BLOG > Book Recommendations

Best Fiction Books: The 100 Best Novels Of All Time (2020)

Best Fiction Books
9 MINUTE READ

Best Fiction Books

Want A FREE 10-Step Speed Reading Cheatsheet?

How to Read a Book, Mortimer J Adler

Get a FREE 10-step cheatsheet to help you read faster and remember more of what you read based on the classic guide, How to Read a Book.

The Art of Living will never share your email. Unsubscribe easily anytime.

Looking for the best fiction books of all time? You’re in the right place!

Why include a list of the best fiction books of all time on a blog that’s mostly devoted to nonfiction book recommendations?

Partly because there’s more to life than reading instruction manuals.

But mostly because devouring the best nonfiction AND fiction books is what keeps reading enjoyable and exciting. And keeping reading enjoyable and exciting is vital to reading more overall; it’s the secret to a voracious, sustainable and life-long passion for books.

The most impressive people I know always have at least one nonfiction and one fiction book going at the same time. That way, whether it’s an hour in bed, or 5 minutes in a line, they always have something perfect for their time, mood and appetite.

If you don’t normally read fiction books – give them a chance. You’ll learn as much (if not more) about being human from the best novels and poems than from hundreds of their nonfiction counterparts.

And if you already love fiction? Then you’re in the right place. I hope you find something below that touches and lightens your soul.

Here’s the list of the 100 best fiction books of all time…

(P.s., If you enjoy this list, don’t forget to check out my lists of the best fantasy books of all time and best sci-fi books of all time.)

The 100 Best Fiction Books Of All Time

Why these best fiction books and not others? The best fiction books of all time below are the top picks from my long list of hundreds of books, ranked by a combination of Goodreads rating, number of Goodreads reviews and first publication date. The aim is to surface what’s most loved, what’s most popular and what’s proven timelessly relevant.

Think something’s missing? Leave a comment or email me and I’ll add it to the next round of updates. I honestly love hearing from you so please, do get in touch!

  1. Pride and Prejudice (1813), Jane Austen
    279 pages. Rated 4.3 over 2,797,800 reviews on Goodreads.
  2. The Count of Monte Cristo (1844), Alexandre Dumas
    1,276 pages. Rated 4.3 over 714,300 reviews on Goodreads.
  3. The Brothers Karamazov (1879), Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    796 pages. Rated 4.3 over 226,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  4. The Complete Grimm’s Fairy Tales (1812), Jacob Grimm
    880 pages. Rated 4.3 over 140,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  5. Anne of Green Gables (1908), L.M. Montgomery
    320 pages. Rated 4.3 over 679,800 reviews on Goodreads.
  6. Crime and Punishment (1866), Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    671 pages. Rated 4.2 over 580,300 reviews on Goodreads.
  7. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1892), Arthur Conan Doyle
    246 pages. Rated 4.3 over 228,500 reviews on Goodreads.
  8. The Hobbit, or There and Back Again (1937), J.R.R. Tolkien
    366 pages. Rated 4.3 over 2,835,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  9. Gone with the Wind (1936), Margaret Mitchell
    1,037 pages. Rated 4.3 over 1,037,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  10. The Little Prince (1943), Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
    93 pages. Rated 4.3 over 1,232,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  11. Les Misérables (1862), Victor Hugo
    1,463 pages. Rated 4.2 over 638,600 reviews on Goodreads.
  12. The Fellowship of the Ring (The Lord of the Rings, #1) (1954), J.R.R. Tolkien
    1,216 pages. Rated 4.4 over 2,242,600 reviews on Goodreads.
  13. The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings, #2) (1954), J.R.R. Tolkien
    322 pages. Rated 4.5 over 701,500 reviews on Goodreads.
  14. The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, #3) (1955), J.R.R. Tolkien
    404 pages. Rated 4.5 over 664,100 reviews on Goodreads.
  15. The Complete Fairy Tales (1835), Hans Christian Andersen
    803 pages. Rated 4.3 over 118,800 reviews on Goodreads.
  16. Persuasion (1817), Jane Austen
    249 pages. Rated 4.1 over 495,800 reviews on Goodreads.
  17. Jane Eyre (1847), Charlotte Brontë
    507 pages. Rated 4.1 over 1,538,900 reviews on Goodreads.
  18. And Then There Were None (1939), Agatha Christie
    264 pages. Rated 4.3 over 730,900 reviews on Goodreads.
  19. Shakespeare’s Sonnets (1609), William Shakespeare
    488 pages. Rated 4.3 over 79,300 reviews on Goodreads.
  20. East of Eden (1952), John Steinbeck
    601 pages. Rated 4.4 over 407,500 reviews on Goodreads.
  21. Sense and Sensibility (1811), Jane Austen
    409 pages. Rated 4.1 over 912,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  22. The Essential Rumi (1273), Rumi
    416 pages. Rated 4.4 over 35,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  23. To Kill a Mockingbird (1960), Harper Lee
    324 pages. Rated 4.3 over 4,240,100 reviews on Goodreads.
  24. The Importance of Being Earnest (1895), Oscar Wilde
    76 pages. Rated 4.2 over 290,100 reviews on Goodreads.
  25. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia, #1) (1950), C.S. Lewis
    206 pages. Rated 4.2 over 2,085,000 reviews on Goodreads.
  26. A Study in Scarlet (1887), Arthur Conan Doyle
    123 pages. Rated 4.2 over 299,900 reviews on Goodreads.
  27. Rebecca (1938), Daphne du Maurier
    449 pages. Rated 4.2 over 417,800 reviews on Goodreads.
  28. The Prophet (1923), Kahlil Gibran
    127 pages. Rated 4.2 over 219,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  29. The Secret Garden (1911), Frances Hodgson Burnett
    331 pages. Rated 4.1 over 839,600 reviews on Goodreads.
  30. 1984 (1949), George Orwell
    237 pages. Rated 4.2 over 3,055,100 reviews on Goodreads.
  31. Little Women (1868), Louisa May Alcott
    449 pages. Rated 4.1 over 1,583,500 reviews on Goodreads.
  32. Hamlet (1600), William Shakespeare
    289 pages. Rated 4.0 over 691,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  33. Much Ado About Nothing (1598), William Shakespeare
    246 pages. Rated 4.1 over 206,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  34. The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1894), Arthur Conan Doyle
    378 pages. Rated 4.3 over 77,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  35. The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890), Oscar Wilde
    367 pages. Rated 4.1 over 893,500 reviews on Goodreads.
  36. The Screwtape Letters (1942), C.S. Lewis
    223 pages. Rated 4.2 over 313,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  37. The Godfather (1964), Mario Puzo
    448 pages. Rated 4.4 over 311,000 reviews on Goodreads.
  38. The Idiot (1869), Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    667 pages. Rated 4.2 over 120,900 reviews on Goodreads.
  39. War and Peace (1867), Leo Tolstoy
    1,392 pages. Rated 4.1 over 248,600 reviews on Goodreads.
  40. A Christmas Carol (1843), Charles Dickens
    104 pages. Rated 4.1 over 572,000 reviews on Goodreads.
  41. Charlotte’s Web (1952), E.B. White
    184 pages. Rated 4.2 over 1,337,500 reviews on Goodreads.
  42. The Three Musketeers (1844), Alexandre Dumas
    625 pages. Rated 4.1 over 261,600 reviews on Goodreads.
  43. The Richest Man in Babylon (1926), George S. Clason (FREE Summary)
    THE classic parable on how to acquire money, how to not lose money and how to make money multiply – by serial entrepreneur and author, George S. Clason.
    194 pages. Rated 4.3 over 104,500 reviews on Goodreads.
  44. Aesop’s Fables (-560), Aesop
    306 pages. Rated 4.1 over 111,300 reviews on Goodreads.
  45. The Divine Comedy (1320), Dante Alighieri
    798 pages. Rated 4.1 over 108,100 reviews on Goodreads.
  46. Where the Wild Things Are (1963), Maurice Sendak
    37 pages. Rated 4.2 over 774,900 reviews on Goodreads.
  47. Anna Karenina (1877), Leo Tolstoy
    964 pages. Rated 4.1 over 627,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  48. Dune (Dune Chronicles, #1) (1965), Frank Herbert
    604 pages. Rated 4.2 over 728,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  49. I, Robot (Robot, #0.1) (1950), Isaac Asimov
    224 pages. Rated 4.2 over 270,300 reviews on Goodreads.
  50. Emma (1815), Jane Austen
    474 pages. Rated 4.0 over 606,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  51. The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902), Arthur Conan Doyle
    256 pages. Rated 4.1 over 230,800 reviews on Goodreads.
  52. Foundation (Foundation, #1) (1951), Isaac Asimov
    244 pages. Rated 4.2 over 399,100 reviews on Goodreads.
  53. The Flowers of Evil (1857), Charles Baudelaire
    464 pages. Rated 4.3 over 45,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  54. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962), Ken Kesey
    325 pages. Rated 4.2 over 604,300 reviews on Goodreads.
  55. The Great Divorce (1945), C.S. Lewis
    146 pages. Rated 4.3 over 101,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  56. Second Foundation (Foundation, #3) (1953), Isaac Asimov
    256 pages. Rated 4.3 over 139,900 reviews on Goodreads.
  57. The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson (1890), Emily Dickinson
    716 pages. Rated 4.2 over 68,500 reviews on Goodreads.
  58. The Master and Margarita (1967), Mikhail Bulgakov
    335 pages. Rated 4.3 over 222,100 reviews on Goodreads.
  59. Peter Pan (1904), J.M. Barrie
    176 pages. Rated 4.1 over 252,900 reviews on Goodreads.
  60. The Return of Sherlock Holmes (1905), Arthur Conan Doyle
    455 pages. Rated 4.3 over 49,500 reviews on Goodreads.
  61. The Fall of the House of Usher and Other Tales (1839), Edgar Allan Poe
    400 pages. Rated 4.2 over 66,100 reviews on Goodreads.
  62. A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1595), William Shakespeare
    298 pages. Rated 3.9 over 426,600 reviews on Goodreads.
  63. Foundation and Empire (Foundation, #2) (1952), Isaac Asimov
    256 pages. Rated 4.2 over 151,000 reviews on Goodreads.
  64. Notes from Underground (1864), Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    136 pages. Rated 4.2 over 70,500 reviews on Goodreads.
  65. Dracula (1897), Bram Stoker
    488 pages. Rated 4.0 over 879,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  66. The Phantom Tollbooth (1961), Norton Juster
    256 pages. Rated 4.2 over 226,000 reviews on Goodreads.
  67. Leaves of Grass (1855), Walt Whitman
    624 pages. Rated 4.1 over 85,800 reviews on Goodreads.
  68. Demons (1872), Fyodor Dostoyevsky
    733 pages. Rated 4.3 over 35,100 reviews on Goodreads.
  69. The Arabian Nights (800), Anonymous
    1,049 pages. Rated 4.1 over 71,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  70. Ender’s Game (Ender’s Saga, #1) (1985), Orson Scott Card
    324 pages. Rated 4.3 over 1,109,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  71. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Alice’s Adventures, #1) (1865), Lewis Carroll
    96 pages. Rated 4.0 over 232,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  72. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Hitchhiker’s Guide, #1) (1979), Douglas Adams
    193 pages. Rated 4.2 over 1,402,600 reviews on Goodreads.
  73. Ficciones (1944), Jorge Luis Borges
    174 pages. Rated 4.5 over 45,800 reviews on Goodreads.
  74. Twelfth Night (1601), William Shakespeare
    220 pages. Rated 4.0 over 151,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  75. Roots (1976), Alex Haley
    The Saga of an American Family
    729 pages. Rated 4.4 over 140,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  76. Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov (1903), Anton Chekhov
    467 pages. Rated 4.4 over 29,000 reviews on Goodreads.
  77. Shōgun (Asian Saga, #1) (1975), James Clavell
    1,152 pages. Rated 4.4 over 140,000 reviews on Goodreads.
  78. Cat’s Cradle (1963), Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
    306 pages. Rated 4.2 over 334,900 reviews on Goodreads.
  79. Through the Looking-Glass (Alice’s Adventures, #2) (1871), Lewis Carroll
    228 pages. Rated 4.1 over 113,300 reviews on Goodreads.
  80. Macbeth (1606), William Shakespeare
    349 pages. Rated 3.9 over 637,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  81. The Hunchback of Notre-Dame (1831), Victor Hugo
    510 pages. Rated 4.0 over 161,900 reviews on Goodreads.
  82. Siddhartha (1922), Hermann Hesse
    152 pages. Rated 4.0 over 542,800 reviews on Goodreads.
  83. I, Claudius (Claudius, #1) (1934), Robert Graves
    468 pages. Rated 4.3 over 50,900 reviews on Goodreads.
  84. Watchmen (1987), Alan Moore
    416 pages. Rated 4.4 over 472,500 reviews on Goodreads.
  85. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Chronicles of Narnia, #2) (1952), C.S. Lewis
    248 pages. Rated 4.1 over 377,900 reviews on Goodreads.
  86. The Iliad (-720), Homer
    683 pages. Rated 3.9 over 336,000 reviews on Goodreads.
  87. The Thorn Birds (1977), Colleen McCullough
    692 pages. Rated 4.2 over 302,200 reviews on Goodreads.
  88. David Copperfield (1849), Charles Dickens
    882 pages. Rated 4.0 over 191,400 reviews on Goodreads.
  89. Brave New World (1932), Aldous Huxley
    288 pages. Rated 4.0 over 1,412,600 reviews on Goodreads.
  90. His Last Bow (Sherlock Holmes, #8) (1917), Arthur Conan Doyle
    256 pages. Rated 4.3 over 34,600 reviews on Goodreads.
  91. The Complete Poems (1820), John Keats
    416 pages. Rated 4.3 over 20,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  92. Stoner (1965), John Williams
    278 pages. Rated 4.3 over 89,700 reviews on Goodreads.
  93. The Scarlet Pimpernel (1905), Emmuska Orczy
    182 pages. Rated 4.1 over 118,000 reviews on Goodreads.
  94. The Pillars of the Earth (Kingsbridge, #1) (1989), Ken Follett
    973 pages. Rated 4.3 over 616,000 reviews on Goodreads.
  95. Flowers for Algernon (1966), Daniel Keyes
    216 pages. Rated 4.1 over 469,100 reviews on Goodreads.
  96. The Pilgrim’s Progress (1678), John Bunyan
    324 pages. Rated 4.0 over 100,600 reviews on Goodreads.
  97. A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, #1) (1996), George R.R. Martin
    835 pages. Rated 4.5 over 1,966,500 reviews on Goodreads.
  98. The Stand (1990), Stephen King
    1,153 pages. Rated 4.3 over 579,800 reviews on Goodreads.
  99. Othello (1603), William Shakespeare
    314 pages. Rated 3.9 over 299,600 reviews on Goodreads.
  100. Thus Spoke Zarathustra (1883), Friedrich Nietzsche
    327 pages. Rated 4.1 over 101,200 reviews on Goodreads.

Enjoyed this list of the best fiction books of all time? You might also like…

More Best Books of All Time (by Type)

These are some lists of overall best books to read...

More Best Nonfiction Books (by Topic)

These are some lists of best nonfiction books to read...

More Best Fiction Books (by Genre)

These are some lists of best fiction books to read...

Or, you can read all my book recommendations.
Arthur Worsley
Arthur Worsley
Arthur is a thinker and writer who helps people who want more from their lives learn to be more productive, find more balance and live life more meaningfully. Want to know more? Take this 2-minute quiz to discover your Productivity Quotient (PQ) and learn how to get BIG things done. Take the Quiz →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Want A FREE Character Traits Cheatsheet?

Character Traits List

Send Yourself A FREE Printable Cheatsheet Of 800 Positive, Neutral & Negative Character Traits...

The Art of Living will never share your email. Unsubscribe easily anytime.

Want A FREE Printable Weekly Planner Template?

Weekly Planner Template Preview

Send yourself a FREE printable weekly planner template you can use to set every week up for success...

The Art of Living will never share your email. Unsubscribe easily anytime.

Want 6 FREE Interactive Memory Templates?

Memory Templates

Get 6 FREE templates & master the same tools used by Dominic O'Brien to become the 8-time World Memory Champion.

The Art of Living will never share your email. Unsubscribe easily anytime.

Want A FREE 10-Step Speed Reading Cheatsheet?

How to Read a Book, Mortimer J Adler

Get a FREE 10-step cheatsheet to help you read faster and remember more of what you read based on the classic guide, How to Read a Book.

The Art of Living will never share your email. Unsubscribe easily anytime.

Want 5 FREE Printable Productivity Templates?

Productivity Templates

Includes: Wheel of Life, Habit & Value Trackers, Goal Setting Worksheet, Daily Planner and Guided Reflection...

The Art of Living will never share your email. Unsubscribe easily anytime.

Want A FREE Language Learning Toolkit?

Save thousands of dollars and hours with this FREE 8,000-word language learning guide and toolkit...

The Art of Living will never share your email. Unsubscribe easily anytime.

Want A FREE 10-Step Speed Reading Cheatsheet?

How to Read a Book, Mortimer J Adler

Get a FREE 10-step cheatsheet to help you read faster and remember more of what you read based on the classic guide, How to Read a Book.

The Art of Living will never share your email. Unsubscribe easily anytime.