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200 Books Every Person Should Read At Least Once in Their Lives

Updated on July 17, 2017

We all are different. Each of us relates to storylines and personalities in different ways and enjoys different book genres. But still, there are most brilliant books from the greatest writers of all times that are very influential to people, so there are good reasons why they are on “must have books” lists. Here’s the list of 200 books everyone should read in their lifetime, as voted on and ranked by users of Goodreads, the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations. Which of these books have you already read?

200 Books Every Person Should Read At Least Once in Their Lives
200 Books Every Person Should Read At Least Once in Their Lives
  1. “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee

To Kill A Mockingbird became an instant bestseller when it was first published in 1960 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film.
The Southern United States of the early 1930s; racially divided Alabama town. The story is told from the point of view of a 10-year-old tomboy. Her father is a lawyer, who defends a young black man who is accused of raping a white woman. But town citizens aren't willing to believe in the innocence of an accused black man.

2. “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone” (Harry Potter, #1) by J.K. Rowling

A future classic, to be sure, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was published in the United States in 1998. Harry Potter, an orphan boy, who has spent the worst 10 years of his life sleeping under the stairs of a family who treated him more like a servant than a member of the family, discovers his magical heritage. He is a wizard! And that’s where the adventure begins.



3. “1984” by George Orwell

Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984) is a dystopian novel published in 1949. Actions take place in Airstrip One (Great Britain in the past), a province of the superstate Oceania, a place where the Party scrutinizes human actions, defying a ban on individuality. 1984 tells the story of Winston Smith, a member of the Outer Party, who works for the Ministry of Truth, that is responsible for propaganda and historical revisionism. And while he diligently rewrites past newspaper articles to support the party line, he secretly hates the Party. And one day, he dares to express his thoughts in a diary…

4. “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen

5. “The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank

6. “Animal Farm” by George Orwell

7. “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien

8. “The Little Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

9. “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald

10. “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger

11. “The Lord of the Rings” (The Lord of the Rings, #1-3) by J.R.R. Tolkien

12. “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë

13. “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare

14. “The Chronicles of Narnia” (Chronicles of Narnia, #1-7) by C.S. Lewis

15. “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak

16. “Lord of the Flies” by William Golding

17. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” (Harry Potter, #7) by J.K. Rowling

18. “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein

19. “The Kite Runne”r by Khaled Hosseini

20. “The Giver” by Lois Lowry

21. “Charlotte's Web” by E.B. White

22. “Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss

23. “Little Women” (Little Women, #1) by Louisa May Alcott

24. “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck

25. “The Hunger Games” (The Hunger Games, #1) by Suzanne Collins

26. “Wuthering Heights” by Emily Brontë

27. “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” (Harry Potter, #3) by J.K. Rowling

28. “Gone with the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell

29. “Night” (The Night Trilogy #1) by Elie Wiesel

30. “Alice's Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll

31. “Holy Bible: King James Version”

32. “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury

33. “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde

34. “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” (Harry Potter, #4) by J.K. Rowling

35. “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain

36. “Hamlet” by William Shakespeare

37. “The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy” (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #1) by Douglas Adams

38. “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” (Harry Potter, #6)
by J.K. Rowling

39. “Brave New World / Brave New World Revisited”
by Aldous Huxley

40. “Les Misérables” by Victor Hugo

41. “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho

42. “Crime and Punishment” by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

43. “Memoirs of a Geisha” by Arthur Golden

44. “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett

45. “The Cat in the Hat” by Dr. Seuss

46. “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” (Chronicles of Narnia, #1) by C.S. Lewis

47. “The Odyssey” by Homer

48. “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett

49. “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens

50. “Where the Sidewalk Ends” by Shel Silverstein

51. “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker

52. “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck

53. “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak

54. “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton

55. “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel García Márquez

56. “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain

57. “Ender's Game” (Ender's Saga, #1) by Orson Scott Card

58. “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens

59. “A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini

60. “Anne of Green Gables” (Anne of Green Gables, #1) by L.M. Montgomery

61. “Life of Pi” by Yann Martel

62. “Oh, The Places You'll Go!” by Dr. Seuss

63. “One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest” by Ken Kesey

64. “The Count of Monte Crist”o by Alexandre Dumas

65. “Winnie-the-Pooh” (Winnie-the-Pooh, #1) by A.A. Milne

66. “Anna Karenina” by Leo Tolstoy

67. “Tuesdays with Morrie” by Mitch Albom

68. “Flowers for Algernon” by Daniel Keyes

69. “Catch-22” by Joseph Heller

70. “The Fellowship of the Ring” (The Lord of the Rings, #1) by J.R.R. Tolkien

71. “Slaughterhouse-Five” by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

72. “The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway

73. “Frankenstein” by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

74. “The Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne

75. “Macbeth” by William Shakespeare

76. “Twilight” (Twilight, #1) by Stephenie Meyer

77. “The Handmaid's Tale” by Margaret Atwood

78. “The Time Traveler's Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger

79. “Lolita” by Vladimir Nabokov

80. “Siddhartha” by Hermann Hesse

81. “The Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka

82. “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown

83. “The Stranger” by Albert Camus

84. “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” by Betty Smith

85. “The Little House Collection” (Little House, #1-9) by Laura Ingalls Wilder

86. “War and Peace” by Leo Tolstoy

87. “A Clockwork Orange” by Anthony Burgess

88. “Uncle Tom's Cabin” by Harriet Beecher Stowe

89. “The Stand” by Stephen King

90. “Don Quixote” by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

91. “All Quiet on the Western Front” by Erich Maria Remarque

92. “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand

93. The Qur'an / القرآن الكريم

94. ‘The Poisonwood Bible” by Barbara Kingsolver

95. “The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ”

96. “Moby-Dick or, The Whale” by Herman Melville

97. “The Brothers Karamazov” by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

98. “The Good Earth” (House of Earth, #1) by Pearl S. Buck

99. “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings” by Maya Angelou

100. “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” (Harry Potter, #2) by J.K. Rowling

101. “The Hiding Place: The Triumphant True Story of Corrie Ten Boom” by Corrie ten Boom

102. “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens

103. “The Da Vinci Code” (Robert Langdon, #2) by Dan Brown

104. “A Wrinkle in Time” (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet, #1) by Madeleine L'Engle

105. “Dracula” by Bram Stoker

106. “The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green

107. “Matilda” by Roald Dahl

108. “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky

109. “Harry Potter Boxset” (Harry Potter, #1-7) by J.K. Rowling

110. “Sense and Sensibility” by Jane Austen

111. “The Tell-Tale Heart and Other Writings” by Edgar Allan Poe

112. “The Iliad” by Homer

113. “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley

114. “Where the Red Fern Grows” by Wilson Rawls

115. “The Princess Bride” by William Goldman

116. “The Last Lecture” by Randy Pausch

117. “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss

118. “East of Eden” by John Steinbeck

119. “The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution of the United States” by Founding Fathers

120. “Watership Down” (Watership Down, #1) by Richard Adams

121. “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” by Mark Haddon

122. "Catching Fire" (The Hunger Games, #2) by Suzanne Collins

123. "The Fountainhead" by Ayn Rand

124. "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (Charlie Bucket, #1) by Roald Dahl

125. "The Velveteen Rabbit" by Margery Williams Bianco

126. "Alice in Wonderland" by Jane Carruth

127. "The Lovely Bones" by Alice Sebold

128. "Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor E. Frankl

129. "The Bell Jar" by Sylvia Plath

130. "Rebecca" by Daphne du Maurier

131. "The Five People You Meet in Heaven" by Mitch Albom

132. "A Game of Thrones" (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1) by George R.R. Martin

133. "The Call of the Wild" by Jack London

134. "Perfume: The Story of a Murderer" by Patrick Süskind

135. "Dune" (Dune #1) by Frank Herbert

136. "Angela's Ashes" (Frank McCourt, #1) by Frank McCourt

137. "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" (Oz, #1) by L. Frank Baum

138. "The Return of the King" (The Lord of the Rings, #3) by J.R.R. Tolkien

139. "A Prayer for Owen Meany" by John Irving

140. "Animal Farm / 1984" by George Orwell

141. "Love You Forever" by Robert Munsch

142. "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" (Millennium, #1) by Stieg Larsson

143. "A Midsummer Night's Dream" by William Shakespeare

144. "And Then There Were None" by Agatha Christie

145. "The Divine Comedy" by Dante Alighieri

146. "Bridge to Terabithia" by Katherine Paterson

147. "Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen

148. "The Three Musketeers" by Alexandre Dumas

149. "The Two Towers" (The Lord of the Rings, #2) by J.R.R. Tolkien

150. "Persuasion" by Jane Austen

151. "The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran

152. "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy

153. "The Name of the Rose" by Umberto Eco

154. "The Golden Compass" (His Dark Materials, #1) by Philip Pullman

155. "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!" by Dr. Seuss

156. "The Notebook "(The Notebook, #1) by Nicholas Sparks

157. "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" by Richard Bach

158. "Oliver Twist" by Charles Dickens

159. "The Red Tent " by Anita Diamant

160. "The Pillars of the Earth" by Ken Follett

161. "The Secret Life of Bees" by Sue Monk Kidd

162. "The Crucible" by Arthur Miller

163. "Mockingjay" (The Hunger Games, #3) by Suzanne Collins

164. "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" by John Boyne

165. “Love in the Time of Cholera” by Gabriel García Márquez

166. “The Gift of the Magi” by O. Henry

167. “The Master and Margarita” by Mikhail Bulgakov

168. “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert

169. “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” by Milan Kundera

170. “Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad

171. “The Complete Sherlock Holmes” by Arthur Conan Doyle

172. “The Canterbury Tales” by Geoffrey Chaucer

173. “Interview with the Vampire” (The Vampire Chronicles, #1) by Anne Rice

174. “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote

175. “The Shadow of the Wind” (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #1) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

176. J.R.R. Tolkien 4-Book Boxed Set: “The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien

177. “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac

178. “Aesop's Fables” by Aesop

179. “Gulliver's Travels” by Jonathan Swift

180. “Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass” by Lewis Carroll

181. “Invisible Man” by Ralph Ellison

182. “Walden” by Henry David Thoreau

183. “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls

184. “Robinson Crusoe” by Daniel Defoe

185. “The Origin of Species” by Charles Darwin

186. “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”
by Robert Louis Stevenson

187. “The Screwtape Letters” by C.S. Lewis

188. “Sophie's World” by Jostein Gaarder

189. “Roots: The Saga of an American Family”
by Alex Haley

190. “The Art of War” by Sun Tzu

191. “The Godfather” by Mario Puzo

192. “Candide” by Voltaire

193. “Watchmen” by Alan Moore

194. “The Prince” by Niccolò Machiavelli

195. “The Time Machine” by H.G. Wells

196. “The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales” by Jacob Grimm

197. “Go Ask Alice” by Beatrice Sparks

198. “Fight Club” by Chuck Palahniuk

199. “The Trial” by Franz Kafka

200. “Emma” by Jane Austen

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    • Eric Calderwood profile image

      Eric Calderwood 4 weeks ago from USA

      I've read 68 for sure, a few others I may have read. There are a lot more on the list that I want to read and a few that I'd rather not.

    • RachaelLefler profile image

      Rachael Lefler 5 weeks ago from Illinois

      This was a good list. However, I was really hoping for more information about the books. WHY, in other words, is it important to read each one? A list without explanation just feels like well, a list, not an article.