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 . Landing Light by Don Paterson

  2. 2652 . The Pearl by John Steinbeck

    “There it lay, the great pearl, perfect as the moon.” One of Steinbeck’s most taught works, The Pearl is the story of the Mexican diver Kino, whose discovery of a magnificent pearl from the Gulf be...

    - Google
  3. 2653 . Restless by William Boyd

    Restless, an espionage novel by William Boyd, was published in 2006 and won the Costa Prize for fiction. It is the story of a mother revealing to her daughter, in a series of written accounts, that...

  4. 2654 . 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
  5. 2655 . Sexual Perversity in Chicago by David Mamet

  6. 2656 . 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.

  7. 2657 . 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
  8. 2658 . 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."

  9. 2659 . 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.

  10. 2660 . The Three Hundred Tang Poems by China

    The Three Hundred Tang Poems (simplified Chinese: 唐诗三百首; traditional Chinese: 唐詩三百首; pinyin: Tángshī sānbǎi shǒu) is an anthology of poems from the Chinese Tang Dynasty (618 - 907) first compiled a...

    - Google
  11. 2661 . Silver City by Maurice Leitch

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  12. 2662 . 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
  13. 2663 . The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes by Langston Hughes

    Here, for the first time, is a complete collection of Langston Hughes's poetry - 860 poems that sound the heartbeat of black life in America during five turbulent decades, from the 1920s through th...

    - Google
  14. 2664 . Best Science Fiction Stories of H. G. Wells by H. G. Wells

    Eighteen supernatural tales deal with such phenomena as an invisible man, a crystal egg from Mars, a blood-sucking orchid

    - Google
  15. 2665 . Apu Ollontay by Peru

    Ollantay is a dramatic play, originally written in the Quechua language. It is considered by some to be of Incan origin---and as such the oldest and deepest expression of Quechua literature---while...

    - Google
  16. 2666 . English Passengers by Matthew Kneale

  17. 2667 . 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...

  18. 2668 . Picture Palace by Paul Theroux

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  19. 2669 . Kabbalah by Unknown

    Kabbalah is a discipline and school of thought concerned with the mystical aspect of Judaism. It is a set of esoteric teachings that is meant to explain the relationship between an infinite, eterna...

  20. 2670 . The Collected Short Stories of Maxim Gorky by Maxim Gorky

    Maxim Gorky continues to be regarded as the greatest literary representative of revolutionary Russia. Born of the people, and having experienced in his own person their sufferings and their misery,...

    - Google
  21. 2671 . Women by Charles Bukowski

    Women is a 1978 novel written by Charles Bukowski, starring his semi-autobiographical character Henry Chinaski. In contrast to Factotum, Post Office and Ham on Rye, Women is centered around Chinask...

  22. 2672 . Christina Rossetti: The Complete Poems by Christina Georgina Rossetti

    Presents a complete collection of poems by the English author along with a chronology, further reading, and notes.

    - Google
  23. 2673 . 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...

  24. 2674 . Maggie: A Girl of the Streets by Stephen Crane

    First published in 1893, this realistic tale of a young girl in the slums of New York shocked readers. With five other stories, from the local color of small-town life to war stories full of irony ...

    - Google
  25. 2675 . The Children of Dynmouth by William Trevor

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  26. 2676 . Outside Over There by Maurice Sendak

    With Papa off to sea and Mama despondent, Ida must go outside over there to rescue her baby sister from goblins who steal her to be a goblin's bride.

    - Google
  27. 2677 . The Invented Part by Rodrigo Fresán

    "A kaleidoscopic, open-hearted, shamelessly polymathic storyteller, the kind who brings a blast of oxygen into the room."--Jonathan Lethem An aging writer, disillusioned with the state of literary ...

    - Google
  28. 2678 . Seven Gothic Tales by Karen Blixen

  29. 2679 . The Shawl by Cynthia Ozick

    The Shawl is considered a modern classic - a masterpiece in two acts. The horror and desolation evoked through piercing imagery - first through the abomination of a Holocaust concentration camp mur...

    - Google
  30. 2680 . Day by A. L. Kennedy

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