The debate for the best fiction books has a lot of books in the mix. Choosing just a few when there are dozens of books regarded as the best is no easy task. Yet, that is what we will be doing today as we pick the best five fiction books of all time.
Making this list was difficult because it comes down to personal preference. Everyone feels differently about which classics are worth reading and which are overrated. And what about modern novels? They are often disregarded until enough time has passed to be aged like wine before we call them one of the best works of fiction.
The Five Best Fiction Books of All Time
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
- The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
- Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
The Classics Win Big
Choosing anything but the classics seemed like a crime for this list. It is impossible to justify choosing other books over these five works. Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird is lauded as one of the best books of all time and rightfully so.
Can anyone make a list of the best works of fiction and not include Jane Eyre or Anna Karenina? Even if it isn’t your cup of tea, their contributions cannot be ignored.
Two books that also need to be mentioned are Don Quixote and The Count of Monte Cristo. These are the books that make you fall in love with reading. If you have read any of the books on this list, then you know what I mean.
That is all for our five fiction books of all-time list? What do you make of the list? Which book or books would you have included? Let us know in the comments below. Until next time, happy reading!
26 thoughts on “The Five Best Fiction Books of All Time ”
I have read the Count and you are absolutely right about it. Right now I just started reading War and Peace. Very interesting so far.
I think you all need to read some books written after 1960, even 1980.
I just read the Count also and was blown away. I’m a woman, and this book was never recommended to me much. I assumed it was just a great adventure novel, but in the Count I found hearts on fire and souls laid bare, not to mention a wit that lacerated European middle-class aspirations of the time. I’m glad you included the Count. Sadly, I doubt Jane Eyre has been much recommended to young men over the decades either.
There seems to be a overwhelmingly strong bent towards white American and European authors in a lot of your lists…
It isn’t intentional. These books are lauded as some of the best books of all time and while I do agree there are a lot of books by people of color, these lists are made by using other lists that are respected. Not including any of the books listed will have its own outrage.
When making the lists, I don’t consider the author’s race, gender, age, beliefs and if a list leans towards something, then that is more to do with how society and other lists are constructed than anything else.
We can have a long debate of how many past books celebrated were by mostly white authors but it won’t change history. I could go out of my way to be inclusive but that would make me biased and I don’t want to influence these lists in any way. Sorry for that disappointing answer.
Write your own list & justify your choices.
Sorry, this is a list by someone who definitely needs to read more. Moby Dick, Candide, the Odyssey, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Crime and Punishment. The list you gave would qualify as high school reading. Read more. Your list will change. To Kill a Mockingbird…not even too 50. Maybe not too 100. Lame.
I’ve read so many of these books! Thanks for a memory trip for me!
Here’s a follow-up based on your results: best fiction books of the last century.
Red Winter Journey
Steinbeck- East of Eden
From the list, only one have not read is To kill a mockingbird. Anna Karenina would not have made my list. Would prefer The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet.
I agree with your choices
In Search of Lost Time, by Proust
Anna Karenina, by Tolstoy
Middlemarch, by Eliot
Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston
Whatever I pick up next. At least that’s what I hope.
In /your/ opinion. Stop stating these opinions of yours as facts.
Without Frankenstein the list is bogus, and who hasn’t read 1984?
You need to change your title yo “My best five fiction books of all time”. Alexander Dumas is the only Black author (yes, he is Black) who made your list. I saw your comment where you gathered information from other lists, which are all white-centered, as is the publishing industry, neither of which have hardly ever acknowledged Black authors. Zora Neale Hurston could have easily made this list and replaced the highly problematic To Kill a Mockingbird. If you’re going to make a definitive statement like this, do the work and talk to Black people and other people of color to find out what their lists are and THEN make your compilation, instead of using the lazy excuse of you pulled from other (racially exclusive) lists to make yet another.
Get over yourself. Go Read a good Book.
Les Miserables should be on any list.
Unquestionably, I would include Les Miserables. The book is still as relevant today as when Hugo wrote it.
I have read most of the books listed above but my favorites must be Nevil Shutes books(over the last 60 years I have read them at least three times)
The Source by Michener is my all time favorite book!
Yes it is a matter of choice. I have read 4 out of 5 of those and wish I hadn’t read Jane Eyre…but a matter of choice. So many books could be on this list. I would add a more recent one: A Prayer for OWEN MEANY! John Irving. And if you read it, you know why OWEN MEANY is all caps!