100 Most Meaningful Books

A 2002 survey of around 100 well-known authors from 54 countries voted for the "most meaningful book of all time" in a poll organised by editors at the Norwegian Book Clubs in Oslo. Voters included Doris Lessing, Salman Rushdie, Carlos Fuentes and Norman Mailer. Miguel de Cervantes' tale gained 50% more votes than any other book, eclipsing works by Shakespeare, Homer and Tolstoy.
  1. Don Quixote, Miguel de Cervantes
  2. Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe
  3. Fairy Tales and Stories, Hans Christian Andersen
  4. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
  5. Old Goriot, Honore de Balzac
  6. Trilogy: Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable, Samuel Beckett
  7. Decameron, Giovanni Boccaccio
  8. Collected Fictions, Jorge Luis Borges
  9. Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte
  10. The Stranger, Albert Camus
  11. Poems, Paul Celan
  12. Journey to the End of the Night, Louis-Ferdinand Celine
  13. Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer
  14. Nostromo, Joseph Conrad
  15. The Divine Comedy, Dante Alighieri
  16. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
  17. Jacques the Fatalist and His Master, Denis Diderot
  18. Berlin Alexanderplatz, Alfred Doblin
  19. Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky
  20. The Idiot, Fyodor Dostoevsky
  21. The Possessed, Fyodor Dostoevsky
  22. The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoevsky
  23. Middlemarch, George Eliot
  24. Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison
  25. Medea, Euripides
  26. Absalom, Absalom, William Faulkner
  27. The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner
  28. Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert
  29. A Sentimental Education, Gustave Flaubert
  30. Gypsy Ballads, Federico Garcia Lorca
  31. One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  32. Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  33. The Epic of Gilgamesh
  34. Faust, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  35. Dead Souls, Nikolai Gogol
  36. The Tin Drum, Gunter Grass
  37. The Devil to Pay in the Backlands, Joao Guimaraes Rosa
  38. Hunger, Knut Hamsun
  39. The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway
  40. The Iliad, Homer
  41. The Odyssey, Homer
  42. A Doll's House, Henrik Ibsen
  43. The Book of Job
  44. Ulysses, James Joyce
  45. The Complete Stories, Franz Kafka
  46. The Trial, Franz Kafka
  47. The Castle, Franz Kafka
  48. The Recognition of Sakuntala, Kalidasa
  49. The Sound of the Mountain, Yasunari Kawabata
  50. Zorba the Greek, Nikos Kazantzakis
  51. Sons and Lovers, D H Lawrence
  52. Independent People, Halldor K Laxness
  53. Complete Poems, Giacomo Leopardi
  54. The Golden Notebook, Doris Lessing
  55. Pippi Longstocking, Astrid Lindgren
  56. Diary of a Madman and Other Stories, Lu Xun
  57. Mahabharata
  58. Children of Gebelawi, Naguib Mahfouz
  59. Buddenbrooks, Thomas Mann
  60. The Magic Mountain, Thomas Mann
  61. Moby Dick, Herman Melville
  62. Essays, Michel de Montaigne
  63. History, Elsa Morante
  64. Beloved, Toni Morrison
  65. The Tale of Genji, Murasaki Shikibu
  66. The Man Without Qualities, Robert Musil
  67. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
  68. Njal's Saga
  69. 1984, George Orwell
  70. Metamorphoses, Ovid
  71. The Book of Disquiet, Fernando Pessoa
  72. The Complete Tales, Edgar Allan Poe
  73. Remembrance of Things Past, Marcel Proust
  74. Gargantua and Pantagruel, Francois Rabelais
  75. Pedro Paramo, Juan Rulfo
  76. The Mathnawi, Jalalu'l-Din Rumi
  77. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie
  78. The Bostan of Saadi (The Orchard), Sheikh Saadi of Shiraz
  79. A Season of Migration to the North, Tayeb Salih
  80. Blindness, Jose Saramago
  81. Hamlet, William Shakespeare
  82. King Lear, William Shakespeare
  83. Othello, William Shakespeare
  84. Oedipus the King, Sophocles
  85. The Red and the Black, Stendhal
  86. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Laurence Sterne
  87. Confessions of Zeno, Italo Svevo
  88. Gulliver's Travels, Jonathan Swift
  89. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
  90. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
  91. The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories, Leo Tolstoy
  92. Selected Stories, Anton Chekhov
  93. Thousand and One Nights
  94. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain
  95. Ramayana, Valmiki
  96. The Aeneid, Virgil
  97. Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman
  98. Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf
  99. To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf
  100. Memoirs of Hadrian, Marguerite Yourcenar