World Book Night volunteers' Top 20 Books

13 November 2014

Planning for World Book Night 2015 is underway. We’re very excited to be curating another brilliant list of books to inspire readers and non-readers alike, and our editorial committee will meet later in the month.

The panel is made up of book industry professionals, librarians, World Book Night volunteers and staff at The Reading Agency. They’ll be bringing along books that have moved them, and that they passionately believe have the potential to convince people who do not read regularly of the transformative power of reading.

Our volunteers

We wanted our brilliant volunteers to have a say in the make-up of the 2015 list, so we asked them what book they’d recommend to get people to love reading. Nearly 5000 volunteers responded, and the results were truly illuminating.

We know that 93% of our volunteers felt able to reach those who don’t regularly read on World Book Night, and their suggestions illustrate wonderfully the levels of imagination, thoughtfulness and care they devote to converting new readers with books they feel strongly will have the power to move.

Top 20 Books

We’re keen to keep the 2015 list fresh and distinct from previous years’ so we took out books and authors included on previous World Book Night lists to make up this list of top 20 suggestions. There were lots of great reads and authors that we’ve featured previously in World Book Night, among them The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Northern Lights by Philip Pullman and The Island by Victoria Hislop, so it’s nice to know we’re getting it right! Here is the full list in all its glory:

1 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
2 The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
3 The Rosie Project by Graeme Simison
4 The Hunger Games (series) by Suzanne Collins
5 The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
6 Harry Potter (series) by J K Rowling
7 Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
8 A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
9 The Help Kathryn by Stockett
10 The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
11 The Hobbit by J R R Tolkein
12 The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
13 Divergent by Veronica Roth
14 Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
15 The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer
=16 A Song of Ice and Fire (series) by George R R Martin
=16 Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
=16 The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaffer & Annie Barrows
=17 Discworld (series) by Terry Pratchett
=17 Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
18 Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
=19 Before I go to Sleep by S J Watson
=19 The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald
=19 We Need to Talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver
=20 The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

We will consider this list among other submissions and suggestions when we meet. Watch this space for the announcement of the 2015 World Book Night list in the autumn.

Get involved

In the mean time, we’d love to hear about other books not mentioned on this list that you’d recommend to get people to love reading. Tweet, like us on Facebook and leave a message, or write to us at [email protected].

You can also read this blog by Genevieve Clarke, our adult literacy expert on choosing books to give to non-readers.


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