The 10 Greatest Books Ever, According to 125 Top Authors (Download Them for Free)

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Earlier this month, we highlighted The 10 Greatest Films of All Time According to 846 Film Critics. Featuring films by Hitchcock, Kubrick, Welles and Fellini, this master list came together in 2012 when Sight & Sound (the cinema journal of the British Film Institute) asked contemporary critics and directors to name their 12 favorite movies. Nearly 900 cinephiles responded, and, from those submissions, a meta list of 10 was culled.

So how about something similar for books, you ask? For that, we can look back to 2007, when J. Peder Zane, the book editor of the Raleigh News & Observer, asked 125 top writers to name their favorite books — writers like Norman Mailer, Annie Proulx, Stephen King, Jonathan Franzen, Claire Messud, and Michael Chabon. The lists were all compiled in an edited collection, The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books, and then prefaced by one uber list, “The Top Top Ten.”

Zane explained the methodology behind the uber list as follows: “The participants could pick any work, by any writer, by any time period…. After awarding ten points to each first-place pick, nine to second-place picks, and so on, the results were tabulated to create the Top Top Ten List – the very best of the best.”

The short list appears below, along with links to electronic versions of the works. There’s one notable exception, Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita. We couldn’t provide that text, but we do have something special — an audio recording of Nabokov reading a chapter from his controversial 1955 novel.

The texts listed below are permanently housed in our collection of Free eBooks, along with many other classics. In many cases, you’ll find audio versions of the same works in our ever-growing collection of Free Audio Books. If you have questions about how to load files onto your Kindle, please see this related instructional video.

Got an issue with any of the selections? Tell us all about it in the comments section below.

1. Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy

iPad/iPhone – Kindle + Other Formats – Read Online

2. Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert

3. War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy

4. Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov

5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain

6. Hamlet, by William Shakespeare

7. The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald

8. In Search of Lost Time, by Marcel Proust

9. The Stories of Anton Chekhov

10. Middlemarch, by George Eliot

Note: Great literature courses can be found in our collection of 825 Free Online Courses.

Related Content:

Nabokov Reads Lolita, Names the Great Books of the 20th Century

18 (Free) Books Ernest Hemingway Wished He Could Read Again for the First Time

Neil deGrasse Tyson Lists 8 (Free) Books Every Intelligent Person Should Read

F. Scott Fitzgerald Creates a List of 22 Essential Books, 1936


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Comments (166)
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  1. fishnloaves says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 5:51 am

    Why is Gatsby on this list? Why is there nothing by Faulkner?

  2. MB says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 8:48 am

    No Dostoyevsky?!? Are you KIDDING me?! He’s the inventor of the modern novel!!!

  3. finnyfall says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 8:54 am

    So many of those are boring. Where’s Ulysses?!

  4. Manuel Camblor says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 8:59 am

    No “Moby-Dick”? Really? And two by Tolstoy on the list is a bit much, I think. Also, no “Don Quijote de la Mancha”? Seriously? And I echo the sentiment of MB. The absence of Dostoyevsky is mind-boggling. Also, “The 10 Greatest Books” list your authors compiled invoves eight novels, one collection of short fiction, and one play. So, there is nothing else to great literature? No non-fiction? No poetry? Hmmmm… Oh, and while we’re bringing up complaints and grievances, the compilers of this list were a bit short on comedy (“Huckleberry Finn” and “Lolita” provide some comedy, but in a sideways sort of fashion).nnnSeriously, guys, a very strange list.

  5. Mehmet Arat says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 9:17 am

    Lists always come with questions and discussions. Who are the “125 Top Authors”? How were they selected? Was a comparison made with a list determined by an alternative “125 Top Authors”?nBut anyway, I believe lists are useful as guides helping readers to notice important works.

  6. Bonnie says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 9:18 am

    Recently reread Lolita; it doesn’t belong on this list. Wanders widely off base at the end and simply isn’t one of Nabokov’s best. Gatsby’s great but in the top ten? The whole list rates an eh? It’s as if the names were pulled out of a hat.

  7. StepTb says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 9:18 am

    No Odyssey, no Don Quijote, no Kafka, no Dostoyevsky… not a very solid list.

  8. peter says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 9:28 am

    i guess i’ll be the one to say it? 9 out of 10 by white males and the 10th by a white women writing under the name of a white male? weird/not weird

  9. wellread says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 9:30 am

    Hmm, no books were ever written in the eastern hemisphere? Either that or this list maker has never read any of them.

  10. u0392u03b1u03c3u03b9u03bbu03b9u03bau03ae u039cu03bfu03c5u03c3u03c4u03b1u03c6u03adu03c1u03b7 says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 9:36 am

    no Franz Kafka???no Dostoyevsky???? no James Joyce????no Albert Camus???NO Fernando Pessoa????

  11. IR Vijayan says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 9:43 am

    Rubbish! 10 greatest books ,without a single title outside Europe-and America

  12. N says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 9:47 am

    There are a ton of russian authors. Eastern hemisphere.

  13. Ricardo Bechelli Barreto says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 10:10 am

    C’mon. Two Tolstoy books and no Dostoyevsky? Chekhov, Flaubert, Nabokov are excellent writers but they are petty bourgeois compared to authors such as Dostoyevsky, Homer, Balzac, Machado de Assis, Borges, Faulkner, Mishima, Goethe, Joyce…

  14. Ricardo Bechelli Barreto says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 10:10 am

    C’mon. Two Tolstoy books and no Dostoyevsky? Chekhov, Flaubert, Nabokov are excellent writers but they are petty bourgeois compared to authors such as Dostoyevsky, Homer, Balzac, Machado de Assis, Borges, Faulkner, Mishima, Goethe, Joyce…

  15. Primetime50 says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 10:14 am

    All big, expansive reads. Shouldn’t Pride & Prejudice be on this list?

  16. Primetime50 says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 10:14 am

    All big, expansive reads. Shouldn’t Pride & Prejudice be on this list?

  17. Bitte says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 10:17 am

    Only men, but I suppose only men were asked

  18. Bitte says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 10:17 am

    Only men, but I suppose only men were asked

  19. Bitte says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 10:21 am

    And I can see that not only men were asked, but still, only men at the top ten list.

  20. peter says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 10:57 am

    george eliot is a woman, but yeah

  21. Mark Sullivan says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 11:31 am

    I’m not a big fan, but what about The Bible…? Hamlet isn’t a book, is it? And, at the risk of seeming unduly lowbrow, Dickens deserves a mention.

  22. Zita Helou says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 11:59 am

    The bible can make it easily to the nntop ten most ridiculous books .

  23. Louis Goldworm says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 12:47 pm

    Agreed ! “Top Ten” In relations to what ? “greatest” Because why ? i.e best read, most sold, best story, I am opposed to list, and number’s to prove a point…

  24. rupertmundy says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 1:08 pm

    Hamlet is a play.

  25. Mark Sullivan says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 1:11 pm

    Is ridiculousness a disqualifier? I mean, have you read Proust?

  26. Mark Sullivan says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 1:14 pm

    What female work would you nominate?

  27. KS says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 1:48 pm

    Clearly their most favorite favorites but leaving the question of top ten best wide open…

  28. Adam says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 1:57 pm

    I agree, no Dostoevsky? Then no Faulkner? Almost each book by Dostoevsky is a real masterpiece: Demons, Idiot, Brothers Karamasov!…

  29. badbit says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 2:06 pm

    No Don Quijote? The greatest novel ever written?

  30. David V. Johnson says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 3:03 pm

    Don Quixote is #1 on many lists, including mine. And Hamlet isn’t a “book.”

  31. David V. Johnson says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 3:07 pm

    Also…what about Plato’s Republic? Why restrict “books” to fiction? And if you’re going to add a play, Sophocles Oedipus … hello?

  32. maxhawthorne says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 3:13 pm

    sad there are ZERO women. The heritage of world culture leaves a feminist wanting…

  33. maxhawthorne says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 3:30 pm

    Also, I find these lists petty, if slightly useful for adding classics I’ve missed to my to-read list. How can you compare great works of art and attempt to rank them like a sports team? it’s asinine.

  34. maxhawthorne says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 3:43 pm

    to the lighthousenle pianiste nto kill a mocking birdnmrs dalloway nbelovednI know why the caged bird singsnthe awakening nnnThose are just off the top of my head and all are better than Gatsby!nnnAlso, to be fair, let’s not forget about the tremendous oppression of female anythings prior to this century, and for that matter, in the present.

  35. xhaloidol says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 3:44 pm

    George Eliot was the pen name of Mary Anne Evans.

  36. Pigeon Lady says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 4:01 pm

    The comments have more of interest than the top ten list. There are some good reads posted.

  37. enzofloc says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 5:32 pm

    It seems Kafka and Dostoevsky are too dark and complex for this bunch. Maybe we should select the top ten critics first.

  38. enzofloc says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 5:44 pm

    “The Top Ten: Writers Pick Their Favorite Books.”nnnnNot necessarily the “greatest” books.

  39. mpjr says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 6:16 pm

    A list that excludes King Lear, Don Quixote, The Divine Comedy, and The Brothers Karamazov is a list begging to be mocked. nLolita? Really? nFeh.

  40. Mason Kelsey says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 7:18 pm

    Like any list, it is only a list and can be ignored quite easily.

  41. Tamaresque says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 7:57 pm

    You people who are bitching about what’s been left off, it’s not the website’s fault. Did you read what the criteria is? “…asked 125 top writers to name their favorite books…” nBlame the writers!nPersonally I don’t agree with a couple of selections, Madame Bovary heads my list. I found it difficult to read because the main character is just so unlikable. Same with Lolita, I hated the lecherous main character and the way he excuses his actions.

  42. poser, the says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 8:17 pm

    I’M ANGRY AT THIS ARBITRARY LIST OF PERSONAL BIAS TOO!!!! RAHHHH!!!!!! RABBLE RABBLE!

  43. TByers says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 8:47 pm

    Well, they’re all good books, but of course one could argue endlessly about what is and isn;t here. I’d pick Moby Dick and Absalom, Absalom myself. But my greater concern is that there’s a radical flaw in this. The authors were asked what are their FAVORITE books, and this was translated into what are the GREATEST books. These are probably overlapping lists, but I seriously doubt that for most serious readers they are identical.

  44. David Allen says . . . | September 25, 2013 / 10:27 pm

    How is everyone missing the point that this isn’t a list of the ten greatest books? Read the article, not just the (misleading) title. This is a list of ten books that were most frequently nominated as favourites by 125 top writers. I’m not sure who everyone is arguing with in their outraged comments.

  45. Marcelo Estrada says . . . | September 26, 2013 / 12:31 am

    no Joyce, Beckett, Dostoyevsky, Kafka, Marquez, Borges?!!!

  46. mariam says . . . | September 26, 2013 / 12:40 am

    I’m confused too

  47. Patricia says . . . | September 26, 2013 / 2:19 am

    This person obviously has a softness for realism/naturalism or tragic pointless deaths (sometimes all combined) nnHamlet, Gatsby and Middlemarch are amongst my favourites, for the rest… not really.

  48. dailyllama says . . . | September 26, 2013 / 3:07 am

    Stunned. Where is Crime & Punishment ? Ulysses and/or Dubliners ? And what is Gatsby doing in there ?

  49. curtains4u says . . . | September 26, 2013 / 3:21 am

    shite…. read that.

  50. Cardinal Charles Ng says . . . | September 26, 2013 / 4:18 am

    It shows that even great writers do not read widely enough.

  51. Cronopio says . . . | September 26, 2013 / 6:22 am

    No Cortu00e1zar, Borges ….. really funny

  52. Imelda Murphy says . . . | September 26, 2013 / 6:53 am

    No James Joyce?

  53. Mehmet Arat says . . . | September 26, 2013 / 8:46 am

    I think when readers are conscious enough, the lists can be more helpful and meaningful. A list can be like the central meeting place in a city.

  54. Maggie Dodson says . . . | September 26, 2013 / 5:59 pm

    Only ONE woman writing under a male pseudonym! And what is the balance of male/female amongst the ‘125 Top Authors’ Who decreed these 125 ‘Top’ authors? Who are they?

  55. countrydoc1 says . . . | September 27, 2013 / 2:31 pm

    Best comment on the board. :)

  56. countrydoc1 says . . . | September 27, 2013 / 2:31 pm

    Best comment on the board. :)

  57. oktayne says . . . | September 27, 2013 / 9:21 pm

    What bugs me is that there is nothing on this list written after the mid-fifties! Are you seriously telling us that nothing good has been written in the last 50+ years?

  58. oktayne says . . . | September 27, 2013 / 9:31 pm

    And not even his best work, imho.nI would easily put Lear or Rick 3 ahead of it.

  59. AJJ says . . . | September 28, 2013 / 12:58 pm

    Are you a time traveller?

  60. AJJ says . . . | September 28, 2013 / 12:58 pm

    Are you a time traveller?

  61. oktayne says . . . | September 29, 2013 / 3:55 am

    No, but I play one on TV. lol

  62. Igor says . . . | September 29, 2013 / 8:13 am

    Bulgakov? I would pick “Master and Margarita”, “White Guard”, “Beg” and bump Tolstoy, Chekhov and Nabokov off the top 10 list.nnnBrodsky? Even though he is mostly known for poetry, his prose is great.

  63. Anna Hovey says . . . | September 30, 2013 / 7:59 am

    What does it have to do with being white or any other color????? The masterpiece must be evaluated by it’s depth and beauty, not by the race of the writer. However, this list is highly subjective.

  64. peter says . . . | October 1, 2013 / 12:41 am

    can i just ask: why does it bother you that i mentioned the race of the writers but not that i mentioned their gender?

  65. SocraticGadfly says . . . | October 4, 2013 / 6:46 pm

    Wow. Right. No Dostoyevsky? Although relatively “light,” I would have put one of Hesse’s works there somewhere, too. Gatsby? No way. And, if you’re going to include one of Shakespeare’s plays, why not other theater? Lysistrata? Yes, also on Camus.

  66. zevgoldman says . . . | October 5, 2013 / 7:46 am

    I think this list should have been presented as works of fiction. How was Hamlet listed as a book when it is a stage play?

  67. Ramasamy Balakrishnan says . . . | October 6, 2013 / 2:40 am

    wonderful list …most of them are tragedies!

  68. Bruce Alan Wilson says . . . | October 6, 2013 / 1:36 pm

    Agreed. And both Anna Karinina and Madame Bovary are about women who committed adultery and couldn’t live with the consequences–one by taking arsenic and the other by throwing herself under a train. One or the other might be on the list, but not both.

  69. Bruce Alan Wilson says . . . | October 6, 2013 / 1:36 pm

    Agreed. And both Anna Karinina and Madame Bovary are about women who committed adultery and couldn’t live with the consequences–one by taking arsenic and the other by throwing herself under a train. One or the other might be on the list, but not both.

  70. Bruce Alan Wilson says . . . | October 6, 2013 / 1:38 pm

    You wanted something that wasn’t boring, and then you ask for ULYSSES?

  71. Bruce Alan Wilson says . . . | October 6, 2013 / 1:38 pm

    You wanted something that wasn’t boring, and then you ask for ULYSSES?

  72. disqus_KxAHnCo4Tu says . . . | October 6, 2013 / 8:05 pm

    This list is by the Gay and Lesbian leage. It is the forerunner to the decadent state of affairs we have today where trash like “Gerry Springer” and ” Real Housewives of …” are more widely viewed than the classics as aired on Masterpiece Theater. It s no wonder that the society is about to disintegrate with critics who view the above list as worthwhile. 80% of the above belongs in the shredder. I am glad I am an old man and my time will end soon…

  73. Dana Whaley says . . . | October 7, 2013 / 11:04 am

    Moby Dick? Never. Bartleby the Scrivener should be here, but not Moby Dick–one of the most boring books I ever read.

  74. Dana Whaley says . . . | October 7, 2013 / 11:09 am

    Go Down Moses, Light in August, the Snopes Trilogy by Faulkner. East of Eden by John Steinbeck. Sophie’s Choice by William Stryon. The Color Purple. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Never read anything by Nathaniel Hawthorne or Edgar Allen Poe. Only read short stories by Heminway–a master of them. And always, always read Huckleberry Finn–it is the first excellent American novel and always on point.

  75. androphiles says . . . | October 9, 2013 / 11:25 am

    Where in the world did you come up with a nonsensical idea like that? What is “the Gay and Lesbian leage”? Google it. There’s no such thing.

  76. androphiles says . . . | October 9, 2013 / 11:26 am

    People who read.

  77. Rhet says . . . | October 10, 2013 / 9:36 pm

    WTF THIS LAST DOESN’T HAVE “SEE SPOT RUN”. IT BELONGS UP THERE IN THE TOP THREE RIGHT BEHIND “SEE SPOT POOP”.

  78. Rhet says . . . | October 10, 2013 / 9:37 pm

    HERP DERP DUR DE DOO

  79. racistjew says . . . | October 11, 2013 / 10:42 am

    STFU Peter. Always someone wanting to bring up race. Get over it.

  80. CSZ says . . . | October 16, 2013 / 1:12 am

    So arbitrary. No Harper Lee? No Art Of War? Margaret Mitchell?The Brontes? Austen? Come on….WHO are these “writers” anyway?

  81. Ingrid says . . . | November 14, 2013 / 7:31 am

    Well, all I can say is:nThe russian writers are the best!nAccept that.n

  82. Ingrid says . . . | November 14, 2013 / 7:47 am

    I would choose Dostoievski as well.nNow thats a good ranking:nhttp://g1.globo.com/platb/files/2286/2013/04/Vencedores.jpg

  83. foreignerph says . . . | November 15, 2013 / 5:23 am

    Russians books are as good as their Tupolevs and their driving skills.

  84. foreignerph says . . . | November 15, 2013 / 5:26 am

    It all started with the railways when the cows stopped giving milk. Civilization is going down the drains since Socrates and Nero.

  85. foreignerph says . . . | November 15, 2013 / 5:27 am

    He is just an old and grumpy closet queen that thinks it is too late now to come out of the closet.

  86. foreignerph says . . . | November 15, 2013 / 5:30 am

    I particularly liked part of the comment in lower case.

  87. foreignerph says . . . | November 15, 2013 / 5:31 am

    The comments are always my favorite reads ;-)

  88. foreignerph says . . . | November 15, 2013 / 5:35 am

    I didn’t read any of them. Writers about other writers? That sounds like the madame of a brothel commenting on the performance of the employees of the brothel nextdoor. :-p

  89. Ames361 says . . . | November 15, 2013 / 7:42 am

    Nice incomplete list. Dante, Jean Gionno, Henry Miller, Alice Walker, Tom Wolfe, Don Delillo, Margaret Atwood,Goldsmith,Dickens,Porter,Roth,Wharton.

  90. derekwashington says . . . | November 15, 2013 / 1:12 pm

    Nothing by Jackie Collins? I’d much rather read her than some of this drudgery.

  91. Tolga Otabatmaz says . . . | November 23, 2013 / 8:06 am

    Where is Dostoyevski?? “Crime and Punishment”ndeserves to be in this list.

  92. Dani-madrid says . . . | December 16, 2013 / 7:16 am

    Unreliable. The lack of Don Quijote is a joke I guess…

  93. Suki says . . . | January 5, 2014 / 6:06 am

    Are you kidding me!!!! Where is the hunger games or divergent

  94. Catcher says . . . | January 21, 2014 / 8:28 pm

    Catcher in the Rye

  95. Zo Newell says . . . | January 24, 2014 / 12:33 pm

    Totally Eurocentric list of 10 greatest books by Western European male writers (except for George Elliott, who was only pretending to be a man) – chosen by whom?

  96. Peter B. Gillis says . . . | January 24, 2014 / 3:00 pm

    If you can put up ‘The Short Stories of Chekhov,’ you can put up ‘The Plays of Shakespeare.’

  97. Meg says . . . | January 24, 2014 / 9:49 pm

    So, 125 (male?) authors relish suffering women stories.

  98. Jimmy Drozdenko zerdian. says . . . | January 25, 2014 / 7:51 am

    Nabakov Lolita seems like a father daughter trickle down Oedipus reversed love affair. Psycholithistory vs Scicolitfuture

  99. abba says . . . | January 25, 2014 / 8:17 am

    What about Game of Thrones? Or Lord of the Rings? Silmarillion? The Godfather, 100 years of loneliness, the Little prince? The list goes on, come on

  100. BOW says . . . | January 25, 2014 / 8:46 am

    Opinions are like…, everybody has one. At least no one is suggesting they burn all those not on the “list”.

  101. Txea says . . . | January 26, 2014 / 6:20 pm

    Why not Joseph Heller’s Catch-22?
    Honestly, the obsession with Russian novelists is hard to understand. And, Madame Bovary? Please.

  102. Dan Colman says . . . | March 3, 2014 / 5:32 pm

    Hi there,

    Just curious, does anyone know what Facebook page just mentioned our post?

    Thanks,
    Dan (editor)

  103. NIHILISZT says . . . | September 12, 2014 / 11:05 am

    #1 Divina Commedia n#2 Bhagavad Gitan#3 Don Quixote

  104. Cu00e6sar_Had_Epilepsy says . . . | September 21, 2014 / 10:41 am

    Ugh!

  105. Anne Dyer Walker says . . . | September 21, 2014 / 12:00 pm

    i don’t see moby-dick in this list. odd, because the older i get, the more i appreciate its brilliance, both in content and style. it set a high bar for everything that followed. yes, it makes certain demands of the reader, but then, great art should provoke thought and curiosity.

  106. lissener says . . . | September 21, 2014 / 1:08 pm

    Such a list sans Dickens is not worth its weight in pixels.

  107. docbets says . . . | September 21, 2014 / 2:34 pm

    If it’s between two covers, it’s also a book.

  108. docbets says . . . | September 21, 2014 / 2:40 pm

    Well of course that’s true but cows and trains have little to do with it. That most people have never heard of any of these books or authors is more likely the problem.

  109. Rex J Ablett says . . . | September 21, 2014 / 3:48 pm

    The Very Hungry Caterpillar didn’t make the list? WTF?!

  110. The Public Sphere says . . . | September 21, 2014 / 4:43 pm

    They should have read Borges before giving their opinion.

  111. The Public Sphere says . . . | September 21, 2014 / 4:43 pm

    They should have read Borges before giving their opinion.

  112. Very Lou says . . . | September 21, 2014 / 4:49 pm

    Stendhal: Le rouge et le noir, La chartreuse de Parme…

  113. komal says . . . | September 22, 2014 / 7:33 am

    I am shocked to see no Jane Austen listed here

  114. Tyrell_Corp says . . . | September 22, 2014 / 8:49 am

    “Middlemarch” is soooo great. Every page contains a perfect, original metaphor, expressed as effortlessly as if gifted from the gods. Fantastically realized characters. And long, a long book, the reader lives in the eponymous town for a surrogate lifetime. Wonderful.

  115. carbonmind says . . . | September 22, 2014 / 1:32 pm

    What you really mean is “10 good books whose copyright has expired” ! – another article engineered specifically for SEO.

  116. rhin0 says . . . | September 22, 2014 / 2:23 pm

    All good books, the idea of picking the best 10 is not so great.

  117. John says . . . | September 23, 2014 / 8:08 am

    All white, all men. Hmmm.

  118. Julie says . . . | September 24, 2014 / 3:12 am

    FYI George Eliot was the pen name of Mary Ann Evans

  119. KL InIdaho says . . . | September 24, 2014 / 5:07 pm

    best comment!

  120. Rafael Franco says . . . | September 24, 2014 / 5:11 pm

    really? no Don Quijote?

  121. william flores says . . . | September 24, 2014 / 5:12 pm

    What parameters those “125 top authors” used?

  122. Kay Foley says . . . | September 24, 2014 / 6:16 pm

    She seems to be omitted frequently in these “polls”, which make them completely bogus, in my opinion. She was the predominant European writer, ever.

  123. Hardscrabblehammer says . . . | September 24, 2014 / 6:44 pm

    She was the predominant European writer, ever? You’re out of your mind.

  124. Hugh Little says . . . | September 24, 2014 / 6:55 pm

    “80% of the above belongs in the shredder” Seriously? Give your head a shake. Btw, what exactly is the “Gay and Lesbian leage” I’m neither….but just to piss you off I think I’ll sign up….if they’ll have me.

  125. Terry Ruddy says . . . | September 24, 2014 / 7:28 pm

    Why not pretend you can’t see their names, read them and see what you think regardless of gender or race? Of course you can always like what you feel is better – it’s art.

  126. Terry Ruddy says . . . | September 24, 2014 / 7:30 pm

    But truly it’s never too late?

  127. M H says . . . | September 24, 2014 / 8:21 pm

    Besides Proust, Tolstoy, and Shakespeare, those are WEAK. Hmmm, some of these are not close to being in my top 50… No Mention of Gabriel Garcia Marquez? Simone de Beauvoir?Jorge Luis Borges? Goethe? Nietzche? It seems the list is for highschool level readers within the USA: really really weak literature.

  128. M H says . . . | September 24, 2014 / 8:23 pm

    Hmmm, some of these are not close to being in my top 50… No Mention of Gabriel Garcia Marquez? Simone de Beauvoir?Jorge Luis Borges? Goethe? Nietzche? It seems the list is for highschool level readers within the USA: really really weak literature.

  129. M H says . . . | September 24, 2014 / 8:26 pm

    Agree. No Mention of Gabriel Garcia Marquez? Simone de Beauvoir?Jorge Luis Borges? Goethe? Nietzche? It seems the list is for highschool level readers within the USA: really really weak literature.

  130. Leo Theo says . . . | September 24, 2014 / 9:12 pm

    Yep. Books we read in HS. :)

  131. Open Culture says . . . | September 24, 2014 / 9:15 pm

    Hi there,nnnWas just curious, could anyone tell us who gave our post a mention on Facebook?nnnThanks nDan (editor)

  132. orion says . . . | September 24, 2014 / 9:28 pm

    El Felibusterismo by Jose Rizal made waves in the early 20th Century. And is still being read in Europe and the Americas.

  133. Ricco Suave says . . . | September 24, 2014 / 9:29 pm

    Criticize instead of saying something useful. Must be a Democrat huh?

  134. djrjr says . . . | September 24, 2014 / 9:48 pm

    George Eliot was white but she lacked that certain something.

  135. djrjr says . . . | September 24, 2014 / 10:07 pm

    Think it was the folks at “Dangerous Minds,” a quite fun place to spend a few idle moments, btw.

  136. djrjr says . . . | September 24, 2014 / 10:07 pm

    So, Proust, Gatsby and Lolita are the only 20th Century choices to make the Top Ten — and only one of those from the latter half? Interesting. No Ulysses. No Dickens or Bronte sister or Austen or Wharton or Henry James, but Eliot (I actually love “Middlemarch” but…). Heavy on the Russkies. Chekhov and doubling down on Tolstoy, but why no Dostoevsky (I woulda taken “Brothers Karamozov” over “War and Peace”). No Latin or African writers — agree with those who think Marquez or Borges or Vargas Llosa or Achebe could/should have snuck in there. Also, isn’t there ANY late 20th Century, early 21st Century work that measures up? Pynchon? Wallace? Heller? Hell, Vonnegut. And, I know this sounds shitty, and I’m not one of the great 125 writers polled, but gimme Steinbeck’s “Grapes of Wrath” or “East of Eden” over anything Fitzgerald ever wrote any day of the week. In fact, I’ll take Dreiser or even Sinclair Lewis over Fitzgerald. Finally, am I the only one who thinks “Lolita” is just kinda creepy. I will say this. Totally not shocked to see a dearth of Ayn Rand. Let’s all say a prayer for that one.

  137. djrjr says . . . | September 24, 2014 / 10:09 pm

    I think Neitzche didn’t make the cut because it had to be fiction.

  138. djrjr says . . . | September 24, 2014 / 10:10 pm

    Also no “Go The Fuck To Bed”

  139. djrjr says . . . | September 24, 2014 / 10:13 pm

    He should also get off my lawn. I have reserved it for the League of Extraordinarily Gay and Lesbian Folk.

  140. djrjr says . . . | September 24, 2014 / 10:36 pm

    If by “the” you mean “a”, and if by “predominant” you mean “pretty good”, and if by If by “European” you mean “British,” and if by “ever” you mean…something else, then…yeah, absolutely.

  141. Ciprianoff Ciprianoff says . . . | September 24, 2014 / 11:20 pm

    A list without Dostoievsky, Borges, Bulgakov and Sartre it’s not a real list to me! You do your lists and charts and i’ll read what is a real work of art.

  142. Mitchell Harris says . . . | September 24, 2014 / 11:42 pm

    Yep…I came over after seeing the “Dangerous Minds” Facebook share…so if page hits went up this evening..that is probably why…:)

  143. Christine says . . . | September 24, 2014 / 11:59 pm

    I came from a link from a “Dangerous Minds” post too…

  144. Osmos says . . . | September 25, 2014 / 12:13 am

    respect…

  145. Patrick J. says . . . | September 25, 2014 / 5:54 am

    Whitman’s Moby dick, Thoreau’s Walden?nnEven on an subjective list, omitting Walt Whitman ..odd

  146. Chuck Howell says . . . | September 25, 2014 / 8:33 am

    That’s Melville’s MOBY DICK, which would have been on my list for sure…

  147. Chuck Howell says . . . | September 25, 2014 / 8:46 am

    I’d prefer a list that doesn’t compare apples and oranges – Proust’s entry is actually 7 books (!), and short story collections and dramatic works are not novels (obviously). If the rules are this ill-defined, I would put the complete “Peanuts” by Charles Schultz as issued by Fantagraphics Books on the list!

  148. Christian Khalil Ziadeh says . . . | September 25, 2014 / 9:27 am

    What about “The Prophet”?

  149. tyrope says . . . | September 25, 2014 / 10:03 am

    Great Gatsby is the most overrated novel of all times

  150. kate walsh says . . . | September 25, 2014 / 10:49 am

    Please tell me, who is Achebe?

  151. Mary Gayoso says . . . | September 25, 2014 / 12:00 pm

    I’ve read all of them and many, many, many more. It’s impossible to put the best in such a small list, there should be at least 100. And it is always a subjective list, so better not do it. The lacking writers are so important! Culture would not be the same without them.

  152. Mary Gayoso says . . . | September 25, 2014 / 12:00 pm

    I’ve read all of them and many, many, many more. It’s impossible to put the best in such a small list, there should be at least 100. And it is always a subjective list, so better not do it. The lacking writers are so important! Culture would not be the same without them.

  153. thatwave says . . . | September 25, 2014 / 11:03 pm

    I didn’t find any of these especially great. Lolita in particular was a huge let down. Maybe I will re-read them.

  154. doop says . . . | September 26, 2014 / 12:34 am

    1. These are all novels. Not all books are novels.nnn2. Two books by Tolstoy, but no Dostoevsky?nnn3. They are all relatively recent books. There is nothing from the ancient authors or anything before the 1800s. Pretty glaring omission, if you ask me.nnn4. Great Gatsby? Really?

  155. doop says . . . | September 26, 2014 / 12:35 am

    Ok didn’t see Shakespeare on the list….

  156. cortomaltese says . . . | September 26, 2014 / 4:21 am

    Don Quijote by Cervantes???????

  157. Abhishek says . . . | September 26, 2014 / 9:29 am

    What about The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien….??

  158. David Levine says . . . | September 26, 2014 / 10:55 am

    I would add certain non fiction such as Darwin’s Origin of the Species.

  159. Teresa says . . . | September 28, 2014 / 8:07 am

    I do respect your opinion but I have to say that these lists and charts are great for me just so I can choose which book to read next since I consider myself pretty young and ignorant when it comes to books

  160. Orestes says . . . | September 29, 2014 / 3:35 am

    Sorry Homer, Aeschylus, Virgil, Ovid, Dante, Chaucer, Cervantes, Milton, and Goethe, you didn’t make the cut. This just shows why modern literature is frivolous. “What are the classics but the noblest thoughts recorded by man?” (Thoreau, Walden “Reading).

  161. Augustine says . . . | September 29, 2014 / 3:38 am

    Well, considering the deep Christian beliefs of Dante and Cervantes, I feel the Bhagavad Gita should be replaced with the Bible. But, thanks for listing some greats that are overlooked by this trashy list!

  162. Michael G says . . . | October 3, 2014 / 5:35 pm

    Gatsby is a good book, but Emily Bronte did the whole love triangle/boy amasses wealth and prestige to win over girl who rejected him so much better, with more complexity, depth and experimentation in Wuthering Heights. As for 20th Century literature? The Leopard by Guiseppe Lampedusa really is deserving of a place in more of these polls, certainly one of the greatest novels written in my mind.

  163. Praneet Thakur says . . . | October 5, 2014 / 8:40 am

    A very special editions of Geronimo Stilton is – The hunt for the golden book,The kingdom of fantasy,The amazing voyage, dragon prophecy and the Journey through the time are the very special editions of Geronimo Stilton.I love these kind of books very much.

  164. Dan Colman says . . . | October 29, 2014 / 4:38 pm

    Just curious, does anyone know what Facebook page just gave our post a mention?

    Thanks in advance,
    Dan (editor)

  165. Joana says . . . | October 29, 2014 / 5:28 pm
  166. Dan Colman says . . . | October 29, 2014 / 5:59 pm

    Very cool.

    Thanks for letting me know.
    Dan

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