100 books to read before you die
Every reader can name at least one seminal book, a novel or work of non-fiction that resonated with them at a certain time and which lingered in their mind afterwards.
What made that one title so pivotal is usually subjective and so it's been a long and difficult task to come up with a recommended reading list of 100 books.
"Rather than try to stipulate a list of the top 100 books of all time, we have created a list of the books we think everyone should read before they die," says books editor Fran Metcalf.
"A kind of books bucket list, if you like."
Click here to see the full list
From best-selling bonkbusters like Fifty Shades of Grey to Homer's Greek tragedy The Iliad and works of Australian author Patrick White, the list encompasses all genres and eras to ensure there's a balanced mix of old and new, real and fantastic, foreign and homegrown.
Canvassing publishers, retailers, reviewers and readers has helped shape the final run-down, which has been broken into 10 categories including war, crime, love, fantasy and Australian.
"As well as choosing books based on literary merit, we have included those that have become an important part of popular culture, such as Fifty Shades of Grey," says books editor Blanche Clark.
"Choosing the top 10 Australian books was an unenviable task. The quality and breadth of Australian writing is extraordinary, but it came down to the books that have helped shape the identity of this country and the ones that have lingered in our hearts and minds."
When it comes to love, Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice tops the list for its irresistible roller-coaster romance between Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy while others deserving a place include Stephenie Meyer's Twilight, if only to experience first-hand what kickstarted the new-age global trend for vampire love stories.
Renewed interest in books like The Hobbit have seen a regeneration of the fantasy genre in recent years but Mary Shelley's iconic Frankenstein holds its own on the list next to Tolkien's tale of Bilbo Baggins and his precious, magic ring.
Likewise, George Orwell's 1984 and The War of the Worlds - both science fiction classics - easily stand the test of time against The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and other titles on the sci-fi list.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - the first of Stieg Larsson's Millenium trilogy takes top place in the crime category - but old favourites like Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None and Ian Fleming's From Russia With Love also made the mix alongside In Cold Blood, Truman Capote's graphic account of the murders of a farmer and his family in Kansas in the 1950s.