Most book lovers cherish the dream of reading the best books of all time in their lifetime. Making a list of best books whether in fiction or nonfiction is a controversial and difficult task as the tastes and opinions of people vary from one another.
“The World Library is a list of the 100 best books, as proposed by one hundred writers from fifty-four different countries, compiled and organized in 2002 by the Norwegian Book Club. This list endeavors to reflect world literature, with books from all countries, cultures, and time periods. Eleven of the books included on the list are written by women, eighty-five are written by men and four have an unknown author.
Each writer had to select his or her own list of ten books.
The books selected by this process and listed here are not ranked or categorized in any way; the organizers have stated that “they are all on an equal footing,” with the exception of Don Quixote which was given the distinction “best literary work ever written.” The following list organizes the works alphabetically by author” (Source: wikipedia)
To the Lighthouse is a 1927 novel by Virginia Woolf. A landmark novel of high modernism, the text, which centres on the Ramsays and their visits to the Isle of Skye in Scotland between 1910 and 1920, skillfully manipulates temporal and psychological elements.
To the Lighthouse follows and extends the tradition of modernist novelists like Marcel Proust and James Joyce, where the plot is secondary to philosophical introspection, and the prose can be winding and hard to follow. The novel includes little dialogue and almost no action; most of it is written as thoughts and observations. The novel recalls childhood emotions and highlights adult relationships. Among the book’s many tropes and themes are those of loss, subjectivity, and the problem of perception.
Memoirs of Hadrian (French: Mémoires d’Hadrien) is a novel by the French writerMarguerite Yourcenar about the life and death of Roman Emperor Hadrian. First published in France in French in 1951 as Mémoires d’Hadrien, the book was an immediate success, meeting with enormous critical acclaim. Although the historical Hadrian wrote an autobiography, it has been lost.
The book takes the form of a letter to Hadrian’s cousin and eventual successor “Mark” (Marcus Aurelius). The emperor meditates on military triumphs, love of poetry and music, philosophy, and his passion for his lover Antinous, all in a manner similar to Gustave Flaubert‘s “melancholy of the antique world.”
3) Mrs Dalloway
Mrs Dalloway (published on 14 May 1925) is a novel by Virginia Woolf that details a day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway, a fictional high-society woman in post-World War I England. It is one of Woolf’s best-known novels.
Created from two short stories, “Mrs Dalloway in Bond Street” and the unfinished “The Prime Minister,” the novel’s story is of Clarissa’s preparations for a party of which she is to be hostess. With the interior perspective of the novel, the story travels forwards and back in time and in and out of the characters’ minds to construct an image of Clarissa’s life and of the inter-war social structure. In October 2005, Mrs Dalloway was included on Time magazine’s list of the 100 best English-language novels written since 1923
Leaves of Grass is a poetry collection by the American poet Walt Whitman (1819–1892). Though the first edition was published in 1855, Whitman spent his entire life writing Leaves of Grass, revising it in several editions until his death. Among the poems in the collection are “Song of Myself“, “I Sing the Body Electric“, “Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking“, and in later editions, Whitman’s elegy to the assassinated President Abraham Lincoln, “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d“.
Besides its epic narrative of the Kurukshetra War and the fates of theKaurava and the Pandava princes, the Mahabharata contains much philosophical and devotional material, such as a discussion of the four “goals of life” or purusharthas (12.161). Among the principal works and stories that are a part of the Mahabharata are the Bhagavad Gita, the story of Damayanti, an abbreviated version of the Ramayana, and the Rishyasringa, often considered as works in their own right.
6) The Aeneid
The Aeneid (/əˈniːɪd/; Latin: Aeneis [ajˈneːis]—the title is Greek in form: genitive caseAeneidos) is a Latin epic poem, written by Virgil between 29 and 19 BC, that tells thelegendary story of Aeneas, a Trojan who travelled to Italy, where he became the ancestor of the Romans. It is composed of 9,896 lines in dactylic hexameter. The first six of the poem’s twelve books tell the story of Aeneas’ wanderings from Troy to Italy, and the poem’s second half tells of the Trojans’ ultimately victorious war upon the Latins, under whose name Aeneas and his Trojan followers are destined to be subsumed.
7) The Ramayana
The Ramayana (Sanskrit: रामायणम्, Rāmāyaṇam, pronounced [rɑːˈmɑːjəɳəm]) is one of the great epics of India. It is ascribed to the Hindu sage Valmiki and forms an important part of the Hindu literature (smṛti), considered to be itihāasa. The Ramayana is one of the two great epics of India, the other being the Mahabharata. It depicts the duties of relationships, portraying ideal characters like the ideal father, ideal servant, the ideal brother, the ideal wife and the ideal king. The name Ramayana is a tatpurusha compound of Rāma and ayana(“going, advancing”), translating to “Rama‘s Journey“. The Ramayana consists of 24,000 verses in seven books (kāṇḍas) and 500 cantos (sargas), and tells the story of Rama (anavatar of the Hindu Supreme-God Vishnu), whose wife Sita is abducted by the king of Ravan. Thematically, the Ramayana explores human values and the concept of dharma.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (or, in more recent editions, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn) is a novel by Mark Twain, first published in England in December 1884 and in the United States in February 1885. Commonly named among the Great American Novels, the work is among the first in major American literature to be written throughout invernacular English, characterized by local color regionalism. It is told in the first person byHuckleberry “Huck” Finn, a friend of Tom Sawyer and narrator of two other Twain novels (Tom Sawyer Abroad and Tom Sawyer, Detective). It is a direct sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.
The book is noted for its colorful description of people and places along the Mississippi River. Satirizing a Southern antebellum society that had ceased to exist about twenty years before the work was published, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is an often scathing look at entrenched attitudes, particularly racism.
The Death of Ivan Ilyich (Russian: Смерть Ивана Ильича, Smert’ Ivana Ilyicha), first published in 1886, is a novella by Leo Tolstoy, one of the masterpieces of his late fiction, written shortly after his religious conversion of the late 1870s.
The novel tells the story of the death, at age 45, of a high-court judge in 19th-century Russia. Living what seems to be a good life, his dreadful relationship with his wife notwithstanding, Ivan Ilyich Golovin injures his side while hanging up curtains in a new apartment intended to reflect his family’s superior status in society. Within weeks, he has developed a strange taste in his mouth and a pain that will not go away. Several expensive doctors are consulted, but beyond muttering about blind gut and floating kidneys, they can neither explain nor treat his condition, and it soon becomes clear that Ivan Ilyich is dying.
10) Anna Karenina
Anna Karenina (Russian: «Анна Каренина»; Russian pronunciation: [ˈanːə kɐˈrʲenʲɪnə]) is a novel by the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy, published in serial installments from 1873 to 1877 in the periodical The Russian Messenger. Tolstoy clashed with editor Mikhail Katkovover political issues that arose in the final installment (Tolstoy’s unpopular views of volunteers going to Serbia); therefore, the novel’s first complete appearance was in book form.
11) War and Peace
16) Oedipus the King
18) King Lear
24) The Masnavi
25) Pedro Paramo
37) The Essays
45) Leopardi: Poems
47) Sons and Lovers
48) Zorba the Greek
51) The Castle
52) The Trial
55) A Doll
56) The Odyssey
57) The Iliad
60) The Tin Drum
61) Dead Souls
65) Gypsy Ballads
67) MADAME BOVARY
71) Invisible Man
74) The Possessed
75) The Idiot
83) Don Quixote
89) The Decameron
91) Le Pere Goriot
93) Njal’s Saga
95) The Book of Job
98) Fairy Tales