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. 2601 . Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

    Written using a vocabulary of only 50 words, Dr. Seuss' second best selling book of all time is brought joyously to life in this colourful board book. Featuring lots of fabulous flaps and silly sti...

    - Google
  2. 2602 . An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce

    During the United States Civil War, a condemned man has many thoughts as he stands on a bridge, awaiting hanging.

    - Google
  3. 2603 . Collected Stories of Peter Taylor by Peter Taylor

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  4. 2604 . Felicia's Journey by William Trevor

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  5. 2605 . City of Glass by Paul Auster

    The first story, City of Glass, features a detective-fiction writer become private investigator who descends into madness as he becomes embroiled in a case. It explores layers of identity and reali...

  6. 2606 . The History of Mr. Polly by H. G. Wells

    The History of Mr. Polly is a 1910 comic novel by H. G. Wells. The novel's principal conflict is Mr. Polly's struggle with life, told "in the full-blooded Dickens tradition." This moral struggle is...

    - Google
  7. 2607 . Seven Gothic Tales by Karen Blixen

  8. 2608 . Hopeful Monsters by Nicholas Mosley

  9. 2609 . Airships by Barry Hannah

    Now considered a contemporary classic, Airships was honored by Esquire magazine with the Arnold Gingrich Short Fiction Award. The twenty stories in this collection are a fresh, exuberant celebratio...

    - Google
  10. 2610 . The Complete Poems of Marianne Moore by Marianne Moore

    Marianne Moore (November 15, 1887 – February 5, 1972) was a Modernist American poet and writer noted for her irony and wit.

  11. 2611 . The Chymical Wedding by Lindsay Clarke

    The Chymical Wedding is a 1989 novel by Lindsay Clarke about the intertwined lives of six people in two different eras. The book includes themes of alchemy, the occult, fate, passion, and obsession.

  12. 2612 . The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde by Audre Lorde

    Audre Geraldine Lorde (February 18, 1934 - November 17, 1992) was a Caribbean-American writer, poet and activist.

  13. 2613 . Quarantine by Jim Crace

    Quarantine is a novel by Jim Crace. It was the winner of the 1997 Whitbread Novel Award, and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction the same year.

  14. 2614 . The Destiny Waltz by Gerda Charles

  15. 2615 . Building Stories by Chris Ware

    Presents an illustrated tale, told in various books and folded sheets, about the residents in a three-story Chicago apartment building, including a lonely single woman, a couple who are growing to ...

    - Google
  16. 2616 . Carter Beats The Devil by Glen David Gold

    Carter Beats The Devil is a historical mystery thriller novel by Glen David Gold

  17. 2617 . The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

    The Merchant of Venice is a play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1596 and 1598. Though classified as a comedy in the First Folio and sharing certain aspects with Shake...

    - Google
  18. 2618 . Le Bateau Ivre by Arthur Rimbaud

    "Le Bateau ivre" ("The Drunken Boat") is a 100-line verse-poem written in 1871 by Arthur Rimbaud. The poem describes the drifting and sinking of a boat lost at sea in a fragmented first-person narr...

    - Google
  19. 2619 . Pushcart Prize Anthology by Pushcart Prize

    The Pushcart Prize is a prestigious American literary prize by Pushcart Press that honors the best "poetry, short fiction, essays or literary whatnot" published in the small presses over the previo...

  20. 2620 . Nog by Rudy Wurlitzer

    Nog is a psychedelic novel by Rudolph Wurlitzer published in 1969. Written in an experimental style, the novel is described by Atlantic Monthly as being effective at replicating "the slight and con...

  21. 2621 . The Works of George Peele by George Peele

    George Peele (baptised 25 July 1556 – buried 9 November 1596) was an English translator, poet, and dramatist, who is most noted for his supposed but not universally accepted collaboration with Will...

    - Google
  22. 2622 . African Stories by Doris Lessing

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  23. 2623 . The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare

    The Taming of the Shrew is a comedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1590 and 1592.

    - Google
  24. 2624 . Will You Please be Quiet, Please? by Raymond Carver

    Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?, published in 1976, was the first short-story collection by American writer Raymond Carver. This minimalist collection revolves around themes of segregation and di...

  25. 2625 . The Beginning of Spring by Penelope Fitzgerald

    The Beginning of Spring is a novel by British author Penelope Fitzgerald. Set in Moscow in 1913, it tells the story of a Moscow-born son of a British emigre manufacturer whose Britain-born wife has...

  26. 2626 . Swing Hammer Swing! by Jeff Torrington

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  27. 2627 . Bad Behavior: Stories by Mary Gaitskill

    powerful stories about dislocation, longing, and desire which depict a disenchanted and rebellious urban fringe generation that is searching for human connection. • Now a classic: Bad Behavior made...

    - Google
  28. 2628 . The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt

    Named one of the New York Times Book Review’s 100 Notable Books of the Year ** Publishers Weekly’s Best Fiction Books of 2014 ** NPR Best Books of 2014 ** Kirkus Reviews Best Literary Fiction Books...

    - Google
  29. 2629 . The Queen of the Tambourine by Jane Gardam

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  30. 2630 . Twelve Bar Blues by Patrick Neate

    Twelve Bar Blues is a 2001 novel by Patrick Neate, and the winner of that year's Whitbread novel award.

  31. 2631 . Collected Short Stories of Saki by Saki

    The extraordinary stories of 'Saki' are a mixture of humorous satire, irony and the macabre, in which the stupidities and hypocrisy of conventional society are viciously pilloried.

    - Google
  32. 2632 . The Old Jest by Jennifer Johnston

  33. 2633 . Blood Oranges by John Hawkes

  34. 2634 . Leading the Cheers by Justin Cartwright

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  35. 2635 . Mythologies by Roland Barthes

    Mythologies is the title of a book by Roland Barthes, published in 1957. It is a collection of essays taken from Les Lettres nouvelles, examining the tendency of contemporary social value systems t...

  36. 2636 . Docherty by William McIlvanney

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  37. 2637 . The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney

    The Tenderness of Wolves is a novel by Stef Penney, which was first published in 2006. It won the 2006 Costa Prize for 'Book of the Year'.

  38. 2638 . Every Man for Himself by Beryl Bainbridge

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  39. 2639 . Dangerous Laughter by Steven Millhauser

    Thirteen darkly comic stories, Dangerous Laughter is a mesmerizing journey that stretches the boundaries of the ordinary world.

    - Google
  40. 2640 . The Spirit Level by Seamus Heaney

    The Spirit Level (1996) is a collection of poems written by Irish Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney. Featuring such poems as "Two Lorries", it won the Whitbread Prize for Literature.

  41. 2641 . How Far Can You Go? by David Lodge

  42. 2642 . The Coup by John Updike

  43. 2643 . Time's Arrow by Martin Amis

    Time's Arrow: or The Nature of the Offence (1991) is a novel by Martin Amis. It was shortlisted for the Booker Prize (1991).

  44. 2644 . Sexual Perversity in Chicago by David Mamet

  45. 2645 . Tragic Magic by Wesley Brown

  46. 2646 . The Continental Op by Dashiell Hammett

  47. 2647 . Plainsong by Kent Haruf

    Plainsong is a bestselling novel by Kent Haruf. Set in the fictional town of Holt, Colorado, it tells the interlocking stories of some of the inhabitants.

  48. 2648 . Collected Poems 1912-1944 by Hilda Doolittle

    Gathers poems from each period of Hilda Doolittle's career and includes background information on her major works

    - Google
  49. 2649 . Einstein's Dreams by Alan Lightman

    An imaginary re-creation of Einstein's discovery of the nature of time, this novel takes us through the young patent clerk's many dreams depicting compelling conceptions of time.

    - Google
  50. 2650 . Foliage: Or, Poems Original and Translated by Leigh Hunt

    James Henry Leigh Hunt (19 October 1784 – 28 August 1859), best known as Leigh Hunt, was an English critic, essayist, poet, and writer. - Wikipedia

    - Google