The 100 Best Books of All Time

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.

The 100 Best Books of All Time

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

  1. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  2. The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  3. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? By Philip K. Dick
  4. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
  5. Mystic River by Dennis Lehane
  6. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
  7. Angels and Demons by Dan Brown
  8. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
  9. The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
  10. The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide by Douglas Adams
  11. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
  12. The Godfather by Mario Puzo
  13. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  14. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  15. The Martian by Andy Weir
  16. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  17. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton
  18. Fahrenheit 451 by by Ray Bradbury
  19. Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
  20. Dune by Frank Herbert
  21. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
  22. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien
  23. Harry Potter series by J. K Rowling
  24. A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin
  25. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
  26. Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson
  27. J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit
  28. The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks
  29. The Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss
  30. The Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski
  31. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  32. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
  33. Dracula by Bram Stoker
  34. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  35. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  36. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  37. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  38. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  39. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  40. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  41. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  42. Ulysses by James Joyce
  43. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  44. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
  45. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  46. The Book Thief Markus Zuzaf
  47. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
  48. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  49. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  50. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  51. Animal Farm by George Orwell 
  52. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck 
  53. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell 
  54. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey 
  55. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner 
  56. Watership Down by Richards Adams
  57. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  58. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  59. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  60. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  61. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  62. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  63. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  64. Call of the Wild by Jack London
  65. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  66. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  67. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  68. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
  69. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
  70. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
  71. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  72. Native Son by Richard Wright
  73. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  74. Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
  75. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  76. Jackson and the Olympians series by  Rick Riordan
  77. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  78. The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel by Barbara Kingsolver
  79. The Outsiders by S. E Hinton
  80. Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
  81. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin
  82. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
  83. One Thousand and One Nights ANon
  84. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
  85. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
  86. 78. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré
  87. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  88. Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne,
  89. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
  90. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  91. Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  92. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
  93. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  94. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  95. The Stranger by Albert Camus
  96. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  97. Middlemarch by George Eliot
  98. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
  99. Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White 
  100. 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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45 thoughts on “The 100 Best Books of All Time

  1. Bookstooge says:

    Looks good!
    For Camus, anything in particular why you went w the Stranger instead of the Plague?

      1. Bookstooge says:

        Ahhh, that would explain it then 🙂

    1. Anonymous says:

      Funny – all time best sell – the Bible. Like it or not.

      1. Danny Watts says:

        It made me laugh. “What Frankie makes the list 2x, what about Dracula?”

      2. Blair says:

        And Moby Dick is twice. But thank you for compiling this!

      3. Ahaqir says:

        Thanks for letting me know. This is the third book that appeared twice on the list…

  2. MI6 says:

    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.

    1. Tom Browne says:

      Seriously no Anne Rice? I think The Witching Hour should’ve been included. Just my taste though.

      1. Anonymous says:

        To be grammatically correct, Agatha Christie’s book should be entitled “And Then There Was None.” ONE is the subject, and one was, and not one were.

  3. KD Powell says:

    Kudos for Ralph Ellison’s ‘Invisible man.’
    Major point loss for leaving off Zora Neale Hurston’s ‘ Their Eyes Were Watching God.’

  4. Michael White says:

    The Jungle by Upton Sinclair; The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty; Mandingo by Kyle Onstott and whether a believer or not The Bible.

      1. Anonymous says:

        The Dark Tower series by Steven King

    1. Anonymous says:

      The Holy Bible would expend 2/3 of the list, as it is a 66-volume library.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenence should be on this list.

  6. Jason says:

    Two Dan Brown novels? Seriously wth? One ok, but two? Lies of Locke Lamora is so much better.

  7. Henry Dew says:

    Underworld by Delillo
    Hopscotch by Cortazar
    Gravity’s Rainbow by Pynchon

  8. Philip Estrin says:

    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.

  9. Cindy Rubinfine says:

    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.

    1. Ahaqir says:

      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.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Robinson Crusoe by Dafoe. There are dozens that it could replace.

  11. Mary Lynne Foster says:

    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? ?

  12. Valentino Peyrano says:

    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…

  13. Samir Mokdad says:

    Dear Mr. Ahaqir,
    Have you read Gibran book, The Prophet ? If you did, I would be grateful to know your opinion about it.
    Please contact me at:
    Many thanks,
    Stockholm – Sweden

  14. Jim Brown says:

    Interested in fact based espionage and ungentlemanly officers and spies? Do read “Beyond Enkription” by Bill Fairclough – it is the first stand-alone fact-based espionage novel of six autobiographical tomes in The Burlington Files series. As the first book in the series, it provides a gripping introduction to the world of British intelligence and espionage. It is an intense electrifying spy thriller that had me perched on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. The twists and turns in the interwoven plots kept me guessing beyond the epilogue. The characters were wholesome, well-developed and intriguing. The author’s attention to detail added extra layers of authenticity to the narrative.

    In real life Bill Fairclough aka Edward Burlington (MI6 codename JJ) was one of Pemberton’s People in MI6; for more about that see a brief News Article dated 31 October 2022 published in TheBurlingtonFiles website. The series follows the real life of Bill Fairclough (and his family) who worked not only for British Intelligence, but also the CIA et al for several decades. The first tome is set in 1974 in London, Nassau and Port au Prince: see TheBurlingtonFiles website for a synopsis.

    Fairclough is not a professional but his writing style is engaging and fast-paced, making it difficult to put the book down as he effortlessly glides from cerebral issues to action-packed scenes which are never that far apart. Beyond Enkription is the stuff memorable spy films are made of. It’s unadulterated, realistic, punchy, pacy and provocative. While the book does not feature John le Carré’s “delicate diction, sophisticated syntax and placid plots” it remains a riveting and delightful read.

    This thriller is like nothing we have ever come across before. Indeed, we wonder what The Burlington Files would have been like if David Cornwell (aka John le Carré) had collaborated with Bill Fairclough whom critics have likened to “a posh Harry Palmer”. They did consider collaborating but did not proceed as explained in the aforementioned News Article. Nonetheless, critics have lauded Beyond Enkription as being ”up there with My Silent War by Kim Philby and No Other Choice by George Blake”.

    Overall, Beyond Enkription is a brilliantly refreshing book and a must read, especially for espionage cognoscenti. I cannot wait to see what is in store for us in the future. In the meantime, before reading Beyond Enkription do visit TheBurlingtonFiles website. It is like a living espionage museum and breathtaking in its own right.

  15. Pat says:

    The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay is a favorite of mine. Atlas Shrugged and The Fountain Head by Ayn Rand are also high on my list.
    Thanks for your good work!

  16. Susan Paul says:

    Why don’t these lists start “In my opinion”?

  17. Anonymous says:

    For me, no work of Fiction outranks a true crime story or a Biography. I have read Mark Lane”s “Rush To Judgement” completely through six times. The Apostle Paul’s “Epistle to the Romans,” and Priscilla’s “General Treatise to the Hebrews” easily surpass the entirety of this stack of falsehoods! Give me Dr. Stanton Friedman’s “Crash At Corona” long before any entry on this list!!!

    1. Anonymous says:

      Try Beyond Enkription then by Bill Fairclough. This fact based spy thriller is like nothing I have ever come across before. Indeed, I wonder what The Burlington Files would have been like if David Cornwell aka John le Carré had collaborated with Bill Fairclough. They did consider it and even though they didn’t collaborate, Beyond Enkription is still described as ”up there with My Silent War by Kim Philby and No Other Choice by George Blake”. Little wonder Beyond Enkription is mandatory reading on some countries’ intelligence induction programs.


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