Literature The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time  

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List Rules Must-Read Books everyone should read

Need a good read? Take a look at this list of the best must-read books of all time, suitable for every one of all ages, creeds and color. Featuring the newest YA novels reviewed by popular literary channels on YouTube, 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.

 

list ordered by

1
4,987 1,231
To Kill a Mockingbird is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
Harper Lee To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel by Harper Lee published in 1960. It was immediately successful, winning the Pulitzer Prize, and has become a classic of modern American literature. The plot and ...more

2
4,114 887
Nineteen Eighty-Four is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
George Orwell Nineteen Eighty-Four, sometimes published as 1984, is a dystopian novel by English author George Orwell published in 1949. The novel is set in Airstrip One, a province of the superstate Oceania ...more

3
3,749 996
Animal Farm is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
George Orwell Animal Farm is an allegorical and dystopian novella by George Orwell, first published in England on 17 August 1945. According to Orwell, the book reflects events leading up to the Russian ...more

4
3,751 1,281
The Lord of the Rings is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
J. R. R. Tolkien The Lord of the Rings is an epic high-fantasy novel written by English author J. R. R. Tolkien. The story began as a sequel to Tolkien's 1937 fantasy novel The Hobbit, but eventually developed ...more

5
2,431 1,157
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the ... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
Douglas Adams The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is the first of five books in the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy comedy science fiction "trilogy" by Douglas Adams. The novel is an adaptation of ...more

6
2,781 1,212
The Catcher in the Rye is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
J. D. Salinger The Catcher in the Rye is a 1951 novel by J. D. Salinger. A controversial novel originally published for adults, it has since become popular with adolescent readers for its themes of teenage ...more

7
2,726 819
Fahrenheit 451 is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
Ray Bradbury Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian novel by Ray Bradbury published in 1953. It is regarded as one of his best works. The novel presents a future American society where books are outlawed and ...more

8
3,115 1,148
Lord of the Flies is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
William Golding Lord of the Flies is a 1954 dystopian novel by Nobel Prize-winning English author William Golding about a group of British boys stuck on an uninhabited island who try to govern themselves with ...more

9
2,359 760
The Adventures of Sherlock Hol... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
Arthur Conan Doyle The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is a collection of twelve stories written by Arthur Conan Doyle, featuring his famous detective, and illustrated by Sidney Paget.

10
3,169 1,174
The Great Gatsby is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
F. Scott Fitzgerald The Great Gatsby is a 1925 novel written by American author F. Scott Fitzgerald that follows a cast of characters living in the fictional town of West Egg on prosperous Long Island in the summer ...more

11
2,904 802
A Christmas Carol is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol is a novella by Charles Dickens, first published in London by Chapman & Hall on 19 December 1843. The novella met with instant success and critical acclaim. Carol tells the ...more

12
3,286 858
The Hobbit is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
J. R. R. Tolkien The Hobbit, or There and Back Again is a fantasy novel and children's book by English author J. R. R. Tolkien. It was published on 21 September 1937 to wide critical acclaim, being nominated for ...more

13
2,300 841
The Grapes of Wrath is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
John Steinbeck The Grapes of Wrath is an American realist novel written by John Steinbeck and published in 1939. The book won the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize for fiction, and it was cited ...more

14
2,868 529
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
Mark Twain Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a novel by Mark Twain, first published in the United Kingdom in December 1884 and in the United States in February 1885. Commonly named among the Great American ...more

15
2,558 634
Alice in Wonderland is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
Lewis Carroll, William Glennon Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (commonly shortened to Alice in Wonderland) is an 1865 novel written by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll. It tells of a ...more

16
1,938 809
The Count of Monte Cristo is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
Alexandre Dumas, Auguste Maquet The Count of Monte Cristo is an adventure novel by French author Alexandre Dumas completed in 1844. It is one of the author's most popular works, along with The Three Musketeers. Like many of ...more

17
2,946 649
Of Mice and Men is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
John Steinbeck Of Mice and Men is a novella written by Nobel Prize–winning author John Steinbeck. Published in 1937, it tells the story of George Milton and Lennie Small, two displaced migrant ranch workers, ...more

18
2,430 514
Hamlet is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
Skojare added William Shakespeare The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, often shortened to Hamlet, is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare at an uncertain date between 1599 and 1602. Set in the Kingdom of Denmark, the ...more

19
1,652 841
Catch-22 is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
Joseph Heller Catch-22 is a satirical novel by the American author Joseph Heller. He began writing it in 1953; the novel was first published in 1961. It is frequently cited as one of the greatest literary ...more

20
1,931 819
Brave New World is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
Aldous Huxley Brave New World is a novel written in 1931 by Aldous Huxley and published in 1932. Set in London of AD 2540, the novel anticipates developments in reproductive technology, sleep-learning, ...more

21
1,855 651
Dracula is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
Bram Stoker Dracula is an 1897 Gothic horror novel by Irish author Bram Stoker. Famous for introducing the character of the vampire Count Dracula, the novel tells the story of Dracula's attempt to move from ...more

22
1,239 882
Don Quixote is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
Miguel de Cervantes Don Quixote, fully titled The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha, is a Spanish novel by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. It follows the adventures of a nameless hidalgo who reads so many ...more

23
1,690 775
The Picture of Dorian Gray is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
Oscar Wilde The Picture of Dorian Gray is an 1891 philosophical novel by writer and playwright Oscar Wilde. First published as a complete story in the July 1890 issue of Lippincott's Monthly Magazine, the ...more

24
2,645 749
Pride and Prejudice is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
Jane Austen Pride and Prejudice is a novel of manners by Jane Austen, first published in 1813. The story follows the main character, Elizabeth Bennet, as she deals with issues of manners, upbringing, ...more

25
1,328 833
Crime and Punishment is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
Fyodor Dostoyevsky Crime and Punishment is a novel by the Russian author Fyodor Dostoyevsky. It was first published in the literary journal The Russian Messenger in twelve monthly installments during 1866. It was ...more

26
1,927 563
Odyssey is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
Homer The Odyssey is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is, in part, a sequel to the Iliad, the other work ascribed to Homer. The poem is fundamental to the modern ...more

27
2,221 725
The Scarlet Letter is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
Nathaniel Hawthorne The Scarlet Letter is an 1850 romantic work of fiction in a historical setting, written by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and is considered to be his magnum opus. Set in 17th-century Puritan Boston, ...more

28
1,027 849
War and Peace is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
Skojare added Leo Tolstoy War and Peace is a novel by the Russian author Leo Tolstoy, first published in 1869. The work is epic in scale and is regarded as one of the most important works of world literature. It is ...more

29
2,100 634
Jane Eyre is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
Charlotte Brontë Jane Eyre is a novel by English writer Charlotte Brontë. It was published on 16 October 1847 by Smith, Elder & Co. of London, England, under the pen name "Currer Bell." The ...more

30
2,160 695
The Little Prince is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
FlorissaGlen added Antoine de Saint-Exupéry The Little Prince, first published in 1943, is a novella and the most famous work of the French aristocrat, writer, poet and pioneering aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The novella is ...more

31
1,787 798
The Old Man and the Sea is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
Ernest Hemingway The Old Man and the Sea is a novel written by the American author Ernest Hemingway in 1951 in Cuba, and published in 1952. It was the last major work of fiction to be produced by Hemingway and ...more

32
1,228 552
The Time Machine is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
Riot18 added H. G. Wells The Time Machine is a science fiction novel by H. G. Wells, published in 1895. Wells is generally credited with the popularization of the concept of time travel by using a vehicle that allows an ...more

33
2,389 423
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
Mark Twain The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain is an 1876 novel about a young boy growing up along the Mississippi River. The story is set in the fictional town of St. Petersburg, inspired by ...more

34
1,874 550
Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
Mary Shelley Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, is a novel written by English author Mary Shelley about the young student of science Victor Frankenstein, who creates a grotesque but sentient creature ...more

35
1,598 813
The Book Thief is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
Markus Zusak The Book Thief is a novel by Australian author Markus Zusak. First published in 2005, the book has won numerous awards and was listed on The New York Times Best Seller list for over 230 weeks.

36
1,177 523
The Three Musketeers is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
Alexandre Dumas The Three Musketeers is a novel by Alexandre Dumas. Set in the 17th century, it recounts the adventures of a young man named d'Artagnan after he leaves home to travel to Paris, to join the ...more

37
1,480 457
A Tale of Two Cities is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
ThomZ added Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities is a novel by Charles Dickens, set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution. The novel depicts the plight of the French peasantry demoralised by the ...more

38
1,008 690
The Divine Comedy is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
Skojare added Dante Alighieri The Divine Comedy is an epic poem by Dante Alighieri, begun c. 1308 and completed 1320, a year before his death in 1321. It is widely considered the preeminent work of Italian literature and is ...more

39
1,221 464
Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and ... is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
Robert Louis Stevenson Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is the original title of a novella written by the Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson that was first published in 1886. The work is commonly known ...more

40
1,876 318
Grimm's Fairy Tales is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
but chickens double d added Wilhelm Grimm, Jacob Grimm Children's and Household Tales is a collection of German fairy tales first published in 1812 by the Grimm brothers, Jacob and Wilhelm. The collection is commonly known in English as Grimm's ...more

41
1,348 387
Treasure Island is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
slaphappy4sfg added Robert Louis Stevenson Treasure Island is an adventure novel by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, narrating a tale of "buccaneers and buried gold". First published as a book on 14 November 1883 by ...more

42
1,569 561
The Hound of the Baskervilles is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
Arthur Conan Doyle The Hound of the Baskervilles is the third of the crime novels written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle featuring the detective Sherlock Holmes. Originally serialised in The Strand Magazine from August ...more

43
1,622 580
Great Expectations is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
Charles Dickens Great Expectations is Charles Dickens' thirteenth novel and his penultimate novel; a bildungsroman which depicts the personal growth and personal development of an orphan nicknamed Pip. It is ...more

44
1,336 622
Les Misérables is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
Victor Hugo Les Misérables is a French historical novel by Victor Hugo, first published in 1862, that is considered one of the greatest novels of the 19th century. In the English-speaking world, the ...more

45
1,092 801
Anna Karenina is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
Leo Tolstoy Anna Karenina is a novel by the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy, published in serial installments from 1873 to 1877 in the periodical The Russian Messenger. Tolstoy clashed with editor Mikhail Katkov ...more

46
2,536 282
The Cat in the Hat is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
but chickens double d added Dr. Seuss The Cat in the Hat is a children's book written and illustrated by Theodor Geisel under the pen name Dr. Seuss and first published in 1957. The story centers on a tall anthropomorphic cat, who ...more

47
1,548 557
Wuthering Heights is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
Emily Brontë Wuthering Heights is Emily Brontë's only novel. Written between October 1845 and June 1846, Wuthering Heights was published in 1847 under the pseudonym ″Ellis Bell″; Brontë died the ...more

48
2,146 425
Romeo and Juliet is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
but chickens double d added William Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet is a play by William Shakespeare.

49
1,658 547
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nes... is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
Ken Kesey One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a novel written by Ken Kesey. Set in an Oregon psychiatric hospital, the narrative serves as a study of the institutional processes and the human mind as well ...more

50
1,171 598
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under ... is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Top Must-Read Books of All-Time
Jules Verne Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea is a classic science fiction novel by French writer Jules Verne published in 1870. It tells the story of Captain Nemo and his submarine Nautilus, as seen ...more