The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time

50k votes 3.8k voters 277k views 432 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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  • 2 See list ranked by
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  1. 1
    + 1,069
    - 285

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Harper Lee

    ;
  2. 2
    + 951
    - 198


    George Orwell

    ;
  3. 3
    + 817
    - 212


    George Orwell

    ;
  4. 4
    + 880
    - 299


    J. R. R. Tolkien

    ;
  5. 5
    + 631
    - 257


    William Golding

    ;
  6. 6
    + 495
    - 95


    Arthur Conan Doyle

    ;
  7. 7
    + 462
    - 140


    Charles Dickens

    ;
  8. 8
    + 504
    - 190
    The Hitchhiker's Guide to the ... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time


    Douglas Adams

  9. 9
    + 510
    - 137


    Ray Bradbury

    ;
  10. 10
    + 610
    - 282

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    F. Scott Fitzgerald

    ;
  11. 11
    + 507
    - 147


    Alexandre Dumas, Auguste Maquet

    ;
  12. 12
    + 595
    - 248

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

    ;
  13. 13
    + 420
    - 81


    Lewis Carroll, William Glennon

    ;
  14. 14
    + 707
    - 205

    ranked low on reranks
    J. R. R. Tolkien

    ;
  15. 15
    + 434
    - 144

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Aldous Huxley

    ;
  16. 16
    + 400
    - 157


    Frank Galati

    ;
  17. 17
    + 398
    - 73


    Mark Twain

    ;
  18. 18
    + 592
    - 131

    ranked low on reranks
    John Steinbeck

    ;
  19. 19
    + 334
    - 116

    ranked high on reranks
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    ;
  20. 20
    + 343
    - 142

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Joseph Heller

    ;
  21. 21
    + 318
    - 75

    ranked low on reranks
    Bram Stoker

    ;
  22. 22
    + 306
    - 137

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Miguel de Cervantes

    ;
  23. 23
    + 316
    - 74

    ranked low on reranks & added by Skojare
    William Shakespeare

    ;
  24. 24
    + 545
    - 170

    ranked low on reranks
    Jane Austen

    ;
  25. 25
    + 252
    - 99

    often listed & added by Skojare
    Leo Tolstoy

    ;
  26. 26
    + 369
    - 67

    ranked low on reranks
    Homer

    ;
  27. 27
    + 367
    - 134


    Oscar Wilde

    ;
  28. 28
    + 441
    - 130

    added by FlorissaGlen
    Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

    ;
  29. 29
    + 369
    - 65

    ranked low on reranks
    Mark Twain

    ;
  30. 30
    + 325
    - 111
    Jane Eyre is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time


    Charlotte Brontë

  31. 31
    + 298
    - 79


    Arthur Conan Doyle

    ;
  32. 32
    + 227
    - 72

    added by Skojare
    Dante Alighieri

    ;
  33. 33
    + 271
    - 77


    Mary Shelley

    ;
  34. 34
    + 259
    - 125


    Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    ;
  35. 35
    + 308
    - 152


    Markus Zusak

    ;
  36. 36
    + 344
    - 153


    Nathaniel Hawthorne

    ;
  37. 37
    + 369
    - 158


    Ernest Hemingway

    ;
  38. 38
    + 221
    - 72


    Jules Verne, Pauline Francis

    ;
  39. 39
    + 234
    - 64


    Victor Hugo

    ;
  40. 40
    + 261
    - 65

    ranked low on reranks
    Charles Dickens

    ;
  41. 41
    + 192
    - 45


    Alexandre Dumas

    ;
  42. 42
    + 356
    - 106


    Ken Kesey

    ;
  43. 43
    + 200
    - 60


    Daniel Defoe

    ;
  44. 44
    + 252
    - 122

    ranked high on reranks
    Leo Tolstoy

    ;
  45. 45
    + 126
    - 16

    added by but chickens double d
    Wilhelm Grimm, Jacob Grimm

    ;
  46. 46
    + 171
    - 74

    often listed & ranked high on reranks

    ;
  47. 47
    + 300
    - 111


    Kurt Vonnegut

    ;
  48. 48
    + 197
    - 65


    Jonathan Swift

    ;
  49. 49
    + 168
    - 39


    Robert Louis Stevenson

    ;
  50. 50
    + 113
    - 45

    often listed & added by ThomZ
    Agatha Christie

    ;
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