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The Greatest Books of All Time


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  1. 1. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

    Cover Image for the book Don Quixote

    Alonso Quixano, a retired country gentleman in his fifties, lives in an unnamed section of La Mancha with his niece and a housekeeper. He has become obsessed with books of chivalry, and believes th... - Wikipedia

      
  2. 2. Ulysses by James Joyce

    Cover Image for the book Ulysses

    Ulysses chronicles the passage of Leopold Bloom through Dublin during an ordinary day, June 16, 1904. The title parallels and alludes to Odysseus (Latinised into Ulysses), the hero of Homer's Odyss... - Wikipedia

      
  3. 3. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

    Cover Image for the book Lolita

    The book is internationally famous for its innovative style and infamous for its controversial subject: the protagonist and unreliable narrator, middle aged Humbert Humbert, becomes obsessed and se... - Wikipedia

      
  4. 4. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

    Cover Image for the book The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

    Revered by all of the town's children and dreaded by all of its mothers, Huckleberry Finn is indisputably the most appealing child-hero in American literature. Unlike the tall-tale, idyllic worl... - Publisher

      
  5. 5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

    Cover Image for the book The Great Gatsby

    The novel chronicles an era that Fitzgerald himself dubbed the "Jazz Age". Following the shock and chaos of World War I, American society enjoyed unprecedented levels of prosperity during the "roar... - Wikipedia

      
  6. 6. 1984 by George Orwell

    Cover Image for the book 1984

    The story follows the life of one seemingly insignificant man, Winston Smith, a civil servant assigned the task of perpetuating the regime's propaganda by falsifying records and political literatur... - Wikipedia

      
  7. 7. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

    Cover Image for the book War and Peace

    Epic in scale, War and Peace delineates in graphic detail events leading up to Napoleon's invasion of Russia, and the impact of the Napoleonic era on Tsarist society, as seen through the eyes of fi... - Wikipedia

      
  8. 8. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust

    Cover Image for the book In Search of Lost Time

    Swann's Way, the first part of A la recherche de temps perdu, Marcel Proust's seven-part cycle, was published in 1913. In it, Proust introduces the themes that run through the entire work. The narr... - Publisher

      
  9. 9. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

    Cover Image for the book Anna Karenina

    Anna Karenina tells of the doomed love affair between the sensuous and rebellious Anna and the dashing officer, Count Vronsky. Tragedy unfolds as Anna rejects her passionless marriage and must endu... - Publisher

      
  10. 10. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

    Cover Image for the book Madame Bovary

    For daring to peer into the heart of an adulteress and enumerate its contents with profound dispassion, the author of Madame Bovary was tried for "offenses against morality and religion." What shoc... - Publisher

      
  11. 11. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    Cover Image for the book The Brothers Karamazov

    Dostoevsky's last and greatest novel, The Karamazov Brothers, is both a brilliantly told crime story and a passionate philosophical debate. The dissolute landowner Fyodor Pavlovich Karamazov is mur... - Publisher

      
  12. 12. Middlemarch by George Eliot

    Cover Image for the book Middlemarch

    Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life is a novel by George Eliot, the pen name of Mary Anne Evans, later Marian Evans. It is her seventh novel, begun in 1869 and then put aside during the final i... - Wikipedia

      
  13. 13. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

    Cover Image for the book One Hundred Years of Solitude

    One of the 20th century's enduring works, One Hundred Years of Solitude is a widely beloved and acclaimed novel known throughout the world, and the ultimate achievement in a Nobel Prize–winning car... - Publisher

      
  14. 14. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

    Cover Image for the book The Sound and the Fury

    The Sound and the Fury is set in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County. The novel centers on the Compson family, former Southern aristocrats who are struggling to deal with the dissolution of their fa... - Wikipedia

      
  15. 15. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

    Cover Image for the book Invisible Man

    The novel addresses many of the social and intellectual issues facing African-Americans in the early twentieth century, including black nationalism, the relationship between black identity and Marx... - Wikipedia

      
  16. 16. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger

    Cover Image for the book The Catcher in the Rye

    The Catcher in the Rye is a 1945 novel by J. D. Salinger. Originally published for adults, the novel has become a common part of high school and college curricula throughout the English-speaking wo... - Wikipedia

      
  17. 17. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

    Cover Image for the book To the Lighthouse

    A landmark novel of high modernism, the text, centering on the Ramsay family and their visits to the Isle of Skye in Scotland between 1910 and 1920, skillfully manipulates temporality and psycholog... - Wikipedia

      
  18. 18. On the Road by Jack Kerouac

    Cover Image for the book On the Road

    On the Road is a largely autobiographical work that was based on the spontaneous road trips of Kerouac and his friends across mid-century America. It is often considered a defining work of the post... - Wikipedia

      
  19. 19. Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift

    Cover Image for the book Gulliver's Travels

    From the preeminent prose satirist in the English language, a great classic recounting the four remarkable journeys of ship's surgeon Lemuel Gulliver. For children it remains an enchanting fantasy;... - Publisher

      
  20. 20. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

    Cover Image for the book The Grapes of Wrath

    Set during the Great Depression, the novel focuses on a poor family of sharecroppers, the Joads, driven from their home by drought, economic hardship, and changes in the agriculture industry. In a ... - Wikipedia

      
  21. 21. Moby Dick by Herman Melville

    Cover Image for the book Moby Dick

    First published in 1851, Melville's masterpiece is, in Elizabeth Hardwick's words, "the greatest novel in American literature." The saga of Captain Ahab and his monomaniacal pursuit of the white wh... - Publisher

      
  22. 22. Beloved by Toni Morrison

    Cover Image for the book Beloved

    Beloved (1987) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Nobel laureate Toni Morrison. The novel, her fifth, is loosely based on the life and legal case of the slave Margaret Garner, about whom Morrison... - wikipedia

      
  23. 23. The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

    Cover Image for the book The Portrait of a Lady

    The story centres on Isabel Archer, an attractive American whom circumstances have brought to Europe. Isabel refuses the offer of marriage to an English peer and to a bulldog-like New Englander, to... - Publisher

      
  24. 24. The Iliad by Homer

    Cover Image for the book The Iliad

    The Iliad is an epic poem in dactylic hexameters, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set in the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of Ilium by a coalition of Greek states, it tells of the battles and e... - Wikipedia

      
  25. 25. Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner

    Cover Image for the book Absalom, Absalom!

    Absalom, Absalom! is a Southern Gothic novel by the American author William Faulkner, first published in 1936. It is a story about three families of the American South, taking place before, during,... - Wikipedia

      
  26. 26. A Passage to India by E.M. Forster

    Cover Image for the book A Passage to India

    A Passage to India is set against the backdrop of the British Raj and the Indian independence movement in the 1920s. The story revolves around four characters: Dr. Aziz, his British friend Cyril Fi... - Wikipedia

      
  27. 27. Native Son by Richard Wright

    Cover Image for the book Native Son

    The novel tells the story of 20-year old Bigger Thomas, an African American living in utter poverty. Bigger lived in Chicago's South Side ghetto in the 1930s. Bigger was always getting into troubl... - Wikipedia

      
  28. 28. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

    Cover Image for the book Mrs. Dalloway

    Created from two short stories, "Mrs Dalloway in Bond Street" and the unfinished "The Prime Minister", the novel's story is of Clarissa's preparations for a party of which she is to be hostess. Wit... - Wikipedia

      
  29. 29. The Odyssey by Homer

    Cover Image for the book The Odyssey

    The Odyssey is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is, in part, a sequel to the Iliad, the other work traditionally ascribed to Homer. The poem is fundamental to the m... - Wikipedia

      
  30. 30. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

    Cover Image for the book Catch-22

    Catch-22 is a satirical, historical novel by the American author Joseph Heller, first published in 1961. The novel, set during the later stages of World War II from 1943 onwards, is frequently cite... - Wikipedia

      
  31. 31. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

    Cover Image for the book A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

    A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is a semi-autobiographical novel by James Joyce, first serialized in The Egoist from 1914 to 1915 and published in book form in 1916. It depicts the formativ... - Wikipedia

      
  32. 32. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

    Cover Image for the book Pride and Prejudice

    The book is narrated in free indirect speech following the main character Elizabeth Bennet as she deals with matters of upbringing, marriage, moral rightness and education in her aristocratic socie... - Wikipedia

      
  33. 33. The Trial by Franz Kafka

    Cover Image for the book The Trial

    Written in 1914, The Trial is one of the most important novels of the twentieth century: the terrifying tale of Josef K., a respectable bank officer who is suddenly and inexplicably arrested and mu... - Publisher

      
  34. 34. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

    Cover Image for the book As I Lay Dying

    The book is told in stream of consciousness writing style by 15 different narrators in 59 chapters. It is the story of the death of Addie Bundren and her family's quest—noble or selfish—to honor he... - Wikipedia

      
  35. 35. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

    Cover Image for the book Brave New World

    Set in the London of AD 2540 (632 A.F. in the book), the novel anticipates developments in reproductive technology and sleep-learning that combine to change society. The future society is an embod... - Wikipedia

      
  36. 36. Emma by Jane Austen

    Cover Image for the book Emma

    Before she began the novel, Austen wrote, "I am going to take a heroine whom no-one but myself will much like."[1] In the very first sentence she introduces the title character as "Emma Woodhouse, ... - Wikipedia

      
  37. 37. Nostromo by Joseph Conrad

    Cover Image for the book Nostromo

    Edited with an introduction and notes by Martin Seymour-Smith. In his evocation of the republic of Costaguana, set amid the exotic and grandiose scenery of South America, Conrad reveals not only th... - Publisher

      
  38. 38. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

    Cover Image for the book Things Fall Apart

    A novel of great power that turns the world upside down. The Nigerian novelist Achebe reached back to the early days of his people's encounter with colonialism, the 1890's, though the white man and... - Time

      
  39. 39. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

    Cover Image for the book To Kill a Mockingbird

    As a Southern Gothic novel and a Bildungsroman, the primary themes of To Kill a Mockingbird involve racial injustice and the destruction of innocence. Scholars have noted that Lee also addresses is... - Wikipedia

      
  40. 40. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

    Cover Image for the book Heart of Darkness

    The story details an incident when Marlow, an Englishman, took a foreign assignment from a Belgian trading company as a ferry-boat captain in Africa. Although Conrad does not specify the name of th... - Wikipedia

      
  41. 41. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

    Cover Image for the book The Lord of the Rings

    The Lord of the Rings is an epic high fantasy novel written by philologist and Oxford University professor J. R. R. Tolkien. The story began as a sequel to Tolkien's earlier, less complex children'... - Wikipedia

      
  42. 42. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

    Cover Image for the book Jane Eyre

    Jane Eyre is a first-person narrative of the title character, a small, plain-faced, intelligent and honest English orphan. The novel goes through five distinct stages: Jane's childhood at Gateshead... - Wikipedia

      
  43. 43. The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri

    Cover Image for the book The Divine Comedy

    Belonging in the immortal company of the great works of literature, Dante Alighieri's poetic masterpiece, The Divine Comedy, is a moving human drama, an unforgettable visionary journey through the ... - Publisher

      
  44. 44. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

    Cover Image for the book Wuthering Heights

    The narrative is non-linear, involving several flashbacks, and two primary narrators: Mr. Lockwood and Ellen "Nelly" Dean. The novel opens in 1801, with Mr. Lockwood arriving at Thrushcross Grange,... - Wikipedia

      
  45. 45. Lord of the Flies by William Golding

    Cover Image for the book Lord of the Flies

    Lord of the Flies discusses how culture created by man fails, using as an example a group of British schoolboys stuck on a deserted island who try to govern themselves, but with disastrous results.... - Wikipedia

      
  46. 46. All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren

    Cover Image for the book All the King's Men

    All the King's Men portrays the dramatic political ascent and governorship of Willie Stark, a driven, cynical populist in the American South during the 1930s. - Wikipedia

      
  47. 47. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

    Cover Image for the book Gone With the Wind

    Gone With the Wind is set in Jonesboro and Atlanta, Georgia during the American Civil War and Reconstruction and follows the life of Scarlett O'Hara, the daughter of an Irish immigrant plantation o... - Wikipedia

      
  48. 48. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

    Cover Image for the book The Age of Innocence

    The Age of Innocence centers on an upperclass couple's impending marriage, and the introduction of a scandalous woman whose presence threatens their happiness. Though the novel questions the assump... - Wikipedia

      
  49. 49. The Aeneid by Virgil

    Cover Image for the book The Aeneid

    The Aeneid is a Latin epic poem written by Virgil in the late 1st century BC (29–19 BC) that tells the legendary story of Aeneas, a Trojan who traveled to Italy, where he became the ancestor of the... - Wikipedia

      
  50. 50. Tom Jones by Henry Fielding

    Cover Image for the book Tom Jones

    A foundling of mysterious parentage brought up by Mr. Allworthy on his country estate, Tom Jones is deeply in love with the seemingly unattainable Sophia Western, the beautiful daughter of the neig... - Publisher

      

The Lists

  1. 100 Most Influential Books of the Century

    Boston Public Library's list of "The 100 Most Influential Books of the Century". A booklist for Adults. - Boston Public Library

  2. 110 Best Books: The Perfect Library

    From classics and sci-fi to poetry, biographies and books that changed the world… we present the ultimate reading list. - The Telegraph

  3. 50 Greatest Books of All Time

    A list of the 50 greatest books of all time as determined by a panel of secret judges for Globe and Mail. The books are not ranked. - Globe and Mail

  4. 50 Memorable Books from 50 Years of Books to Remember

    A representative selection from over 1500 titles on annual lists of Books to Remember from 1956 to 2005. - The New York Public Library

  5. Books of the Decade

    The 50 books that defined the decade(2000) - The Guardian

  6. Costa Book Award - Best Novel

    The Costa Book Awards are a series of literary awards given to books by authors based in the United Kingdom and Ireland. They were known as the Whitbread Book Awards until 2005, after which Costa C... - Costa Coffee

  7. Donald Barthelme’s Reading List

    81 books recommended by Author Donald Barthelme to his students at the University of Houston. -

  8. Extreme Classics: The 100 Greatest Adventure Books of All Time

    The 100 greatest adventure books chosen by National Geographic. - National Geographic Adventure Magazine

  9. Great Books of the Western World

    Great Books of the Western World is a series of books originally published in the United States in 1952 by Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. to present the western canon in a single package of 54 volume... - Great Books Foundation

  10. Harvard Book Store Staff's Favorite 100 Books

    A list of the Harvard Book Store staff's top 100 favorite books. - Harvard Book Store

  11. Man Booker Prize

    The Man Booker Prize for Fiction, also known in short as the Booker Prize, is a literary prize awarded each year for the best original full-length novel, written in the English language, by a citiz... - Man Booker Prize

  12. National Book Award - Fiction

    The National Book Awards are among the most eminent literary prizes in the United States. Started in 1950, the awards are presented annually to American authors for literature published in the prio... - National Book Foundation

  13. National Book Award - Nonfiction

    The National Book Awards are among the most eminent literary prizes in the United States. Started in 1950, the awards are presented annually to American authors for literature published in the prio... - National Book Foundation

  14. National Book Critics Circle Award - Fiction

    The National Book Critics Circle Award is an annual award given by the National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) to promote the finest books and reviews published in English. - National Book Critics Circle

  15. National Book Critics Circle Award - Nonfiction

    The National Book Critics Circle Award is an annual award given by the National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) to promote the finest books and reviews published in English. - National Book Critics Circle

  16. Paste Magazine's Best Books of the Decade(2000-2009)

    The top 20 best books of the 2000s by Paste Magazine. It includes both fiction and nonfiction. - Paste Magazine

  17. PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction

    The PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction is awarded annually by the PEN/Faulkner Foundation to the author of the best American work of fiction that year. The winner receives US $15,000 and each of four... - PEN/Faulkner

  18. Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography

    The Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography has been presented since 1917 for a distinguished biography or autobiography by an American author. - Pulitzer Prize

  19. Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

    All the books that have won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction from 1948 to the present. - Pulitzer Prize

  20. Pulitzer Prize for History

    The Pulitzer Prize for History has been awarded since 1917 for a distinguished book upon the history of the United States. Many history books have also been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for General N... - Pulitzer Prize

  21. Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction

    The Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction has been awarded since 1962 for a distinguished book of non-fiction by an American author that is not eligible for consideration in any other category. - Pulitzer Prize

  22. Radcliffe's 100 Best Novels

    - Radcliffe Publishing Course

  23. St. John's College Academic Program Reading List

    The reading list that serves as the core of the St. John's College curriculum had its beginnings at Columbia College, at the University of Chicago, and at the University of Virginia. Since 1937, th... - St. John's College

  24. The 100 Best Books of the Decade(2000)

    The Time's list of the 100 Best Books of the 2000s. It's a mix of fiction and nonfiction. - Times

  25. The 100 Best Non-Fiction Books of the Century

    The 100 best non-fiction books of all time judged by a panel of historians, authors, publishers, and experts for the National Review Magazine. - National Review

  26. The 100 Greatest Novels of All Time: The List

    The Observer's list of essential fiction from the past 300 years. - The Observer

  27. The 100 Most Influential Books Ever Written

    The 100 Most Influential Books Ever Written: The History of Thought from Ancient Times to Today (1998) is a book of intellectual history written by Martin Seymour-Smith (1928–1998), a British poet,... - Martin Seymour-Smith

  28. The 10 Best of the Decade(2000)

    Entertainment Weekly's top 10 best books of the 2000s - Entertainment Weekly

  29. The 50 Best Books of the Century

    ISI defined "best" as "volumes of extraordinary reflection and creativity in a traditional form, which heartens us with the knowledge that fine writing and clear-mindedness are perennially possible... - Intercollegiate Studies Institute

  30. The 75 Books Every Man Should Read

    -

  31. The Best Books of the 2000s

    The Best Books of the 2000s according to the Onion AV club. Includes Fiction and Nonfiction. - The Onion AV Club

  32. The Best Southern Nonfiction of All Time

    The best southern United States nonfiction books of all time judged by 130 literary experts and authors. - Oxford American

  33. The Best Southern Novels of All Time

    A list of the best southern novels of all time by Oxford American Magazine judged by 130 experts as well as authors. - Oxford American

  34. The Big Read

    The Big Read was a survey on books carried out by the BBC in the United Kingdom in 2003, where over three quarters of a million votes were received to find the nations best-loved book of all time, ... - BBC

  35. The Modern Library | 100 Best Nonfiction

    - The Modern Library

  36. The Modern Library | 100 Best Novels

    - Modern Library

  37. The New Classics - 100 Best Reads from 1983 to 2008

    Entertainment Weekly's list of the 100 best reads from 1083 to 2008. There's no description of who the judges were. - Entertainment Weekly

  38. The Novel 100: A Ranking of the Greatest Novels of All Time

    The list below is from the book The Novel 100: A Ranking of Greatest Novels All Time (Checkmark Books/Facts On File, Inc.: New York, 2004), written by Daniel S. Burt. - The Novel 100

  39. The Top 10: The Greatest Books of All Time

    The Top 10 book chosen by 125 top writers from the book "The Top 10" edited by J. Peder Zane. - The Top 10 (Book)

  40. TIME Magazine All Time 100 Novels

    Time critics Lev Grossman and Richard Lacayo pick the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to the present. - TIME Magazine

  41. Top 100 Works in World Literature

    The editors of the Norwegian Book Clubs, with the Norwegian Nobel Institute, polled a panel of 100 authors from 54 countries on what they considered the “best and most central works in world litera... - Norwegian Book Clubs, with the Norwegian Nobel Institute

  42. Top 10 British, Irish or Commonwealth Novels from 1980 to 2005

    The Observer asked 150 literary luminaries to vote for the best British, Irish or Commonwealth novel from 1980 to 2005. - The Observer

  43. What Is the Best Work of American Fiction of the Last 25 Years?

    The New York Times Book Review's editor, Sam Tanenhaus, sent out a short letter to a couple of hundred prominent writers, critics, editors and other literary sages, asking them to please identify... - New York Times

What?

I've always loved to read and I'm a big fan of "best of" lists. After reading through about 5 or so "Greatest Books of all Time" lists I got the idea of combining the lists into 1 master list of the greatest books of all time.

A goal of mine is to someday read The first 100 of these books. I built this application to help me generate the list as well as keep track of which books I've already read. You too can track which books you've read if you create an account. You can view details about a specific list or book by clicking the titles.

I had a great time creating this site and I hope you enjoy it. If you have any Comments please


How?

This list is generated from 43 "best of" book lists from a variety of great sources. An algorithm is used to create a master list based on how many lists a particular book appears on. Some lists count more than others. I generally trust "best of all time" lists voted by authors and experts over user-generated lists. On the lists that are actually ranked, the book that is 1st counts a lot more than the book that's 100th.

Where Can I Buy The Books?

If you click on the title of the books you can easily see a summary of what amazon.com has for sale based on price and binding(paperback, hardcover, audio, etc). The prices and availability are updated daily directly from Amazon.com.

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