As mentioned in my bio, interview with Chris Guillebeau, and LinkedIn post, I decided to read the 100 greatest books of all time. But it took a while to settle on a list since all the ‘popular’ ones had major limitations.

Time excluded titles before 1923 (perhaps writing wasn’t any good before then?) while the BBC left it to the public (which is why Harry Potter made it to number 5). The Guardian does a better job, although it initially wasn’t presented as well as their list of non-fiction books.

That’s why I first settled on The Easton Press, although I later combined all those mentioned above into a long list, including the best self-help books of all time and the 1001 books you should read before you die, which means I’m set for life. This comprehensive list includes fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and plays. It also focuses on timeless works that have proven themselves and avoids the impossible task of ranking by presenting it in alphabetical order:

  1. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
  2. A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
  3. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
  4. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  5. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  6. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  7. Aesop’s Fables by Aesop
  8. Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  9. Animal Farm by George Orwell
  10. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  11. Beowulf
  12. Billy Budd by Herman Melville
  13. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  14. Candide by Voltaire
  15. Collected Poems by Emily Dickinson
  16. Collected Poems by John Keats
  17. Collected Poems by Robert Browning
  18. Collected Poems by Robert Frost
  19. Collected Poems by William Butler Yeats
  20. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  21. Cyrano De Bergerac by Edmund Rostand
  22. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
  23. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
  24. Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  25. Dracula by Bram Stoker
  26. Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev
  27. Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  28. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  29. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  30. Grimm’s Fairy Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm
  31. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
  32. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  33. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  34. Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott
  35. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
  36. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D.H. Lawrence
  37. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
  38. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
  39. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  40. Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad
  41. Madame Bovary by Gustav Flaubert
  42. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  43. Oedipus Rex by Sophocles
  44. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  45. On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
  46. Paradise Lost by John Milton
  47. Politics and the Poetics by Aristotle
  48. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  49. Pygmalion and Candida by George Bernard Shaw
  50. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
  51. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
  52. She Stoops to Conquer by Oliver Goldsmith
  53. Silas Marner by George Eliot
  54. Tales from the Arabian Nights by Richard Burton
  55. Tales of Mystery and Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe
  56. Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
  57. The Aeneid by Virgil
  58. The Analects of Confucius by Confucius
  59. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin
  60. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  61. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
  62. The Cherry Orchard and The Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov
  63. The Confessions by St. Augustine
  64. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  65. The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
  66. The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
  67. The Essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson by Ralph Waldo Emerson
  68. The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay
  69. The History of Early Rome by Livy
  70. The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
  71. The Iliad by Homer
  72. The Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling
  73. The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
  74. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories by Washington Irving
  75. The Necklace and Other Tales by Guy de Maupassant
  76. The Odyssey by Homer
  77. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  78. The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan
  79. The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
  80. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
  81. The Red and the Black by Stendhal
  82. The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane
  83. The Republic by Plato
  84. The Rights of Man by Thomas Paine
  85. The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám by Omar Khayyám
  86. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  87. The Sea Wolf by Jack London
  88. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  89. The Talisman by Sir Walter Scott
  90. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas
  91. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
  92. The Way of All Flesh by Samuel Butler
  93. Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
  94. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
  95. Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
  96. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
  97. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray
  98. Walden by Henry David Thoreau
  99. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  100. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

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