The Best Novels of All Time
The Best Dystopian Novels of All Time
Almost as long as writers have been writing, they have been imagining the destruction of our world. Authors like Margaret Atwood, George Orwell, and Aldous Huxley are masters at laying bare the potential realities that could come true depending on the choices a group or society makes.
The Best Horror Novels of All Time
A great horror novel needs more than just ghosts and monsters. It needs to tap into the reader’s own fears so they’re just as frightened as the characters. Authors like Stephen King, Anne Rice, Peter Straub, and Thomas Harris know how to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand straight up!
The Best Historical Fiction Novels of All Time
As the saying goes, reality is often stranger than fiction. So it should be no surprise that so many authors use real events from the past as the jumping off point for their fiction. And readers love to learn about the realities of history through a compelling story. How wonderful to learn about life in WWII through the eyes of a French teenager in All the Light We Cannot See, or about slavery in the deep South through the eyes of Celia in The Color Purple. Historical fiction brings to life the events from our history textbooks.
The Best Mystery Novels of All Time
Who doesn’t love a great whodunnit? The best mystery writers will keep their readers awake all night as they built suspense and give clues. The queen of mystery has to be Agatha Christie, but modern authors like Steig Larsson and Kate Atkinson bring a whole new perspective to the genre.
The Best Sci-Fi Novels of All Time
It’s not easy to be a sci-fi author! Not only do you need compelling characters and a strong narrative, you also need to construct and entire world in your imagination. It’s difficult to imagine that virtual world of OASIS was once just a glimmer of an idea in Ernest Cline’s mind, or that the aliens in The War of the Worlds were constructed by H.G. Wells. Great sci-fi authors are able to turn their “what if” questions into whole new worlds.
Why Are These Books So Great?
You’ll have heard of most of the books on these lists. They’re classics, beloved by many for how they make you fall in love with the protagonist or send shivers down your spine. But how did they come to be so great?
Great fiction takes a lot of work. Planning an epic fantasy series, honing characterization until your protagonist could walk off the page—none of this is easy. Brilliant authors have brilliant editors who help them flesh out their ideas and achieve a polished piece of writing.
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The Best Romance Books of All Time
Our romance list includes classics like Pride and Prejudice and Gone With the Wind, historical romance like Outlander and Indigo, as well as contemporary novels like The Notebook and Tipping the Velvet. It’s a diverse list with something for every romantic!
The Best Thrillers Ever Written
Want to get your pulse pounding? This is the list for you. From the famous (The Silence of the Lambs, The Da Vinci Code) to the more obscure (The Day of the Jackal, Eye of the Needle), this list has titles for both hardcore fans and genre newbies. Just make sure to pace yourself when reading these. They’re suspenseful!
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The Best Fantasy Novels of All Time
The fantasy genre has a long and storied history and we were thrilled to collect the best of it here. The Lord of the Rings, A Song of Ice and Fire, The Chronicles of Narnia. all the classics series are there. But we also added a few you might not know. All are worth a read (or another read, if you’ve already read them).
The Best LGBTQ Books Ever Written
As with our other lists, we found gems from both past and present. From Patricia Highsmith’s classic The Price of Salt to 2018’s Pulitzer Prize winner Less by Andrew Sean Greer, this list is packed with books readers love. You might even recognize some books that have since been adapted into successful movies, including Call Me By Your Name, The Hours, and The Color Purple.
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
It’s impossible to talk about mystery novels without immediately thinking of the legendary Agatha Christie. Amongst all of her works, none has a story quite as impeccably crafted as And Then There Were None, which explains why it is the best selling mystery book of all time.
The story follows ten people who are brought together, for various reasons, to an empty mansion on an island. The mysterious hosts of this strange party are not present, but left instructions for two of the ten to tend the house as the housekeeper and cook. As the days unfold in accordance with the lyrics of a nursery rhyme, each invitee is forced to face the music (literally) and bear the consequences of their troubling pasts, as death will come for them one by one.
The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
Raymond Chandler’s idea of mystery strays from conventions — for him it’s less about the intricate plot and more about the atmosphere and characters. As such, The Big Sleep is no ordinary story: private eye Philip Marlowe gets hired to investigate the blackmailing of Carmen Sternwood, the second daughter of a wealthy general. The further he digs into this messy business, the more complicated the story gets, as Carmen continues to be blackmailed by others in a web of unexpected relations between the characters.
Chandler’s work is complex: his characters are multi-faceted and his language rich with premonitions of the tragedy about to fall on this family. While the signs he drops are not exactly there to help you find out “who done it”, it will definitely give you a foreboding awareness that makes it hard to put the book down.