The Greatest Books of All Time


How is this list generated?


This list is generated from 128 "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. 351 . The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

    The story chronicles the adventures of a girl named Dorothy in the Land of Oz. Thanks in part to the 1939 MGM movie, it is one of the best-known stories in American popular culture and has been wid...

  2. 352 . Household Tales by Brothers Grimm

    Children's and Household Tales (German: Kinder- und Hausmärchen) is a collection of German origin fairy tales first published in 1812 by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, the Brothers Grimm. The collection ...

    - Google
  3. 353 . Collected Poems of Dylan Thomas by Dylan Thomas

    Dylan Marlais Thomas (27 October 1914 – 9 November 1953) was a Welsh poet and writer whose works include the poems "Do not go gentle into that good night" and "And death shall have no dominion", th...

    - Google
  4. 354 . The Devil to Pay in the Backlands by Joao Guimaraes Rosa

    Grande Sertão: Veredas (Portuguese for Big Backcountry: Tracks, English translation: The Devil to Pay in the Backlands) is an influential novel published in 1956 by the Brazilian writer João Guimar...

  5. 355 . Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons

    When sensible, sophisticated Flora Poste is orphaned at nineteen, she decides her only choice is to descend upon relatives in deepest Sussex. At the aptly named Cold Comfort Farm, she meets the doo...

    - Google
  6. 356 . Complete Poems by Elizabeth Bishop

    This is the definitive edition of one of America's greatest poets, increasingly recognised as one of the greatest English-language poets of the 20th century, loved by readers and poets alike. This ...

    - Google
  7. 357 . Death in Venice by Thomas Mann

    The novella Death in Venice was written by the German author Thomas Mann, and was first published in 1912 as Der Tod in Venedig. It was first published in English in 1925 as Death in Venice and Oth...

  8. 358 . Oblomov by Ivan Goncharov

    Oblomov is the best known novel by Russian writer Ivan Goncharov, first published in 1859. Oblomov is also the central character of the novel, often seen as the ultimate incarnation of the superflu...

  9. 359 . The Death of Ivan Ilyich by Leo Tolstoy

    The Death of Ivan Ilyich, first published in 1886, is a novella by Leo Tolstoy, one of the masterpieces of his late fiction, written shortly after his conversion to Christianity. The novel tells...

  10. 360 . The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje

    The English Patient is a 1992 novel by Sri Lankan-Canadian novelist Michael Ondaatje. The story deals with the gradually revealed histories of a critically burned English man, his Canadian nurse, a...

  11. 361 . The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy

    Thomas Hardy's first masterpiece, The Mayor of Casterbridge opens with a scene of such heartlessness and cruelty that it still shocks readers today. A poor workman named Michael Henchard, in a fit ...

    - Google
  12. 362 . Crash: A Novel by J. G. Ballard

    In this hallucinatory novel, an automobile provides the hellish tableau in which Vaughan, a "TV scientist" turned "nightmare angel of the highways," experiments with erotic atrocities among auto cr...

    - Google
  13. 363 . Money by Martin Amis

    Money tells the story of, and is narrated by, John Self, a successful director of commercials who is invited to New York by Fielding Goodney, a film producer, in order to shoot his first film. Self...

  14. 364 . Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote

    In this seductive, wistful masterpiece, Truman Capote created a woman whose name has entered the American idiom and whose style is a part of the literary landscape. Holly Golightly knows that nothi...

    - Google
  15. 365 . Journey to the West by Wu Cheng'en

    Journey to the West is a Chinese novel published in the 16th century during the Ming Dynasty and attributed to Wu Cheng'en. It is one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature. In En...

  16. 366 . The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith

    In a chilling literary hall of mirrors, Patricia Highsmith introduces Tom Ripley. Like a hero in a latter-day Henry James novel, is sent to Italy with a commission to coax a prodigal young America...

  17. 367 . The Lover by Marguerite Duras

    An international best-seller with more than one million copies in print and a winner of France's Prix Goncourt, The Lover has been acclaimed by critics all over the world since its first publicatio...

    - Google
  18. 368 . The Adventures of Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

    At the heart of Charles Dickens's second novel, first published in 1838, is a story as much about crime and poverty as it is about justice and charity. Orphaned at birth, Oliver Twist grows up unde...

    - Google
  19. 369 . The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

    The Joy Luck Club (1989) is a best-selling novel written by Amy Tan. It focuses on the game and four Chinese American immigrant families who start a club known as "the Joy Luck Club," playing the C...

  20. 370 . The Birds by Aristophanes

    The Birds (Greek: Ὄρνιθες Ornithes) is a comedy by the Ancient Greek playwright Aristophanes. It was performed in 414 BC at the City Dionysia where it won second prize. It has been acclaimed by mod...

  21. 371 . Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov

    Three Sisters (Russian: Три сeстры, translit. Tri sestry) is a play by the Russian author and playwright Anton Chekhov, perhaps partially inspired by the situation of the three Brontë sisters.[1] I...

  22. 372 . Man's Fate by Andre Malraux

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  23. 373 . The Godfather by Mario Puzo

    The Godfather is a crime novel written by American author Mario Puzo, originally published in 1969 by G. P. Putnam's Sons. It details the story of a fictitious Sicilian Mafia family based in New Yo...

  24. 374 . The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo

    Quasimodo, a gentle and kind hunchback who lives a lonely, isolated life in a cathedral in Paris, rescues the beautiful Esmerelda from being hanged for a crime she did not commit.

    - Google
  25. 375 . Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges

    Labyrinths (1962) is an English-language collection of short stories and essays by Jorge Luis Borges.

  26. 376 . One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    The only English translation authorized by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn First published in the Soviet journal Novy Mir in 1962, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich stands as a classic of contemporary ...

    - Google
  27. 377 . Foundation by Isaac Asimov

    Foundation is the first book in Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy (later expanded into The Foundation Series). Foundation is a collection of five short stories, which were first published together ...

  28. 378 . The Posthumous Memoirs of Bras Cubas by Machado de Assis

    "In his posthumous memoirs, Braz Cubas, a wealthy nineteenth-century Brazilian, examines (from beyond the grave) his rather undistinguished life in 160 short chapters that both cover the basics of ...

    - Google
  29. 379 . Way of All Flesh by Samuel Butler

    'The Way of All Flesh' 'exploded like a bomb' in Edwardian England. Based on Samuel Butler's own life and published posthumously, it indicts Victorian bourgeois values as personified in five genera...

  30. 380 . The Old Wives' Tale by Arnold Bennett

    It deals with the lives of two very different sisters, Constance and Sophia Baines, following their stories from their youth, working in their mother's draper's shop, into old age. It is generally ...

  31. 381 . Ferdydurke by Witold Gombrowicz

    Ferdydurke is a novel by the Polish writer Witold Gombrowicz, published in 1937. Gombrowicz himself wrote of his novel that it is not "... a satire on some social class, nor a nihilistic attack ...

  32. 382 . A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

    Jennifer Egan's spellbinding novel circles the lives of Bennie Salazar, an ageing former punk rocker and record executive, and Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. Although Benni...

    - Google
  33. 383 . Wings of the Dove by Henry James

    One of the masterpieces of James' final period, this novel tells the story of Milly Theale, an American heiress stricken with a serious disease, and her impact on the people around her. Some of the...

  34. 384 . The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

    The Book Thief is a best-selling novel by Markus Zusak published in 2005. It was a 2007 Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book. As of September 2009 it has been on the New York Times Children's Best Se...

  35. 385 . The Clouds by Aristophanes

    The Clouds (Ancient Greek: Νεφέλαι Nephelai) is a comedy written by the celebrated playwright Aristophanes lampooning intellectual fashions in classical Athens. It was originally produced at the Ci...

    - Google
  36. 386 . The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

    The Tale of Peter Rabbit is a British children's book written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter that follows mischievous and disobedient young Peter Rabbit as he is chased about the garden of Mr. M...

    - Google
  37. 387 . The Tartar Steppe by Dino Buzzati

    Often Likened to Kafka's The Castle, this great Italian novel, first published in 1945, is both a scathing criticism of military life and a meditation on the human thirst for glory. It tells of you...

  38. 388 . Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    Notes from Underground is a study of a single character, and a revelation of Dostoyevsky's own deepest beliefs. In this work we follow the unnamed narrator of the story, who, disillusioned by the o...

    - Google
  39. 389 . Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison

    Bastard Out of Carolina was the first novel published by author Dorothy Allison. The book, which is semi-autobiographical in nature, is set in Allison's hometown of Greenville, South Carolina. Narr...

  40. 390 . NW: A Novel by Zadie Smith

    New York Times Ten Best Books of 2012 “A boldly Joycean appropriation, fortunately not so difficult of entry as its great model… Like Zadie Smith’s much-acclaimed predecessor White Teeth (2000), NW...

    - Google
  41. 391 . Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin

    Set in the 1950s Paris of American expatriates, liaisons, and violence, a young man finds himself caught between desire and conventional morality. With a sharp, probing imagination, James Baldwin's...

    - Google
  42. 392 . Gypsy Ballads by Federico García Lorca

    The publication in 1928 of Romancero gitano (written 1921–27; Gypsy Ballads), a poetry sequence inspired by the traditional Spanish romance, or ballad, catapulted Lorca into the national spotlight.

  43. 393 . A Bend in the River by V. S. Naipaul

    In the "brilliant novel" ("The New York Times) V.S. Naipaul takes us deeply into the life of one man--an Indian who, uprooted by the bloody tides of Third World history, has come to live in an isol...

  44. 394 . Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson

    Set on the fictional San Piedro Island in the northern Puget Sound region of the state of Washington coast in 1954, the plot revolves around a murder case in which Kabuo Miyamoto, a Japanese Americ...

  45. 395 . Ivanhoe by Walter Scott

    Ivanhoe is a historical novel by Sir Walter Scott published in 1820 and set in 12th-century England. Ivanhoe is sometimes credited for increasing interest in romance and medievalism; John Henry New...

  46. 396 . Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin

    Dream of the Red Chamber is a masterpiece of Chinese vernacular literature and one of China's Four Great Classical Novels. The novel was composed some time in the middle of the 18th century during ...

  47. 397 . The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien

    The Things They Carried is a collection of related stories by Tim O'Brien, about a platoon of American soldiers in the Vietnam War, originally published in hardcover by Houghton Mifflin, 1990. Whil...

  48. 398 . Neuromancer by William Gibson

    The novel tells the story of a washed-up computer hacker hired by a mysterious employer to work on the ultimate hack. Gibson explores artificial intelligence, virtual reality, genetic engineering, ...

  49. 399 . The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

    The Thorn Birds is a 1977 best-selling novel by Colleen McCullough, an Australian author. In 1983 it was adapted as a television mini-series that, during its television run March 27-30, became t...

  50. 400 . Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan

    One of the most powerful dramas of Christian faith ever written, this captivating allegory of man's religious journey in search of salvation follows the pilgrim as he travels an obstacle-filled roa...