The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time

85k votes 5k voters 320k views 451 items tags f p @

List Criteria: Must-Read Books everyone should read

A list of the best must-read books of all time, suitable for every one of all ages, creeds and color. These are the novels, autobiographies, and short books that you should consider when you ask yourself, "What book should I read next?" If you somehow made it through school without reading the classic - or you're still in school - be sure to check them out to expand your literary horizons.

An eclectic mix that does not cater solely to the sensibilities of the literati, culturati, illuminati or even paparazzi. With some hidden gems in here, it's a great list to consider when looking for something to read next.  

"Tell me what you read and I'll tell you who you are" is true enough, but I'd know you better if you told me what you reread' - François Mauriac. Give fellow voters the best tips you can on the top books of all time that they must read by voting on your personal favorites and downvoting those you didn't enjoy.


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  • 36 ReRanks
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    • Men
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    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
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  1. 1
    + 1,549
    - 372

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Harper Lee

    ;
  2. 2
    + 1,335
    - 284


    George Orwell

    ;
  3. 3
    + 1,177
    - 312


    George Orwell

    ;
  4. 4
    + 1,269
    - 427


    J. R. R. Tolkien

    ;
  5. 5
    + 976
    - 354


    William Golding

    ;
  6. 6
    + 739
    - 173


    Arthur Conan Doyle

    ;
  7. 7
    + 789
    - 289


    Douglas Adams

    ;
  8. 8
    + 731
    - 210


    Charles Dickens

    ;
  9. 9
    + 795
    - 219


    Ray Bradbury

    ;
  10. 10
    + 947
    - 386


    F. Scott Fitzgerald

    ;
  11. 11
    + 869
    - 362


    J. D. Salinger

    ;
  12. 12
    + 714
    - 130

    ranked low on reranks
    Mark Twain

    ;
  13. 13
    + 620
    - 233

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Frank Galati

    ;
  14. 14
    + 691
    - 150

    ranked low on reranks
    Lewis Carroll, William Glennon

    ;
  15. 15
    + 697
    - 227


    Alexandre Dumas, Auguste Maquet

    ;
  16. 16
    + 1,041
    - 288


    J. R. R. Tolkien

    ;
  17. 17
    + 636
    - 220


    Aldous Huxley

    ;
  18. 18
    + 512
    - 211

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Joseph Heller

    ;
  19. 19
    + 885
    - 191

    ranked low on reranks
    John Steinbeck

    ;
  20. 20
    + 430
    - 215

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Miguel de Cervantes

    ;
  21. 21
    + 574
    - 124

    added by Skojare
    William Shakespeare

    ;
  22. 22
    + 547
    - 129

    ranked low on reranks
    Bram Stoker

    ;
  23. 23
    + 469
    - 193

    ranked high on reranks
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    ;
  24. 24
    + 794
    - 239


    Jane Austen

    ;
  25. 25
    + 532
    - 200


    Oscar Wilde

    ;
  26. 26
    + 597
    - 116

    ranked low on reranks
    Homer

    ;
  27. 27
    + 349
    - 182

    often listed & added by Skojare
    Leo Tolstoy

    ;
  28. 28
    + 620
    - 202

    added by FlorissaGlen
    Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

    ;
  29. 29
    + 633
    - 110

    ranked low on reranks
    Mark Twain

    ;
  30. 30
    + 539
    - 180


    Charlotte Brontë

    ;
  31. 31
    + 502
    - 127


    Mary Shelley

    ;
  32. 32
    + 579
    - 213


    Nathaniel Hawthorne

    ;
  33. 33
    + 453
    - 227


    Markus Zusak

    ;
  34. 34
    + 459
    - 141


    Arthur Conan Doyle

    ;
  35. 35
    + 341
    - 133

    added by Skojare
    Dante Alighieri

    ;
  36. 36
    + 536
    - 223


    Ernest Hemingway

    ;
  37. 37
    + 352
    - 123


    Jules Verne, Pauline Francis

    ;
  38. 38
    + 321
    - 201

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    ;
  39. 39
    + 351
    - 196

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Leo Tolstoy

    ;
  40. 40
    + 286
    - 65

    added by Riot18
    H. G. Wells

    ;
  41. 41
    + 462
    - 167


    Kurt Vonnegut

    ;
  42. 42
    + 337
    - 52

    ranked low on reranks & added by but chickens double d
    Wilhelm Grimm, Jacob Grimm

    ;
  43. 43
    + 369
    - 123


    Victor Hugo

    ;
  44. 44
    + 403
    - 116


    Charles Dickens

    ;
  45. 45
    + 315
    - 92


    Alexandre Dumas

    ;
  46. 46
    + 536
    - 147


    Ken Kesey

    ;
  47. 47
    + 381
    - 111


    Charles Dickens

    ;
  48. 48
    + 358
    - 37

    ranked low on reranks & added by but chickens double d
    Dr. Seuss

    ;
  49. 49
    + 315
    - 105


    Daniel Defoe

    ;
  50. 50
    + 339
    - 112


    Jonathan Swift

    ;
452 +

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