterson
And the Mountains Echoed Khaled Hosseini
The Unlikely Redemption of John Alexander MacNeil Lesley Choyce
The Bishop’s Man Linden MacIntyre
Punishment Linden MacIntyre
The Book Thief Markus Zusak
The Blind Man’s Garden Nadeem Aslam
The Prince of Tides Pat Conroy
Under the Wire: Marie Colvin’s Last Assignment Paul Conroy
The Snow Goose Paul Gallico
Skippy Dies Paul Murray
Clara Callan Richard B Wright
The Narrow Road to the Deep South Richard Flanagan
A Fine Balance Rohinton Mistry
On Canaan’s Side Sebastian Barry
No Man’s Land Simon Tolkien
The Rise and Fall of Great Powers Tom Rachman
I Know This Much Is True Wally Lamb
A Land More Kind Than Home Wiley Cash
Ordinary Grace William Kent Kreuger

What are some of the stats for my 100-Book-Library?

60% are written by female authors







22 are CanLit titles; 14 of which are by female authors

Sadly, only 9 out of 100 are written by diverse authors

There are a few authors that have more than one of their works on this list. Authors like Linden MacIntyre, John Boyne, Bryce Courtenay, Lisa See, Elizabeth George, and Ann-Marie MacDonald have two or more of their books listed. They are my go-to authors and ones that I know I can count on to provide solid and excellent reading experiences.

So there is my 100! What would your 100-Book-Library look like?