Wondering which books to read next?
We all have different tastes when it comes to books and other reading material.
However, no matter what your regular interests are, there are books that have stood the test of time – and are still coming out on top.
These are the books that you have to read at some point in your life because they are that good – they will leave a permanent mark on you.
Below you will find 50 of the best books to read in your lifetime (I could list 100, but I won’t!).
Best Books to Read #1. To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee.
Touching and heart-breaking.
A lesson that life is not always fair, and not every story has a happy ending.
A story about trailblazers and strong women.
One of my personal favorites.
Read this book and immediately hop on a flight to Amsterdam to put it all in perspective.
Best Books to Read #4. 1984, by George Orwell
This book was not prolific, and a little too close to the mark on some issues, but still worth a read.
I have no shame in admitting that I love this series.
Also, read these classic Dumbledore quotes.
A series that I did not think I would like, but could read and watch over and over again.
A tale that will touch your imagination and break your heart.
It challenges who you think people truly are.
Best Books to Read #8. Charlotte’s Web, by E.B White
I picture myself reading this over and over as a child.
A real lesson in friendship and sacrifice.
A much-needed book about what it means to be strong, independent, yet dedicated all at once.
Best Books to Read #10. Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte
A story that shows us that we are all beautiful in our own way.
A tale of waste and opulence, to struggle and sacrifice.
A classic by Mark Twain that gives us some of the greatest quotes of our time.
Another series I assumed I would not like, but was not able to put down.
Best Books to Read #14. The Help, by Kathryn Stockett.
An example of what it really means to have courage and conviction.
I remember reading this in 4th grade and being given one of the greatest gifts of imagination I could hope for.
This book tests the human will and spirit.
It makes us question what we would do if we were faced with this degree of adversity.
Also see these Lord of the Flies quotes for more insights.
Best Books to Read #17. Hamlet, by William Shakespeare.
Whether you are forced by a High School English teacher or not, no one should make it through life without reading this at least once.
A tale of true imagination and possibilities.
Just simply a classic.
A book that is rare enough to make you think you know what is coming next when you have no idea.
All I can think of is, “It was the best of times, and it was the worst of times.”
A story that has it all.
Love, sacrifice, vengeance, grudges, and impulsivity.
#22. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, By Douglas Adams.
Simply a great read.
Creative and thought-provoking.
One of those books that truly transports you, and stretches your imagination.
Best Books to Read #24. A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens.
You must read the original to understand the true meaning.
While there are a million movies made, all with their own spin on things, nothing beats the original.
I will say it again: I am not afraid to admit how much I love the creativity and lessons about good and evil, friends and enemies, in these books.
Best Books to Read #26. The Giver, by Lois Lowry.
One that everyone should read and reflect upon.
There should be a little of this in each of us.
I can remember hiding in a nook of my home and reading this over and over again as a child.
I still own the originals as an adult.
No adolescent experience would be complete without this book!
A touching book of strength, will, and acceptance.
Also, check out our collection of quotes from The Fault in Our Stars.
Best Books to Read #30. Anne of the Green Gables, by Lucy Maud Montgomery.
I can’t imagine being a young girl and not reading this at least once.
Some will read it until it is rugged and worn.
Another great by Mark Twain that is bound to give wisdom, which we will carry with us throughout our lives.
This is not just for High School English classes; it is a classic that is not to be missed.
I genuinely find this entire series to be amazing.
It is thought-provoking, has a strong female lead, and shows us that anyone can overcome adversity.
Best Books to Read #34. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley.
I can’t even imagine anyone going through their lives without reading the original Frankenstein.
Also, check out our collection of thought-provoking Frankenstein quotes.
A touching and true story of what life was like for so many people during this awful time in our history.
In many cases, it shows us how to deal with adversity with the human spirit.
#36. Alice In Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll.
I really can’t put my finger on how many things I love about the creativity and lessons of this book.
One that every child, and adult, must read.
A gripping and true story that lets us see into the minds of a killer.
Best Books to Read #38. The Stand, by Stephen King.
Yes, it will scare you – but in the most amazing way.
I am sure you are seeing a pattern, but I can’t help it if she keeps writing great books!
If you’re enjoying this article, be sure to check out our collection of the best motivational books for personal development.
Best Books to Read #40. Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy.
Know that you are in for a good long read, but that it will not be one that you will regret the time commitment.
One of those books that touches you in a way, and exposes you to feelings and experiences you may not otherwise have had at that age.
A wonderful book that lets us into a world that we would not have otherwise imagined.
Best Books to Read #43. A Game of Thrones, by George R.R Martin.
If you think that you know the show and love it, the books will blow your mind.
A true classic by Dickens.
A book of adversity, dreams, and what we can all overcome.
I don’t think I need a reason aside from the fact that it was written by Ernest Hemingway.
Any of the books in this series are thought-provoking and humorous, and show you the meaning of genius and friendship in a way they are rarely seen.
#47. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, by J.K. Rowling.
Shocker! Another Harry Potter Book.
Get the series and you will get me.
Best Books to Read #48. Life of Pi, by Yann Martel.
While the movie was amazing, the book is that and 100 times more.
You are really missing out if you do not give this a read.
A classic book that gives a glimpse at how one life has changed.
What used to be forbidden and punishable is now commonplace and disposable.
Best Books to Read #50. The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S Lewis.
I feel like this entire series is a rite of passage for childhood.
Among these books to read in your lifetime, which ones have you already read?
Reading is more than a pastime – it’s how we experience life through different lenses.
Imagine every story, every song, woven through time.
Then envision a life without it.
Wouldn’t it be very sad?
Reading doesn’t need to feel like a chore.
A few minutes every day should be enough.
So pick from among these best books to read and fill your life with wonder today!
How many of these books have you already read?
Which one would you like to read next?
Tell us in the comment section!
We would love to hear from you.