There are many great books that are written every year and some books tend to be discussed and read for years to come. That made us want to create a list of the 100 best books of all time and that ended up being much harder than we first imagined.
Why a hundred you ask? It feels like a great number to end a list with. There are many people who haven’t read a hundred books while others achieve that in a year. Choosing the books for this list was hard partly because of how many incredible books there are and your brain wants to forget the important ones.
But we still were able to compile a list of the 100 best books of all time in our opinion. You can see the full list below.
The 100 Best Books of All Time
- Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
- The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
- Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? By Philip K. Dick
- Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
- Mystic River by Dennis Lehane
- Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
- Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
- The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
- The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
- The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide by Douglas Adams
- The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
- The Godfather by Mario Puzo
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
- The Martian by Andy Weir
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
- Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
- Fahrenheit 451 by by Ray Bradbury
- Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
- Dune by Frank Herbert
- And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
- The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien
- Harry Potter series by J. K Rowling
- A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin
- His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
- Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson
- J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit
- The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks
- The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss
- The Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski
- The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
- Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
- Dracula by Bram Stoker
- The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
- David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
- A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
- The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
- The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
- Ulysses by James Joyce
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
- Lord of the Flies by William Golding
- The Book Thief Markus Zuzaf
- The Secret History by Donna Tartt
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
- One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
- Animal Farm by George Orwell
- The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
- Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
- The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
- Watership Down by Richards Adams
- The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
- The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
- American Gods by Neil Gaiman
- Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
- The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
- Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
- Call of the Wild by Jack London
- Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
- Beloved by Toni Morrison
- Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
- Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
- For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
- In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
- Native Son by Richard Wright
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
- Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
- A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
- Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan
- The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
- The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel by Barbara Kingsolver
- The Outsiders by S. E Hinton
- Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
- A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
- Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
- One Thousand and One Nights ANon
- The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
- The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
- 78. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré
- The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
- Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne,
- Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
- A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
- Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
- Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
- Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
- Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
- The Stranger by Albert Camus
- Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
- Middlemarch by George Eliot
- Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
- Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
- Charlie And The Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
There are many classics on this list and it is hard to create a list of the best books of all time and not mention them. There will be some classics that didn’t make my list and that came down to my personal preference.
Making this list was difficult partly because it is hard to justify removing some of the books on the list and adding more recent books. Should The Hunger Games have made the list? That is a question that is going to get a bunch of different answers but ultimately, it checks off all of the boxes to be considered one of the best books of all time.
No list is perfect and I imagine I forgot some contemporary classics or modern novels that should have made the list. Older novels also tend to be highly regarded and tend to have biases. Even then, it is hard not to include books that shaped authors that came after them.
What books should have made the list but didn’t? Let us know in the comments below and we may include them in a follow up post. Until then, happy reading!
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35 thoughts on “The 100 Best Books of All Time”
For Camus, anything in particular why you went w the Stranger instead of the Plague?
Have never come across the plague. I shall add it to my reading list
Ahhh, that would explain it then 🙂
Funny – all time best sell – the Bible. Like it or not.
Frankenstein is in the list 2x
I knew this would happen 😂
It made me laugh. “What Frankie makes the list 2x, what about Dracula?”
Yea, that’s good to replace it.
Alternatively I don’t recall anything from Asimov on the list.
And Moby Dick is twice. But thank you for compiling this!
Thanks for letting me know. This is the third book that appeared twice on the list…
You missed Bill Fairclough’s fact based spy thriller, Beyond Enkription, the first stand-alone novel of six in The Burlington Files series.
Intentionally misspelt, Beyond Enkription is a must read for espionage illuminati. It’s a raw noir matter of fact pacy novel. Len Deighton and Mick Herron could be forgiven for thinking they co-wrote it. Coincidentally, a few critics have nicknamed its protagonist “a posh Harry Palmer.”
It is a true story about a maverick accountant, Bill Fairclough (MI6 codename JJ) aka Edward Burlington in Porter Williams International (in real life Coopers & Lybrand now PwC). In the 1970s in London he infiltrated organised crime gangs, unwittingly working for MI6. After some frenetic attempts on his life he was relocated to the Bahamas where, “eyes wide open” he was recruited by the CIA and headed for shark infested waters off Haiti.
If you’re an espionage cognoscente you’ll love this monumental book. In real life Bill Fairclough was recruited by MI6’s unorthodox Colonel Alan Brooke Pemberton CVO MBE and thereafter they worked together on and off into the 1990s. You can find out more about Pemberton’s People (who even included Winston Churchill’s bodyguard) in an article dated 31 October 2022 on The Burlington Files website.
This epic is so real it made us wonder why bother reading espionage fiction when facts are so much more exhilarating. Whether you’re a le Carré connoisseur, a Deighton disciple, a Fleming fanatic, a Herron hireling or a Macintyre marauder, odds on once you are immersed in it you’ll read this titanic production twice. For more detailed reviews visit the Reviews page on TheBurlingtonFiles website or see other independent reviews on your local Amazon website and check out Bill Fairclough’s background on the web.
Great list. I need to add a few of these to my personal TBR list.
Ender’s Game? Really?
Seriously no Anne Rice? I think The Witching Hour should’ve been included. Just my taste though.
Kudos for Ralph Ellison’s ‘Invisible man.’
Major point loss for leaving off Zora Neale Hurston’s ‘ Their Eyes Were Watching God.’
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair; The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty; Mandingo by Kyle Onstott and whether a believer or not The Bible.
Forgot one more. The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis
The Dark Tower series by Steven King
Does the bible qualify.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenence should be on this list.
Two Dan Brown novels? Seriously wth? One ok, but two? Lies of Locke Lamora is so much better.
Underworld by Delillo
Hopscotch by Cortazar
Gravity’s Rainbow by Pynchon
Hahahahaha Enders Game
Where’s Les Miserables??
It’s hard for me to take seriously any list that includes “The Da Vinci Code” but totally ignores “Remembrance of Things Past”. I believe that the two titans of 20th century novelists are James Joyce (you do have “Ulysses” but not “Finnegans Wake”) and Marcel Proust. It’s true that “Remembrance” does clock in at 3,000 pages, but it more than pays off, more than any other novel, in terms of what it has to say about time, memory, consciousness, sensory perception, society and status, relationships, sexual obsession and life itself, for any reader who has the gumption and wherewithal to stick with it. But perhaps the internet, cell phones and social media have shrunk all our attention spans.
The Goldfinch is Donna Hatt’s best book. Some of this list is pretty nugatory, and yes, you’re missing some classics. If you really want to weigh heavily on modern novels, I recommend Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese.
I think the Secret History by Donna Tartt ages better than the Goldfinch. And that’s from someone who started off by reading the goldfinch first.
No list is going to include every classic and not every classic deserves to make the list.
Robinson Crusoe by Dafoe. There are dozens that it could replace.
Why would your opinion matter to anyone else? Looks like you threw together a random selection of books that are supposed to be classics and random popular books. Dan Brown? ?
45 may be right. 10 or 15 are good (but not for the top 100!). The others are ridicolous. For example: Dan Brown is probably the worst writer of the XX century…