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Best Long Books: The 60 BEST 500 Page Books (or More)

Arthur Worsley
by Arthur Worsley
M.A. Psychology, Oxford. McKinsey Alum. Founder & Editor at TAoL.
10 MINUTE READ

Looking for the best long books of all time?

You’re in the right place!

Here’s what you’ll find on this page…

How Long Is a Long Book?

For the sake of these long book recommendations, I’ve set our cut off at 500+ pages.

Why 500 pages? Unlike my list of the best short books of all time, this cut off is totally arbitrary.

One thing’s for sure, though. If you’re looking for something to keep you busy through at least five or more 2 hour reading sessions then you won’t go amiss with these books.

I’ve split the lists of best long books below into:

Enjoy! And don’t forget to check out the rest of TAoL’s many book recommendations if you’re looking for a more targeted read.

Why These Best Long Books and Not Others?

Why these best long books and not others? The long books below are the top picks from my huge database of the top books of all time, 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? 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!

The 30 Best Long NONFICTION Books of All Time

Here are the best 30 long nonfiction books of all time (500 pages or more, including biographies) from my database…

Books 1-10: The Top 10 Best Long Nonfiction Books

The top 10 best long nonfiction books of all time are…

Best Long Books Nonfiction: The Complete Essays
1. The Complete Essays – Michel de Montaigne
Published 1572 // 1,344 pages // Rated 4.2 over 15,200 reviews on Goodreads
Best Long Books Nonfiction: Alcoholics Anonymous
2. Alcoholics Anonymous – Alcoholics Anonymous
Published 1939 // 576 pages // Rated 4.5 over 7,700 reviews on Goodreads
Best Long Books Nonfiction: The Power Broker
3. The Power Broker – Robert A. Caro
Robert Moses and the Fall of New York
Published 1974 // 1,344 pages // Rated 4.5 over 12,500 reviews on Goodreads
Best Long Books Nonfiction: The Intelligent Investor
4. The Intelligent Investor – Benjamin Graham
Published 1949 // 623 pages // Rated 4.2 over 97,000 reviews on Goodreads
Best Long Books Nonfiction: Autobiography of a Yogi
5. Autobiography of a Yogi – Paramahansa Yogananda
Published 1946 // 520 pages // Rated 4.2 over 45,300 reviews on Goodreads
Best Long Books Nonfiction: Law of Success
6. Law of Success – Napoleon Hill
Published 1925 // 1,035 pages // Rated 4.3 over 11,100 reviews on Goodreads
Best Long Books Nonfiction: The Path to Power
7. The Path to Power – Robert A. Caro
Published 1982 // 882 pages // Rated 4.4 over 16,700 reviews on Goodreads
Best Long Books Nonfiction: The Feynman Lectures on Physics
8. The Feynman Lectures on Physics – Richard P. Feynman
Published 1964 // 1,552 pages // Rated 4.6 over 6,700 reviews on Goodreads
Best Long Books Nonfiction: Gödel, Escher, Bach
9. Gödel, Escher, Bach – Douglas R. Hofstadter
An Eternal Golden Braid
Published 1979 // 777 pages // Rated 4.3 over 40,400 reviews on Goodreads
Best Long Books Nonfiction: On Food and Cooking
10. On Food and Cooking – Harold McGee
The Science and Lore of the Kitchen
Published 1984 // 896 pages // Rated 4.5 over 13,100 reviews on Goodreads

Books 11-30: 20 Great Long Nonfiction Books to Read Next

Here are the next 20 best long nonfiction books from my database…

11. The Last Lion – William Manchester
Winston Spencer Churchill: Visions of Glory 1874-1932
Published 1983 // 992 pages // Rated 4.4 over 11,300 reviews on Goodreads
12. The Secret Teachings of All Ages – Manly P. Hall
Published 1928 // 751 pages // Rated 4.4 over 3,700 reviews on Goodreads
13. Security Analysis – Benjamin Graham
Principles and Technique
Published 1962 // 770 pages // Rated 4.3 over 8,100 reviews on Goodreads
14. The Making of the Atomic Bomb – Richard Rhodes
Published 1986 // 886 pages // Rated 4.4 over 16,300 reviews on Goodreads
15. The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt – Edmund Morris
Published 1979 // 780 pages // Rated 4.2 over 41,500 reviews on Goodreads
16. The Principia – Isaac Newton
Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy
Published 1687 // 991 pages // Rated 4.2 over 4,300 reviews on Goodreads
17. The Guns of August – Barbara W. Tuchman
Published 1962 // 658 pages // Rated 4.2 over 53,000 reviews on Goodreads
18. Capital, Vol. 1 – Karl Marx
A Critical Analysis of Capitalist Production
Published 1867 // 1,152 pages // Rated 4.2 over 7,800 reviews on Goodreads
19. Long Walk to Freedom – Nelson Mandela
Published 1994 // 656 pages // Rated 4.3 over 64,600 reviews on Goodreads
20. Berlin Diary – William L. Shirer
The Journal of a Foreign Correspondent 1934-1941
Published 1941 // 627 pages // Rated 4.3 over 4,500 reviews on Goodreads
21. Institutes of the Christian Religion – John Calvin
Published 1536 // 1,810 pages // Rated 4.1 over 9,700 reviews on Goodreads
22. Wild Swans – Jung Chang
Three Daughters of China
Published 1991 // 562 pages // Rated 4.3 over 88,100 reviews on Goodreads
23. I Am That – Nisargadatta Maharaj
Talks with Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj
Published 1973 // 550 pages // Rated 4.3 over 6,500 reviews on Goodreads
24. Either/Or – Søren Kierkegaard
A Fragment of Life
Published 1843 // 640 pages // Rated 4.2 over 7,100 reviews on Goodreads
25. Infinite Jest – David Foster Wallace
Published 1996 // 1,088 pages // Rated 4.3 over 70,500 reviews on Goodreads
26. Gandhi – Mahatma Gandhi
An autobiography
Published 1927 // 528 pages // Rated 4.1 over 49,000 reviews on Goodreads
27. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration – Weston A. Price (Summary)
A Comparison of Primitive and Modern Diets and Their Effects
Published 1939 // 524 pages // Rated 4.4 over 1,900 reviews on Goodreads
28. Barbarians at the Gate – Bryan Burrough (Summary)
The Fall of RJR Nabisco
Published 1990 // 592 pages // Rated 4.3 over 29,200 reviews on Goodreads
29. The Second Sex – Simone de Beauvoir (Summary)
Published 1949 // 746 pages // Rated 4.1 over 28,300 reviews on Goodreads
30. The Histories – Herodotus
Published -450 // 716 pages // Rated 4.0 over 38,200 reviews on Goodreads

The 30 Best Long FICTION Books of All Time

Here are the best 30 long fiction books of all time (500 pages or more, excluding books of poetry and plays) from my database…

Note: To maximize diversity, I’ve only included the top entry from a series (e.g., Harry Potter) on the list where multiple long books from that series would have otherwise featured.

Books 1-10: The Top 10 Best Long Fiction Books

The top 10 best long fiction books of all time are…

Best Long Books Fiction: The Fellowship of the Ring (Lord of the Rings, #1)
1. The Fellowship of the Ring (Lord of the Rings, #1) – J.R.R. Tolkien
Published 1954 // 1,216 pages // Rated 4.4 over 2,242,600 reviews on Goodreads
Best Long Books Fiction: The Count of Monte Cristo
2. The Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
The king of all adventure and slow-burning revenge stories. The Count of Monte Christo may not be a quick read, but fantastic characters, a gripping plot and masterful twists make it an obvious contender for one of the best books of all time – by master novelist, Alexandre Dumas.
Published 1844 // 1,276 pages // Rated 4.3 over 714,300 reviews on Goodreads
Best Long Books Fiction: Gone with the Wind
3. Gone with the Wind – Margaret Mitchell
An epic coming of age and historical romance novel, Gone With the Wind paints a stunning portrait of the hardships endured and created by the young daughter of a wealthy plantation owner as she fights for survival against the chaos of pre-, during- and post-civil war Georgia – by novelist and journalist, Margaret Mitchell.
Published 1936 // 1,037 pages // Rated 4.3 over 1,037,700 reviews on Goodreads
Best Long Books Fiction: East of Eden
4. East of Eden – John Steinbeck
Published 1952 // 601 pages // Rated 4.4 over 407,500 reviews on Goodreads
Best Long Books Fiction: The Brothers Karamazov
5. The Brothers Karamazov – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Widely acclaimed as one of the best books of all time, The Brothers Karimazov is a masterwork of philosophy and theology that explores the nature of faith, doubt and reason in a fast-changing world, through the lives, mishaps and thoughts of its unforgettable cast of characters – by novelist and philosopher Fyodor Dostoevsky.
Published 1879 // 796 pages // Rated 4.3 over 226,400 reviews on Goodreads
Best Long Books Fiction: Crime and Punishment
6. Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Published 1866 // 671 pages // Rated 4.2 over 580,300 reviews on Goodreads
Best Long Books Fiction: Jane Eyre
7. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Brontë
Published 1847 // 507 pages // Rated 4.1 over 1,538,900 reviews on Goodreads
Best Long Books Fiction: Les Misérables
8. Les Misérables – Victor Hugo
Published 1862 // 1,463 pages // Rated 4.2 over 638,600 reviews on Goodreads
Best Long Books Fiction: The Shining
9. The Shining – Stephen King
Published 1977 // 659 pages // Rated 4.2 over 1,216,700 reviews on Goodreads
Best Long Books Fiction: Dune (Dune Chronicles, #1)
10. Dune (Dune Chronicles, #1) – Frank Herbert
Published 1965 // 604 pages // Rated 4.2 over 728,700 reviews on Goodreads

Books 11-30: 20 Great Long Fiction Books to Read Next

Here are the next 20 best long fiction books from my database…

11. A Game of Thrones (Song of Ice and Fire, #1) – George R.R. Martin
The first of 7 planned books in the Song of Ice and Fire series. The award-winning A Game of Thrones is a carnal, power-hungry, back-stabbing, plot-twisting journey through the heart and the history of Westeros – by best-selling (when he gets round to it) author, George R.R. Martin.
Published 1996 // 835 pages // Rated 4.5 over 1,966,500 reviews on Goodreads
12. Roots – Alex Haley
The Saga of an American Family
Published 1976 // 729 pages // Rated 4.4 over 140,200 reviews on Goodreads
13. The Pillars of the Earth (Kingsbridge, #1) – Ken Follett
Published 1989 // 973 pages // Rated 4.3 over 616,000 reviews on Goodreads
14. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4) – J.K. Rowling
Published 2000 // 734 pages // Rated 4.6 over 2,406,100 reviews on Goodreads
15. The Stand – Stephen King
Published 1990 // 1,153 pages // Rated 4.3 over 579,800 reviews on Goodreads
16. Shōgun (Asian Saga, #1) – James Clavell
Published 1975 // 1,152 pages // Rated 4.4 over 140,000 reviews on Goodreads
17. It – Stephen King
Published 1986 // 1,116 pages // Rated 4.2 over 877,500 reviews on Goodreads
18. Lonesome Dove – Larry McMurtry
Published 1985 // 945 pages // Rated 4.5 over 139,300 reviews on Goodreads
19. Different Seasons – Stephen King
Published 1982 // 560 pages // Rated 4.3 over 186,900 reviews on Goodreads
20. The Thorn Birds – Colleen McCullough
Published 1977 // 692 pages // Rated 4.2 over 302,200 reviews on Goodreads
21. A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, #3) – George R.R. Martin
Published 2000 // 1,177 pages // Rated 4.5 over 638,300 reviews on Goodreads
22. Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
Published 1877 // 964 pages // Rated 4.1 over 627,700 reviews on Goodreads
23. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
Published 1867 // 1,392 pages // Rated 4.1 over 248,600 reviews on Goodreads
24. The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
Published 1844 // 625 pages // Rated 4.1 over 261,600 reviews on Goodreads
25. The Green Mile – Stephen King
Published 1996 // 592 pages // Rated 4.5 over 266,500 reviews on Goodreads
26. Outlander (Outlander, #1) – Diana Gabaldon
Published 1991 // 850 pages // Rated 4.2 over 893,900 reviews on Goodreads
27. The Idiot – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Published 1869 // 667 pages // Rated 4.2 over 120,900 reviews on Goodreads
28. Kane & Abel (Kane & Abel, #1) – Jeffrey Archer
Published 1971 // 592 pages // Rated 4.3 over 107,400 reviews on Goodreads
29. The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
Published 2005 // 552 pages // Rated 4.4 over 1,544,800 reviews on Goodreads
30. The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicle, #1) – Patrick Rothfuss
The first of 3 planned books in the Kingklller Chronicles. If you’re into “orphan prodigy coming of age” stories (who isn’t?) then The Name of the Wind‘s superb characters, plot and pacing make this a fantasy must-read – by best-selling fantasy author and end-of-series procrastinator, Patrick Rothfuss.
Published 2007 // 662 pages // Rated 4.5 over 695,500 reviews on Goodreads

More Book Recommendations

Enjoyed this list of the best long books of all time? Here’s a breakdown of all the book lists and book recommendations on the site…

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...

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Arthur Worsley
I founded TAoL to discover and share the best wisdom on how to live long and prosper. Before that I studied Psychology, Philosophy & Physiology at Oxford and consulted at McKinsey. Still curious? Learn more or take my FREE productivity quiz.

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