To rank the best books of all time, there are many criteria to consider. Are these books ranked based on sales, revenue, longevity or user reviews and ratings? One of the best ways to find out whether a book is worth reading, is a recommendation from a book lover.
WhytoRead is graced by thousands of book lovers everyday, finding new books to read and recommending them to their friends and family. So we decided the best way to rank the best books of all time, would be to use Goodreads and Amazon ratings and reviews. The top books have the best positive reviews and the greatest number of votes as the best book of all time on Goodreads.
Best Books of all Time: 14 Greatest Books Ever Written
1. The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins
(As featured in 10 of the Most Exciting Page Turner Books You’ll Ever Read)
Suzanne Collins narrative here has an immediacy to it that, when combined with the very dramatic life-or-death plot, is incredibly compelling. It’s entertaining, and incredibly disturbing all at once. A true page turner, and a very watchable movie series.
2. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
(As featured in 10 Classic Books Everyone Should Read)
From the opening line of the book, “When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow…” Lee hooks the reader with a deceptively simple story of a Southern family and a Southern town caught up in a cataclysmic moral crisis, and keeps us enthralled till the very last word.
3. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
Beautiful, sumptuous and satisfying, this book is a monumental achievement that should be on the top of your holiday wish list and considered one of few editions available to be esteemed truly accomplished.
4. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – C. S. Lewis
(As featured in 10 Books That Will Make You Fall In Love With Reading)
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.
C.S. Lewis wrote a masterpiece which has stood the test of time and proven to be one of the best books of all time.
5. Gone with the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
Gone with the Wind is an American War & Peace. This is serious literature, which won the Pulitzer prize, no less. Most people don’t see past the epic plot or the love story, but this is a successful attempt to reclaim a discarded culture.
6. Animal Farm – George Orwell
(As featured in 8 Outstanding Classic Books Which Are Easy To Read)
In Animal Farm, Orwell tried to depict a totalitarian state, where the truth didn’t exist as such, but was merely what the “Big Brother” said it was. Freedom was only total obedience to the Party, and love an alien concept, unless it was love for the Party. This book will make you realize the world isn’t as fair as you thought.
7. The Giving Tree – Shel Silverstein
The Giving Tree is a beautiful book about a tree who loves a little boy. In the beginning, the love the two share is enough to make them both happy. As the boy grows older, his needs change and the tree gives him everything in order to help him achieve happiness. When the boy is gone and the tree is left with nothing, she is happy, but not really.
Eventually the boy returns and the tree has nothing left to give, but the boy has changed and no longer wants anything from the tree other than the companionship they once shared, and both are happy once again.
8. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
(As featured in 15 Books Everyone Should Read At Least Once In Their Life)
This book is not only a good book to read for teens, but everyone should read this book at least once in their life. Adams’ peculiar humour also draws deeply from the well of sociology, philosophy, and science. Beneath the surface of utter hilarity, Adams actually used his sarcasm and wit to make some rather poignant statements about this silly thing called life and the manner in which we are going about living it.
9. The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
(As featured in 6 Best Books To Tug At Your Heart Strings)
The Book Thief describes that while being subjected to the horrors of World War II Germany, young Liesel finds solace by stealing books and sharing them with others.
10.Wuthering Heights – Emily Brontë
This books is a sweeping, disturbing, intense, thrilling, very romantic gothic love story, written in the voice of a very intense, almost claustrophobically self-aware young heroine. One of the most popular classics and voted for as one of the top 10 best books of all time.
11. The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
Dan Brown’s, The Da Vinci Code, is great fun, a real page turner and, in the course being entertaining it stimulates the reader to investigate a number of subjects that he might never have considered. Not only is this one of the best selling books of all time, it has also been voted as one of the best books of all time by its readers. A great achievement for an author who continues to write best sellers.
12. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
(As featured in 10 Popular Adult Books Made Into Movies)
Arthur Golden, a student of Japanese art and language, paints a remarkably true-sounding account of one woman’s training and practice as a geisha. There’s not a false note in the writing: The characters, dialogue, and emotional content all ring true. Aside from some slightly plodding descriptions of the protagonist’s introduction to the geisha district of Gion, the pacing is excellent.
13. The Fault in Our Stars – John Green
The Fault in Our Stars is the story of two 16-year-olds who meet at a cancer support group. Hazel Lancaster, the narrator, is afflicted with terminal thyroid cancer which has ravaged her lungs enough to necessitate the use of an oxygen tank wherever she goes. It is during a support meeting that she is introduced to Augustus Waters, whose leg was claimed by a malignant bone tumor and who soon becomes the object of her affection.
14. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien
There is absolutely no way to produce a fantasy books list without J.R.R. Tolkiens fantasy epic The Lord of the Rings.
“One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them”.
Undoubtedly one of the top three fantasy books and one of the best books of all time.