The Greatest Books of All Time


How is this list generated?


This list is generated from 130 "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'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.

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


  1. 2301 . The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

    First published in 1959, Shirley Jackson's The Haunting of Hill House has been hailed as a perfect work of unnerving terror. It is the story of four seekers who arrive at a notoriously unfriendly p...

    - Google
  2. 2302 . On Beauty by Zadie Smith

    On Beauty is a 2005 novel by British author Zadie Smith. It takes its title from an essay by Elaine Scarry (On Beauty and Being Just). The story follows the lives of a mixed-race British/American f...

  3. 2303 . Books of Blood by Clive Barker

    Five stories deal with an ax murderer, a race with death, a telekinetic killer, a terrifying demon, and a murderous ape.

    - Google
  4. 2304 . I Am Legend by Richard Matheson

    Robert Neville has witnessed the end of the world. The entire population has been obliterated by a vampire virus. Somehow, Neville survived. He must now struggle to make sense of everything that ha...

    - Google
  5. 2305 . Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

    Fates and Furies is a 2015 novel by American author Lauren Groff. It is Groff's third novel and fourth book. The book takes place in New York and examines how the different people in a relationship...

  6. 2306 . Tales of H. P. Lovecraft by H. P. Lovecraft

    When he died in 1937, destitute and emotionally as well as physically ruined, H. P. Lovecraft had no idea that he would one day be celebrated as the godfather of modern horror. A dark visionary, hi...

    - Google
  7. 2307 . Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel

    Station Eleven is a 2014 novel by Emily St. John Mandel. It is Mandel's fourth novel. The novel takes place in the Great Lakes region after a fictional swine flu pandemic, known as the "Georgia Flu...

  8. 2308 . The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

    The Silence of the Girls is a 2018 novel by English novelist Pat Barker. It recounts the events of the Iliad, chiefly from the point of view of Briseis.

  9. 2309 . Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk

    Haunted is a novel made up of stories: twenty-three of the most horrifying, hilarious, mind-blowing, stomach-churning tales you'll ever encounter. They are told by the people who have all answered ...

    - Google
  10. 2310 . Going Native by Stephen Wright

    This extraordinary work that was met with both critical and popular acclaim in hardcover reads like a frightening, resonant nineties version of Jack Kerouac'sOn The Road. Author Stephen Wright ...

  11. 2311 . The Constant Gardener by John le Carré

    The Constant Gardener is a 2001 novel by British author John le Carré. The novel tells the story of Justin Quayle, a British diplomat whose activist wife is murdered. Believing there is something b...

  12. 2312 . The Stories of Ray Bradbury by Ray Bradbury

    A volume of 100 top-selected stories by the iconic writer includes Martian tales, pieces inspired by life in Mexico and offbeat reminiscences of a childhood in Green Town, Illinois. By the National...

    - Google
  13. 2313 . The Infatuations by Javier Marías

    The Infatuations (Spanish: Los enamoramientos) is a National Novel Prize-winning novel by Javier Marías, published in 2011. The translation into English by Margaret Jull Costa was published by Hami...

  14. 2314 . Notes on a Scandal by Zoë Heller

    Notes on a Scandal (What Was She Thinking? Notes on a Scandal in the U.S.) is a 2003 novel by Zoë Heller. It is about a female teacher at a London comprehensive school who begins an affair with an...

  15. 2315 . Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

    Exit West is a 2017 novel by Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid. It is Hamid's fourth novel. The main themes of the novel are emigration and refugee problems.The novel is about a young couple, Saeed and...

  16. 2316 . Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk

    Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead (Polish: Prowadź swój pług przez kości umarłych) is a 2009 novel by Olga Tokarczuk. Originally published in Polish by Wydawnictwo Literackie, it was later...

  17. 2317 . Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera

    Signs Preceding the End of the World is one of the most arresting novels to be published in Spanish in the last ten years. Yuri Herrera does not simply write about the border between Mexico and the...

    - Google
  18. 2318 . The Electric Michelangelo by Sarah Hall

    On the windswept front of Morecambe Bay, Cy Parks spends his childhood years first in a guest house for consumptives run by his mother and then as apprentice to alcoholic tattoo-artist Eliot Riley....

    - Google
  19. 2319 . Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang

    Stories of Your Life and Others is a collection of short stories by American writer Ted Chiang originally published in 2002 by Tor Books. It collects Chiang's first eight stories. All of the storie...

  20. 2320 . Ghostwritten by David Mitchell

    An apocalyptic cult member carries out a gas attack on a rush-hour metro, but what links him to a jazz buff in downtown Tokyo? Or to a Mongolian gangster, a woman on a holy mountain who talks to a ...

    - Google
  21. 2321 . Harvest by Jim Crace

    Harvest is a novel by Jim Crace. Crace has stated that Harvest would be his final novel.Harvest was shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize, shortlisted for the inaugural Goldsmiths Prize, short...

  22. 2322 . Coraline by Neil Gaiman

    Coraline is a dark fantasy children's novella by British author Neil Gaiman, published in 2002 by Bloomsbury and Harper Collins. It was awarded the 2003 Hugo Award for Best Novella, the 2003 Nebula...

  23. 2323 . Sixty Stories by Donald Barthelme

    Presents a collection of sixty short stories by twentieth-century American author Donald Barthelme.

    - Google
  24. 2324 . Selected Stories of Philip K. Dick by Philip K. Dick

    Selected Stories of Philip K. Dick contains twenty-one of Dick’s most dazzling and resonant stories, which span his entire career and show a world-class writer working at the peak of his powers. In...

    - Google
  25. 2325 . Case Histories by Kate Atkinson

    a breathtaking story of families divided, love lost and found, and the mysteries of fate.

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  26. 2326 . That They May Face the Rising Sun by John McGahern

    Joe and Kate Ruttledge, have come to rural Ireland from London in search of a different life. In passages of beauty and truth, the drama of a year in their lives and those of the memorable characte...

  27. 2327 . Visitation by Jenny Erpenbeck

    A bestseller in Germany, Visitation has established Jenny Erpenbeck as one of Europe’s most significant contemporary authors. A house on the forested bank of a Brandenburg lake outside Berlin (once...

    - Google
  28. 2328 . Light by M. John Harrison

    The stories of three people--modern-day Michael Kearney who plays a part in a discovery that will make interstellar travel possible; Seria Mau Genlicher, a spaceship pilot modified to interact dire...

    - Google
  29. 2329 . The Siege by Helen Dunmore

    The Siege is a historical novel by the English writer Helen Dunmore. It is set in Leningrad just before and during the Siege of Leningrad by German forces in World War II.

  30. 2330 . The Accidental by Ali Smith

    The Accidental is a 2005 novel by Scottish author Ali Smith. It follows a middle-class English family who are visited by an uninvited guest, Amber, while they are on holiday in a small village in N...

  31. 2331 . Darkmans by Nicola Barker

    Darkmans is a novel by Nicola Barker written in 2007. The 838 page book takes place in Ashford, in Kent and focuses on a father-son pair named Daniel and Kane Beede. The book was a finalist for the...

  32. 2332 . A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

    A Little Life is a 2015 novel by American novelist Hanya Yanagihara. The novel was written over the course of eighteen months. Despite the length and difficult subject matter it became a bestseller.

  33. 2333 . Broken Glass by Alain Mabanckou

    "A man sits in a bar, ruminating on his own failures and conversing with an ensemble of memorable characters that pass in and out of the same space. It’s archetypal stuff, but Mabanckou transforms ...

    - Google
  34. 2334 . No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy

    Llewelyn Moss, hunting antelope near the Rio Grande, stumbles upon a transaction gone horribly wrong. Finding bullet-ridden bodies, several kilos of heroin, and a caseload of cash, he faces a choic...

    - Google
  35. 2335 . The Statement by Brian Moore

    The hunt is on for an elusive Nazi war criminal in this “absorbing intellectual thriller that keeps you guessing . . . until the final page” (The New York Times). For four decades Pierre Brossard h...

    - Google
  36. 2336 . Splendors and Miseries of Courtesans by Honore De Balzac

    Honoré de Balzac's Splendeurs et misères des courtisanes, translated either as The Splendors and Miseries of Courtesans or as A Harlot High and Low, was published in four parts from 1838-1847. It c...

    - Google
  37. 2337 . Where I'm Calling From by Raymond Carver

    Where I'm Calling From is a short story and the title of a collection of thirty-seven short stories by American author Raymond Carver. This story, as well as many of his others, focuses on the effe...

  38. 2338 . Cities of the Plain by Cormac McCarthy

    Cities of the Plain is the final volume of American novelist Cormac McCarthy's "The Border Trilogy." A film adaptation to be directed by Andrew Dominik has been announced for release in 2012. The t...

  39. 2339 . The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

    "Gabriel García Márquez meets Umberto Eco meets Jorge Luis Borges for a sprawling magic show." --The New York Times Book Review A New York Times Bestseller Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in t...

    - Google
  40. 2340 . The Physicists by Friedrich Dürrenmatt

    The Physicists (German: Die Physiker) (written 1961, performed 1962, and published 1962, Verlags AG "Die Arche", Zürich, Switzerland) is a satiric drama often recognized as the most impressive yet ...

    - Google
  41. 2341 . Farewell, My Lovely: A Novel by Raymond Chandler

    Marlowe's about to give up on a completely routine case when he finds himself in the wrong place at the right time to get caught up in a murder that leads to a ring of jewel thieves, another murder...

    - Google
  42. 2342 . Castle Gripsholm by Kurt Tucholsky

    While vacationing in Sweden, Kurt and his lover, Lydia, encounter a young girl fleeing the sadistic headmistress of the local children's home and decide to help end the injustices at her orphanage.

    - Google
  43. 2343 . Success: Three Years in the Life of a Province by Lion Feuchtwanger

    Success is the title of a time novel by Lion Feuchtwanger . The subtitle is Three Years History of a Province . He was born in the years 1927-1930 and appeared in 1930. Together with the novels The...

    - Google
  44. 2344 . The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy

    The Crossing (ISBN 0-394-57475-3) is a novel by prize-winning American author Cormac McCarthy, published in 1994 by Alfred A. Knopf. The story is the second installment of McCarthy's "Border Trilogy".

  45. 2345 . The Clown by Heinrich Böll

    Through the eyes of a despairing artist, Hans Schneir, who recreates in his pantomimes incidents in people's lives with honesty and compassion, Boll draws a revealing portrait of German society und...

    - Google
  46. 2346 . Betty Blue: The Story of a Passion by Philippe Djian

    BETTY BLUE remains a cult book and film nearly twenty years since its first outing. The extraordinary story of an erotic, doomed love affair has transfixed hundreds of thousands of readers around t...

    - Google
  47. 2347 . Shadows on the Hudson: A Novel by Isaac Bashevis Singer

    Boris Makaver, a wealthy Jewish businessman living in New York City after the Holocaust, endures the tribulations of his daughter, Anna, as she makes many unfortunate decisions in her love life. 25...

    - Google
  48. 2348 . The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth

    #1 New York Times bestselling author Frederick Forsyth’s unforgettable novel of a conspiracy, a killer, and the one man who can stop him… He is known only as “The Jackal”—a cold, calculating assass...

    - Google
  49. 2349 . The Last Days of Mankind by Karl Kraus

    The Last Days of Mankind (German: Die letzten Tage der Menschheit) is a satirical play by Karl Kraus. It is considered one of the most important Kraus works. One third of the play is drawn from doc...

    - Google
  50. 2350 . Nathan the Wise by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

    An 18th-century German play about religious tolerance in a terrific new translation.

    - Google