The top 100 books – what I want to try to read.


The Guardian list of top 100 books. I may try to read many of these.

The top 100 books of all time

Take a look at a list of the top 100 books of all time, nominated by writers from around the world, from Things Fall Apart to Mrs Dalloway, and from Pride and Prejudice to Don Quixote
The 100 greatest non-fiction books

Looking for great book recommendations? Our critics and experts pick the best books, and give the definitive subject lists

Don Quixote

The greatest book of all time? … Don Quixote and Sancho Panza as drawn by Honoré Daumier, c.1855. Photograph: Francis G. Mayer/Corbis

1984 by George Orwell, England, (1903-1950)

A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen, Norway (1828-1906) DailyLit Available

A Sentimental Education by Gustave Flaubert, France, (1821-1880)

Absalom, Absalom! by William Faulkner, United States, (1897-1962)

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain, United States, (1835-1910)

The Aeneid by Virgil, Italy, (70-19 BC)

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, Russia, (1828-1910) DailyLit Available

Beloved by Toni Morrison, United States, (b. 1931)

Berlin Alexanderplatz by Alfred Doblin, Germany, (1878-1957)

Blindness by Jose Saramago, Portugal, (b. 1922)

The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa, Portugal, (1888-1935)

The Book of Job, Israel. (600-400 BC)

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor M Dostoyevsky, Russia, (1821-1881) DailyLit Available

Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann, Germany, (1875-1955)

Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, England, (1340-1400) [partially read] DailyLit Available

The Castle by Franz Kafka, Bohemia, (1883-1924)

Children of Gebelawi by Naguib Mahfouz, Egypt, (b. 1911)

Collected Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges, Argentina, (1899-1986)

Complete Poems by Giacomo Leopardi, Italy, (1798-1837)

The Complete Stories by Franz Kafka, Bohemia, (1883-1924)

The Complete Tales by Edgar Allan Poe, United States, (1809-1849) DailyLit Available

Confessions of Zeno by Italo Svevo, Italy, (1861-1928)

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor M Dostoyevsky, Russia, (1821-1881) DailyLit Available

Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol, Russia, (1809-1852) DailyLit Available

The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories by Leo Tolstoy, Russia, (1828-1910)

Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio, Italy, (1313-1375) DailyLit Available

The Devil to Pay in the Backlands by Joao Guimaraes Rosa, Brazil, (1880-1967)

Diary of a Madman and Other Stories by Lu Xun, China, (1881-1936)

The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri, Italy, (1265-1321) DailyLit Available

Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Spain, (1547-1616) DailyLit Available

Essays by Michel de Montaigne, France, (1533-1592) DailyLit Available

Fairy Tales and Stories by Hans Christian Andersen, Denmark, (1805-1875)

Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Germany, (1749-1832)

Gargantua and Pantagruel by Francois Rabelais, France, (1495-1553) DailyLit Available

Gilgamesh Mesopotamia, (c 1800 BC)

The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing, England, (b.1919)

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens, England, (1812-1870) DailyLit Available

Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift, Ireland, (1667-1745) DailyLit Available

Gypsy Ballads by Federico Garcia Lorca, Spain, (1898-1936)

Hamlet by William Shakespeare, England, (1564-1616)

History by Elsa Morante, Italy, (1918-1985)

Hunger by Knut Hamsun, Norway, (1859-1952)

The Idiot by Fyodor M Dostoyevsky, Russia, (1821-1881) DailyLit Available

The Iliad by Homer, Greece, (c 700 BC) DailyLit Available

Independent People by Halldor K Laxness, Iceland, (1902-1998)

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, United States, (1914-1994)

Jacques the Fatalist and His Master by Denis Diderot, France, (1713-1784)

Journey to the End of the Night by Louis-Ferdinand Celine, France, (1894-1961)

King Lear by William Shakespeare, England, (1564-1616)

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman, United States, (1819-1892) DailyLit Available

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne, Ireland, (1713-1768) DailyLit Available

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov, Russia/United States, (1899-1977)

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Colombia, (b. 1928)

Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert, France, (1821-1880) DailyLit Available

The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann, Germany, (1875-1955)

Mahabharata, India, (c 500 BC)

The Man Without Qualities by Robert Musil, Austria, (1880-1942)

The Mathnawi by Jalal ad-din Rumi, Afghanistan, (1207-1273)

Medea by Euripides, Greece, (c 480-406 BC)

Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar, France, (1903-1987)

Metamorphoses by Ovid, Italy, (c 43 BC) DailyLit Available

Middlemarch by George Eliot, England, (1819-1880) DailyLit Available

Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie, India/Britain, (b. 1947)

Moby-Dick by Herman Melville, United States, (1819-1891) DailyLit Available

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, England, (1882-1941)

Njaals Saga, Iceland, (c 1300)

Nostromo by Joseph Conrad, England,(1857-1924) DailyLit Available

The Odyssey by Homer, Greece, (c 700 BC)

Oedipus the King Sophocles, Greece, (496-406 BC)

Old Goriot by Honore de Balzac, France, (1799-1850)

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, United States, (1899-1961)

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Colombia, (b. 1928)

The Orchard by Sheikh Musharrif ud-din Sadi, Iran, (c 1200-1292)

Othello by William Shakespeare, England, (1564-1616) DailyLit Available

Juan Rulfo by Pedro Paramo Juan Rulfo, Mexico, (1918-1986)

Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren, Sweden, (1907-2002)

Poems by Paul Celan, Romania/France, (1920-1970)

The Possessed by Fyodor M Dostoyevsky, Russia, (1821-1881)

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, England, (1775-1817) DailyLit Available

The Ramayana by Valmiki, India, (c 300 BC)

The Recognition of Sakuntala by Kalidasa, India, (c. 400)

The Red and the Black by Stendhal, France, (1783-1842)

Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust, France, (1871-1922)

Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih, Sudan, (b. 1929)

Selected Stories by Anton P Chekhov, Russia, (1860-1904)

Sons and Lovers by DH Lawrence, England, (1885-1930) DailyLit Available

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner, United States, (1897-1962)

The Sound of the Mountain by Yasunari Kawabata, Japan, (1899-1972)

The Stranger by Albert Camus, France, (1913-1960)

The Tale of Genji by Shikibu Murasaki, Japan, (c 1000)

Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, Nigeria, (b. 1930)

Thousand and One Nights, India/Iran/Iraq/Egypt, (700-1500) DailyLit Available

The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass, Germany, (b.1927)

To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf, England, (1882-1941)

The Trial by Franz Kafka, Bohemia, (1883-1924)

Trilogy: Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable by Samuel Beckett, Ireland, (1906-1989)

Ulysses by James Joyce, Ireland, (1882-1941) DailyLit Available

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, Russia, (1828-1910) DailyLit Available

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë, England, (1818-1848)

Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis, Greece, (1883-1957)

• This list of the 100 best books of all time was prepared by Norwegian Book Clubs. They asked 100 authors from 54 countries around the world to nominate the ten books which have had the most decisive impact on the cultural history of the world, and left a mark on the authors’ own thinking. Don Quixote was named as the top book in history but otherwise no ranking was provided

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