Latest and greatest book lists

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I love looking at book lists – there are so many! Books to read before you die (never liked that phrase), books to read in a lifetime (that’s better), best books, essential books, books that changed the world, etc. And don’t forget the lists of award winners for the Pulitzer Prize, Nobel Prize, Man Booker Award, National Book Award, PEN/Faulkner Award – you get the idea.

Well today I found the list of all lists. The Greatest Books is made up of 128 book lists. Here’s how the website creator explains it:

This list is generated from 128 “best of” book lists from a variety of great sources. An algorithm is used to create a master list based on how many lists a particular book appears on. Some lists count more than others. I generally trust “best of all time” lists voted by authors and experts over user-generated lists. On the lists that are actually ranked, the book that is 1st counts a lot more than the book that’s 100th.

If you create an account, you can track the books you’ve read and those you want to read. There’s also a link to the website’s blog. One of the neat things is you can narrow your list to certain years from year 0 to present. You can also look at both fiction and nonfiction lists separately.

For fun, I searched for the Greatest Books from 1600 – 1700 and here’s what I got for the top three:

Here’s what I got for the Greatest Books from 2019 – 2020:I’m pretty impressed by this website. There’s some serious math involved in aggregating all these lists, don’t you think?

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!




30 thoughts on “Latest and greatest book lists

    1. HI Lynette – yes I know. I was just thinking about reading The Testaments next. I saw that there are several copies available at our library so I might also give it a try soon. It’s kind of weird to say, but I’m not attracted to the colors and cover for some reason. Maybe when I read it, the cover will make sense. Thanks for visiting.

  1. This is such a great resource, Barbara. I just took a look at the first 100 books listed on this site. So far, I’ve read 24 of them. There are many more from this list that I have on my ‘To Read’ list! 😀
    Thank you for sharing this.

    1. I know what you mean, Jill. There’s never enough time. I read a lot, but I could never just read. I definitely have to mix it in with other things! Thanks for stopping by 🙂

    1. Haha – I remember reading Paradise Lost and didn’t like it either. I probably shouldn’t admit it, but I’ve never really liked reading verse. I’ve never read Don Quixote, but I also read Hamlet. That’s one of my favorite Shakespeare plays, though I haven’t studied Shakespeare since college. Thanks for stopping by, Derrick. 🙂

  2. Oh, this will be fun! I’m an uber-competitive reader, that is I love to read and check books off lists. I track the prize winners I read, the 1001 Books Before You [“Live out your lifetime” if you prefer 🙂 ] all of that sort of thing!

  3. I could spend hours going through these lists. Rather fascinating. Just looking at the first website of The Greatest Books, I’ve read 19 of the first 30. As I kept going down the list, I’d get excited about those I’ve read, and dejected about those I didn’t. Many of the “didn’t” I’m not going to make myself (like Moby Dick), but I did add Middlemarch and The Stranger to my TBR list. Thanks for sharing these site – fun and thought-provoking!

    1. Hi Pam – I never liked Moby Dick – I read it in college for an American Literature class and thought it was a snoozer! I’ve never read Middlemarch but was just talking about it with a patron at the library last week (strange coincidence). As for The Stranger, I have read that, in French too, but the only way I knew what was going on was because I’d already read it English. 🙂

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