Best Novels of All Time – Chronological (2022)

I collected24 lists of “Best Novels of All Time” from the Internet and books and combined them into one meta-list. Some of the lists included only novels written in English or novels written in the 20th Century, so I reached out to include the novels on other lists of great books, with an eye to including pre- and post-20th Century novels and novels written in languages other than English. The original lists use somewhat differing definitions of ‘novel’ andpurists may find books on the list that don’t meet one or more of those definitions.I apologize for any inconvenience. In the meta-list below, I have included every novel on three or more of the original source lists, organized chronologically. To see a shorter list that includes every novel onfour or more of the lists, organized by rank (i.e., with the novels on the most lists at the top),click here.

The Tale of Genji (Japan, before 1021). By Murasaki Shikibu (on 5 lists)

Best Novels of All Time – Chronological (1)

Calligraphy from a 12th Century illustrated scroll of The Tale of Genji.

One Thousand and One Nights(The Arabian Nights) (Arabia/Persia/India, c. 800-1500; first European pub. 1704-1717). By Anonymous (on 3 lists)
Gargantua and Pantagruel (France, 1532-1564). By François Rabelais(on 3 lists)
Don Quixote (Spain, Pt. 1: 1605; Pt. 2: 1615). By Miguel de Cervantes (on 13 lists)
The Pilgrim’s Progress(England, 1678). By John Bunyan (on 3 lists)

Robinson Crusoe (GB, 1719). By Daniel Defoe (on 8 lists)

Best Novels of All Time – Chronological (2)

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Title and facing pages from first edition of Robinson Crusoe.

Moll Flanders (GB, 1722). By Daniel DeFoe
Gulliver’s Travels (Ireland, 1726). By Jonathan Swift (on 9 lists)
Clarissa, or, the History of a Young Lady (GB, 1748). By Samuel Richardson (on 5 lists)
The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling (GB, 1749). By Henry Fielding (on 10 lists)
The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman(Ireland/GB, 1759). By Laurence Sterne (on 10 lists)
Candide (France, 1759). By Voltaire (on 7 lists)
The Vicar of Wakefield (Ireland/GB, 1766). By Oliver Goldsmith (on 3 lists)
The Sorrows of Young Werther (Germany, 1774, revised, 1787). By Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (on 3 lists)

Pride and Prejudice (UK, 1813). By Jane Austen (on 11 lists)

Best Novels of All Time – Chronological (3)

The title page of the first edition of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.

Emma (UK, 1816). By Jane Austen (on 7 lists)
Persuasion (UK, 1817) By Jane Austen (on 3 lists)
Frankenstein (UK, 1818). By Mary Shelley (on 9 lists)
Nightmare Abbey(UK, 1818). By Thomas Love Peacock (on 3 lists)
The Last of the Mohicans (US, 1826). By James Fenimore Cooper (on 3 lists)
The Red and the Black (France, 1830). By Stendhal (on 9 lists)
Le Pére Goriot(France, 1835). By Honoré de Balzac (on 5 lists)
The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym of Nantucket(US, 1838). By Edgar Allan Poe (on 4 lists)
The Charterhouse of Parma (France, 1839). By Stendhal (on 3 lists)
Dead Souls (Russia, 1842). By Nikolai Gogol (on 6 lists)
Lost Illusions (France, 1837-1843). By Honoré de Balzac (on 3 lists)
The Three Musketeers (France, 1844). By Alexandre Dumas (on 6 lists)
The Count of Monte Cristo (France, 1844). ByAlexandre Dumas (on 5 lists)
Cousin Bette (France, 1846). By Honoré de Balzac (on 3 lists)
Jane Eyre (UK, 1847). By Charlotte Brontë (on 12 lists)
Wuthering Heights (UK, 1847). By Emily Brontë (on 12 lists)
Vanity Fair(UK, 1848). By William Makepeace Thackeray (on 7 lists)

The Scarlet Letter(US, 1850). By Nathaniel Hawthorne (on 9 lists)

Best Novels of All Time – Chronological (4)

The title page of the first edition of The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne.

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David Copperfield (UK, 1850). By Charles Dickens (on 9 lists)
Oblomov (Russia, 1850). By Ivan Goncharov (on 3 lists)
Moby-Dick (US, 1851). By Herman Melville (on 13 lists)
Bleak House (UK, 1853). By Charles Dickens (on 5 lists)
Madame Bovary (France, 1856). By Gustave Flaubert (on 13 lists)
A Tale of Two Cities (UK, 1859). By Charles Dickens (on 6 lists)
Great Expectations (UK, 1861). By Charles Dickens (on 7 lists)
Silas Marner (UK, 1861). By George Eliot (on 3 lists)
Les Misérables (France, 1862). By Victor Hugo (on 8 lists)
Fathers and Sons (Russia, 1862). By Ivan Turgenev (on 4 lists)
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (UK, 1865). By Lewis Carroll (on 7 lists)
Crime and Punishment (Russia, 1866). By Fyodor Dostoyevsky (on 12 lists)
War and Peace (Russia, 1867 (serial); 1869 (book)). By Leo Tolstoy (on 10 lists)
The Moonstone (UK, 1868). By Wilkie Collins (on 3 lists)
Little Women(US, 1869). By Louisa May Alcott (on 5 lists)
The Idiot (Russia, 1869). By Fyodor Dostoevsky (on 4 lists)
Sentimental Education (France, 1869). By Gustave Flaubert (on 3 lists)
Middlemarch (UK, 1872). By George Eliot (on 11 lists)
The Possessed (The Devils) (Demons) (Russia, 1872). By Fyodor Dostoevsky (on 4 lists)
Daniel Deronda(UK, 1876). ByGeorge Eliot (on 3 lists)
Anna Karenina (Russia, 1877). By Leo Tolstoy (on 14 lists)
The Return of the Native (UK, 1878). By Thomas Hardy (on 3 lists)
The Brothers Karamazov (Russia, 1880). By Fyodor Dostoevsky (on 11 lists)
The Portrait of a Lady (US, 1881). By Henry James (on 9 lists)
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (US, 1884). By Mark Twain (on 14 lists)
Germinal (France, 1885) By Émile Zola (on 4 lists)
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (UK, 1886). By Robert Louis Stevenson (on 5 lists)
The Death of Ivan Ilych (novella) (Russia, 1886). By Leo Tolstoy (on 3 lists)
The Picture of Dorian Gray (Ireland, 1891). By Oscar Wilde (on 5 lists)
Tess of the d’Urbervilles (UK, 1892). By Thomas Hardy (on 8 lists)
Jude the Obscure (UK, 1895). By Thomas Hardy (on 4 lists)
The Red Badge of Courage (US, 1895). By Stephen Crane (on 3 lists)
Dracula(Ireland, 1897). By Bram Stoker (on 5 lists)
The Turn of the Screw (novella) (US, 1898). By Henry James(on 3 lists)
Heart of Darkness (novella) (UK, 1899 (serial; 1902 (book)). By Joseph Conrad (on 6 lists)
The Awakening (US, 1899). By Kate Chopin (on 5 lists)

Lord Jim (UK, 1900). By Joseph Conrad (on 3 lists)

Best Novels of All Time – Chronological (5)

A hardcover first edition of Lord Jim.

Sister Carrie (US, 1900). By Theodore Dreiser (on 3 lists)
Kim (UK, 1901). By Rudyard Kipling (on 4 lists)
Buddenbrooks (Germany, 1901). By Thomas Mann (on 3 lists)
The Hound of the Baskervilles (UK, 1902) By Arthur Conan Doyle (on 3 lists)
The Wings of the Dove (US/UK, 1902). By Henry James (on 3 lists)
The Call of the Wild (US, 1903). By Jack London (on 7 lists)
The Ambassadors (US/UK, 1903). By Henry James (on 4 lists)
The Golden Bowl (US, 1904). By Henry James (on 5 lists)
Nostromo (UK, 1904). By Joseph Conrad (on 5 lists)
The House of Mirth (US, 1905). By Edith Wharton (on 5 lists)
The Jungle (US, 1906). By Upton Sinclair (on 3 lists)
The Wind in the Willows(UK, 1908). By Kenneth Grahame (on 4 lists)
Howards End (UK, 1910) By E.M. Forster (on 5 lists)
Sons and Lovers (UK, 1913). By D.H. Lawrence (on 4 lists)
The Trial (Austria-Hungary/Czechoslovakia, 1915; Pub. 1925). By Franz Kafka (on 11 lists)
The Good Soldier (UK, 1915). By Ford Madox Ford (on 5 lists)
The Rainbow (US, 1915). By D.H. Lawrence (on 3 lists)
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (Ireland, 1916). By James Joyce (on 7 lists)
My Ántonia(US, 1918). By Willa Cather (on 7 lists)
Winesburg, Ohio (US, 1919). By Sherwood Anderson (on 3 lists)
The Age of Innocence (US, 1920). By Edith Wharton (on 8 lists)
Main Street (US, 1920). By Sinclair Lewis (on 3 lists)
Women In Love (UK, 1920). By D.H. Lawrence (on 3 lists)
Ulysses (Ireland, 1922). By James Joyce (on 13 lists)
Babbitt(US, 1922) By Sinclair Lewis (on 3 lists)
The Good Soldier Švejk (Czechoslovakia, 1921-1923) by Jaroslav Hašek (on 3 lists)
Zeno’s Conscience(Confessions of Zeno) (Italy, 1923). By Italo Svevo (on 3 lists)
A Passage To India (UK, 1924). By E.M. Forster (on 10 lists)
The Magic Mountain (Germany, 1924). By Thomas Mann (on 8 lists)
The Castle (Czechoslovakia, 1924, pub. 1926). By Franz Kafka (on 3 lists)

The Great Gatsby (US, 1925). By F. Scott Fitzgerald (on 17 lists)

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Best Novels of All Time – Chronological (6)

The cover art for the first edition of The Great Gatsby.

Mrs. Dalloway (UK, 1925). By Virginia Woolf (on 11 lists)
An American Tragedy (US, 1925). By Theodore Dreiser (on 9 lists)
The Sun Also Rises (US, 1926). By Ernest Hemingway (on 9 lists)
In Search of Lost Time (France, 1913-1927). By Marcel Proust (on 12 lists)
To the Lighthouse (UK, 1927). By Virginia Woolf (on 9 lists)
Death Comes for the Archbishop (US, 1927). By Willa Cather (on 6 lists)
The Bridge of San Luis Rey (US, 1927). By Thornton Wilder (on 3 lists)
The Sound and the Fury (US, 1929). By William Faulkner (on 12 lists)
The Maltese Falcon (US, 1929). By Dashiell Hammett (on 6 lists)
A Farewell To Arms (US, 1929). By Ernest Hemingway (on 5 lists)
All Quiet on the Western Front (Germany, 1929). By Erich Maria Remarque (on 3 lists)
Brave New World (UK, 1932). By Aldous Huxley (on 6 lists)
As I Lay Dying (US, 1932). By William Faulkner (on 6 lists)
Light in August (US, 1932). By William Faulkner (on 5 lists)
Journey to the End of the Night(France, 1932). ByLouis-Ferdinand Céline (on 3 lists)
Cold Comfort Farm (UK, 1932). By Stella Gibbons (on 3 lists)
Tropic of Cancer (France, 1934; US, 1961). By Henry Miller (on 6 lists)
Appointment in Samarra (US, 1934). By John O’Hara (on 4 lists)
I, Claudius (UK, 1934). By Robert Graves (on 4 lists)
Tender Is the Night (US, 1934). By F. Scott Fitzgerald (on 3 lists)
A Handful of Dust (UK, 1934). By Evelyn Waugh (on 3 lists)
Call It Sleep (US, 1934). By Henry Roth (on 3 lists)
Independent People (Iceland, 1934-1935). By Halldór Laxness (on 3 lists)
U.S.A. (trilogy) (US, 1930-1936). By John Dos Passos (on 6 lists)
Gone with the Wind (US, 1936). By Margaret Mitchell (on 6 lists)
Absalom, Absalom! (US, 1936). By William Faulkner (on 5 lists)
Their Eyes Were Watching God (US, 1937). By Zora Neale Hurston (on 7 lists)
Of Mice and Men (US, 1937). By John Steinbeck (on 5 lists)
Scoop (UK, 1938). By Evelyn Waugh (on 4 lists)
The Death of the Heart (UK, 1938). By Elizabeth Bowen (on 3 lists)
Rebecca (UK, 1938). By Daphne du Maurier (on 3 lists)
The Grapes of Wrath (US, 1939). By John Steinbeck (on 12 lists)
The Big Sleep (US, 1939). By Raymond Chandler (on 7 lists)
The Day of the Locust (US, 1939). By Nathanael West (on 4 lists)
Finnegans Wake (Ireland, 1939). By James Joyce (on 4 lists)
At Swim-Two-Birds(Ireland, 1939). By Flann O’Brien (on 3 lists)
Native Son (US, 1940). By Richard Wright (on 8 lists)
For Whom The Bell Tolls (US, 1940). By Ernest Hemingway (on 6 lists)
The Master and Margarita(USSR, 1940, pub. 1967). By Mikhail Bulgakov (on 6 lists)
The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (US, 1940). By Carson McCullers (on 5 lists)
The Power and the Glory (UK, 1940). By Graham Greene (on 3 lists)
The Man Who Loved Children (Australia, 1940). By Christina Stead (on 3 lists)
Darkness at Noon (UK, 1940). By Arthur Koestler (on 3 lists)
The Stranger (France, 1942). By Albert Camus (on 9 lists)
The Man Without Qualities (Germany, 1942). By Robert Musil (on 3 lists)
The Little Prince (France, 1943). By Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (on 4 lists)
The Fountainhead (US, 1943). By Ayn Rand (on 3 lists)
The Glass Bead Game (Magister Ludi) (Germany/Switzerland, 1943). By Herman Hesse (on 3 lists)
Brideshead Revisited (UK, 1945). By Evelyn Waugh (on 7 lists)
Animal Farm (UK, 1945). By George Orwell (on 4 lists)
The Death of Virgil (Austria, 1945). By Hermann Broch (on 3 lists)
All The King’s Men (US, 1946). By Robert Penn Warren (on 7 lists)
Zorba The Greek(Greece, 1946). By Nikos Kazantzakis (on 3 lists)
Under the Volcano (UK, 1947). By Malcolm Lowry (on 5 lists)
The Plague (France, 1947). By Albert Camus (on 3 lists)
The Naked and the Dead (US, 1948). By Norman Mailer (on 3 lists)
The Heart of the Matter (US, 1948). By Graham Greene (on 3 lists)
Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) (UK, 1949). By George Orwell (on 12 lists)
The Sheltering Sky (US, 1949). By Paul Bowles (on 3 lists)

The Catcher in the Rye (US, 1951). By J.D. Salinger (on 14 lists)

Memoirs of Hadrian(France, 1951). By Marguerite Yourcenar (on 3 lists)
Invisible Man (US, 1952). By Ralph Ellison (on 11 lists)
The Old Man and the Sea (US, 1952). By Ernest Hemingway (on 7 lists)
Charlotte’s Web(US, 1952). ByE.B. White (on 4 lists)
East of Eden (US, 1952). By John Steinbeck (on 3 lists)
Go Tell It on the Mountain (US, 1953). By James Baldwin (on 6 lists)
The Adventures of Augie March (US, 1953). By Saul Bellow (on 6 lists)
Three Novels: Malloy, Malone Dies, The Unnameable(France/Ireland, 1951-1953). BySamuel Beckett (on 3 lists)
Fahrenheit 451(US, 1953). By Ray Bradbury (on 3 lists)
Lord of the Flies (UK, 1954). By William Golding (on 6 lists)
Lucky Jim (UK, 1954). By Kingsley Amis (on 4 lists)
Under the Net (UK, 1954). By Iris Murdoch (on 3 lists)
Lolita (US, 1955). By Vladimir Nabokov (on 15 lists)
The Lord of the Rings (trilogy) (UK, 1954-1955). By J.R.R. Tolkein (on 5 lists)
Pedro Páramo (Mexico, 1955). By Juan Rulfo (on 3 lists)
The Chronicles of Narnia (7-novel series) (UK, 1950-1956). By C.S. Lewis (on 4 lists)
On the Road (US, 1957). By Jack Kerouac (on 10 lists)
Atlas Shrugged (US, 1957). By Ayn Rand (on 4 lists)
The Cairo Trilogy (Egypt, 1956-1957). By Naguib Mahfouz (on 3 lists)
Doctor Zhivago (USSR, 1957). By Boris Pasternak (on 3 lists)
Things Fall Apart (Nigeria, 1958). By Chinua Achebe (on 10 lists)
The Leopard (Italy, 1958). By Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa (on 6 lists)
The Tin Drum (Germany, 1959). By Günter Grass (on 6 lists)
Naked Lunch (US, 1959). By William S. Burroughs (on 3 lists)
To Kill A Mockingbird (US, 1960). By Harper Lee (on 14 lists)
Rabbit, Run (US, 1960). By John Updike (on 7 lists)
The Alexandria Quartet (UK, 1957-1960). By Lawrence Durell (on 3 lists)
The Sot-Weed Factor (US, 1960). By John Barth (on 3 lists)
Catch-22 (US, 1961). By Joseph Heller (on 12 lists)
A House for Mr. Biswas (Trinidad & Tobago/UK, 1961). By V.S. Naipaul (on 6 lists)
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (UK, 1961). By Muriel Spark (on 6 lists)
The Moviegoer (US, 1961). By Walker Percy (on 3 lists)
Revolutionary Road (US, 1961). By Richard Yates (on 3 lists)
The Golden Notebook (UK, 1962). By Doris Lessing (on 7 lists)
Pale Fire (US, 1962). By Vladimir Nabokov (on 6 lists)
A Clockwork Orange (UK, 1962). By Anthony Burgess (on 4 lists)
One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest (US, 1962). By Ken Kesey (on 4 lists)
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich(USSR, 1962). By Aleksandr Solzhenistyn (on 3 lists)
The Death of Artemio Cruz (Mexico, 1962). By Carlos Fuentes (on 3 lists)
Herzog (US, 1964). By Saul Bellow (on 4 lists)
A Personal Matter (Japan, 1964). By Kenzaburo Oe (on 3 lists)
Wide Sargasso Sea (Dominica/UK, 1966). By Jean Rhys (on 4 lists)
In Cold Blood(US, 1966). By Truman Capote (on 3 lists)
The Bell Jar(US, 1966). By Sylvia Plath (on 3 lists)
Cancer Ward (USSR, 1966). By Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (on 3 lists)
One Hundred Years of Solitude (Colombia, 1967). By Gabriel García Márquez (on 18 lists)
Slaughterhouse-Five (US, 1969). By Kurt Vonnegut (on 7 lists)
Portnoy’s Complaint (US, 1969). By Philip Roth (on 4 lists)
The French Lieutenant’s Woman (UK, 1969). By John Fowles (on 3 lists)
Rabbit Redux (US, 1971). By John Updike (on 4 lists)
Invisible Cities (Italy, 1972). By Italo Calvino (on 3 lists)
Gravity’s Rainbow (US, 1973). By Thomas Pynchon (on 5 lists)

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A Dance to the Music of Time (12-novel cycle) (UK, 1951-1975). By Anthony Powell (on 4 lists)

Best Novels of All Time – Chronological (8)

The cover art for Hearing Secret Harmonies (1975), the twelfth and final novel in the series A Dance to the Music of Timeby Anthony Powell.

Ragtime (US, 1975). By E.L. Doctorow (on 4 lists)
J R(US, 1975). By William Gaddis (on 3 lists)
Song of Solomon(US, 1977). By Toni Morrison (on 5 lists)
The World According to Garp (US, 1978). By John Irving (on 4 lists)
Life: A User’s Manual (France, 1978). By Georges Perec (on 3 lists)
The Stand (US, 1978). By Stephen King (on 3 lists)
A Bend in the River (Trinidad and Tobago/UK, 1979). By V.S. Naipaul (on 5 lists)
If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller (Italy, 1979). By Italo Calvino (on 4 lists)
Sophie’s Choice (US, 1979). By William Styron (on 4 lists)
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (UK, 1979). By Douglas Adams (on 4 lists)
The Name of the Rose (Italy, 1980). By Umberto Eco (on 4 lists)
A Confederacy of Dunces(US, 1980). By John Kennedy Toole (on 3 lists)
Waiting for the Barbarians(South Africa, 1980). ByJ. M. Coetzee (on 3 lists)
Midnight’s Children (UK, 1981). By Salman Rushdie (on 9 lists)
Housekeeping(US, 1981). By Marilynne Robinson (on 4 lists)
Rabbit Is Rich (US, 1981). By John Updike (on 3 lists)
The Color Purple (US, 1982). By Alice Walker (on 5 lists)
The House of the Spirits (Chile, 1982). ByIsabel Allende (on 3 lists)
Schindler’s List (Schindler’s Ark) (Australia, 1982). By Thomas Keneally (on 3 lists)
Money: A Suicide Note(UK, 1984). By Martin Amis (on 4 lists)
Neuromancer (US/Canada, 1984). By William Gibson (on 4 lists)
The Lover (France, 1984). ByMarguerite Duras (on 3 lists)
The Unbearable Lightness of Being (Czechoslovakia, 1984). By Milan Kundera (on 3 lists)
Love in the Time of Cholera (Colombia, 1985). By Gabriel Garcia Marquez (on 5 lists)
The Handmaid’s Tale (Canada, 1985). By Margaret Atwood (on 4 lists)
Blood Meridian (US, 1985). By Cormac McCarthy (on 4 lists)
White Noise (US, 1985). By Don DeLillo (on 3 lists)
Lonesome Dove(US, 1985). By Larry McMurtry (on 3 lists)
The New York Trilogy(US, 1985-1986). ByPaul Auster (on 3 lists)
Beloved (US, 1987). By Toni Morrison (on 10 lists)
The Satanic Verses (UK, 1988). By Salman Rushdie (on 3 lists)
The Joy Luck Club(US, 1989). By Amy Tan (on 3 lists)
Rabbit at Rest (US, 1990). By John Updike (on 3 lists)
The Things They Carried(linked stories) (US, 1990). By Tim O’Brien (on 3 lists)
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle(Japan, 1995). By Haruki Murakami (on 3 lists)
Blindness (Portugal, 1995). By José Saramago (on 3 lists)
Infinite Jest (US, 1996). By David Foster Wallace (on 4 lists)
American Pastoral (US, 1997). By Philip Roth (on 5 lists)
Underworld (US, 1997). By Don DeLillo (on 3 lists)
The Savage Detectives (Chile, 1998). By Roberto Bolaño (on 5 lists)
My Name Is Red (Turkey, 1998). By Orhan Pamuk (on 3 lists)
Disgrace (South Africa, 1999). By J.M. Coetzee (on 6 lists)

White Teeth (UK, 2000). By Zadie Smith (on 4 lists)

Best Novels of All Time – Chronological (9)

The cover art for the first edition of White Teeth.

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The Corrections (US, 2001). By Jonathan Franzen (on 4 lists)
Austerlitz (Germany, 2001). By W.G. Sebald (on 4 lists)
Atonement (UK, 2001). By Ian McEwan (on 6 lists)
Middlesex (US, 2002). By Jeffrey Eugenides (on 3 lists)
The Road (US, 2006). By Cormac McCarthy (on 3 lists)


What is considered the greatest novel of all time? ›

The Greatest Books of All Time
  1. 1 . In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust. ...
  2. 2 . Ulysses by James Joyce. ...
  3. 3 . Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes. ...
  4. 4 . One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. ...
  5. 5 . The Great Gatsby by F. ...
  6. 6 . Moby Dick by Herman Melville. ...
  7. 7 . War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. ...
  8. 8 .

Which is the No 1 novel in the world? ›

Top 100 best selling books of all time
1Da Vinci Code,TheBrown, Dan
2Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsRowling, J.K.
3Harry Potter and the Philosopher's StoneRowling, J.K.
4Harry Potter and the Order of the PhoenixRowling, J.K.
45 more rows

What is the 10 most read book in the world? ›

We've got a list of the most read books in the world of all time.
  • The Holy Bible.
  • The Holy Quran.
  • The Harry Potter Series: J.K. Rowling.
  • The Quotations From Chairman Mao Tse Tung.
  • The Lord of the Rings.
  • The Alchemist.
  • The Diary of Anne Frank: Anne Frank.
  • The Twilight SagA: Stephenie Meyer.
Mar 24, 2021

What is considered the greatest novel of the 20th century? ›

11984 by George Orwell 4.19 avg rating — 3,863,639 ratings score: 9,096, and 93 people voted
2To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee 4.27 avg rating — 5,318,807 ratings score: 5,953, and 61 people voted
3Brave New World by Aldous Huxley 3.99 avg rating — 1,651,748 ratings score: 4,900, and 51 people voted
37 more rows
Apr 12, 2012

What are the 3 most popular books? ›

25 Best-Selling Books of All-Time
  • #1 – Don Quixote (500 million copies sold) ...
  • #2 – A Tale of Two Cities (200 million copies sold) ...
  • #3 – The Lord of the Rings (150 million copies sold) ...
  • #4 – The Little Prince (142 million copies sold) ...
  • #5 – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (107 million copies sold)

What is the one book everyone should read? ›

1. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. This book is a timeless classic that discusses human behavior and the collective conscience of The Deep South during the 20th century.

What is the #1 selling book of all time? ›

According to Guinness World Records as of 1995, the Bible is the best-selling book of all time with an estimated 5 billion copies sold and distributed.

What is the second most read book in the world? ›

The second most read book in the world is the Holy Quran. As per survey the Quran is not only most read book of the Islamic world, but it also the most recited book of all time. The Third most read book is Quotation from the works of Mao Tse –tung.

What is the name of 10 famous book? ›

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

What is the number 1 read book? ›

The most read book in the world is the Bible. Writer James Chapman created a list of the most read books in the world based on the number of copies each book sold over the last 50 years. He found that the Bible far outsold any other book, with a whopping 3.9 billion copies sold over the last 50 years.

What is the hardest book in the world to read? ›

The 10 Most Difficult Books You'll Ever Read
  • Finnegans Wake by James Joyce.
  • Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace.
  • The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner.
  • Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs.
  • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy.
  • Sophie's Choice by William Styron.
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville.
  • The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro.
Sep 22, 2021

What fiction book is most read? ›

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

The most popular novel of all time, Don Quixote, is a testament to how great storytelling has no expiration date. The story follows a Hidalgo, Alonso Quixano, who proves that chivalry will, in fact, never die.

Who is the best selling author of the 21st century? ›

James Patterson published his first novel back in 1976 titled “The Thomas Berryman Number.” Since then, he has penned more than 129 more novels. James, who will turn 67 on March 22, tops the list as one of the best selling authors of this decade and of the 21st century.

Who is the best writer in 20th century? ›

11 Best 20th Century Authors You Must Read
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1896 – 1940.
  • Virginia Woolf, 1882 – 1941.
  • Harper Lee, 1926 – 2016.
  • Dr. Seuss, 1904 – 1991.
  • Toni Morrison, 1931 – 2019.
  • Beverly Cleary, 1916 – 2021.

What type of fiction was popular in the 20th century? ›

Two of the most common genres of fiction in the 20th century were detective and science fiction.

What's the hottest book right now? ›

The 10 Most Popular Books Right Now
  • It Starts with Us: A Novel. ...
  • It Ends with Us. ...
  • Chain of Gold (Barnes & Noble Deluxe Exclusive) (Last Hours Series #1) ...
  • We'll Always Have Summer (Summer I Turned Pretty Series #3) ...
  • The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present. ...
  • The House across the Lake (B&N Exclusive Edition) ...
  • Book Lovers.
Jun 24, 2022

Who is the #1 best-selling author? ›

James Patterson is the world's highest-paid author by a wide margin, and has been the world's best-selling author since 2001. He has sold more than 350 million books worldwide, and is most famous for the "Alex Cross" crime novel series.

What are the top 10 books today? ›

  • The Hotel Nantucket by Elin Hilderbrand. ...
  • Sparring Partners by John Grisham. ...
  • Suspects by Danielle Steel. ...
  • The House Across the Lake by Riley Sager. ...
  • Escape by James Patterson; David Ellis. ...
  • The Measure by Nikki Erlick. ...
  • The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. ...
  • Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus.

What book should everybody read once in their life? ›

1. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee. Published in 1960, this timeless classic explores human behaviour and the collective conscience of The Deep South in the early 20th century. Humour entwines the delicate strands of prejudice, hatred, hypocrisy, love and innocence to create one of the best novels ever written.

What is a book that everyone needs to read and why? ›

"The Diary of Anne Frank" by Anne Frank. "1984" by George Orwell. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" by J.K. Rowling. "The Lord of the Rings" (1-3) by J.R.R. Tolkien.

What book should I read to become smarter? ›

1. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. This 2011 bestseller by Nobel Laureate Kahneman is an intriguing account of the way the human brain works, with its two main manners of thinking and coming to decisions: namely, fast and slow.

Who is the highest paid author? ›

Topping the ranking of the world's highest earning authors in 2019 was J.K. Rowling, with an income of 92 million U.S. dollars. Rowling is best known for her 'Harry Potter' series, but came under fire in May 2020 for comments on Twitter which users felt were transphobic.

What is Charles Dickens best book? ›

Charles Dickens

Who is the best author alive? ›

The 10 best living American novelists
  1. Alice Walker. Getty Images. ...
  2. Marilynne Robinson. ...
  3. Jonathan Franzen. ...
  4. Michael Chabon. ...
  5. Bret Easton Ellis. ...
  6. George Saunders. ...
  7. Rachel Kushner. ...
  8. Anne Tyler.
Aug 8, 2018

What is the most common favorite book? ›

With nearly 8 million ratings, "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" is the most popular book of all time on Goodreads and has sold over 120 million copies.

What is the most read book in 2021? ›

Best of 2021: Our 15 Most Popular Books of the Year
  • The Last Thing He Told Me. by Laura Dave. ...
  • Lightning Strike. by William Kent Krueger. ...
  • The Missing Treasures of Amy Ashton. by Eleanor Ray. ...
  • Yellow Wife. by Sadeqa Johnson. ...
  • In Five Years. by Rebecca Serle. ...
  • The Paris Library. ...
  • In a Book Club Far Away. ...
  • The Night She Disappeared.
Dec 9, 2021

What is the hardest book to finish? ›

The 10 most difficult books to finish – in pictures
  • Ethics. ...
  • The Unconsoled. ...
  • The Man Without Qualities. ...
  • Das Kapital. ...
  • Under the Volcano. ...
  • Finnegans Wake. ...
  • Gravity's Rainbow. ...
  • The Unfortunates.
Nov 3, 2012

What books have the highest reading level? ›

Higher Level Reading Books
  • King Henry VIII (Hardcover) ...
  • The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1) ...
  • So B. ...
  • Chains (Seeds of America, #1) ...
  • The Giver (The Giver, #1) ...
  • The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter's Wonder (Hardcover) ...
  • Walk Two Moons (Paperback) Sharon Creech. ...
  • One Grain of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale (Hardcover) Demi.

What is the thickest book in the world? ›

The thickest book published is 496 mm (19.5 in) and was achieved by Gyanjivandasji Swami (India) in Gujarat, India, on 2 February 2020. The book is entitled 'Shree Haricharitramrut Sagar' and is a biography of Bhagwan Shree Swaminarayan.

What novels is a must read? ›

  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (1813) ...
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960) ...
  • The Great Gatsby by F. ...
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez (1967) ...
  • In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (1965) ...
  • Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys (1966) ...
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (1932)
May 26, 2022

Who is the most read author in the world? ›

AuthorMin. estimated salesNumber of books
William Shakespeare2 billion42
Agatha Christie2 billion85
Barbara Cartland500 million723
Danielle Steel500 million179
66 more rows

Who is the best novel writer in the world? ›

  • Leo Tolstoy — 327.
  • William Shakespeare — 293.
  • James Joyce — 194.
  • Vladimir Nabokov — 190.
  • Fyodor Dostoevsky — 177.
  • William Faulkner — 173.
  • Charles Dickens — 168.
  • Anton Chekhov — 165.
Jan 30, 2012

Who is America's greatest writer? ›

  • Edgar Allan Poe 1809 –1849.
  • Herman Melville 1819 – 1891.
  • Walt Whitman 1819-1892.
  • Mark Twain 1835 – 1910.
  • T.S. Eliot 1888 – 1965.
  • William Faulkner 1897 –1962.
  • Tennessee Williams 1911-1983.
  • Kurt Vonnegut 1922 – 2007.

What are the 7 genres of literature? ›

The primary genres in literature are poetry, drama/play, essay, short story, and novel. The term genre is used quite often to denote literary sub-classifications or specific types of literature such as comedy, tragedy, epic poetry, thriller, science fiction, romance, etc.

What are the 3 types of fiction? ›

Novels usually fall into three categories: literary fiction, genre fiction, and mainstream fiction.

What are the 5 types of fiction? ›

#1 Fiction

This genre is often broken up into five subgenres: fantasy, historical fiction, contemporary fiction, mystery, and science fiction. Nonetheless, there are more than just five types of fiction, ranging from romance to graphic novels.


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