Top must read books of all time are defined as the best classics ever, which are written by the greatest literary minds. Books can touch your soul, and change your thoughts through themes, characters, experiences, emotions and life perspectives in stories. Sometimes, it can take you a lot of time to find an interesting book to read. That’s why we made the list below for you.
1 – The Great Gatsby ($5.59)
- Name: The Great Gatsby
- Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Price: $5.59
- Rating: ⭐4.5
- Volume sales: almost 30 million copies worldwide
- Genre: Novel, Tragedy, Modernism, Realism, Social Satire
The 1st one in the list of 10 popular books you must read is “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It tells the tragic story of a self-made millionaire, Jay Gatsby, who fell in love at first sight with a young wealthy woman, Daisy Buchanan during his military service. At that time, Gatsby is too poor to take care of her. Then, Gatsby was determined to get rich and repeatedly threw parties in the hopes of getting Daisy’s attention, but she didn’t notice after all.
Since entering the world of the American upper- class on Long Island, Gatsby has only seen useless entertainments, the flirtatious habits of wealthy, and beautiful people. The society that took advantage of him and ousted him, has pushed Gatsby into deep disappointment.
2 – To Kill a Mockingbird ($7.19)
- Name: To Kill a Mockingbird
- Author: Harper Lee
- Price: $7.19 (paperback)
- Rating: ⭐4.8
- Volume sales: 40 million copies
- Genre: Southern Gothic, Bildungsroman
To Kill a Mockingbird is another one in the top must read books of all time. The novel tells the story of two teenage children, Jean Louise “Scout” Finch and Jeremy Atticus “Jem” Finch, who were raised in the small town of Maycomb, Alabama. The story happened within 3 years, told by the younger brother. In the story, the father of two children, lawyer Atticus Finch, is assigned to defend a black man named Tom Robinson, accused of raping a white girl named Mayella Ewell.
The novel is based on the lives of many friends and relatives of the author, but the characters’ names have been changed. The author said that the role model of the narrator Jean Louise “Scout” Finch, was built based on herself.
3 – Pride and Prejudice ($5.89)
- Name: Pride and Prejudice
- Author: Jane Austen
- Price: $5.89
- Rating: ⭐4.6
- Volume sales: 20 million copies
- Genre: Romance novel, Classic Regency novel
Pride and Prejudice is undoubtedly one in the list of must read books of all time. It is about the love and marriage of nobility in England in the early 19th century. The main character is Elizabeth Bennet, a 20-year-old girl from a middle-class family. The book is about the confrontation between Elizabeth and Fitzwilliam Darcy, a landlord, but then they fall in love with each other. The title of the book tells the pride and prejudices of one character towards another.
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4 – The Lord of the Rings ($13.57)
- Name: The Lord of the Rings
- Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
- Price: $13.57
- Rating: ⭐4.8
- Volume sales:150 million copies
- Genre: Novel, epic high-fantasy adventure
“The Lord of the Rings” trilogy is considered one of the best novels in these 10 must read books of all time, because it created a revolution in literature. For the first time, a fantasy series has made such a big impact, the series has been translated into many different languages around the world. People fall in love with it, immerse themselves into it, and even consider the world to be real. Before “The Lord of the Rings”, fantasy was considered as a kind of children’s literature, but since LOTR’s publication, fantasy really changed and became a “serious and adult” literature.
5 – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone ($5.99)
- Name: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
- Author: J.K. Rowling
- Price: $5.99
- Rating: ⭐4.8
- Volume sales: 107 million
- Genre: Fantasy, Children’s Literature, Quest, Adventure
“Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” is the first work in the seven-volume of Harry Potter by British author JK Rowling. This is an important volume of the series, because it lays the background for the next six volumes. It gives us the first step to explore the Wizarding world of Harry Potter, get acquainted with the main characters, locations, with some terminology… This first volume raises unanswered questions, with punctuation marks. signal for the details in the next volumes, creating curiosity for readers.
The book is about Harry Potter, a teenage wizard who only learns of his magical ability after attending Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. In the first year of school, Harry has both best friends and rivals such as Ron, Hermione, Draco, …. With the help of his friends, Harry fights against the return of the Dark Lord Voldemort, who assassinated his parents.
6 – 1984 ($9.50)
- Name: 1984
- Author: George Orwell
- Price: $9.50
- Rating: ⭐4.7
- Volume sales: more than 24,000 copies
- Genre: Dystopian, social science fiction, political fiction
When it comes to political ideology and science fiction, “1984” has been considered a must read classic book of all time since its first publication in 1949. Because many words and concepts found in the novel such as Big Brother, doublethink, thoughtcrime, Newspeak, Room 101, telescreen, 2+2=5 and memory hole have come to life for English speakers. The novel also popularized the adjective Orwellian which refers to surveillance, disinformation, denial of truth (doublethink), propaganda, and manipulation of the past by a totalitarian state.
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7 – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe ($7.64)
- Name: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
- Author: C.S. Lewis
- Price: $7.64
- Rating: ⭐4.8
- Volume sales: more than 95 million
- Genre: Christian literature, Children’s fantasy
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which is commonly abbreviated as LWW, follows the adventure of four ordinary English children, namely Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie. Lucy was the one who found the way to the magical land of Narnia through a closet.
LWW is the first book of the Chronicles of Narnia series to be written and first published in England in 1950, but in Narnia chronological order, LWW is the second story.
8 – Jane Eyre ($6.99)
- Name: Jane Eyre
- Author: Charlotte Bronte
- Price: $6.99
- Rating: ⭐4.6
- Volume sales: Unknown
- Genre: bildungsroman, Gothic romance
Jane Eyre is an educational novel that should be listed in top must read books of all time in English literature. It follows the story of the title character, including her maturation process as well as her love for Rochester, owner of Thornfield Castle. The novel was the first one that focused on the protagonist’s spiritual and moral development through a first-person narrative.
“Jane Eyre” is about the life of a poor girl from a small town who bravely struggled with a cruel fate to protect her life, defend her dignity, and affirm her social status by an honest working life.
9 – Think and Grow Rich ($4.59)
- Name: Think and Grow Rich
- Author: Napoleon Hill
- Price: $4.59
- Rating: ⭐4.7
- Volume sales: 100 million copies worldwide (by 2015)
- Genre: self-help book, Non-fiction
“Think And Grow Rich” is one of the top must read English books of all time out there. The book is the result of more than 20 years of research by Napoleon Hill. He has interviewed George Eastman, Henry Ford, William Jennings Bryan, John D. Rockefeller, Clarence Darrow, and hundreds of other wealthy successful people. From the interview results, the author has summarized into 13 principles which are likened to 13 steps of the journey to get rich.
The book does not discuss in depth how to get rich, but focuses on “thinking rich” and conveys the message: if we know how to train our thinking, we will be successful and rich. Think And Grow Rich has consistently been on the bestseller list since its publication in 1937.
10 – Rich Dad Poor Dad ($13.41)
- Name: Rich Dad Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!
- Author: Robert T. Kiyosaki
- Price: $13.41
- Rating: ⭐4.7
- Volume sales: 32 million copies worldwide
- Genre: Personal finance, entrepreneurship, non-fiction
The book “Rich Dad Poor Dad” should be on every list of must read books in the world of all time. It shares ideas and lessons from rich people. The author advocates getting rich, and he thinks that many employees have missed the opportunity to enrich themselves.
The book is continuously on the best-seller list and creates a trend. However, there are also many people who oppose the author’s view of people who choose to live a life without getting rich – those who the author believes fall into the vicious circle of money.
Have we missed any must read books of all time in the list? If so, please leave a comment to recommend some titles so that we can complete a comprehensive list.
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