It’s an almost masochistic exercise for lovers of literature. If we could read just one book in our lifetimes، what would it be? Which book has best informed our values، transformed our world view، and has remained a pillar throughout each stage in life. The response is undoubtedly subjective، vogue France reported. However، there are some classics upon which most can agree on، loved for the time which they recreate، the values they teach، their narrative point of view، or simply the beauty of the words. After comparing diverse lists found in newspapers، by editors، authors and of course، readers، we’ve compiled the ultimate ranking of books that everyone should read at least once (and of course، is by no means exhaustive).
In Search of a Lost Time، Marcel Proust Proust’s literary monument graces the top of many lists. For all those who have said “This summer، I’m reading Proust”…hang in there. The seven tomes transformed the definition of a novel and it is considered to be one of the most respected novels of the 20th century.
One Hundred Years of Solitude، Gabriel García Márquez One of the most important works in contemporary Latin-American literature، Márquez’s magical novel charts a family history over seven generations and goes down in history with the likes of Don Quixote.
Lolita، Vladimir Nabokov More than 60 years after it came to surface، Lolita is remains controversial، sparking the ‘love story or pedophilia’ debate even today. However، his sublime manipulation of the English language manages is firmly agreed upon.
The Great Gatsby، F. Scott Fitzgerald This flamboyant depiction of America’s high society during the Golden Age of the 1920s is undisputedly one of the greatest novels of twentieth century American fiction.
1984، George Orwell Mass surveillance، fake news…need we go on?
Anna Karenina، Leo Tolstoy A critique of Imperial Russian society، this monumental novel charts an affair between Count Alexei Kirillovich Vronsky and Anna Karenina، now one of the most celebrated heroines in literature.
The Catcher in the Rye، J.D. Salinger Holden Caulfield’s three days and nights spent wondering New York، contemplating loss، childhood and the complexities of growing up، resonate from adolescence throughout life.
The Big Sleep، Raymond Chandler Chandler’s first novel is a rite of passage for lovers of crime novels. Philip Marlowe is the character who spawned the archetypal private detective.
Ulysses، James Joyce An ordinary day in the life of Leopold Bloom and Stephen Dedalus in Dublin is sketched in the shape of Homer’s Odyssey، which since 1920 has been the toil of critics and analysts alike.
Moby Dick، Herman Melville All the complexity of the human spirit، its fears and its obsessions are condensed into this story of the now legendary whale.
Midnight’s Children، Salman Rushdie The winner of the Booker Prize in 1981، the novel is based around India’s transition from British colonialism to independence and partition.
To Kill a Mockingbird، Harper Lee A lesson in humanity through the eyes of a young child، Scout in the American Deep South during 1936. Her father Atticus Finch is a lawyer، defending a black man accused of raping a young white woman.
On the Road، Jack Kerouac One of the pillar stone novels for the Beat Generation، On the Road sees key figures of American 1950s counterculture mirrored in its characters، from Allen Ginsberg to William Burroughs.
Lord of the Rings، J.R.R. Tolkien Tolkien’s fantasy universe is undeniably one of the richest in literature. Those who have finished the trilogy can consider it a lifetime well spent.
The Trial، Franz Kafka Published posthumously، The Trial tells the story of Joseph K.، condemned to defend his crimes despite neither him or the reader knowing what they are. This strange story is a signature work of Kafka.