Although to say something is “the greatest” is a spectacle of inner-thought, a list of the 10 greatest books of all time was produced after asking one-hundred and twenty-five famous authors, including King and Franzen to create their own lists of the top 10 greatest books of all time. After that was done, the lists were collated and the statistics were given, to create what you will see later in this article as the all-time Top Ten list.

What are your top ten books of all time? (photo by Ian Wilson)

What are your top ten books of all time? (photo by Ian Wilson)

Now, this brings several thoughts to my head, like: “I wonder how many great books never got published or big in literature?” and “I wonder how many cliched books are on this list?” Although the list is subjective, because the amount of obscure titles that were on each individual’s list was probably few. I wonder how much credit those books deserve and how come they never got much respect.

Even still, the top ten list is substantial. I have read only thirty percent of the books on this list, but I know about most of them – and enough to know that they are good books for a reason. The ones I have read, I will give brief summaries of and link to where you can find them.

The rest will be on my list of things to do – as soon as I’m out of school for Winter break and have the appropriate funds to purchase or time to go to the library.

  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

This book has gained such popularity in recent years due to it’s ranking on this list. To search for this novel, use textbooks.org.

Anna Karenina is a love affair of sorts – a tragedy – in which she is asked to leave her husband and aristocratic life, but struggles – and when she does, they go to Italy, but return back home where she is shunned. In the end, she is unable to cope with her lifestyle, and throws herself in front of a train.

  • Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  • War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  • Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Lolita is not simply the cute Japanese style that we know – it’s the pet name that the main character, a mid-life aged professor, gives to a little girl that he falls in love with. The story goes through with all of the shenanigans he does to remain close to her – including marrying her mother and taking her cross country with threats of being sent to an orphanage (after her mother passes) if she tells anyone that he is receiving sexual favors from her.

To search for this book, use textbooks.org.

  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • Hamlet by William Shakespeare
  • The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby is a book that I have talked about in a previous post about one of the better pieces of literature for your AP Lit or AP Lang classes. The story follows through several love affairs between several characters, which inadvertently kills two other characters.

To search for this book, use textbooks.org.

  • In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust
  • The Stories of Anton Chekhov by Anton Chekhov
  • Middlemarch by George Eliot