We get it. You have your own style. There’s a certain genre you fit inside, and we love that about you. What’s popular may not be your thing, but there’s a reason why certain books are considered the best of all time. Maybe they sold the most copies or left its mark on the literary world or mankind’s imagination. Either way, these are the greatest books ever written.
What Did These Books Do To Qualify For This List
Any time you are ranking the best of something the results are usually somewhat subjective but we have did our best to come up with a list the avid readers will truly like. To come up with this list we took into account:
- quantity and quality of user reviews
- sales data
- public perception
- opinions of readers of this genres
- commercial success
- and of course personal opinion
Take a look at the best books of all time you can read right now:
• Best Books of All Time
• Best Movies of All Time
• Best Books of All Time in Audio
Table of Contents
Best Books of All Time
Here are the best books of all time by the experts:
1)Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
- Book Summary:Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American ReadDon Quixote has become so entranced reading tales of chivalry that he decides to turn knight errant himself. In the company of his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, these exploits blossom in all sorts of wonderful ways. While Quixote’s fancy often leads him astray—he tilts at windmills, imagining them to be giants—Sancho acquires cunning and a certain sagacity. Sane madman and wise fool, they roam the world together-and together they have haunted readers’ imaginations for nearly four hundred years.With its experimental form and literary playfulness, Don Quixote has been generally recognized as the first modern novel. This Penguin Classics edition, with its beautiful new cover design, includes John Rutherford’s masterly translation, which does full justice to the energy and wit of Cervantes’s prose, as well as a brilliant critical introduction by Roberto Gonzalez Echevarriá. One of the best books of all time.
- Book Reviews:
2)A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
- Book Summary:It was the time of the French Revolution — a time of great change and great danger. It was a time when injustice was met by a lust for vengeance, and rarely was a distinction made between the innocent and the guilty. Against this tumultuous historical backdrop, Dickens’ great story of unsurpassed adventure and courage unfolds.
Unjustly imprisoned for 18 years in the Bastille, Dr. Alexandre Manette is reunited with his daughter, Lucie, and safely transported from France to England. It would seem that they could take up the threads of their lives in peace. As fate would have it though, the pair are summoned to the Old Bailey to testify against a young Frenchman — Charles Darnay — falsely accused of treason. Strangely enough, Darnay bears an uncanny resemblance to another man in the courtroom, the dissolute lawyer’s clerk Sydney Carton. It is a coincidence that saves Darnay from certain doom more than once. Brilliantly plotted, the novel is rich in drama, romance, and heroics that culminate in a daring prison escape in the shadow of the guillotine.
- Book Reviews:
3)The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
- Book Summary:A PBS Great American Read Top 100 PickOne Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind themIn ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell by chance into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins.From Sauron’s fastness in the Dark Tower of Mordor, his power spread far and wide. Sauron gathered all the Great Rings to him, but always he searched for the One Ring that would complete his dominion.When Bilbo reached his eleventy-first birthday he disappeared, bequeathing to his young cousin Frodo the Ruling Ring and a perilous quest: to journey across Middle-earth, deep into the shadow of the Dark Lord, and destroy the Ring by casting it into the Cracks of Doom.The Lord of the Rings tells of the great quest undertaken by Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring: Gandalf the Wizard; the hobbits Merry, Pippin, and Sam; Gimli the Dwarf; Legolas the Elf; Boromir of Gondor; and a tall, mysterious stranger called Strider.This new edition includes the fiftieth-anniversary fully corrected text setting and, for the first time, an extensive new index.J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973), beloved throughout the world as the creator of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion, was a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford, a fellow of Pembroke College, and a fellow of Merton College until his retirement in 1959. His chief interest was the linguistic aspects of the early English written tradition, but while he studied classic works of the past, he was creating a set of his own. Unarguably one of the best books of all time.
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4)The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
- Book Summary:The Little Prince describes his journey from planet to planet, each tiny world populated by a single adult. It’s a wonderfully inventive sequence, which evokes not only the great fairy tales but also such monuments of postmodern whimsy.
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5)Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
- Book Summary:Harry Potter has no idea how famous he is. That’s because he’s being raised by his miserable aunt and uncle who are terrified Harry will learn that he’s really a wizard, just as his parents were. But everything changes when Harry is summoned to attend an infamous school for wizards, and he begins to discover some clues about his illustrious birthright. From the surprising way he is greeted by a lovable giant, to the unique curriculum and colorful faculty at his unusual school, Harry finds himself drawn deep inside a mystical world he never knew existed and closer to his own noble destiny.
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6)And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
- Book Summary:Agatha Christie’s world-famous mystery thriller, reissued with a striking cover designed to appeal to the latest generation of Agatha Christie fans and book lovers.Ten strangers, apparently with little in common, are lured to an island mansion off the coast of Devon by the mysterious U.N.Owen. Over dinner, a record begins to play, and the voice of an unseen host accuses each person of hiding a guilty secret. That evening, former reckless driver Tony Marston is found murdered by a deadly dose of cyanide.The tension escalates as the survivors realise the killer is not only among them but is preparing to strike again… and again…
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7)The Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin
- Book Summary:The Story of the Stone (c. 1760), also known by the title of The Dream of the Red Chamber, is the great novel of manners in Chinese literature.Divided into five volumes, The Story of the Stone charts the glory and decline of the illustrious Jia family. This novel re-creates the ritualized hurly-burly of Chinese family life that would otherwise be lost and infuses it with affirming Buddhist belief.
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8)She: A History of Adventure by H. Rider Haggard
- Book Summary:For over 100 years Oxford World’s Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford’s commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
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9)The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
- Book Summary:Four adventurous siblings—Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie—step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia, a land frozen in eternal winter and enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change . . . and a great sacrifice.Open the door and enter a new world! The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is the second book in C. S. Lewis’s classic fantasy series, which has been captivating readers of all ages with a magical land and unforgettable characters for over sixty years.
- Book Reviews:
10)The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
- Book Summary:Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American ReadWhile in Paris, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is awakened by a phone call in the dead of the night. The elderly curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum, his body covered in baffling symbols. As Langdon and gifted French cryptologist Sophie Neveu sort through the bizarre riddles, they are stunned to discover a trail of clues hidden in the works of Leonardo da Vinci—clues visible for all to see and yet ingeniously disguised by the painter.Even more startling, the late curator was involved in the Priory of Sion—a secret society whose members included Sir Isaac Newton, Victor Hugo, and Da Vinci—and he guarded a breathtaking historical secret. Unless Langdon and Neveu can decipher the labyrinthine puzzle—while avoiding the faceless adversary who shadows their every move—the explosive, ancient truth will be lost forever.
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Best Movies of All Time
If you enjoyed the best books of all time, why stop there? Take a look at our list of best movies and witness these marvelous films from the big screen.
Movie Summary:From Academy Award winning director James Cameron (Aliens, The Abyss, True Lies, Titanic) comes Avatar, the story of an ex-Marine who finds himself thrust into hostilities on an alien planet filled with exotic life forms. As an Avatar, a human mind in an alien body, he finds himself torn between two worlds, in a desperate fight for his own survival and that of the indigenous people.
Avatar is Easily one of the most amazing films I have seen in my life.
This movie was everything that can awaken all people to the truth of what has been happening for many years here globally. Its time for humanity globally to wakeup and shift their consciousness for a more positive living for many more generations to be able to live in Love, Peace, Caring, compassion for each other…the way it was suppose to be in the beginning. Its time to shift actions and consciousness from the older generations same old thinking which is broken. All The Best To Those who are awakening to reality of Truth.
2)Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame
Starring: Robert Downey Jr. , Chris Evans , Mark Ruffalo , et al.
Directed by: Anthony Russo and Joe Russo
Movie Summary:The fourth installment in the Avengers saga is the culmination of 22 interconnected films and the climax of an epic journey. Earth’s heroes will finally understand how fragile our reality is–and the sacrifices that must be made to uphold it–in a story of friendship, teamwork and setting aside differences to overcome an impossible obstacle.
These Marvel superheroes are relatable and flawed characters whom we’ve gotten to know over the course of the past eleven years. These movies also show why these characters are timeless and are among the best humanity has to offer. With incredible action sequences and heartwarming character beats, it provided a lot of emotional moments that resonated perfectly as a fan of all these movies. There’s plenty of jaw-dropping moments and big challenges for our heroes to overcome. It’s an immensely satisfying movie that invites you to just get on the roller-coaster and enjoy the ride that a comic book movie like this can be.
Movie Summary:Experience James Cameron’s Titanic like never before. Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet shine in this unforgettable, epic love story. See why critics declare Titanic “a magnificent motion picture that remains spellbinding.”*Roger Ebert, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES
I’m a 19 year old dude and this is one of my favorite films of all time, having really affected who I am. Always been a history buff, and since I was a little kid I’d been fascinated by the story of the Titanic. When I first watched this film, I meant to watch it for the historical aspect, and planned to disregard the love story aspect because “that’s for girls.” Well, I was quite mistaken. the story and characters are excellent, and I sorta looked up to Jack as the kind of guy I wanted to be, just an all around good guy who treats everyone fairly and will do whatever it takes to protect those who need it. Using this excellently constructed character as one of my role models, I’ve grown from a depressed young boy with a negative outlook on life to a much more positive, happier young man pursuing a military career at a great school. Moral of the story is, “Make each day count” and I thank all who were involved in the making of this film for helping bring that message to me.
4)Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Movie Summary:As a new threat to the galaxy rises, Rey, a desert scavenger, and Finn, an ex-stormtrooper, must join Han Solo and Chewbacca to search for the one hope of restoring peace. Experience the motion picture event of a generation in The Force Awakens.
This is the best overall film of the New Trilogy thusfar. The Last Jedi is hyper controversial and philosophical [and I actually love it because It explores a tough subject matter, disillusionment among Jedi and Sith and rebirth of faith in the Force]. The Force Awakens captures a glint of the glory, awe, and wonder of A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back.
Starring: Chris Pratt , Bryce Dallas Howard , Vincent D’Onofrio , et al.
Directed by: Colin Trevorrow
Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) race to restore order at Jurassic World theme park when a ferocious genetically modified dinosaur escapes.
Fun flik with good production values. There’s just something about dinosaurs eating people after I’ve had a frustrating day that just makes me feel better! Watched it with someone who argued it was “too predictable” but this far into the franchise I don’t think any of us are watching it cause we’re expecting big plot twists. We want to see some realistic looking dinosaurs eating people!!! And that’s what we get here!!! Plus some added really nice eye candy in the form of the male lead. Very nice. Hot guy, dinosaurs eating people, guy is smart and sexy, dinosaurs are eating people, guy is brave and courageous, dinosaurs are eating people… yup, great movie!!!
Best Audio Books of All Time
Now that you’ve seen our list of the best books of all time, I’m sure you’ll be interested in trying out more of the best books of all time in audio!
1)The Girl on the Train: A Novel by Paula Hawkins
Book Summary:EVERY DAY THE SAME
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life–as she sees it–is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?
2)Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson
In Oathbringer, the third volume of the New York Times best-selling Stormlight Archive, humanity faces a new Desolation with the return of the Voidbringers, a foe with numbers as great as their thirst for vengeance.
Dalinar Kholin’s Alethi armies won a fleeting victory at a terrible cost. The enemy Parshendi summoned the violent Everstorm, which now sweeps the world with destruction and in its passing awakens the once peaceful and subservient parshmen to the horror of their millennia-long enslavement by humans. While on a desperate flight to warn his family of the threat, Kaladin Stormblessed must come to grips with the fact that the newly kindled anger of the parshmen may be wholly justified.
Nestled in the mountains high above the storms, in the tower city of Urithiru, Shallan Davar investigates the wonders of the ancient stronghold of the Knights Radiant and unearths dark secrets lurking in its depths. And Dalinar realizes that his holy mission to unite his homeland of Alethkar was too narrow in scope. Unless all the nations of Roshar can put aside Dalinar’s blood-soaked past and stand together – and unless Dalinar himself can confront that past – even the restoration of the Knights Radiant will not prevent the end of civilization.
Oathbringer gets deeper into the overarching Cosmere. But the characters in the Stormlight Archives are so, well, characterful that putting the face of a real actor to them adds so much to the reading experience. I submit for your consideration this casting — some are just too perfect.
As a nerd, the words are hard to say aloud. However, Sanderson does something truly magical with just how life-changing this set of stories are. It’s nothing like Dune or Lord of the Rings, where it will change your philosophical view of things. However, it will change your taste in writing, expecting such grand quality from other sources as well. The pace, writing style, and characters are truly unrivaled. I strongly recommend this book to anyone and everyone that is open to Fantasy.
3)The Martian by Andy Weir
Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there.
After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive – and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.
Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plainold “human error” are much more likely to kill him first.
But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills – and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit – he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?”
One of the best thrillers I’ve read in a long time. It feels so real it could almost be nonfiction, and yet it has the narrative drive and power of a rocket launch. This is Apollo 13 times ten.
-Douglas Preston, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Impact and Blasphemy
A book I just couldn’t put down! It has the very rare combination of a good, original story, interestingly real characters and fascinating technical accuracy…reads like MacGyver meets Mysterious Island.
-Astronaut Chris Hadfield, Commander of the International Space Station and author of An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth
4)The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
Book Summary:In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be positive all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people.
For decades we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. “F*ck positivity,” Mark Manson says. “Let’s be honest, shit is f*cked, and we have to live with it.” In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn’t sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is – a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mind-set that has infected modern society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up.
Manson makes the argument, backed by both academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited – “not everybody can be extraordinary; there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault”. Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek.
There are only so many things we can give a f*ck about, so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. A much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.
What I like the most about this book is that my initial thought of; “This will be a good read- I’ll probably get a provoking thought or two out of it”, turned into, “Wow. This book has literally changed my life, for the better.” Since I’ve finished it, I recommended it to four people, two of which have acquired the book, and I even got an extra copy as a gift for a friend. I intend to read this book every couple years or so for the times I need to be reminded of what improved my life so much in the first place. This is an easy read- yet written on a sophisticated level (despite the title), and I looked forward to every bit of free time I could dedicate to reading it. There were times I laughed, got teary eyed, and most importantly said, “hmmm, I never thought of it like that before…” I recommend this book to anyone who is open to changing their mindset, and can understand irony. Obviously the title is not instructing the reader to stop taking care in interest in EVERYTHING, so if that thought never crossed your mind upon reading the title, then I suggest you read this.
I can’t recommend this book enough. While its not a fast read, its not a hard read. Since (my guess) it was excerpts of blogs that he then expanded upon, the beginning of a chapter can be direct, then gets a bit wordy to read. BUT – he has some amazing points. I’d suggest highlighting as you go along, then when you finish, go back and summarize by reading the highlighted parts. A bit awkward to try and read on an airplane (even when you take the bright orange cover off, the black book as gold text along the spine), but very thought provoking.
5)The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid, Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.
Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her 17th white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.
Minny, Aibileen’s best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody’s business, but she can’t mind her tongue, so she’s lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.
Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.
In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women – mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends – view one another.
The Help is an emotional rollercoaster with a touching message and a strong undercurrent of hope. If you, like me, weren’t sure about reading it, I can’t recommend it strongly enough. This is one of the best books of all time available in audio.
There are profoundly moving moments in the book and the movie. There are some surprising passages. Kathryn Stockett’s humor is a riot. I was
reminded of some of the funniest lines in Steel Magnolias, but I think that the humor is much more deftly handled in this book.
I wish that I had written The Help. I’m glad that I read it. What a great book!
What do you think about our list of best books of all time? If you have another genre that you prefer to read we have probably compiled a list of our favorites for that genre too. So if you are looking for something other than the best books of all time you can find other genres here.