We collected input from hundreds of visitors to the site to compile the list of the 100 Greatest Books of All Time. You can see the beginning of the project here, where you’ll also find an index of all the results to date.
10. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Paolo Jasa: Considered one of science fiction’s most hilarious and classic books, Douglas Adams’s The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is required reading for anyone who considers themselves sci fi fans. Instead of a dashing hero blasting off in the depths of space to conquer evils and rescue damsels in distress, the novel revolves around a very average man who wanted nothing more than to keep his house from being torn down, and ends up going across the universe with his best friend (who happens to be an alien all this time), a person with two heads (who hasn’t enough sense to fill one), and a rather depressed android to find out the answer to life, the universe, and everything. Very funny, very British, and very likely to make you think twice before leaving home without a towel.
9. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The only novel by Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird was published in 1960 and would go on to win a Pulitzer Prize, inspire generations of readers, and prompt an Oscar-winning film adaptation. Set during the Great Depression, the tale of Scout Finch, her father Atticus, and Boo Radley has become a bona fide American classic. In 2007, Harper Lee received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor an American civilian can receive, as recognition for To Kill a Mockingbird‘s cultural impact.
8. Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Margaret Mitchell’s novel of the South and the Civil War won the 1937 Pulitzer Prize and was later adapted into the classic 1939 film starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh. One of the bestselling books of all time, Gone With the Wind introduced Scarlett O’Hara, an imperfect heroine who would become an archetype.
Rose Shapiro: Gone With the Wind changed my life and opened up this amazing world of fiction for me. I read it for the first time in sixth grade, and it was then I fell in love with female antagonists and I spent years lusting for a 16-inch waist (damn you, skinny Scarlett O’Hara!). I love the homage it pays to the South, the culture, and the gritty realism it puts on love and the American Civil War.
7. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice is Jane Austen’s second novel, published in 1813. The story of Elizabeth Bennet’s life in the English aristocracy has remained a favorite of readers worldwide. Recent adaptations of Austen’s works have made the novel even more beloved, securing its place near the top of many book lists, this one included.
Paula Krebs: Pride and Prejudice still prompts adaptations and inspires cultural references. The dialogue and reflections are razor-sharp.
Christopher Monsour: Great characters, clever story, and attention to social as well as personal circumstances. There’s a reason why so many people still love it today.
6. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s / Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
Originally published in 1997 as Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, this first book in the immensely popular series was retitled Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone for its American publication in 1998. The novel introduced the world to a new and fantastic world of wizardry that would spawn a genre of its own. The book’s greatest contribution, however, is to the renewed popularization of reading and literacy that sprang from the enormous fandom that formed around the series and its universe.
Angela Holtz: Harry Potter opened the door to the rest of the books and really breathed new life into the genre.
Melissa Selph: While Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is not the best in the series, it really did start off a stellar series.
Previous five: #15-11
The list continues Monday with #5.