The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time

49k votes 3.7k voters 275k views 430 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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  • 33 ReRanks
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    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
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  1. 1
    + 1,038
    - 277

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Harper Lee

    ;
  2. 2
    + 925
    - 194


    George Orwell

    ;
  3. 3
    + 793
    - 204


    George Orwell

    ;
  4. 4
    + 856
    - 293


    J. R. R. Tolkien

    ;
  5. 5
    + 617
    - 246


    William Golding

    ;
  6. 6
    + 483
    - 90


    Arthur Conan Doyle

    ;
  7. 7
    + 451
    - 136


    Charles Dickens

    ;
  8. 8
    + 484
    - 185


    Douglas Adams

    ;
  9. 9
    + 493
    - 135


    Ray Bradbury

    ;
  10. 10
    + 593
    - 276

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    F. Scott Fitzgerald

    ;
  11. 11
    + 495
    - 144

    ranked low on reranks
    Alexandre Dumas, Auguste Maquet

    ;
  12. 12
    + 576
    - 243

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    J. D. Salinger

    ;
  13. 13
    + 409
    - 78

    ranked low on reranks
    Lewis Carroll, William Glennon

    ;
  14. 14
    + 422
    - 139

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Aldous Huxley

    ;
  15. 15
    + 689
    - 202

    ranked low on reranks
    J. R. R. Tolkien

    ;
  16. 16
    + 395
    - 151

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Frank Galati

    ;
  17. 17
    + 387
    - 70


    Mark Twain

    ;
  18. 18
    + 583
    - 125

    ranked low on reranks
    John Steinbeck

    ;
  19. 19
    + 327
    - 112


    Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    ;
  20. 20
    + 337
    - 137


    Joseph Heller

    ;
  21. 21
    + 308
    - 72

    ranked low on reranks
    Bram Stoker

    ;
  22. 22
    + 297
    - 135

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Miguel de Cervantes

    ;
  23. 23
    + 303
    - 73

    ranked low on reranks & added by Skojare
    William Shakespeare

    ;
  24. 24
    + 246
    - 94

    often listed & added by Skojare
    Leo Tolstoy

    ;
  25. 25
    + 531
    - 168


    Jane Austen

    ;
  26. 26
    + 357
    - 65

    ranked low on reranks
    Homer

    ;
  27. 27
    + 358
    - 130


    Oscar Wilde

    ;
  28. 28
    + 429
    - 125

    added by FlorissaGlen
    Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

    ;
  29. 29
    + 362
    - 65

    ranked low on reranks
    Mark Twain

    ;
  30. 30
    + 319
    - 108


    Charlotte Brontë

    ;
  31. 31
    + 293
    - 76


    Arthur Conan Doyle

    ;
  32. 32
    + 220
    - 70

    added by Skojare
    Dante Alighieri

    ;
  33. 33
    + 304
    - 147


    Markus Zusak

    ;
  34. 34
    + 253
    - 123


    Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    ;
  35. 35
    + 261
    - 74

    ranked low on reranks
    Mary Shelley

    ;
  36. 36
    + 340
    - 149


    Nathaniel Hawthorne

    ;
  37. 37
    + 359
    - 155


    Ernest Hemingway

    ;
  38. 38
    + 229
    - 61


    Victor Hugo

    ;
  39. 39
    + 215
    - 71


    Jules Verne, Pauline Francis

    ;
  40. 40
    + 254
    - 64

    ranked low on reranks
    Charles Dickens

    ;
  41. 41
    + 185
    - 43


    Alexandre Dumas

    ;
  42. 42
    + 349
    - 104


    Ken Kesey

    ;
  43. 43
    + 122
    - 14

    added by but chickens double d
    Wilhelm Grimm, Jacob Grimm

    ;
  44. 44
    + 196
    - 58


    Daniel Defoe

    ;
  45. 45
    + 248
    - 117

    ranked high on reranks
    Leo Tolstoy

    ;
  46. 46
    + 170
    - 71

    ranked high on reranks

    ;
  47. 47
    + 196
    - 62


    Jonathan Swift

    ;
  48. 48
    + 291
    - 109


    Kurt Vonnegut

    ;
  49. 49
    + 167
    - 38

    ranked low on reranks
    Robert Louis Stevenson

    ;
  50. 50
    + 111
    - 44

    often listed & added by ThomZ
    Agatha Christie

    ;
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