Best Novels of All Time
Do you want a novel that is verifiably fantastic? Would you read a culture-changing masterpiece, an unforgettable mystery, a riotous satire, or a heartbreaking drama? Then we’ve got the list for you. We asked our Twitter and Facebook followers what they think are the best novels of all time, and then used some editorial insight to compile a list of incredible reads.
To Kill MockingBird
|To Kill MockingBird|
Voted America’s Best-Loved Novel in PBS’s The Great American Read
Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning masterwork of honor and injustice in the deep South—and the heroism of one man in the face of blind and violent hatred
One of the most cherished stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than forty million copies worldwide, served as the basis for an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the twentieth century by librarians across the country. A gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, as her father—a crusading local lawyer—risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Climb aboard the raft with Huck and Jim and drift away from the “sivilized” life and into a world of adventure, excitement, danger, and self-discovery. Huck’s shrewd and humorous narrative is complemented by lyrical descriptions of the Mississippi valley and a sparkling cast of memorable characters.
A beautiful unabridged 150th Anniversary Edition with 200 original illustrations and a Foreword by Alice L. George entitled ‘Why Little Women Endures 150 Years Later.’SeaWolf Press is proud to offer another book in its Illustrated Classics Collection. Each book in the collection contains the text, illustrations, and cover from the first or early edition Use Amazon’s Lookinside feature to compare this edition with others. You’ll be impressed by the differences. Our version has:200 original illustrations. Don’t be fooled by other versions with missing or made-up pictures.A unique Foreword explaining why the novel is still important today.Text that has been proofread to avoid errors common in other versions.A beautiful cover that replicates an early edition cover.The complete text in an easy-to-read font similar to the original.Properly formatted text complete with correct indenting, spacing, footnotes, italics, and tables.Little Women was originally published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869. It follows the lives of the four March sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy— from childhood to womanhood and is loosely based on the author and her three sisters. Although Little Women was a novel for girls, it differed notably from the current writings for children, especially girls. The book was an immediate commercial and critical success and has since been adapted for cinema, TV, Broadway and even the opera.
A Prayer for Owen Meany
|A Prayer For Owen Meany|
A PBS Great American Read Top 100 PickI am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice—not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my mother’s death, but because he is the reason I believe in God; I am a Christian because of Owen Meany.In the summer of 1953, two eleven-year-old boys—best friends—are playing in a Little League baseball game in Gravesend, New Hampshire. One of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy’s mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn’t believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God’s instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is extraordinary.
The Color Purple
|The Purple Color|
The classic, PULITZER PRIZE-winning novel that made Alice Walker a household name.Set in the deep American South between the wars, THE COLOR PURPLE is the classic tale of Celie, a young black girl born into poverty and segregation. Raped repeatedly by the man she calls ‘father’, she has two children taken away from her, is separated from her beloved sister Nettie and is trapped into an ugly marriage. But then she meets the glamorous Shug Avery, singer and magic-maker – a woman who has taken charge of her own destiny. Gradually Celie discovers the power and joy of her own spirit, freeing her from her past and reuniting her with those she loves.’One of the most haunting books you could ever wish to read … it is stunning – moving, exciting, and wonderful’ Lenny Henry
And Then There Were None
Agatha Christie’s world-famous mystery thriller, reissued with a striking cover designed to appeal to the latest generation of Agatha Christie fans and book lovers.
Ten strangers, apparently with little in common, are lured to an island mansion off the coast of Devon by the mysterious U.N.Owen. Over dinner, a record begins to play, and the voice of an unseen host accuses each person of hiding a guilty secret. That evening, former reckless driver Tony Marston is found murdered by a deadly dose of cyanide.
The tension escalates as the survivors realise the killer is not only among them but is preparing to strike again… and again…
The Prince of Tides
|The Prince Of Tides|
“A big, sprawling saga of a novel” (San Francisco Chronicle), this epic family drama is a masterwork by the revered author of The Great Santini.
Pat Conroy’s classic novel stings with honesty and resounds with drama. Spanning forty years, it’s the story of turbulent Tom Wingo, his gifted and troubled twin sister, Savannah, and their struggle to triumph over the dark and tragic legacy of the extraordinary family into which they were born. Filled with the vanishing beauty of the South Carolina Low Country as well as the dusty glitter of New York City, The Prince of Tides showcases an American original at his very best.
Praise for The Prince of Tides
“This is a powerful book. . . . [Pat] Conroy is a master of language.”—The Atlanta Journal
“A big, sprawling saga of a novel . . . the kind you can hole up with and spend some days with and put down feeling that you’ve emerged from a terrible, wonderful spell.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“A literary gem . . . The Prince of Tides is in the best tradition of novel writing. It is an engrossing story of unforgettable characters.”—The Pittsburgh Press
“A masterpiece.”—Detroit Free Press
East of Eden (Oprah’s Book Club)
|East Of Eden|
A masterpiece of Biblical scope, and the magnum opus of one of America’s most enduring authors, in a commemorative hardcover edition
In his journal, Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck called East of Eden “the first book,” and indeed it has the primordial power and simplicity of myth. Set in the rich farmland of California’s Salinas Valley, this sprawling and often brutal novel follows the intertwined destinies of two families—the Trasks and the Hamiltons—whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel.
The masterpiece of Steinbeck’s later years, East of Eden is a work in which Steinbeck created his most mesmerizing characters and explored his most enduring themes: the mystery of identity, the inexplicability of love, and the murderous consequences of love’s absence. Adapted for the 1955 film directed by Elia Kazan introducing James Dean, and read by thousands as the book that brought Oprah’s Book Club back, East of Eden has remained vitally present in American culture for over half a century.
Great Gatsby Notebook
A classic American novel, The Great Gatsby is a monumental exploration of the American Dream, set in a colourful world of crime, infidelity, and lost love.
Nick Carraway has just moved to Long Island, and the biggest name on the block is Gatsby, the eccentric millionaire who throws parties he does not attend. When Nick gets a chance to meet him he finds himself pulled into Gatsby’s machinations to win back his lost love — Nick’s married cousin, Daisy.
F. Scott Fitzgerald vividly captures the roaring twenties in this, possibly his most famous work, all while exploring themes ranging from decadence and excess to massive social change and how to navigate it. Widely considered one of the great American novels, The Great Gatsby has been adapted to the screen multiple times, most recently in 2013, with Baz Luhrmann directing, Leonardo DiCaprio starring, and Jay-Z providing music.
Brilliant, driven Victor Frankenstein has at last realised his greatest ambition. The scientist has succeeded in creating intelligent life. But when his creature first stirs, Frankenstein realises he has made a monster. And, abandoned by its maker and shunned by everyone who sees it, the Doctor’s creation sets out to destroy him and all that he holds dear. Mary Shelley’s FRANKENSTEIN remains one of the greatest horror stories ever written, a book that chillingly captures the unforeseen terror of playing God. And the heart-stopping fear of being pursued by a powerful, relentless killer.
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
|A Tree Grows In Broolyn|
A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick
The beloved American classic about a young girl’s coming-of-age at the turn of the twentieth century.
From the moment she entered the world, Francie needed to be made of stern stuff, for the often harsh life of Williamsburg demanded fortitude, precocity, and strength of spirit. Often scorned by neighbors for her family’s erratic and eccentric behavior-such as her father Johnny’s taste for alcohol and Aunt Sissy’s habit of marrying serially without the formality of divorce-no one, least of all Francie, could say that the Nolans’ life lacked drama. By turns overwhelming, sublime, heartbreaking, and uplifting, the Nolans’ daily experiences are tenderly threaded with family connectedness and raw with honesty. Betty Smith has, in the pages of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, captured the joys of humble Williamsburg life-from “junk day” on Saturdays, when the children of Francie’s neighborhood traded their weekly take for pennies, to the special excitement of holidays, bringing cause for celebration and revelry. Smith has created a work of literary art that brilliantly captures a unique time and place as well as deeply resonant moments of universal experience. Here is an American classic that “cuts right to the heart of life,” hails the New York Times. “If you miss A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, you will deny yourself a rich experience.”
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NOW A STARZ ORIGINAL SERIES
Unrivaled storytelling. Unforgettable characters. Rich historical detail. These are the hallmarks of Diana Gabaldon’s work. Her New York Times bestselling Outlander novels have earned the praise of critics and captured the hearts of millions of fans. Here is the story that started it all, introducing two remarkable characters, Claire Beauchamp Randall and Jamie Fraser, in a spellbinding novel of passion and history that combines exhilarating adventure with a love story for the ages.
One of the top ten best-loved novels in America, as seen on PBS’s The Great American Read!
Scottish Highlands, 1945. Claire Randall, a former British combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding clans in the year of Our Lord . . . 1743.
Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of a world that threatens her life, and may shatter her heart. Marooned amid danger, passion, and violence, Claire learns her only chance of safety lies in Jamie Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior. What begins in compulsion becomes urgent need, and Claire finds herself torn between two very different men, in two irreconcilable lives.
This eBook includes the full text of the novel plus the following additional content:
• An excerpt from Diana Gabaldon’s Dragonfly in Amber, the second novel in the Outlander series
• An interview with Diana Gabaldon
• An Outlander reader’s guide
Praise for Outlander
“Marvelous and fantastic adventures, romance, sex . . . perfect escape reading.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“History comes deliciously alive on the page.”—New York Daily News
The Lord of the Rings
|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
In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell by chance into the hands of the hobbit Bilbo Baggins.
From Sauron’s fastness in the Dark Tower of Mordor, his power spread far and wide. Sauron gathered all the Great Rings to him, but always he searched for the One Ring that would complete his dominion.
When Bilbo reached his eleventy-first birthday he disappeared, bequeathing to his young cousin Frodo the Ruling Ring and a perilous quest: to journey across Middle-earth, deep into the shadow of the Dark Lord, and destroy the Ring by casting it into the Cracks of Doom.
The Lord of the Rings tells of the great quest undertaken by Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring: Gandalf the Wizard; the hobbits Merry, Pippin, and Sam; Gimli the Dwarf; Legolas the Elf; Boromir of Gondor; and a tall, mysterious stranger called Strider.
This edition includes the fiftieth-anniversary fully corrected text setting and an extensive index.
J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973), beloved throughout the world as the creator of The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion, was a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford, a fellow of Pembroke College, and a fellow of Merton College until his retirement in 1959. His chief interest was the linguistic aspects of the early English written tradition, but while he studied classic works of the past, he was creating a set of his own.
Praise for The Lord of the Rings
“An extraordinary work — pure excitement.” — New York Times Book Review
“One of the great fairy-tale quests in modern literature.” — Time
“A remarkable book.” — Newsweek
“One of the very few works of genius in recent literature.” — New Republic
“A work of immense narrative power that can sweep the reader up and hold him enthralled for days and weeks.” — The Nation
“Here are beauties which pierce like swords or burn like cold iron.” — C. S. Lewis
“The first thing one asks of an adventure story is that the adventure should be various and exciting . . . Tolkien’s invention is unflagging.” — W. H. Auden
“J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic trilogy remains the ultimate quest, the ultimate battle between good and evil, the ultimate chronicle of stewardship of the earth. Endlessly imitated, it never has been surpassed.” — Kansas City Star
“A masterful story . . . an epic in its own way . . . with elements of high adventure, suspense, mystery, poetry, and fantasy.” — Boston Sunday Herald
The only hardcover edition of the beloved, internationally best-selling gothic mystery. EVERYMAN’S LIBRARY CONTEMPORARY CLASSICS.
Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . .
The unassuming young heroine of Rebecca finds her life changed overnight when she meets Maxim de Winter, a handsome and wealthy widower whose sudden proposal of marriage takes her by surprise. Rescuing her from an overbearing employer, de Winter whisks her off to Manderley, his isolated estate on the windswept Cornish coast–but there things take a chilling turn. Max seems haunted by the memory of his glamorous first wife, Rebecca, whose legacy is lovingly tended by the sinister housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers. As the second Mrs. de Winter finds herself increasingly burdened by the shadow of her mysterious predecessor, she becomes determined to uncover the dark secrets that threaten her happiness, no matter the cost.
Ulysses is a modernist novel by Irish writer James Joyce. It was first serialised in parts in the American journal The Little Review from March 1918 to December 1920 and then published in its entirety in Paris by Sylvia Beach on 2 February 1922, Joyce’s 40th birthday. It is considered to be one of the most important works of modernist literature and has been called “a demonstration and summation of the entire movement”. According to Declan Kiberd, “Before Joyce, no writer of fiction had so foregrounded the process of thinking
A special 25th anniversary edition of the extraordinary international bestseller, including a new Foreword by Paulo Coelho.
Combining magic, mysticism, wisdom and wonder into an inspiring tale of self-discovery, The Alchemist has become a modern classic, selling millions of copies around the world and transforming the lives of countless readers across generations.
Paulo Coelho’s masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different—and far more satisfying—than he ever imagined. Santiago’s journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams.
Pride And Prejudice
|Pride And Prejudice|
Pride and Prejudice is a novel by Jane Austen, first published in 1813. The story follows the main character, Elizabeth Bennet, as she deals with issues of manners, upbringing, morality, education, and marriage in the society of the landed gentry of the British Regency. Elizabeth is the second of five daughters of a country gentleman, Mr Bennet, living in Longbourn.The novel is set in England in the early 19th century and tells the story of Mr and Mrs Bennet’s five unmarried daughters after two gentlemen have moved into their neighbourhood: the rich and eligible Mr Bingley, and his status-conscious friend, the even richer and more eligible Mr Darcy. While Bingley takes an immediate liking to the eldest Bennet daughter, Jane, Darcy is disdainful of local society and repeatedly clashes with the Bennets’ lively second daughter, Elizabeth.Pride and Prejudice retains a fascination for modern readers, continuing near the top of lists of “most loved books”. It has become one of the most popular novels in English literature, selling over 20 million copies, and receives considerable attention from literary scholars. Likewise, it has paved the way for archetypes that abound in many contemporary literature of our time. Modern interest in the book has resulted in a number of dramatic adaptations and an abundance of novels and stories imitating Austen’s memorable characters or themes.
A PBS Great American Read Top 100 Pick
With extraordinary relevance and renewed popularity, George Orwell’s 1984 takes on new life in this edition.
“Orwell saw, to his credit, that the act of falsifying reality is only secondarily a way of changing perceptions. It is, above all, a way of asserting power.”—The New Yorker
In 1984, London is a grim city in the totalitarian state of Oceania where Big Brother is always watching you and the Thought Police can practically read your mind. Winston Smith is a man in grave danger for the simple reason that his memory still functions. Drawn into a forbidden love affair, Winston finds the courage to join a secret revolutionary organization called The Brotherhood, dedicated to the destruction of the Party. Together with his beloved Julia, he hazards his life in a deadly match against the powers that be.
Lionel Trilling said of Orwell’s masterpiece, “1984 is a profound, terrifying, and wholly fascinating book. It is a fantasy of the political future, and like any such fantasy, serves its author as a magnifying device for an examination of the present.” Though the year 1984 now exists in the past, Orwell’s novel remains an urgent call for the individual willing to speak truth to power.
For Whom the Bell Tolls
For Whom the Bell Tolls
In 1937 Ernest Hemingway traveled to Spain to cover the civil war there for the North American Newspaper Alliance. Three years later he completed the greatest novel to emerge from “the good fight,” For Whom the Bell Tolls. The story of Robert Jordan, a young American in the International Brigades attached to an antifascist guerilla unit in the mountains of Spain, it tells of loyalty and courage, love and defeat, and the tragic death of an ideal. In his portrayal of Jordan’s love for the beautiful Maria and his superb account of El Sordo’s last stand, in his brilliant travesty of La Pasionaria and his unwillingness to believe in blind faith, Hemingway surpasses his achievement in The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms to create a work at once rare and beautiful, strong and brutal, compassionate, moving, and wise. “If the function of a writer is to reveal reality,” Maxwell Perkins wrote to Hemingway after reading the manuscript, “no one ever so completely performed it.” Greater in power, broader in scope, and more intensely emotional than any of the author’s previous works, it stands as one of the best war novels of all time.
A Confederacy of Dunces
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize
“A masterwork . . . the novel astonishes with its inventiveness . . . it is nothing less than a grand comic fugue.”—The New York Times Book Review
A Confederacy of Dunces is an American comic masterpiece. John Kennedy Toole’s hero, one Ignatius J. Reilly, is “huge, obese, fractious, fastidious, a latter-day Gargantua, a Don Quixote of the French Quarter. His story bursts with wholly original characters, denizens of New Orleans’ lower depths, incredibly true-to-life dialogue, and the zaniest series of high and low comic adventures” (Henry Kisor, Chicago Sun-Times).
Toni Morrison–author of Song of Solomon and Tar Baby–is a writer of remarkable powers: her novels, brilliantly acclaimed for their passion, their dazzling language and their lyric and emotional force, combine the unassailable truths of experience and emotion with the vision of legend and imagination.
It is the story–set in post-Civil War Ohio–of Sethe, an escaped slave who has risked death in order to wrench herself from a living death; who has lost a husband and buried a child; who has borne the unthinkable and not gone mad: a woman of “iron eyes and backbone to match.” Sethe lives in a small house on the edge of town with her daughter, Denver, her mother-in-law, Baby Suggs, and a disturbing,
A #1 New York Times bestseller with over 225,000 five-star ratings on Goodreads: This “beautifully written and richly evocative examination of life, love, and the ravages of war” (New York Times bestselling author Sara Gruen) follows two sisters in World War II–era France. An “absorbing page-turner” (Kirkus Reviews).
A #1 New York Times bestseller, Wall Street Journal Best Book of the Year, and soon to be a major motion picture, this unforgettable novel of love and strength in the face of war has enthralled a generation.
With courage, grace, and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of World War II and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women’s war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France—a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.
Goodreads Best Historical Novel of the Year • People’s Choice Favorite Fiction Winner • #1 Indie Next Selection • A Buzzfeed and The Week Best Book of the Year
Praise for The Nightingale:
“Haunting, action-packed, and compelling.” —Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author
”Absolutely riveting!…Read this book.” —Dr. Miriam Klein Kassenoff, Director of the University of Miami Holocaust Teacher Institute
“Beautifully written and richly evocative.” —Sara Gruen, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“A hauntingly rich WWII novel about courage, brutality, love, survival—and the essence of what makes us human.” —Family Circle
“A heart-pounding story.” —USA Today
“An enormous story. Richly satisfying. I loved it.” —Anne Rice
“A respectful and absorbing page-turner.” —Kirkus Reviews
”Tender, compelling…a satisfying slice of life in Nazi-occupied France.” —Jewish Book Council
“Expect to devour The Nightingale in as few sittings as possible; the high-stakes plot and lovable characters won’t allow any rest until all of their fates are known.” —Shelf Awareness
“I loved The Nightingale.” —Lisa See, #1 New York Times bestselling author
“Powerful…an unforgettable portrait of love and war.”
This is the way the world ends: with a nanosecond of computer error in a Defense Department laboratory and a million casual contacts that form the links in a chain letter of death.
And here is the bleak new world of the day after: a world stripped of its institutions and emptied of 99 percent of its people. A world in which a handful of panicky survivors choose sides — or are chosen. A world in which good rides on the frail shoulders of the 108-year-old Mother Abagail — and the worst nightmares of evil are embodied in a man with a lethal smile and unspeakable powers: Randall Flagg, the dark man.
In 1978 Stephen King published The Stand, the novel that is now considered to be one of his finest works. But as it was first published, The Stand was incomplete, since more than 150,000 words had been cut from the original manuscript.
Now Stephen King’s apocalyptic vision of a world blasted by plague and embroiled in an elemental struggle between good and evil has been restored to its entirety. The Stand : The Complete And Uncut Edition includes more than five hundred pages of material previously deleted, along with new material that King added as he reworked the manuscript for a new generation. It gives us new characters and endows familiar ones with new depths. It has a new beginning and a new ending. What emerges is a gripping work with the scope and moral complexity of a true epic.
For hundreds of thousands of fans who read The Stand in its original version and wanted more, this new edition is Stephen King’s gift. And those who are reading The Stand for the first time will discover a triumphant and eerily plausible work of the imagination that takes on the issues that will determine our survival.
Go Tell It on the Mountain
|Go Tell It On The Mountain|
“Mountain,” Baldwin said, “is the book I had to write if I was ever going to write anything else.” Go Tell It on the Mountain, originally published in 1953, is Baldwin’s first major work, a novel that has established itself as an American classic. With lyrical precision, psychological directness, resonating symbolic power, and a rage that is at once unrelenting and compassionate, Baldwin chronicles a fourteen-year-old boy’s discovery one Saturday in March of 1935 of the terms of his identity as the stepson of the minister of a Pentecostal storefront church in Harlem. Baldwin’s rendering of his protagonist’s spiritual, sexual, and moral struggle toward self-invention opened new possibilities in the American language and in the way Americans understand themselves.
Love in the Time of Cholera
|Love In The Time Of Cholera|
From the Nobel Prize-winning author of One Hundred Years of Solitude comes a masterly evocation of an unrequited passion so strong that it binds three people’s lives together for more than fifty years. In the story of Florentino Ariza, who waits more than half a century to declare his undying love to the beautiful Fermina Daza, whom he lost to Dr. Juvenal Urbino so many years before, García Márquez has created a vividly absorbing fictional world, as lush and dazzling as a dream and as real and immediate as our own deepest longings. Now available for the first time in the Contemporary Classics series!
In a house haunted by memories, the past is everywhere …As darkness falls, a man caught in a snowstorm is forced to shelter at the strange, grim house Wuthering Heights. It is a place he will never forget. There he will come to learn the story of Cathy: how she was forced to choose between her well-meaning husband and the dangerous man she had loved since she was young. How her choice led to betrayal and terrible revenge – and continues to torment those in the present. How love can transgress authority, convention, even death. And how desire can kill.