Saturday, February 16, 2019

All Time Best Books: Top 100

First posted 5/26/2018. Updated 2/16/2019.

image from time.com

Inspired by the 2018 PBS special The Great American Read, I assembled more than 60 best-of-books lists (see sources here) and aggregated them to create one master list of the all-time books. While these are mostly novels, there are some non-fiction books and even a few children’s picture books. Here are the results:

  1. Various writers The Holy Bible: King James Version (1451)
  2. Mao Zedong Quotations from Mao Tse-tung (1966)
  3. Miguel de Cervantes Don Quixote (1615)
  4. J.D. Salinger The Catcher in the Rye (1951)
  5. F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby (1925)
  6. Harper Lee To Kill a Mockingbird (1960)
  7. George Orwell 1984 (1949)
  8. Vladimir Nabokov Lolita (1955)
  9. J.R.R. Tolkien The Lord of the Rings (trilogy: 1954-55)
  10. Joseph Heller Catch-22 (1961)

  11. John Steinbeck The Grapes of Wrath (1939)
  12. Lewis Carroll Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1865)
  13. Muhammad Quran (632 A.D.)
  14. James Joyce Ulysses (1922)
  15. Gabriel García Márquez One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967)
  16. Leo Tolstoy War and Peace (1869)
  17. Margaret Mitchell Gone with the Wind (1936)
  18. Charlotte Brontë Jane Eyre (1847)
  19. Emily Brontë Wuthering Heights (1847)
  20. E.B. White Charlotte’s Web (1952)

  21. Jack Kerouac On the Road (1957)
  22. William Golding Lord of the Flies (1954)
  23. Toni Morrison Beloved (1987)
  24. Herman Melville Moby-Dick (1851)
  25. J.R.R. Tolkien The Hobbit (1937)
  26. Aldous Huxley Brave New World (1932)
  27. Homer The Odyssey (800 B.C.)
  28. Joseph Conrad Heart of Darkness (1899)
  29. Ernest Hemingway The Sun Also Rises (1926)
  30. Georges Simenon Maigret (series, 1931-1972)

  31. George Orwell Animal Farm (1954)
  32. Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities (1859)
  33. Anne Frank The Diary of a Young Girl (aka The Diary of Anne Frank) (1947)
  34. Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice (1813)
  35. Fyodor Dostoyevsky Crime and Punishment (1866)
  36. Kurt Vonnegut Slaughterhouse-Five (1969)
  37. J.K. Rowling Harry Potter (series, 1997-2007)
  38. C.S. Lewis The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (1970)
  39. Mark Twain The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885)
  40. Leo Tolstoy Anna Karenina (1877)

  41. Maurice Sendak Where the Wild Things Are (1964)
  42. William Faulkner The Sound and the Fury (1929)
  43. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry The Little Prince (1943)
  44. Charles Dickens Great Expectations (1861)
  45. Ralph Ellison Invisible Man (1952)
  46. Alice Walker The Color Purple (1982)
  47. Virginia Woolf To the Lighthouse (1927)
  48. Douglas Adams The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1979)
  49. Homer The Iliad (800 B.C.)
  50. Chinua Achebe Things Fall Apart (1958)

  51. George Eliot Middlemarch, a Study of Provincial Life (1872)
  52. Gustave Flaubert Madame Bovary (1857)
  53. Nathaniel Hawthorne The Scarlet Letter (1850)
  54. Ray Bradbury Fahrenheit 451 (1953)
  55. Salman Rushdie Midnight’s Children (1981)
  56. Niccolo Machiavelli The Prince (1532)
  57. Louisa May Alcott Little Women (1869)
  58. Stephen Hawking A Brief History of Time (1988)
  59. James Joyce A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916)
  60. Fyodor M. Dostoyevsky The Brothers Karamazov (1880)

  61. Anthony Burgess A Clockwork Orange (1962)
  62. Charles Darwin The Origin of Species (1859)
  63. Ernest Hemingway For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940)
  64. John Steinbeck Of Mice and Men (1937)
  65. Ayn Rand Atlas Shrugged (1957)
  66. Ken Kesey One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962)
  67. William Grahame The Wind in the Willows (1908)
  68. Mary Shelley Frankenstein (1818)
  69. Jonathan Swift Gulliver’s Travels (1726)
  70. A.A. Milne Winnie-the-Pooh (1926)

  71. Plato The Republic (380 B.C.)
  72. Rachel Carson Silent Spring (1962)
  73. Frank Herbert Dune (1965)
  74. Oscar Wilde The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891)
  75. Dante Alighieri Divina Commedia (The Divine Comedy) (1304)
  76. Margaret Atwood The Handmaid’s Tale (1986)
  77. Henry David Thoreau Walden, or Life in the Woods (1854)
  78. Charles Dickens David Copperfield (1850)
  79. E.M. Forster A Passage to India (1924)
  80. Paulo Coelho O Alquimista (The Alchemist) (1987)

  81. Albert Camus The Stranger (1942)
  82. Jack London The Call of the Wild (1903)
  83. William Faulkner As I Lay Dying (1930)
  84. Margaret Wise Brown Goodnight Moon (1947)
  85. Daphne Du Maurier Rebecca (1938)
  86. John Bunyan The Pilgrim’s Progress (1678)
  87. Edith Wharton The Age of Innocence (1920)
  88. Eric Carle The Very Hungry Caterpillar (1969)
  89. Truman Capote In Cold Blood (1966)
  90. Richard Wright Native Son (1940)

  91. Daniel Defoe Robinson Crusoe (1719)
  92. Sigmund Freud The Interpretation of Dreams (1900)
  93. Wei Jiangong (editor) Xinhua Zidian (Xinhua Dictionary) (1953)
  94. Ernest Hemingway The Old Man and the Sea (1952)
  95. L.M. Montgomery Anne of Green Gables (1908)
  96. Richard Adams Watership Down (1972)
  97. Alexandre Dumas The Count of Monte Cristo (1844)
  98. Walt Whitman Leaves of Grass (1855)
  99. Geoffrey Chaucer The Canterbury Tales (1387)
  100. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1887)

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