The Greatest Books

all | 2000 | 1990 | 1980 | 1970 | 1950 | 1900 |
  1. 201 . The Miser by Molière

    Image of The Miser

    The Miser's plot, involving a rich money-lender called Harpagon, whose feisty children long to escape from his penny-pinching household and marry their respective lovers, is a comedy of manners to ...


  2. 202 . The Would-Be Invalid by Molière

    Image of The Would-Be Invalid

    The Imaginary Invalid (French: Le Malade imaginaire) is a three-act comedy by the French playwright Molière. It was first performed in 1673 and was the last work he wrote. Molière collapsed during ...


  3. 203 . The Would-Be Gentleman by Molière

    Image of The Would-Be Gentleman

    Le Bourgeois gentilhomme (known as The Bourgeois Gentleman or The Middle-Class Gentleman) is a five-act comédie-ballet—a ballet interrupted by spoken dialogue—by Molière, first presented on October...


  4. 204 . The School for Wives by Molière

    Image of The School for Wives

    The School for Wives (French: L'école des femmes) is a theatrical comedy written by the 17th century French playwright Molière and considered by some critics to be one of his finest achievements. I...


  5. 205 . Don Juan by Molière

    Image of Don Juan

    Don Juan (Spanish, or Don Giovanni in Italian) is a legendary, fictional libertine whose story has been told many times by many authors. El burlador de Sevilla y convidado de piedra (The Trickster ...


  6. 206 . Independent People by Halldor Laxness

    Image of Independent People

    Independent People is an epic novel by Nobel laureate Halldór Laxness, published in 1946. It deals with the struggle of poor Icelandic farmers in the early 20th century, only freed from debt bondag...


  7. 207 . Dune by Frank Herbert

    Image of Dune

    Dune is a science fiction novel written by Frank Herbert, published in 1965. It won the Hugo Award in 1966, and also the inaugural Nebula Award for Best Novel. Dune was also the first bestselling h...


  8. 208 . Complete Poems of Giacomo Leopardi by Giacomo Leopardi

    Image of Complete Poems of Giacomo Leopardi

    Giacomo Taldegardo Francesco di Sales Saverio Pietro Leopardi (June 29, 1798 – June 14, 1837) was an Italian poet, essayist, philosopher, and philologist.


  9. 209 . The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

    Image of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

    A slender novel but far from flimsy, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie enrolls the reader at Edinburgh's fictional Marcia Blaine School for Girls under the tutelage of one Jean Brodie, a magnetic, unco...

    - Time

  10. 210 . Dracula by Bram Stoker

    Image of Dracula

    Dracula is an 1897 novel by Irish author Bram Stoker, featuring as its primary antagonist the vampire Count Dracula. Dracula has been attributed to many literary genres including vampire literat...


  11. 211 . The World According to Garp by John Irving

    Image of The World According to Garp

    The story deals with the life of T. S. Garp. His mother, Jenny Fields, is a strong-willed nurse who wants a child but not a husband. She encounters a dying ball turret gunner known only as Technica...


  12. 212 . The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

    Image of The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter

    Written in Charlotte, North Carolina in a house on East Blvd, it is about a deaf man named John Singer and the people he encounters in a 1930s mill town in the U.S. state of Georgia.


  13. 213 . Hunger by Knut Hamsun

    Image of Hunger

    Hunger is a novel by the Norwegian author Knut Hamsun and was published in its final form in 1890. Parts of it had been published anonymously in the Danish magazine Ny Jord in 1888. The novel is ha...


  14. 214 . The Misanthrope by Molière

    Image of The Misanthrope

    Jean-Baptiste Poquelin, known by his stage name Molière (French pronunciation: ​[mɔ.ljɛːʁ]; 1622 – 1673), was a French playwright and actor who is considered to be one of the greatest masters of co...


  15. 215 . I, Claudius by Robert Graves

    Image of I, Claudius

    I, Claudius deals sympathetically with the life of the Roman Emperor Claudius and cynically with the history of the Julio-Claudian Dynasty and Roman Empire, from Julius Caesar's assassination in 44...


  16. 216 . Rabbit Redux by John Updike

    Image of Rabbit Redux

    Rabbit Redux finds the former high-school basketball star, Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom, working a dead-end job and approaching middle age in the downtrodden and fictional city of Brewer, Pennsylvania, ...


  17. 217 . Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Döblin

    Image of Berlin Alexanderplatz

    The story concerns a small-time criminal, Franz Biberkopf, fresh from prison, who is drawn into the underworld. When his criminal mentor murders the prostitute whom Biberkopf has been relying on as...


  18. 218 . The Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake by William Blake

    Image of The Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake

    William Blake (28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827) was an English painter, poet and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of t...


  19. 219 . The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy

    Image of The Mayor of Casterbridge

    Thomas Hardy's first masterpiece, The Mayor of Casterbridge opens with a scene of such heartlessness and cruelty that it still shocks readers today. A poor workman named Michael Henchard, in a fit ...

    - Google

  20. 220 . Lysistrata by Aristophanes

    Image of Lysistrata

    This classic comedy — from the 5th century BC — concerns the vow of Greek women to withhold sex from their husbands until the men agree to end the disastrous wars between Athens and Sparta. An exub...

    - Google

  21. 221 . Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger

    Image of Nine Stories

    "DeDaumier-Smith's Blue Period," "Teddy," and "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" are among the nine works in a collection of Salinger's perceptive and realistic short stories

    - Google

  22. 222 . All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

    Image of All Quiet on the Western Front

    All Quiet on the Western Front (German: Im Westen nichts Neues) is a novel by Erich Maria Remarque, a German veteran of World War I. The book describes the German soldiers' extreme physical and men...


  23. 223 . The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

    Image of The Fountainhead

    The Fountainhead's protagonist, Howard Roark, is an individualistic young architect who chooses to struggle in obscurity rather than compromise his artistic and personal vision. The book follows hi...


  24. 224 . The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

    Image of The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

    The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (ねじまき鳥クロニクル, Nejimaki-dori Kuronikuru?) is a novel by Haruki Murakami. The first published translation was by Alfred Birnbaum. The American translation and its British ad...


  25. 225 . Macbeth by William Shakespeare

    Image of Macbeth

    The Tragedy of Macbeth, commonly just Macbeth, is a play by William Shakespeare about a regicide and its aftermath. It is Shakespeare's shortest tragedy and is believed to have been written sometim...


  26. 226 . Stories of Guy de Maupassant by Guy de Maupassant

    Image of Stories of Guy de Maupassant

    Guy de Maupassant was a master of the short story. This collection displays his lively diversity, with tales that vary in theme and tone, ranging from tragedy and satire to comedy and farce. In a l...

    - Google

  27. 227 . Finnegans Wake by James Joyce

    Image of Finnegans Wake

    Having done the longest day in literature with his monumental Ulysses (1922), James Joyce set himself an even greater challenge for his next book — the night. "A nocturnal state.... That is what I ...


  28. 228 . A House for Mr. Biswas by V.S. Naipaul

    Image of A House for Mr. Biswas

    It is the story of Mr Mohun Biswas, an Indo-Trinidadian who continually strives for success and mostly fails, who marries into the Tulsi family only to find himself dominated by it, and who finally...


  29. 229 . The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

    Image of The Three Musketeers

    The Three Musketeers is a novel by Alexandre Dumas, père. It recounts the adventures of a young man named d'Artagnan after he leaves home to become a guard of the musketeers. D'Artagnan is not one ...


  30. 230 . The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen

    Image of The Corrections

    The Corrections is a 2001 novel by American author Jonathan Franzen. It revolves around the troubles of an elderly Midwestern couple and their three adult children, tracing their lives from the mid...


  31. 231 . Bérénice by Jean Racine

    Image of Bérénice

    Bérénice is a five-act tragedy by the French 17th-century playwright Jean Racine. Bérénice was not played often between the 17th and the 20th centuries. Today it is one of Racine's more popular pla...


  32. 232 . Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar

    Image of Memoirs of Hadrian

    Memoirs of Hadrian is a novel by the French writer Marguerite Yourcenar about the life and death of Roman Emperor Hadrian. The book was first published in France in French in 1951 as Mémoires d'Had...


  33. 233 . The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens

    Image of The Pickwick Papers

    Written for publication as a serial, The Pickwick Papers is a sequence of loosely-related adventures. The novel's main character, Mr. Samuel Pickwick, Esquire, is a kind and wealthy old gentleman, ...


  34. 234 . The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

    Image of The Red Badge of Courage

    The Red Badge of Courage is an 1895 war novel by American author Stephen Crane. It is considered one of the most influential works in American literature. The novel, a depiction on the cruelty of t...


  35. 235 . Possession by A.S. Byatt

    Image of Possession

    Part historical as well as contemporary fiction, the title Possession refers to issues of ownership and independence between lovers, the practice of collecting historically significant cultural art...


  36. 236 . The Princess of Cleves by Madame de La Fayette

    Image of The Princess of Cleves

    La Princesse de Clèves is a French novel, regarded by many as the beginning of the modern tradition of the psychological novel, and as a great classic work. Its author is generally held to be Madam...


  37. 237 . Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

    Image of Love in the Time of Cholera

    Love in the Time of Cholera is a novel by Nobel Prize winning Colombian author Gabriel García Márquez that was first published in Spanish in 1985, with an English translation released in 1988 by Al...


  38. 238 . Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

    Image of Fahrenheit 451

    A totalitarian regime has ordered all books to be destroyed, but one of the book burners suddenly realizes their merit

    - Google

  39. 239 . The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

    Image of The House of Mirth

    From the esteemed author of The Age of Innocence--a black comedy about vast wealth and a woman who can define herself only through the perceptions of others. Lily Bart's quest to find a husband who...


  40. 240 . 2666 by Roberto Bolano

    Image of 2666

    2666 (2004) is the last novel written by Chilean-born novelist Roberto Bolaño. Depicting the unsolved and ongoing serial murders of Ciudad Juárez (Santa Teresa in the novel), the Eastern Front in W...


  41. 241 . Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

    Image of Atlas Shrugged

    Ayn Rand's epochal novel, first published in 1957, has been a bestseller for more than four decades as well as an intellectual landmark. It is the story of a man who said that he would stop the mot...


  42. 242 . Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas by Dylan Thomas

    Image of Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas

    Dylan Marlais Thomas (27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953) was a Welsh poet and writer whose works include the poems "Do not go gentle into that good night" and "And death shall have no dominion", th...

    - Google

  43. 243 . De Rerum Natura by Lucretius

    Image of De Rerum Natura

    De rerum natura is a first century BC epic poem by the Roman poet and philosopher Lucretius with the goal of explaining Epicurean philosophy to a Roman audience. The poem, written in dactylic hexam...


  44. 244 . If on a Winter's Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino

    Image of If on a Winter's Night a Traveller

    Calvino's anti-novel is about the efforts of his two characters — a man called only The Reader, and the Other Reader, a woman named Ludmilla — to read ten very different novels. They are never able...


  45. 245 . The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

    Image of The House of the Spirits

    The House of the Spirits (La casa de los espíritus, 1982) is the debut novel by Isabel Allende. Initially, the novel was rejected by several Spanish-language publishers, but became an instant best ...


  46. 246 . Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford

    Image of Parade's End

    In creating his acclaimed masterpiece Parade's End, Ford Madox Ford "wanted the Novelist in fact to appear in his really proud position as historian of his own time . . . The 'subject' was the worl...


  47. 247 . The Bacchae by Euripides

    Image of The Bacchae

    Electra or Elektra (Ancient Greek: Ἠλέκτρα, Ēlektra) is a Greek tragedy by Sophocles. Its date is not known, but various stylistic similarities with the Philoctetes (409 BC) and the Oedipus at Colo...


  48. 248 . The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa

    Image of The Book of Disquiet

    The Book Of Disquietude or The Book of Disquiet (Livro do Desassossego in Portuguese), published posthumously, is one of the greatest works by Fernando Pessoa. It is signed under the semi-heteronym...


  49. 249 . The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

    Image of The Big Sleep

    The Big Sleep (1939) is a crime novel by Raymond Chandler, the first in his acclaimed series about hardboiled detective Philip Marlowe. The work has been adapted twice into film, once in 1946 and a...


  50. 250 . Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone by J. K. Rowling

    Image of Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone

    Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is the first novel in the Harry Potter series written by J. K. Rowling and featuring Harry Potter, a young wizard. It describes how Harry discovers he is a ...


How is this list generated?


This list is generated from 116 "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.

If you have any comments, suggestions, or corrections please feel free to e-mail me.

The Lists

If you're interested in the details about how the rankings are generated and which lists are the most important(in my eyes) please check out the list details page.


  1. 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 literature.” Among the authors polled were Milan Kundera, Doris Lessing, Seamus Heaney, Salman Rushdie, Wole Soyinka, John Irving, Nadine Gordimer, and Carlos Fuentes. The list of 100 works appears alphabetically by author. Although the books were not ranked, the editors revealed that Don Quixote received 50% more votes than any other book.

    Norwegian Book Clubs, with the Norwegian Nobel Institute
  2. 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
  3. Biblioteca

    38 Argentinean Authors were polled by the Argentinean government for their favorite books. This is a tally of all books with more than 1 vote.

    Argentina
  4. El Pais Favorite Books of 100 Spanish Authors

    El Pais ran A Poll of 100 Spanish Authors and Their Favorite Books. This is summary of all the books

    El Pais
  5. For The Love of Books

    Ronald Schwartz polled 115 major writers about their favorite books, and published each of their ballots in the book “For the Love of Books”.

    For The Love of Books
  6. Pour une Bibliothèque Idéale

    "In the early 1950s Raymond Queneau asked several dozen French authors and critics to list the hundred books they would choose if they had to limit themselves to that number. He reproduced all their responses in the book Pour une Bibliothèque Idéale (Gallimard, 1956), along with the overall top 100 list reproduced above."

    Raymond Queneau
  7. The 25 Favorite Books of 100 Francophone Writers

    Télérama, a weekly French magazine, asked 100s of french authors to list their top 10 favorite books of all time.

    Telerama
  8. The Ideal Library

    100 prominent cultural figures, mostly writers, were polled for their choice of an "ideal library". The following list is a tally of every book that received at least 2 votes.

    Book
  9. 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)
  10. 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
  11. The 100 Greatest British Novels

    BBC Culture polled book critics outside the UK, to give an outsider’s perspective on the best in British literature.

    BBC
  12. 100 Life-Changing Books

    National Book Award-winning authors got together to select what was, in their opinions, 100 life-changing books.

    National Book Award
  13. Finest Works of Fiction

    In Novels and Novelists, A Guide to the World of Fiction (1980) Seymour-Smith and the other contributors selected about 55 works of fiction as receiving full marks on the four criteria used for evaluation: Readability, Characterization, Plot, and Literary Merit. These represent, for the contributors, the finest works of fiction that have been written.

    Martin Seymour-Smith and Editors
  14. Koen Book Distributors Top 100 Books of the Past Century

    Intended as a companion to the infamous Modern Library ranking of the top 100 books of the past century, this list represents a different viewpoint--that of the booksellers themselves. Compiled from the responses of over 150 Koen Book Distributors customers, the following titles represent the very best in modern literature.

    themodernnovel.com
  15. 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." All the books are non-fiction. The first 5 are ranked, the rest are alphabetical.

    Intercollegiate Studies Institute
  16. The Celebrity Reading List

    The Gardiner Public Library, from 1988 to 2007, polled various famous figures from all around the world (writers, artists, filmmakers, politicians, actors, etc.) to ask for their book recommendations. This list is based on the books that received at least two mentions.

    Gardiner Public Library
  17. The New Lifetime Reading Plan

    Clifton Paul "Kip" Fadiman (May 15, 1904 – June 20, 1999) was an American intellectual, author, editor, radio and television personality. The New Lifetime Reading Plan provides readers with brief, informative and entertaining introductions to more than 130 classics of world literature. From Homer to Hawthorne, Plato to Pascal, and Shakespeare to Solzhenitsyn, the great writers of Western civilization can be found in its pages. In addition, this new edition offers a much broader representation of women authors, such as Charlotte Bront%, Emily Dickinson and Edith Wharton, as well as non-Western writers such as Confucius, Sun-Tzu, Chinua Achebe, Mishima Yukio and many others. This fourth edition also features a simpler format that arranges the works chronologically in five sections (The Ancient World; 300-1600; 1600-1800; and The 20th Century), making them easier to look up than ever before. It deserves a place in the libraries of all lovers of literature.

    The New Lifetime Reading Plan
  18. Recommended Books

    "Discover which books made a difference in the early lives of the most eminent achievers of our times."

    Academy of Achievement
  19. The 16 Greatest Books of All Time

    Two book editors for the nyulocal.com present their list of the 16 greatest books of all time, with a list of runner-ups as well.

    NYU Local
  20. Great Books

    "Great Books is an hour-long documentary and biography program that aired on The Learning Channel. The series was a project co-created by Walter Cronkite and former child actor Jonathan Ward under a deal they had with their company Cronkite-Ward, the The Discovery Channel, and The Learning Channel. Premiering on September 8, 1993, to coincide with International Literacy Day, the series took in-depth looks into some of literature's greatest fictional and nonfictional books and the authors who created them. The series is mostly narrated by Donald Sutherland." - Wikipedia

    The Learning Channel
  21. "Our Readable Century", The Best Books of the 20th Century

    Literary publication January Magazine polled writers for their favorite works of 2oth century fiction. These were the most mentioned books.

    January Magazine
  22. The Bigger Read List

    The English PEN staff compiled a list of the best works not written in the English language. This list combines their list with the suggestions made by Fred Armentrout, President of Hong Kong (English-Speaking) PEN.

    English PEN
  23. 25 acclaimed international writers choose 25 of the best books from the last 25 years

    The 25 books were chosen by 25 respected names in international writing, many of whom have contributed over the years to Wasafiri magazine, including Indra Sinha, Blake Morrison and Fred D’Aguiar. Note: I don't think the voters understood "the last 25 years" bit. There are many books that are much much older.

    Wasafiri Magazine
  24. "Best Foreign Work of Fiction"

    The French literary magazine Transfuge asked a group of francophone writers to pick their best foreign work of fiction. These are the results.

    Transfuge
  25. Best German Novels of the Twentieth Century

    The Best German Novels of the Twentieth Century is a list of books compiled in 1999 by Literaturhaus München and Bertelsmann, in which 99 prominent German authors, literary critics, and scholars of German ranked the most significant German-language novels of the twentieth century. The group brought together 33 experts from each of the three categories. Each was allowed to name three books as having been the most important of the century.

    Wikipedia
  26. The 100 Greatest Books Ever Written

    Easton Press's selection of the greatest books of the Western Canon.

    Easton Press
  27. The Modern Library | 100 Best Nonfiction

    The Modern Library
  28. The Modern Library | 100 Best Novels

    Modern Library
  29. Världsbiblioteket (The World Library)

    Världsbiblioteket (The World Library) was a Swedish list of the 100 best books in the world, made in 1991 by the Swedish literary magazine Tidningen Boken. The list was compiled through votes from members of the Svenska Akademien, Swedish Crime Writers' Academy, librarian, authors and others. Approximately 30 of the books were Swedish.

    Tidningen Boken
  30. ZEIT-Bibliothek der 100 Bücher

    Die Zeit
  31. 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime

    Amazon UK editors select 100 books that they deem "essential".

    Amazon.com (UK)
  32. 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime

    A bucket list of books to create a well-read life, from Amazon Book Editors.

    Amazon.com (USA)
  33. 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
  34. 48 Good Books

    Recommended literature by the Undergraduate Academies and Libraries of the University of Buffalo.

    University of Buffalo
  35. Select 100

    "This list was compiled by tabulating nominations by UWM faculty, staff and students for the Select 100. It includes changes which have resulted from nominations received since the original list was released. We asked you to recommend books which you have found to be so useful and important that no one could consider himself/herself an educated or enlightened person without having read them. This is your cumulative response."

    University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  36. The Greatest 20th Century Novels

    Waterstone’s 1999 poll of the greatest 20th century novels, according to British writers. This appeared to be the result of muddle in the way questions were put to and answered by the 47 authors, critics and media personalities who voted in the poll.

    Waterstone
  37. Top 100 World Literature Titles

    The top 100 titles for the world literature classroom, ranked in order of popularity, chosen by literature teachers from across the country.

    Perfection Learning
  38. 100 Best Books

    Michael Sexson, English teacher at Montana State University, in 2000 had his class of 45 students compose a list of the 100 greatest works of literature ever written, in their collective opinions.

    Montana State University
  39. The 100 Favorite Novels of Librarians

    Based on a survey of Librarians conducted by Brodart Co., September, 1998 - March, 1999. Brodart is an international company that services libraries around the world.

    Bookman.com
  40. The 21st Century's 12 Greatest Novels

    The BBC polled a number of book critics to determine the greatest novels of the current century so far.

    BBC Poll
  41. The Great American Read

    PBS and the producers worked with the public opinion polling service “YouGov” to conduct a demographically and statistically representative survey asking Americans to name their most-loved novel. Approximately 7,200 people participated. The results were tallied and organized based on our selection criteria and overseen by an advisory panel of 13 literary industry professionals. The criteria for inclusion on the top 100 list were as follows: Each author was limited to one title on the list (to keep the list varied). Books published in series or featuring ongoing characters counted as one eligible entry on the list (e.g. the Harry Potter series or Lord of the Rings)to increase variety. Books could be from anywhere in the world as long as they were published in English. Only fiction could be included in the poll. Each advisory panel member was permitted to select one book for discussion and possible inclusion on the top 100 list from the longer list of survey results.

    PBS
  42. The Millions: The Best Fiction of the Millennium

    A poll of The Millions contributors and 48 of their favorite writers, editors, and critics, asking a single question: “What are the best books of fiction of the millennium(2000), so far?” The results were robust, diverse, and surprising.

    The Millions
  43. 50 Books That Changed the World

    "For centuries, books have been written in an attempt to share knowledge, inspiration, and discoveries. Sometimes those books make such an impact that they change the way the world thinks about things. The following books have done just that by providing readers an education in politics and government, literature, society, academic subjects such as science and math, and religion."

    Open Education Database
  44. 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
  45. Books That Changed the World: The 50 Most Influential Books in Human History

    A 208 page book written in 2009 by Journalist and Author Andrew Taylor. Books from every field of human creativity and intellectual endeavor - from poetry to politics, from fiction to philosophy, from theology to anthropology, and from economics to physics – have been selected to create a rounded and satisfying picture of how 50 towering achievements of the human intellect have built our societies, shaped our values, enhanced our understanding of the nature of the world, enabled technological advancements, and reflected our concerns and dilemmas, strengths and failings. In a series of engaging and lively essays, Andrew Taylor sets each work and its author firmly in historical context, summarizes the content of the work in question, and explores its wider influence and legacy. A fascinating and richly informative read.

    Book
  46. Great Books

    A short list of essential works of the Western Canon, as selected scholar Anthony O'Hear.

    Anthony O'Hear
  47. How to Read and Why

    Information is endlessly available to us; where shall wisdom be found?" is the crucial question with which renowned literary critic Harold Bloom begins this impassioned book on the pleasures and benefits of reading well. For more than forty years, Bloom has transformed college students into lifelong readers with his unrivaled love for literature. Now, at a time when faster and easier electronic media threatens to eclipse the practice of reading, Bloom draws on his experience as critic, teacher, and prolific reader to plumb the great books for their sustaining wisdom. - Amazon

    Harold Bloom
  48. How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A Reading List

    English professor Thomas C. Foster, at the end of his book, includes a recommended "reading list".

    Thomas C. Foster
  49. Masterpieces of World Literature

    Scholar Frank N. Magill’s famous literary studies reference book. A selection of over 200 of the greatest works of literature of all time

    Frank N. Magill
  50. Radcliffe's 100 Best Novels

    Radcliffe Publishing Course
  51. The 100 Best Books in the World

    German bookseller website AbeBooks.de makes their selection for the "100 greatest books ever written".

    AbeBooks.de (in German)
  52. The Great Books Reader

    "In this volume you will be guided by esteemed professors and writers who have selected excerpts from the most important books in Western Civilization. A brief essay illuminates each excerpt and puts the work in context. Take your education to the next level by letting some of the best thinkers of today walk you through the most influential books in history."

    Book
  53. Third World Novels… The Top 10

    There are many gifted Third World writers who can help you transcend barriers of language and tradition but you might find it difficult to know where to start. As a guide, the NI has chosen its ten best novels - the ones which are both enjoyable to read and give a vivid impression of life in developing countries. They are not listed in any significant order.

    New Internationalist
  54. 100 Essential Books

    The Brazilian cultural magazine Bravo! selects 100 essential books.

    Bravo! Magazine
  55. Best Books Ever

    "Whatever it's called we love a list of what we think are the best books of all time so we've compiled an entirely arbitrary and personal selection of 100 titles below for you to disagree with."

    bookdepository.com
  56. The best books in Spanish for the last 25 years

    50 critics, writers and booksellers from both sides of the Atlantic choose the milestones of the last quarter century.

    El Pais
  57. The Best Classics

    The Times selection of the 100 best classic works of literature.

    The Times
  58. The College Board: 101 Great Books Recommended for College-Bound Readers

    The 101 great books recommended by "The College Board", an American not-for-profit organization that was formed in December 1899 as the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB) to expand access to higher education.

    http://www.uhlibrary.net/pdf/college_board_recommended_books.pdf
  59. 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
  60. 50 Books to Read Before You Die

    Complex Magazine's selection of 50 must-read books.

    Complex
  61. Books That Changed the World

    Scholar Robert B. Downs selects the "great works that revolutionized our ideas about the universe - and ourselves".

    Book
  62. From Zero to Well-Read in 100 Books

    100 books that, in the opinion of Bookriot.com editor-in-chief Jeff O'Neal, one should read before deeming themselves "well-read".

    Jeff O'Neal at Bookriot.com
  63. In Which These Are the 100 Greatest Novels

    ThisRecording.com Editor Alex Carnevale selects his choices for the "100 Greatest Novels of All Time".

    ThisRecording.com
  64. 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 citizen of either the Commonwealth of Nations, Ireland, or Zimbabwe.[1] The winner of the Booker Prize is generally assured of international renown and success and, for this reason, the prize is of great significance for the book trade.[2] It is also a mark of distinction for authors to be nominated for the Booker longlist or selected for inclusion in the shortlist.

    Man Booker Prize
  65. 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 prior year, as well as lifetime achievement awards including the "Medal of Distinguished Contribution to American Letters" and the "Literarian Award". The purpose of the awards is "to celebrate the best of American literature, to expand its audience, and to enhance the cultural value of good writing in America.

    National Book Foundation
  66. 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 prior year, as well as lifetime achievement awards including the "Medal of Distinguished Contribution to American Letters" and the "Literarian Award". The purpose of the awards is "to celebrate the best of American literature, to expand its audience, and to enhance the cultural value of good writing in America.

    National Book Foundation
  67. 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
  68. 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
  69. 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 runners-up receives US $5000. The foundation brings the winner and runners-up to Washington, D.C. to read from their works at the Great Hall of the Folger Shakespeare Library. The PEN/Faulkner Foundation is an outgrowth of William Faulkner's generosity in donating his 1949 Nobel Prize winnings, "to establish a fund to support and encourage new fiction writers." Mary Lee Settle was also one of the founders after controversy at the 1979 National Book Award.[1] It is affiliated with the writers' organization International PEN. The award was first given in 1980.

    PEN/Faulkner
  70. 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
  71. Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

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

    Pulitzer Prize
  72. 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 Non-Fiction and Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography. Two people have won the Pulitzer Prize for History twice; Margaret Leech, for Reveille in Washington, 1860-1865 in 1941 and In the Days of McKinley in 1960, and Bernard Bailyn, for The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (1968) and Voyagers to the West: A Passage in the Peopling of America on the Eve of the Revolution (1987).

    Pulitzer Prize
  73. 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
  74. The 100 Greatest Novels

    Critic Ted Gioia's selection of the 100 greatest novels ever written.

    greatbooksguide.com
  75. The 100 Greatest Novels of All Time: The List

    The list of essential fiction from the past 300 years from Robert McCrum of The Observer.

    The Observer
  76. 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, critic, and biographer.

    Martin Seymour-Smith
  77. 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
  78. The Greatest Novel of All Time

    Author William Faulkner named Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina" as the single greatest novel of all time.

    William Faulkner
  79. 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
  80. 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
  81. W. Somerset Maugham’s Ten Greatest Novels of All Time

    Maugham's studies of the lives and masterpieces of ten great novelists are outstanding examples of literary criticism at its finest. Afforded here are some of the formulae of greatness in the genre, as well as the flaws and heresies which enfeeble it. Written by a master of fiction, "Ten Novels and Their Authors" is a unique and invaluable guide.

    Great Novelists and Their Novels
  82. 100 Best Novels in English Since 1900

    Jeffrey St. Clair and Alexander Cockburn's favorite novels since 1900.

    Counterpunch
  83. 50 Books to (Re-)Read at 50

    Your essential short list of novels, nonfiction and biographies Got some time on your hands? This list of 50 great books is a good way to raise your literary IQ. It's by no means the "definitive" list, but each of these masterpieces is at least as relevant and powerful today as when it was written. And they're all still terrific reads.

    nextavenue
  84. Donald Barthelme’s Reading List

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

    Believer Mag
  85. Harvard Book Store Staff's Favorite 100 Books

    In early 2010 Harvard Book Store employees worked together to come up with a list of our favorite books. Each staff member submitted a list of their favorite books of all time, in (rough) order of preference. Their selections were then weighted according to the order and the results were tabulated. It was by no means a perfect system, but it was the best way we could think of to quantify opinions that are in no way quantifiable. Now, we read a lot, so it was hard to narrow it down. What we came up with are the books that moved us, that changed the way we think about the world, and that we will happily read over and over again. We hope you enjoy them too.

    Harvard Book Store
  86. The 80 Books Every Man Should Read

    An unranked, incomplete, utterly biased list of the greatest works of literature ever published.

    Esquire
  87. The Graphic Canon

    The classic canon of Western civilization meets the artists and illustrators who have remade reading in the last years of the twentieth century and the first decade of the twenty-first century in Russ Kick's magisterial, three-volume, full-color The Graphic Canon, volumes 1, 2, and 3. - Amazon

    Book
  88. The Telegraph’s 100 Novels Everyone Should Read

    The best novels of all time from Tolkien to Proust and Middlemarch

    Telegraph
  89. 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
  90. 100 Best Novels Written in English

    Respected literary critic Robert McCrum selects the definitive 100 novels written in English.

    The Guardian
  91. 100 Major Works of Modern Creative Nonfiction

    Essays, memoirs, autobiographies, biographies, travel writing, history, cultural studies, nature writing--all fit under the broad heading of creative nonfiction, and all are represented here: a list of 100 major works of creative nonfiction published by British and American writers over the past 80 years.

    About.com
  92. 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
  93. 20th Century's Greatest Hits: 100 English-Language Books of Fiction

    The 20th Century’s Greatest Hits: 100 English-Language Books of Fiction is a popular "best of" list compiled by Larry McCaffery largely in response to Modern Library 100 Best Novels list (1999), which McCaffery saw as being out of touch with 20th-century fiction. McCaffery writes that he sees his list "as a means of sharing with readers my own views about what books are going to be read 100 or 1000 years from now".

    Larry McCaffery
  94. 50 Books to Read Before You Die

    Barnes and Noble's selection of the 50 most essential books.

    Barnes and Noble
  95. 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. Chosen by a group of librarians who are specialists in their genres, these outstanding works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry provide an informative or transformative reading experience, and are chosen for their literary excellence, uniqueness of concept and command of subject matter.

    The New York Public Library
  96. Books of the Decade

    The 50 books that defined the decade(2000)

    The Guardian
  97. 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 Coffee, a subsidiary of Whitbread, took over sponsorship. The awards, launched in 1971, are given both for high literary merit but also for works that are enjoyable reading and whose aim is to convey the enjoyment of reading to the widest possible audience. As such, they are a more populist literary prize than the Booker Prize.

    Costa Coffee
  98. D. G. Myers’ 50 Greatest English Language Novels

    D. G. Myers’, critic and literary historian’s 50 Greatest English Language Novels. A critic and literary historian for nearly a quarter of a century at Texas A&M and Ohio State.

    D. G. Myers
  99. Entertainment Weekly's Top 100 Novels

    Entertainment Weekly’s Top 100 Novels (2013), as selected by the EW staff in its July 5th 2013 issue

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

    The 100 greatest adventure books chosen by National Geographic.

    National Geographic Adventure Magazine
  101. Greatest Prose Works of the 20th Century

    Author Vladimir Nabokov's selection of the Top 4 greatest prose works of the 20th century.

    Vladimir Nabokov
  102. Le Monde's 100 Books of the Century

    The 100 Books of the Century (French: Les cent livres du siècle) is a list of the one hundred best books of the 20th century, according to a poll conducted in the spring of 1999 by the French retailer Fnac and the Paris newspaper Le Monde. Starting from a preliminary list of 200 titles created by bookshops and journalists, 17,000 French voted by responding to the question, "Which books have stayed in your memory?" (« Quels livres sont restés dans votre mémoire ? »). The list of acclaimed titles mixes great novels with poetry and theatre, as well as the comic strip. The first fifty works on the list were the subject of an essay by Frédéric Beigbeder, The Last Inventory Before Liquidation, in which he notably drew attention to its French-centred character.

    Le Monde
  103. Modern classics: 11 novels that belong in the classroom

    When we think of English lit classes, we usually think of Hawthorne, Melville, Austen, Tolstoy, Dickens. But the times, they are a-changin’ and so too are the books we read, both in and out of the classroom. Since the millennium, a lot of good—nay, great—books have been published by masterful authors, all of whom are deserving of a spot on a high school or college curriculum. And as evidenced by these 11 novels, whoever said there were no new ideas didn’t know what they were talking about.

    Today.com
  104. 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
  105. Robert McCrum's top 10 books of the twentieth century

    Robert McCrum is The Observer's literary editor and the author of, among other books, My Year Off. This is a list of this top 10 books of the twentieth century.

    The Guardian
  106. 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
  107. The 100 Greatest American Novels, 1893 – 1993

    The 100 greatest american novels picked by Jeff O’Neal, Editor-in-Chief & Co-founder of Bookriot.com

    Jeff O'Neal at Bookriot.com
  108. The 10 Best of the Decade(2000)

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

    Entertainment Weekly
  109. The 50 Books Everyone Needs to Read, 1963-2013

    The choices here are influenced by the following: the stipulation that any specific author should not be chosen for more than one year, a general focus on fiction over other genres, and the tastes/whims/glaring prejudices of Flavorwire’s literary editor.

    Flavor Wire
  110. The 75 Best Books of the Past 75 Years

    A list of voted on by 17 employees(book sellers) at Parnassus Books in Nashville, TN for Parade Magazine.

    Parade Magazine
  111. 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
  112. 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
  113. The Book of Great Books: A Guide to 100 World Classics

    Editor W. John Campbell provides explanations and summaries for 100 of the world's best books.

    Book
  114. The Dream of the Great American Novel

    Writer Lawrence Buell discusses the primary contenders for the title of the "Great American Novel".

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

    Entertainment Weekly's list of the 100 best reads from 1983 to 2008.

    Entertainment Weekly
  116. Waterstone's Books of the Century

    Waterstones is a bookstore chain with more than 200 stores in the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland and Europe. In January 1997, Waterstones announced the results of its Books of the Century poll to find out what the public considered to be the hundred greatest books of the twentieth century. Over 25, 000 people took part in the poll and the Book of the Century was revealed as J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.

    LibraryThing