The Greatest Books of All Time


How is this list generated?


This list is generated from 129 "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. 2651 . 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.

  2. 2652 . Landing Light by Don Paterson

  3. 2653 . The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber

    The Book of Strange New Things is a 2014 science fiction novel by Dutch-born author Michel Faber. The work was first published in the United States on October 28, 2014 and concerns an English pasto...

  4. 2654 . Fools of Fortune by William Trevor

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  5. 2655 . I, etcetera by Susan Sontag

    I, etcetera is a 1978 collection of short stories by Susan Sontag.

  6. 2656 . The Bird of Night by Susan Hill

    The Bird of Night (ISBN 0241104092) is a novel by Susan Hill. It won the 1972 Whitbread Award, and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Susan Hill commented in 2006: A novel of mine was shortliste...

  7. 2657 . The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe

    The Tragical History of the Life and Death of Doctor Faustus, commonly referred to simply as Doctor Faustus, is a play by Christopher Marlowe, based on the German story Faust, in which a man sells ...

    - Google
  8. 2658 . The Oranging of America by Max Apple

    Max Apple (born October 22, 1941) is an American short story writer, novelist, and university professor at The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Apple, who was born in Grand...

  9. 2659 . Collected Poems of Frank O'Hara by Frank O'Hara

    Francis Russell O'Hara (March 27, 1926 – July 25, 1966) was an American poet who, along with John Ashbery, James Schuyler, Barbara Guest and Kenneth Koch, was a key member of the New York School of...

  10. 2660 . 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. 2661 . If: A Father's Advice to His Son by Rudyard Kipling

    An illustrated version of one of Kipling's famous poems about a father's advice to his son.

    - Google
  12. 2662 . Poems: Selected and New, 1950-1974 by Adrienne Rich

    Adrienne Cecile Rich is an American poet, essayist and feminist. She has been called "one of the most widely read and influential poets of the second half of the [20th] century."

  13. 2663 . The Pure and the Impure by Colette

    Colette herself considered The Pure and the Impure her best book, "the nearest I shall ever come to writing an autobiography." This guided tour of the erotic netherworld with which Colette was so i...

  14. 2664 . Sybil: Or The Two Nations by Benjamin Disraeli

    Sybil was written by Benjamin Disraeli, future Prime Minister of Great Britain. He was greatly concerned with the poverty of the working classes, and this novel, with its in-depth exploration of th...

    - Google
  15. 2665 . The Continental Op by Dashiell Hammett

  16. 2666 . The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf

    Using an ocean voyage as the setting, this novel shows people's lack of understanding of each other.

    - Google
  17. 2667 . 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
  18. 2668 . How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez

    How the García Girls Lost Their Accents is a 1991 novel written by Dominican-American poet, novelist, and essayist Julia Alvarez. Told in reverse chronological order and narrated from shifting pers...

  19. 2669 . Joy in the Morning by P. G. Wodehouse

    “To dive into a Wodehouse novel is to swim in some of the most elegantly turned phrases in the English language.”—Ben Schott Follow the adventures of Bertie Wooster and his gentleman’s gentleman, J...

    - Google
  20. 2670 . Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self by Claire Tomalin

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  21. 2671 . Pure by Andrew Miller

    Jean-Baptiste Baratte, an engineer of modest origin, arrives in the city in 1785, charged by the King’s minister with emptying the overflowing cemetery of Les Innocents, a ancient site whose stench...

    - Google
  22. 2672 . Seven Gothic Tales by Karen Blixen

  23. 2673 . Advertisements for Myself by Norman Mailer

    Advertisements for Myself is an omnibus collection of short works and fragments by Norman Mailer, linked with commentaries supplied by the author himself. The collection, which was published by G.P...

  24. 2674 . 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).

  25. 2675 . 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.

  26. 2676 . How Far Can You Go? by David Lodge

  27. 2677 . Swing Hammer Swing! by Jeff Torrington

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  28. 2678 . Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner

    In Lolly Willowes, Sylvia Townsend Warner tells of an aging spinster's struggle to break way from her controlling family—a classic story that she treats with cool feminist intelligence, while addin...

    - Google
  29. 2679 . Tragic Magic by Wesley Brown