The Greatest Books

all | 2000 | 1990 | 1980 | 1970 | 1950 | 1900 |
  1. 51 . The Complete Stories of Franz Kafka by Franz Kafka

    The Complete Stories of Franz Kafka is a compilation of all Kafka's short stories. With the exception of Kafka's three novels (The Trial, The Castle and Amerika), this collection includes all of Ka...

  2. 52 . Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

    Les Misérables is a novel by French author Victor Hugo and is widely considered one of the greatest novels of the 19th century. It follows the lives and interactions of several French characters ov...

  3. 53 . The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

    The Old Man and the Sea is one of Hemingway's most enduring works. Told in language of great simplicity and power, it is the story of an old Cuban fisherman, down on his luck, and his supreme ordea...

  4. 54 . The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

    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...

  5. 55 . The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann

    The Magic Mountain is a novel by Thomas Mann, first published in November 1924. It is widely considered to be one of the most influential works of 20th century German literature.

  6. 56 . A Passage to India by E. M. Forster

    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...

  7. 57 . Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov

    The novel is presented as a poem titled "Pale Fire" with commentary by a friend of the poet's. Together these elements form two story lines in which both authors are central characters. The int...

  8. 58 . The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    The Idiot is a novel written by the Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky and first published in 1868. It was first published serially in Russian in Russky Vestnik, St. Petersburg, 1868-1869. The Idiot...

  9. 59 . As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

    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...

  10. 60 . The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

    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'...

  11. 61 . Emma by Jane Austen

    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, ...

  12. 62 . Oedipus the King by Sophocles

    Oedipus the King is an Athenian tragedy by Sophocles that was first performed c. 429 BC. It was the second of Sophocles's three Theban plays to be produced, but it comes first in the internal chron...

  13. 63 . The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford

    Ford Madox Ford wrote The Good Soldier, the book on which his reputation most surely rests, in deliberate emulation of the nineteenth-century French novels he so admired. In this way he was able to...

  14. 64 . Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol

    Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol, Russian writer, was first published in 1842, and is one of the most prominent works of 19th-century Russian literature. Gogol himself saw it as an "epic poem in prose",...

  15. 65 . Animal Farm by George Orwell

    Animal Farm is a dystopian novella by George Orwell. Published in England on 17 August 1945, the book reflects events leading up to and during the Stalin era before World War II. Orwell, a democrat...

  16. 66 . The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

    With their astonishing diversity of tone and subject matter, The Canterbury Tales have become one of the touchstones of medieval literature. Translated here into modern English, these tales of a mo...

  17. 67 . The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe by Edgar Allan Poe

    Edgar Allan Poe (January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849) was an American writer, poet, editor and literary critic, considered part of the American Romantic Movement. Best known for his tales of mystery...

  18. 68 . For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

    It tells the story of Robert Jordan, a young American in the International Brigades attached to a communist guerilla unit during the Spanish Civil War. As an expert in the use of explosives, he is ...

  19. 69 . Under the Volcano by Malcolm Lowry

    To describe his perennial theme, Lowry once borrowed the words of the critic Edmund Wilson: "the forces in man which cause him to be terrified of himself." You see exactly what he means in this cor...

    - Time
  20. 70 . Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

    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
  21. 71 . The Castle by Franz Kafka

    The Castle is a novel by Franz Kafka. In it a protagonist, known only as K., struggles to gain access to the mysterious authorities of a castle who govern the village where he wants to work as a la...

  22. 72 . A Sentimental Education by Gustave Flaubert

    The novel describes the life of a young man (Frederic Moreau) living through the revolution of 1848 and the founding of the Second French Empire, and his love for an older woman (based on the wife ...

  23. 73 . Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray

    No one is better equipped in the struggle for wealth and worldly success than the alluring and ruthless Becky Sharp, who defies her impoverished background to clamber up the class ladder. Her senti...

  24. 74 . Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais

    The Life of Gargantua and of Pantagruel (in French, La vie de Gargantua et de Pantagruel) is a connected series of five novels written in the 16th century by François Rabelais. It is the story of t...

  25. 75 . Journey to the End of The Night by Louis-Ferdinand Céline

    Journey to the End of Night is the first novel of Louis-Ferdinand Céline. This semi-autobiographical work describes antihero Ferdinand Bardamu. His surname, Bardamu, is derived from the French word...

  26. 76 . A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

    The novel is told through the point of view of Lieutenant Frederic Henry, an American serving as an ambulance driver in the Italian army during World War I.

  27. 77 . Lord of the Flies by William Golding

    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....

  28. 78 . The Possessed by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    The Possessed is an 1872 novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Though titled The Possessed in the initial English translation, Dostoevsky scholars and later translations favour the titles The Devils or Demon...

  29. 79 . The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot

    “For many successive generations now, ‘The Waste Land,’ ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,’ and ‘Four Quartets’ have continued to excited readers and to inspire young poets. Teenagers still disc...

    - Google
  30. 80 . Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

    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...

  31. 81 . Paradise Lost by John Milton

    Paradise Lost is an epic poem in blank verse by the 17th-century English poet John Milton. It was originally published in 1667 in ten books. A second edition followed in 1674, redivided into twelve...

  32. 82 . Antigone by Sophocles

    Antigone is a tragedy by Sophocles written before or in 442 BC. Chronologically, it is the third of the three Theban plays but was written first.[1] The play expands on the Theban legend that preda...

  33. 83 . On the Road by Jack Kerouac

    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...

  34. 84 . The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

    Hester Prynne is a beautiful young woman. She is also an outcast. In the eyes of her neighbors she has committed an unforgivable sin. Everyone knows that her little daughter, Pearl, is the product ...

  35. 85 . The Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire

    Les Fleurs du mal (English: The Flowers of Evil) is a volume of French poetry by Charles Baudelaire. First published in 1857 (see 1857 in poetry), it was important in the symbolist and modernist mo...

  36. 86 . Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

    An anti-war science fiction novel by Kurt Vonnegut about World War II experiences and journeys through time of a soldier called Billy Pilgrim.

  37. 87 . The Color Purple by Alice Walker

    Taking place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on female black life during the 1930s in the Southern United States, addressing the numerous issues including their exceedingly low position ...

  38. 88 . The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

    The Metamorphosis (German: Die Verwandlung) is a novella by Franz Kafka, first published in 1915. It is often cited as one of the seminal works of short fiction of the 20th century and is widely st...

  39. 89 . Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

    A shipwreck’s sole escapee, Robinson Crusoe endures 28 years of solitude on a Caribbean island and manages not only to survive but also to prevail. A warm humanity, evocative details of his struggl...

  40. 90 . Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust is a tragic play, although more appropriately it should be defined a tragicomedy, despite the very title of the work. It was published in two parts: Faust. Der Tr...

  41. 91 . Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

    At this challenge, Mary Shelley began work on the 'ghost story' that was to evolve into the most celebrated horror novel in literary history. Frankenstein was published the next year and become the...

  42. 92 . The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

    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...

  43. 93 . Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

    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...

  44. 94 . Tom Jones by Henry Fielding

    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...

  45. 95 . Oresteia by Aeschylus

    The Oresteia is a trilogy of Greek tragedies written by Aeschylus which concerns the end of the curse on the House of Atreus. When originally performed it was accompanied by Proteus, a satyr play t...

  46. 96 . Father Goriot by Honoré de Balzac

    Le Père Goriot (English: Father Goriot or Old Goriot) is an 1835 novel by French novelist and playwright Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850), included in the Scènes de la vie privée section of his novel s...

  47. 97 . The Tin Drum by Günter Grass

    Acclaimed as the greatest German novel written since the end of World War II, The Tin Drum is the autobiography of thirty-year-old Oskar Matzerath, who has lived through the long Nazi nightmare and...

  48. 98 . Sons and Lovers by D. H. Lawrence

    Sons and Lovers is one of the landmark novels of the twentieth century. When it appeared in 1913, it was immediately recognized as the first great modern restatement of the oedipal drama, and it is...

  49. 99 . Tess of the d'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

    Violated by one man, forsaken by another, Tess Durbeyfield is the magnificent and spirited heroine of Thomas Hardy’s immortal work. Of all the great English novelists, no one writes more eloquently...

    -
  50. 100 . The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

    The Master and Margarita (Russian: Ма́стер и Маргари́та) is a novel by Mikhail Bulgakov, woven around the premise of a visit by the Devil to the fervently atheistic Soviet Union. Many critics consi...

How is this list generated?


This list is generated from 121 "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. 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die

    A book edited by Peter Boxall, and written by over 100 hundred international critics.

    The Book
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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)
  11. 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
  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 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. Recommended Books

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

    Academy of Achievement
  21. 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
  22. "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
  23. "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
  24. 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
  25. 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
  26. 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
  27. ZEIT-Bibliothek der 100 Bücher

    Die Zeit
  28. 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
  29. A Premature Attempt at the 21st Century Canon

    A panel of critics tells us what belongs on a list of the 100 most important books of the 2000s … so far.

    Vulture
  30. The 21st Century's 12 Greatest Novels

    12. Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex (2002)What are the greatest novels of the opening years of this tumultuous century? In search of a collective critical assessment, BBC Culture contributor Jane Ciabattari polled several dozen book critics, including The New York Times Book Review’s Parul Sehgal, Time magazine's book editor Lev Grossman, Newsday book editor Tom Beer, Bookslut founder Jessa Crispin, C Max Magee, founder of The Millions, Booklist's Donna Seaman, Kirkus Reviews' Laurie Muchnick and many more. We asked each to name the best novels published in English since 1 January 2000. The critics named 156 novels in all, and based on the votes these are the top 12. *Note Although it says 12, they list more

    BBC
  31. The Modern Library | 100 Best Novels

    Modern Library
  32. 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime

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

    Amazon.com (UK)
  33. 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)
  34. 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
  35. 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
  36. 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
  37. The New Vanguard

    Our critics chose 15 remarkable books by women that are shaping the way we read and write fiction in the 21st century.

    New York Times
  38. 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
  39. 48 Good Books

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

    University of Buffalo
  40. 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
  41. 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
  42. The 100 Greatest Books Ever Written

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

    Easton Press
  43. 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
  44. The Modern Library | 100 Best Nonfiction

    The Modern Library
  45. 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
  46. 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
  47. 100 Best Novels in English Since 1900

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

    Counterpunch
  48. Radcliffe's 100 Best Novels

    Radcliffe Publishing Course
  49. 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
  50. 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
  51. 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
  52. 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
  53. 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
  54. 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
  55. 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
  56. 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
  57. Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

    All the books that have won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction from 1918 to the present.

    Pulitzer Prize
  58. 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
  59. 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
  60. 100 Essential Books

    The Brazilian cultural magazine Bravo! selects 100 essential books.

    Bravo! Magazine
  61. 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
  62. 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
  63. Great Books

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

    Anthony O'Hear
  64. 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
  65. 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
  66. 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
  67. 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
  68. The 100 Greatest Novels

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

    greatbooksguide.com
  69. 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
  70. The Best Classics

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

    The Times
  71. 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
  72. 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
  73. The Greatest Novel of All Time

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

    William Faulkner
  74. 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
  75. The Telegraph’s 100 Novels Everyone Should Read

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

    Telegraph
  76. 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
  77. 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
  78. 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
  79. 50 Books to Read Before You Die

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

    Complex
  80. 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
  81. 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)
  82. 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
  83. 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
  84. 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
  85. 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
  86. 100 Best Novels Written in English

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

    The Guardian
  87. 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
  88. 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
  89. 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
  90. 25 Books to Read Before you Die: 21st Century

    It’s hard for us to believe that it’s been 17 years since we first toasted the new millennium. In January 2001, a gallon of gas cost $1.46. Facebook was three years from launching. 9/11 hadn’t happened. Huge political and cultural shifts were only months away… and some of the best books we’ve ever read were waiting in the wings. This year, for our fifth annual 25 Books to Read Before You Die list, we’ve selected novels, poetry, short stories, and nonfiction that speak to central concerns of 21st-century life: among them, race, heredity, identity, war, and the vanishing wild. From double agents to Hurricane Katrina to intergalactic travel, these 25 vastly different books create a stunning portrait of the dislocation, perseverance, and hope at the heart of life in 21st-century America.

    Powell's Books
  91. 50 Books to Read Before You Die

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

    Barnes and Noble
  92. 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
  93. 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
  94. Books of the Decade

    The 50 books that defined the decade(2000)

    The Guardian
  95. Books That Changed the World

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

    Book
  96. 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
  97. 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
  98. Donald Barthelme’s Reading List

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

    Believer Mag
  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. 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
  102. 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
  103. 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
  104. 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
  105. 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
  106. 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
  107. 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
  108. The 100 Best Nonfiction Books of All Time

    After two years of careful reading, moving backwards through time, Robert McCrum has concluded his selection of the 100 greatest nonfiction books. Take a quick look at five centuries of great writing

    The Guardian
  109. 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
  110. 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
  111. The 10 Best of the Decade(2000)

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

    Entertainment Weekly
  112. 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
  113. The 80 Books Every Man Should Read

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

    Esquire
  114. 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
  115. 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
  116. 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
  117. 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
  118. The Dream of the Great American Novel

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

    Book
  119. 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
  120. 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
  121. 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