Books Everyone Should Read Once in Their Lifetime

There are some books in the world that everyone should read once in their lifetime. Some books are just that good. These are books that most people have either read or heard about and have added it to their to-read list. Keep reading to find out which books everyone should read once. 

Many of these books tackle major issues or changed the genre. Books like Harry Potter have become ingrained in modern day culture and the books went on to inspire many writers and books over the years. These books become more than words on pages and uplift the readers and become a sort of therapy.

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Books everyone should read once!

Books Everyone Should Read Once

  1. The Dairy of Anne Frank by Anne Frank
  2. 1984 by George Orwell
  3. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
  4. The Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R. Tolkien
  5. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  6. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  7. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  8. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  9. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  10. The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  11. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  12. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  13. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  14. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  15. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  16. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  17. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  18. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  19. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  20. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  21. The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton
  22. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  23. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  24. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  25. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  26. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  27. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

To Each Their Own

These are books that I think should be read once by everyone and is not an official list. Many of these books have stayed with me long after I read them. Any book that is able to make you think and challenges the status quo in an articulate manner brings light on the subject. 1984 and Slaughterhouse-Five are two such books that do exactly that. 

Other books that made the list are fictional stories that are written exceptionally. The Grapes of Wrath, Water for Elephants, and Life of Pi fall under this category. These books have stayed with me ever since I read them that I think about often. Writing a book that is able to make the reader feel various emotions is rare.


There is no one perfect list of books that everyone should read once. Everyone has different taste. But for the most part, many of the lists do look very similar. Some personal preferences make a list unique and that is what makes reading fun. These are my picks and the books that I was glad I read and would encourage other book lovers to read. 

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1 thought on “Books Everyone Should Read Once in Their Lifetime

  1. Colleen Carleton says:

    The Kite Runner is by my old doctor and I couldn’t agree more with this pick. I’m so happy to see his fantastic book amongst these other great suggestions. I’ve read almost all on this list. One old book that really moved me as well is The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck. I love these authors that are able to transport us to another world.


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