40 must-read books, as chosen by people from all over the world.

Updated: Jun 19, 2021

Looking for a read that could sync with your current emotional state? Discover a range of unputdownable novels from dark thrillers to light, breezy romance and everything in between. I hope you find your next favorite book here.

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40. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

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The Name of the Rose is the 1980 debut novel by Italian author Umberto Eco. It is a historical murder mystery set in an Italian monastery in the year 1327, and an intellectual mystery combining semiotics in fiction, biblical analysis, medieval studies, and literary theory. It was translated into English by William Weaver in 1983.


About the book: Wikipedia

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39. Blindness by José Saramago

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Blindness is the story of an unexplained mass epidemic of blindness afflicting nearly everyone in an unnamed city, and the social breakdown that swiftly follows. The novel follows the misfortune of a handful of unnamed characters who are among the first to be stricken with blindness, including an ophthalmologist, several of his patients, and assorted others, who are thrown together by chance.


About the book: Wikipedia

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38. Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov

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Pale Fire is a 1962 novel by Vladimir Nabokov. The novel is presented as a 999-line poem titled "Pale Fire", written by the fictional poet John Shade, with a foreword, lengthy commentary and index written by Shade's neighbor and academic colleague, Charles Kinbote. Together these elements form a narrative in which both fictional authors are central characters.


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37. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck


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Published in 1937, it narrates the experiences of George Milton and Lennie Small, two displaced migrant ranch workers, who move from place to place in California in search of new job opportunities during the Great Depression in the United States.


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36. Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth by J. R. R. Tolkien

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Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth is a collection of stories and essays by J. R. R. Tolkien that were never completed during his lifetime, but were edited by his son Christopher Tolkien and published in 1980.


Many of the tales within are retold in The Silmarillion, albeit in modified forms; the work also contains a summary of the events of The Lord of the Rings told from a less personal perspective.


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35. House of Leaves by Mark Danielzewski


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The plot is centered on a (possibly fictional) documentary about a family whose house is impossibly larger on the inside than the outside. The format and structure of House of Leaves is unconventional, with unusual page layout and style, making it a prime example of ergodic literature


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34. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

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Flowers for Algernon is the title of a science fiction short story and a novel by American writer Daniel Keyes.


Algernon is a laboratory mouse who has undergone surgery to increase his intelligence. The story is told by a series of progress reports written by Charlie Gordon, the first human subject for the surgery, and it touches on ethical and moral themes such as the treatment of the mentally disabled.


About the book: Wikipedia

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33. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

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The Pillars of the Earth is a historical novel by Welsh author Ken Follett published in 1989 about the building of a cathedral in the fictional town of Kingsbridge, England.


The book traces the development of Gothic architecture out of the preceding Romanesque architecture, and the fortunes of the Kingsbridge priory and village against the backdrop of historical events of the time.


About the book: Wikipedia

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32. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

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Each chapter in the novel follows a different descendant of an Asante woman named Maame, starting with her two daughters, who are half-sisters, separated by circumstance: Effia marries James Collins, the British governor in charge of Cape Coast Castle, while her half-sister Esi is held captive in the dungeons below. Subsequent chapters follow their children and following generations.


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31. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

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Jane Eyre is a Bildungsroman which follows the experiences of its eponymous heroine, including her growth to adulthood and her love for Mr. Rochester, the brooding master of Thornfield Hall.


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30. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

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Treasure Island (originally The Sea Cook: A Story for Boys) is an adventure novel by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, narrating a tale of "buccaneers and buried gold."


Its influence is enormous on popular perceptions of pirates, including such elements as treasure maps marked with an "X", schooners, the Black Spot, tropical islands, and one-legged seamen bearing parrots on their shoulders.


About the book: Wikipedia

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29. The Stand by Stephen King

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The Stand is a post-apocalyptic dark fantasy novel written by American author Stephen King and first published in 1978 by Doubleday.


The plot centers on a pandemic of a weaponized strain of influenza that kills almost the entire world population. The few survivors, united in groups, establish a new social s