The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time

52k votes 3.9k voters 280k 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.


Collection Photo: user uploaded image
  • 34 ReRanks
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    • Region
  • 2 See list ranked by
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  1. 1
    + 1,094
    - 286

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Harper Lee

    ;
  2. 2
    + 972
    - 204


    George Orwell

    ;
  3. 3
    + 837
    - 217


    George Orwell

    ;
  4. 4
    + 900
    - 307


    J. R. R. Tolkien

    ;
  5. 5
    + 646
    - 265


    William Golding

    ;
  6. 6
    + 512
    - 104


    Arthur Conan Doyle

    ;
  7. 7
    + 525
    - 141


    Ray Bradbury

    ;
  8. 8
    + 517
    - 197


    Douglas Adams

    ;
  9. 9
    + 480
    - 147


    Charles Dickens

    ;
  10. 10
    + 629
    - 290

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    F. Scott Fitzgerald

    ;
  11. 11
    + 519
    - 154


    Alexandre Dumas, Auguste Maquet

    ;
  12. 12
    + 606
    - 261

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

    ;
  13. 13
    + 451
    - 147

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Aldous Huxley

    ;
  14. 14
    + 433
    - 87

    ranked low on reranks
    Lewis Carroll, William Glennon

    ;
  15. 15
    + 724
    - 212


    J. R. R. Tolkien

    ;
  16. 16
    + 419
    - 78


    Mark Twain

    ;
  17. 17
    + 602
    - 137


    John Steinbeck

    ;
  18. 18
    + 412
    - 160

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Frank Galati

    ;
  19. 19
    + 344
    - 119


    Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    ;
  20. 20
    + 333
    - 76

    ranked low on reranks & added by Skojare
    William Shakespeare

    ;
  21. 21
    + 354
    - 146

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Joseph Heller

    ;
  22. 22
    + 560
    - 174

    ranked low on reranks
    Jane Austen

    ;
  23. 23
    + 312
    - 141

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Miguel de Cervantes

    ;
  24. 24
    + 331
    - 78

    ranked low on reranks
    Bram Stoker

    ;
  25. 25
    + 261
    - 105

    often listed & added by Skojare
    Leo Tolstoy

    ;
  26. 26
    + 386
    - 70

    ranked low on reranks
    Homer

    ;
  27. 27
    + 377
    - 142


    Oscar Wilde

    ;
  28. 28
    + 452
    - 137

    added by FlorissaGlen
    Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

    ;
  29. 29
    + 385
    - 70

    ranked low on reranks
    Mark Twain

    ;
  30. 30
    + 340
    - 118


    Charlotte Brontë

    ;
  31. 31
    + 310
    - 87


    Arthur Conan Doyle

    ;
  32. 32
    + 287
    - 81


    Mary Shelley

    ;
  33. 33
    + 234
    - 77

    added by Skojare
    Dante Alighieri

    ;
  34. 34
    + 264
    - 131

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Fyodor Dostoyevsky

    ;
  35. 35
    + 319
    - 160


    Markus Zusak

    ;
  36. 36
    + 356
    - 162


    Nathaniel Hawthorne

    ;
  37. 37
    + 232
    - 76


    Jules Verne, Pauline Francis

    ;
  38. 38
    + 247
    - 68

    ranked low on reranks
    Victor Hugo

    ;
  39. 39
    + 377
    - 165

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Ernest Hemingway

    ;
  40. 40
    + 271
    - 68

    ranked low on reranks
    Charles Dickens

    ;
  41. 41
    + 204
    - 48


    Alexandre Dumas

    ;
  42. 42
    + 366
    - 110


    Ken Kesey

    ;
  43. 43
    + 260
    - 128

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Leo Tolstoy

    ;
  44. 44
    + 207
    - 63


    Daniel Defoe

    ;
  45. 45
    + 132
    - 19

    added by but chickens double d
    Wilhelm Grimm, Jacob Grimm

    ;
  46. 46
    + 312
    - 114


    Kurt Vonnegut

    ;
  47. 47
    + 179
    - 77

    ranked high on reranks

    ;
  48. 48
    + 205
    - 68


    Jonathan Swift

    ;
  49. 49
    + 176
    - 42


    Robert Louis Stevenson

    ;
  50. 50
    + 120
    - 47

    often listed & added by ThomZ
    Agatha Christie

    ;
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