The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time

59k votes 4.4k voters 302k views 444 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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  • 35 ReRanks
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  • 2 See list ranked by
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  1. 1
    + 1,261
    - 323

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Harper Lee

    ;
  2. 2
    + 1,101
    - 233


    George Orwell

    ;
  3. 3
    + 945
    - 249


    George Orwell

    ;
  4. 4
    + 1,032
    - 359


    J. R. R. Tolkien

    ;
  5. 5
    + 752
    - 297


    William Golding

    ;
  6. 6
    + 618
    - 222


    Douglas Adams

    ;
  7. 7
    + 591
    - 124

    ranked low on reranks
    Arthur Conan Doyle

    ;
  8. 8
    + 744
    - 321

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    F. Scott Fitzgerald

    ;
  9. 9
    + 554
    - 167


    Charles Dickens

    ;
  10. 10
    + 602
    - 165


    Ray Bradbury

    ;
  11. 11
    + 685
    - 298

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

    ;
  12. 12
    + 573
    - 181


    Alexandre Dumas, Auguste Maquet

    ;
  13. 13
    + 524
    - 104

    ranked low on reranks
    Lewis Carroll, William Glennon

    ;
  14. 14
    + 500
    - 170

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Aldous Huxley

    ;
  15. 15
    + 467
    - 179

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Frank Galati

    ;
  16. 16
    + 814
    - 242


    J. R. R. Tolkien

    ;
  17. 17
    + 501
    - 99


    Mark Twain

    ;
  18. 18
    + 692
    - 154

    ranked low on reranks
    John Steinbeck

    ;
  19. 19
    + 389
    - 139

    ranked high on reranks
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    ;
  20. 20
    + 399
    - 93

    added by Skojare
    William Shakespeare

    ;
  21. 21
    + 395
    - 165

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Joseph Heller

    ;
  22. 22
    + 401
    - 94

    ranked low on reranks
    Bram Stoker

    ;
  23. 23
    + 348
    - 158

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Miguel de Cervantes

    ;
  24. 24
    + 634
    - 195

    ranked low on reranks
    Jane Austen

    ;
  25. 25
    + 295
    - 122

    often listed & added by Skojare
    Leo Tolstoy

    ;
  26. 26
    + 452
    - 84

    ranked low on reranks
    Homer

    ;
  27. 27
    + 426
    - 157


    Oscar Wilde

    ;
  28. 28
    + 493
    - 160

    added by FlorissaGlen
    Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

    ;
  29. 29
    + 454
    - 86

    ranked low on reranks
    Mark Twain

    ;
  30. 30
    + 395
    - 135


    Charlotte Brontë

    ;
  31. 31
    + 352
    - 94


    Mary Shelley

    ;
  32. 32
    + 356
    - 103


    Arthur Conan Doyle

    ;
  33. 33
    + 363
    - 180


    Markus Zusak

    ;
  34. 34
    + 267
    - 93

    added by Skojare
    Dante Alighieri

    ;
  35. 35
    + 413
    - 179


    Nathaniel Hawthorne

    ;
  36. 36
    + 281
    - 153

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    ;
  37. 37
    + 275
    - 90


    Jules Verne, Pauline Francis

    ;
  38. 38
    + 416
    - 185

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Ernest Hemingway

    ;
  39. 39
    + 316
    - 82

    ranked low on reranks
    Charles Dickens

    ;
  40. 40
    + 282
    - 84


    Victor Hugo

    ;
  41. 41
    + 241
    - 61


    Alexandre Dumas

    ;
  42. 42
    + 201
    - 27

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

    ;
  43. 43
    + 178
    - 38

    added by Riot18
    H. G. Wells

    ;
  44. 44
    + 413
    - 120


    Ken Kesey

    ;
  45. 45
    + 292
    - 145

    ranked high on reranks
    Leo Tolstoy

    ;
  46. 46
    + 264
    - 72


    Charles Dickens

    ;
  47. 47
    + 240
    - 74


    Daniel Defoe

    ;
  48. 48
    + 203
    - 90

    ranked high on reranks

    ;
  49. 49
    + 246
    - 80


    Jonathan Swift

    ;
  50. 50
    + 347
    - 129


    Kurt Vonnegut

    ;
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