Have you ever wondered what the best books ever are? I found out! There’s a whole website dedicated to it, TheGreatestBooks.org. They took more than 100 best book lists, weighted them by how trustworthy they were, and used an algorithm to break it down. So this is serious business.
And these are serious books. You won’t normally find me cuddled up with the likes of Dante Alighieri, but I do believe in tackling the more difficult literature to learn those century-old lessons they have to teach.
1. In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust
Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time is one of the most entertaining reading experiences in any language and arguably the finest novel of the twentieth century.
2. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
Alonso Quixano, a retired country gentleman in his fifties, lives in an unnamed section of La Mancha with his niece and a housekeeper.
3. Ulysses by James Joyce
Ulysses chronicles the passage of Leopold Bloom through Dublin during an ordinary day, June 16, 1904.
4. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The novel chronicles an era that Fitzgerald himself dubbed the “Jazz Age.”
5. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
First published in 1851, Melville’s masterpiece is, in Elizabeth Hardwick’s words, “the greatest novel in American literature.”
6. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, or more simply Hamlet, is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1599 and 1601.
7. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
The novel chronicles the history of the French invasion of Russia and the impact of the Napoleonic era on Tsarist society through the stories of five Russian aristocratic families.
8. The Odyssey by Homer
The Odyssey is one of two major ancient Greek epic poems attributed to Homer. It is, in part, a sequel to the Iliad, the other work traditionally ascribed to Homer.
9. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
One of the 20th century’s enduring works, One Hundred Years of Solitude is a widely beloved and acclaimed novel known throughout the world.
10. The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
The Divine Comedy is an Italian long narrative poem begun c. 1308 and completed in 1320, a year before his death in 1321. It is widely considered to be the preeminent work in Italian literature.