Your top 5 favorite books of all time

Inspired actually by this thread, although I am sure it has been asked before I wanna know everyone’s top 5 favorite books of all time.

Don’t separate them by genre, year, author, or any of that stuff. I want your top 5 straight up.

I will start!

  1. Catcher in the Rye (unoriginal I know, but this book spoke to me)

  2. Crime and Punishment (Catcher…but in Russia)

  3. Tess of the D’urbervilles (hardest book I ever read, but loved every minute)

  4. Messiah (Modern book about a serial killer who thinks he is Jesus)

  5. Watership Down (You have any idea how hard it is to properly explain this book after you mention it’s about bunnies?)
    Honorable mentions to: Rebecca, Great Gatsby, Shade’s Children and many others

The Bible

The Chronicles of Narnia

Atlas Shrugged

Dear and Glorious Physician by Taylor Calwell

Love in the Ruins by Walker Percy

1.Les Misérables - A true masterpiece

  1. Brothers Karamazov - Again, a true masterpiece

  2. Lord of the Rings - Visionary and wonderful

  3. His Dark Materials - Yes, I’m counting it as one book.

  4. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - I just liked it.

  1. The Mystery of Cabin Island. Yeah, it is a Hardy Boys book. But it is still the best of them and I’ve read it at least 1000 times.

  2. The Hunt for Red October. Tom Clancy’s best. I’ve read it over 100 times.

  3. Shoot, Don’t Shoot. J.A. Jance. Set in Phoenix. A great mystery novel.

  4. The Winds of War. Herman Wouk. I’ve read this book almost every year since 4th grade.

  5. Genesis: Attributed to Moses. The first book of the Bible. So many good stories.

This is harder than I thought, especially since there are so many books that I still want to read. I’d like to think that some of them will eventually find their place in my top five. But for now:

  1. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

  2. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

  3. Moby Dick by Herman Melville

  4. On Heroes and Tombs by Ernesto Sabato (this is out of print in English but very worth tracking down)

  5. (tie) The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann

  6. (tie) Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Does Ayn Rand really sync with The Bible and C.S. Lewis?


Just teasing you a bit.


Hmmm, off the top of my head:
The Old Man and the Sea
Watership Down
The Maltese Falcon
Mosquito Coast
The Stand

Catch-22, Joseph Heller
How to Be Good, Nick Hornby
Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie
Sirens of Titan, Kurt Vonnegut
The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco

[ol][li]Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban[/li]
[li]Independent People by Halldor Laxness[/li]
[li]The Master of Hestviken by Sigrid Undset[/li]
[li]Hunger by Knut Hamsun[/li]
[]The Dwarf by Par Lagerkvist[/ol]

Not in any order.

  1. Cannery Row
  2. Lolita
  3. Cryptonomicon
  4. Foucault’s Pendulum
  5. Catch 22

You realise that was ghostwritten, right?

My favourite books aren’t any kind of classics or my local equivalent of “The Great American Novel” because I usually find those kinds of things unbearably dull.

So mine are:

Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn - Tad Williams
Maskerade - Terry Pratchett
The Princess Bride - William Goldman
The Truth - Terry Pratchett
The Belgariad - David Eddings

Ayn Rand: The Fountainhead
Robert Heinlein: Time Enough for Love
Ann Frank: Diary
Victor Hugo: Les Miserables
Arthur C. Clarke: Childhood’s End

Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Kurt Vonnegut - Cat’s Cradle
Charlotte Bronte - Jane Eyre
Jane Austen - Pride and Prejudice
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby

A pretty predictable list, I guess. I also put down Albert Camus’s The Stranger and Evelyn Waugh’s Vile Bodies for fifth place before settling on Gatsby.

“Another Roadside Attraction” Tom Robbins
“One Flew Over The Cukoo’s Nest” Ken Kesey
“Misery” Stephen King
“At The Mountains Of Madness” H.P. Lovecraft
“A Short History Of Nearly Everything” Bill Bryson

Edit for misspelling Mr. Kesey’s name…

  1. Watchmen
  2. Michael Crichton - Sphere
  3. Stephen King - Salem’s Lot
  4. Peter Straub - Ghost Story
  5. Richard Matheson - I Am Legend

Since there was no distinction between fiction and non-fiction, I included both (but paring it down to only fi5e was amazingly difficult for me)

  1. Critical Path – R. Buckminster Fuller
  2. The Story of Art – E. H. Gombrich
  3. The Confidence-Man – Herman Melville
  4. Snow Crash – Neal Stephenson
  5. The Pillow Book – Sei Shonagon (as translated by Meredith McKinney)

It’s embarrassing how many of the classics (classic classic and modern-day classics) I haven’t read, including many listed here, so don’t take my list as thinking any of these are better than many of the above-mentioned books, since I have no basis for comparison. That said, the books I’ve enjoyed the most are:

On Wings of Eagles by Ken Follett – the amazing and riveting story of how Ross Perot hired ex-Green Berets to train his executives to execute a prison break to rescue his employees who’d been imprisoned without charges in Iran, just before the official “Iranian Hostage Crisis”.

Kane & Abel by Jeffrey Archer, and the sequel, The Prodigal Daughter. Thank Og he wrote a sequel, because I did not want the first book to end!

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. There really aren’t any words I could write to give this book its justice. Simply stunning.

Master of the Game by Sydney Sheldon. I literally couldn’t put this book down – stayed up all night reading it and went to work bleary-eyed the next day.

Reaper Man by Terry Pratchett. DEATH and cats. It just doesn’t get any better than that. :slight_smile:

And honorable mention goes to Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes.

  1. Memories of Ice - Malazan Book of the Fallen - Steven Erikson
  2. Angela’s Ashes - Frank McCourt
  3. Interesting Times - Eric Hobsbawm
  4. Night Watch - Terry Pratchett
  5. Reaper’s Gale - Malazan Book of the Fallen - Steven Erikson

For now:

  1. Shogun, by James Clavell
  2. Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson (heard about it here!)
  3. The Dead Zone, by Stephen King
  4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  5. The Caine Mutiny, by Herman Wouk

This list changes from time to time, but #1 has been there for a while.

  1. The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy
  2. The Hotel New Hampshire, by John Irving
  3. The Stand, by Stephen King (lousy ending, though)
  4. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, by Haruki Murakami
  5. The Hardy Boys & Nancy Drew Super Mystery

(#5: Do people actually read these lists? ;))