The Greatest Novels/Books of All Time

London_Lahori

Senior Test Player
Joined
Sep 16, 2012
Runs
29,683
This thread has been inspired by a conversation I was having with Haroon786 in the PPCL part of this forum and then, further, with Shaz619.

What are/is everyone's favourite novels?

I'll start by naming my two favourite novels;

1) To Kill a Mockingbird; and
2) The Great Gatsby.

I would like to read some novels/books I haven't yet read. So everyone's opinion is much appreciated.

Thanks.
 
I particularly loved Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse.
 
Midnight's Children
100 Years of Solitude
Middlemarch
Crime and Punishment
One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest
Brave New World
1984
Catch-22
Don Quixote
Frankenstein
Siddhartha
All Quiet on the Western Front
The Stranger

Just some of my favorites.
 
Midnight's Children
100 Years of Solitude
Middlemarch
Crime and Punishment
One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest
Brave New World
1984
Catch-22
Don Quixote
Frankenstein
Siddhartha
All Quiet on the Western Front
The Stranger

Just some of my favorites.

I've read 6 of those. Which ones your favourite tees?
 
I particularly loved Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse.

Sounds interesting.

Midnight's Children
100 Years of Solitude
Middlemarch
Crime and Punishment
One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest
Brave New World
1984
Catch-22
Don Quixote
Frankenstein
Siddhartha
All Quiet on the Western Front
The Stranger

Just some of my favorites.

So many books :altaf
 
Last edited by a moderator:
i have started to read to kill the mocking bird .. its very nice

my personal all time fav novel is by umaira ahmed peer e kamil..
 
Not read many novels but my personal favourites are

Kiss the dust by elizabeth laird
Good man in africa by wiilliam boyd
Duncton wood by william horwood
 
i have started to read to kill the mocking bird .. its very nice

my personal all time fav novel is by umaira ahmed peer e kamil..

Absolute marvelous novel. I finished it in 12 hours.. Couldn't stop reading.. It kept me awake the whole night.

I don't read novels. I read history books related to Islam.
 
Great thread lahori always wanted to start this.

I do not have a definite favourite or one i could class as the best given how unique each novel is but here are my personal favourite:

Of mice and Men
Great Expectations
Eagle
Frankenstein
 
Robert, may I ask how it compares to John Steinbeck's other legendary novel Of Mice and Men?

I liked them both tremendously.

TGoR has more complex themes such as the effect of the Dustbowl and the beginnings of agribusiness on ordinary sharecropper farmers and their families, and how capitalism is a monster which nobody can control.

More than that, it's about the ability of small communities to hold together and be kind to each other in the face of the most trying conditions. I read a bit of it to my old Dad, who unlike me has experienced true, grinding poverty, and it made him cry.
 
The Greatest Novels/Books of All Time.

What, so many replies and no mention of Umro Ayyar and Tarzan?

Those were pulp classics.
 
What, so many replies and no mention of Umro Ayyar and Tarzan?

Those were pulp classics.

Read many of Umro Ayyar. He is still my favourite character. Also read Dastan-e-Ameer Hamza and Tilsm Hoshruba :).. It's damn gripping. Better than Harry Potter series in my opinion.
 
Last edited:
Catch 22 still my favourite novel, don't think I will have time to read more from here or on the Favourite Book Thread, which has become a fantastic resource not just for me but others too.
 
You might like the caper court series by Caro Fraser Lahori given the law element:

The Pupil
Judicial Whispers
An Immoral Code

Don't know much about law but still enjoyed reading them. There are more in the series.
 
surprisingly no mention of Imran Series by Mazhar Kaleem M.A. :ajmal
 
Last edited:
Good suggestions... Keep em coming. I'm a fan of steinbeck's so maybe Roberts suggestion maybe the way to go.
 
You might like the caper court series by Caro Fraser Lahori given the law element:

The Pupil
Judicial Whispers
An Immoral Code

Don't know much about law but still enjoyed reading them. There are more in the series.

I'm sick of law lol, I want to forget law outside of work lol.
 
I brought the Grapes of Wrath:

Currently on chapter 4, just a little bit of bedside reading done last night.
 
I'm sick of law lol, I want to forget law outside of work lol.

It mostly had a romance/drama element to it in a chambers setting, haha time to change career to what he had spoken about before in the hawks thread :))
 
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time
 
Well Well I have mostly read Indian literature apart from Sherlock Holmes series from world literature but Mrityunjaya by Shivaji Sawant is one book which is my favorite and would advice everyone to read it at least once, it may change your perception of life.
 
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/entertainment-arts-44382391

Kamila Shamsie has won the 2018 Women's Prize for Fiction for her seventh novel Home Fire.

It was the third time the British-Pakistani author had been nominated for the award, previously known as the Baileys Prize and Orange Prize.

Home Fire, a reworking of Sophocles' Greek tragedy Antigone, is about radicalisation and family loyalties.

Sarah Sands, chair of judges, said the panel had chosen "the book which we felt spoke for our times".

She said: "Home Fire is about identity, conflicting loyalties, love and politics. And it sustains mastery of its themes and its form.

"It is a remarkable book which we passionately recommend."

'Pure joy'
Shamsie said: "I've loved this prize for years. I know its importance in shifting the literary culture of the UK, and in getting books into the hands of readers.

"It's pure joy to have my name added to a list of winners that include the likes of Ali Smith, Chimamanda Adichie and Marilynne Robinson."

Author Kate Mosse, the founder of the prize, hosted Wednesday's ceremony in central London.
 
Just finished Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Probably the greatest book I’ve ever read
[MENTION=131701]Mamoon[/MENTION] you ever read any of his stuff?
 
Animal farm
39 steps
Lords of the flies
The American salesman
A good man in Africa
The duncton chronicles
The red book
 
i mainly read non fiction but from the very few novels i have read these were really good

Jack Reacher - Persuader
Dark Matter
I am Pilgrim
 
i mainly read non fiction but from the very few novels i have read these were really good

Jack Reacher - Persuader
Dark Matter
I am Pilgrim

I personally liked Echo Burning more than Persuader. I am Pilgrim is mind blowing (if you can withstand a bit of orientalism).
 
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah was an absolutely stunning read. Not sure how it ranks with other books mentioned in this thread but TGA leaves a mark on you.
 
I liked them both tremendously.

TGoR has more complex themes such as the effect of the Dustbowl and the beginnings of agribusiness on ordinary sharecropper farmers and their families, and how capitalism is a monster which nobody can control.

More than that, it's about the ability of small communities to hold together and be kind to each other in the face of the most trying conditions. I read a bit of it to my old Dad, who unlike me has experienced true, grinding poverty, and it made him cry.

But East of Eden is perhaps best if all....
 
I used to read imran series in my childhood. Surprised no one mention them here. That series was owesome i read more then 100 books of imran series .
Other novel/story which i really liked was " hamzaad ".
Currently i am reading "DASTAN IMAAN FAROSHO KI " it is also good series. It's very catchy and not leave you to finish reading.
 
Bram Stoker's Dracula was surprisingly good, didn't read it until later life, but I can understand now why it was a classic.The Count of Montecristo was another standout.

One lesson I did learn is not to waste time or money on cheap books on sale for 99p on Amazon. Even if they are free they are a waste of time. Been tempted to buy a Steinbeck book for a while now, but never taken the plunge. Reading Of Mice and Men at school probably put me off a bit.
 
Bram Stoker's Dracula was surprisingly good, didn't read it until later life, but I can understand now why it was a classic.The Count of Montecristo was another standout.

One lesson I did learn is not to waste time or money on cheap books on sale for 99p on Amazon. Even if they are free they are a waste of time. Been tempted to buy a Steinbeck book for a while now, but never taken the plunge. Reading Of Mice and Men at school probably put me off a bit.

Read Dracula a few months ago and was very pleasantly surprised by it. Amazing book.
 
Some of my favourite books of all time which i have read and re read countless times off the top of my head.

To kill a Mocking Bird
Jane Eyre
The diary of Anne Frank
Pride and Prejudice
(And basically every novel of Austen)
Kite runner
A Thousand Splendid Suns.
A Child called It.
Little Women
The Shining
The Hobbit

And there are so many more.
Nothing beats a winter night,a cup of coffee and a book.
 
I used to read imran series in my childhood. Surprised no one mention them here. That series was owesome i read more then 100 books of imran series .
Other novel/story which i really liked was " hamzaad ".
Currently i am reading "DASTAN IMAAN FAROSHO KI " it is also good series. It's very catchy and not leave you to finish reading.

Try "Ishq ka Sheen" . By Aleem ul Haq.
One of the best Urdu novels. Much better than "Peer-e-Kaamil" novel.
 
Bram Stoker's Dracula was surprisingly good, didn't read it until later life, but I can understand now why it was a classic.The Count of Montecristo was another standout.

One lesson I did learn is not to waste time or money on cheap books on sale for 99p on Amazon. Even if they are free they are a waste of time. Been tempted to buy a Steinbeck book for a while now, but never taken the plunge. Reading Of Mice and Men at school probably put me off a bit.

It is a very spooky book. I have watched so many adaptations of this classic novel but nothing came close to what Stroker produced through his book. Dracula was cruel, cunning, and really terrifying in this book.

If you like horror, give Ambrose Ibsen a try on Amazon. He's outstanding.
 
animal farm, best depiction of the illusion of benevolent rulers

any other politically themed books of similar ilk anyone could recommend?
 
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy and Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky are my favourite books of all time
 
animal farm, best depiction of the illusion of benevolent rulers

any other politically themed books of similar ilk anyone could recommend?

You can read The Divide by Jason Hickel. Its non-fiction though. It's very extensive on the subject of foreign aid and the illusion it creates.
 
Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy and Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky are my favourite books of all time

Blood Meridien is so beautifully written in jarring contrast with the absolutely horrible storyline.

The Road too.
 
Bram Stoker's Dracula was surprisingly good, didn't read it until later life, but I can understand now why it was a classic.The Count of Montecristo was another standout.

One lesson I did learn is not to waste time or money on cheap books on sale for 99p on Amazon. Even if they are free they are a waste of time. Been tempted to buy a Steinbeck book for a while now, but never taken the plunge. Reading Of Mice and Men at school probably put me off a bit.

Read Dracula decades back, scared the bejeebers out of me.

Try The Grapes of Wrath - only 300 pages instead of 600 like East of Eden. Won the Pulitzer Prize. Really indignant, outraged, powerful stuff. I read a chapter to my old Dad once and he shed a tear because he could remember the Great Depression and not getting enough to eat.
 
Blood Meridien is so beautifully written in jarring contrast with the absolutely horrible storyline.

The Road too.

Judge Holden is possibly the greatest fictional character ever written
 
It is a very spooky book. I have watched so many adaptations of this classic novel but nothing came close to what Stroker produced through his book. Dracula was cruel, cunning, and really terrifying in this book.

If you like horror, give Ambrose Ibsen a try on Amazon. He's outstanding.

I do like horror but only the quality stuff. Salem's Lot by Steven King was the other stand out for me. What surprised me about Stoker's Dracula was the writing style, with it being so old it really added to the atmosphere. But the whole story and how it unfolded was so different to anything else I've read before or after it really made an impression. I will definitely check out Ibsen, thanks for the recommendation.

Read Dracula decades back, scared the bejeebers out of me.

Try The Grapes of Wrath - only 300 pages instead of 600 like East of Eden. Won the Pulitzer Prize. Really indignant, outraged, powerful stuff. I read a chapter to my old Dad once and he shed a tear because he could remember the Great Depression and not getting enough to eat.

I am going to have to try Steinbeck, will probably buy the Grapes of Wrath today. One thing you realise after you read a big range of books, is that the classics get their reputation for a reason. I read a couple of the newer books which you can pick up on Amazon sales, and could barely get past the first chapter they are so tacky. Read less but read the good stuff. That's my new philosophy.
 
How well do the translations of Russian and French literature hold up against the original ??
 
Your favorite Non-Fiction Books!

What are your top 3 non-fiction books that you recommend for others to read?

1. Steve Jobs by Walter Isaaction - he is a very good author, has a good writing style and goes into details like drawing the whole picture for a reader.

2. Can't hurt me by David Goggins - he says people do not go beyond their 40% capacity because of having a weak mindset. He says it is all about hardening your brain. Used to be an obese guy going from killing cockroaches in NYC also academically failed guy then becoming a guest speaker and best Navy Seal.
How you can harden your brain, I am just quoting one of his phrases from the book "Don't stop when you are tired. Stop when you are done."

3. The age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff - she has a very good writing style, a very good book about data privacy and how these 4 tech giants are working hand in hand with secret agencies for data sharing. (I read the book part of my research paper).

Please share your recommendations. Thank you
 
Last edited:
Shantaram. Read it about 15 times in prison. Everything about it resonated with me and could relate with almost of it. Apart from the location and some other things it could've been a narrative on my life up to that point.
 
“Napoleon: A Life” by Andrew Roberts.

Indeed, from the sublime to the ridiculous is but a step.
 
sapiens by yuval noah harri

principles by ray dalio

american capitalist warren buffet
 
Last edited:
Shantaram. Read it about 15 times in prison. Everything about it resonated with me and could relate with almost of it. Apart from the location and some other things it could've been a narrative on my life up to that point.

in prison? :murali
 
What are your top 3 non-fiction books that you recommend for others to read?

Please share your recommendations. Thank you

The Turning Point by Fritjoff Capra - written in 1983, a treatise on how capitalism has pushed humanity to the brink of extinction, either fast by nuclear war or slowly by evoironmental collapse - and what we can do about it.

The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe, about the early NASA space programme.
 
Half-way through “The Path to Power”, which is Volume 1 of the 4 (now 5)-volume set by Robert Caro, “The Years of Lyndon Johnson”.

Volume 1: “The Path to Power”, covers President LBJ’s birth til his 1941 Senate defeat.

Volume 2: “Means of Ascent”: covers his wilderness years (1942-1947) and the “stolen” 1948 Senate election.

Volume 3: “Master of the Senate”: goes through his 12 years in the Senate as the greatest Senate Majority Leader of all time ending with the crescendo of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957.

Volume 4: “The Passage of Power”: describes the 1960 Democratic Primary, Presidential Ticket, Vice-Presidency, and the passage of the Civil Rights Bill of 1964 during his early years of the Presidency.

A planned 5th Volume is currently underway and most likely will be the last since Caro will turn 85 this year!

It might just be the greatest biography of all time beaten only by his first work, “The Power Broker”: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York”. It covers the near half-century reign of urban planner Robert Moses as the second most powerful man in America (the President could only stop him once).

The books read like Harry Potter (except they are for adults); smooth-crisp writing with an effortless narrative, and meticulously researched with an abundance of details.

I plan on finishing all four volumes and “The Power Broker” this summer.

Would highly recommend both.
 
Half-way through “The Path to Power”, which is Volume 1 of the 4 (now 5)-volume set by Robert Caro, “The Years of Lyndon Johnson”.

Volume 1: “The Path to Power”, covers President LBJ’s birth til his 1941 Senate defeat.

Volume 2: “Means of Ascent”: covers his wilderness years (1942-1947) and the “stolen” 1948 Senate election.

Volume 3: “Master of the Senate”: goes through his 12 years in the Senate as the greatest Senate Majority Leader of all time ending with the crescendo of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957.

Volume 4: “The Passage of Power”: describes the 1960 Democratic Primary, Presidential Ticket, Vice-Presidency, and the passage of the Civil Rights Bill of 1964 during his early years of the Presidency.

A planned 5th Volume is currently underway and most likely will be the last since Caro will turn 85 this year!

It might just be the greatest biography of all time beaten only by his first work, “The Power Broker”: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York”. It covers the near half-century reign of urban planner Robert Moses as the second most powerful man in America (the President could only stop him once).

The books read like Harry Potter (except they are for adults); smooth-crisp writing with an effortless narrative, and meticulously researched with an abundance of details.

I plan on finishing all four volumes and “The Power Broker” this summer.

Would highly recommend both.

Update:

I finished the first two volumes and have started the third.

One thing I can say is the second volume presents itself like a T.V. show that is ripe for Netflix. The narrative pretty much writes itself.
 
I just finished reading the Iliad and The Odyssey. I think The Odyssey might be my favourite work of art ever. I’ll have to think about it more
 
Think I’m gonna start War and Peace by Tolstoy next. While reading Virgil’s Aeneid on the side
 
How well do the translations of Russian and French literature hold up against the original ??

As far as russian goes, translations are worse. I've read many translated books in younger years. When I was in Ukraine, I read the actual russian ones and boy! They are vast difference.

To understand the words, you'll need to take a deeper look in to the russian culture and without it, you won't feel the gravity. If someone enjoys reading tosltoy, chekhov or dostevsky, I'll advice to learn russian and read it in native language.
 
Can anyone in Karachi help me get a physical copy of the Fagles translation of Virgil’s Aeneid?
 
Managed to find one copy at a liberty books. Pretty sure it was the only copy being sold in this whole city. Probably a few available at smaller older bookstores but I didn’t have time and that would require a lot of exploration.
 
Half-way through “The Path to Power”, which is Volume 1 of the 4 (now 5)-volume set by Robert Caro, “The Years of Lyndon Johnson”.

Volume 1: “The Path to Power”, covers President LBJ’s birth til his 1941 Senate defeat.

Volume 2: “Means of Ascent”: covers his wilderness years (1942-1947) and the “stolen” 1948 Senate election.

Volume 3: “Master of the Senate”: goes through his 12 years in the Senate as the greatest Senate Majority Leader of all time ending with the crescendo of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1957.

Volume 4: “The Passage of Power”: describes the 1960 Democratic Primary, Presidential Ticket, Vice-Presidency, and the passage of the Civil Rights Bill of 1964 during his early years of the Presidency.

A planned 5th Volume is currently underway and most likely will be the last since Caro will turn 85 this year!

It might just be the greatest biography of all time beaten only by his first work, “The Power Broker”: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York”. It covers the near half-century reign of urban planner Robert Moses as the second most powerful man in America (the President could only stop him once).

The books read like Harry Potter (except they are for adults); smooth-crisp writing with an effortless narrative, and meticulously researched with an abundance of details.

I plan on finishing all four volumes and “The Power Broker” this summer.

Would highly recommend both.

Finished 3/4. A third of the way through the 4th.
 
Post Office by Charles Bukowski.

Really fell in love with Bukowski's writings while reading Ham on Rye a couple of years back. His books which fictionalize his real life experiences radiate with a kind of unflinching realism and dry acidic wit that is unlike anything I have ever read. By all accounts the man is a literary genius.
 
I read Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five in lockdown. I can see why so many people rate it so highly.
 
Cormac McCarthy, celebrated US novelist, dies aged 89
Author of Blood Meridian, The Road and No Country for Old Men died in his home of natural causes, publisher announces

Cormac McCarthy, the revered novelist whose bleakly violent, apocalyptic visions of the American south drew him fans from Oprah Winfrey to Saul Bellow, has died at the age of 89.

McCarthy died in his home of natural causes. His son John confirmed the death.

Widely seen as one of the US’s greatest novelists, McCarthy was best known for The Road, the 2006 post-apocalyptic novel about a journey taken by a father and his son. Other critically acclaimed books by McCarthy are All the Pretty Horses and No Country for Old Men, both of which were turned into films. The Coen brothers’ No Country for Old Men, in 2007, dominated that year’s Academy Awards and won best picture, while the 2009 film of The Road was also well received.

Other authors shared their thoughts on the death of their contemporary. Stephen King wrote on Twitter: “Cormac McCarthy, maybe the greatest American novelist of my time, has passed away at 89. He was full of years and created a fine body of work, but I still mourn his passing.”

Born in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1933, McCarthy chronicled – in pared-back, dense, austere prose that prompted comparisons with authors including Herman Melville and William Faulkner – the violent lives of troubled characters. These ranged from No Country for Old Men’s Llewelyn Moss, who steals a case full of money from a scene of violent death near the Rio Grande and finds himself hunted, to the unnamed father and son in The Road, who walk a post-apocalyptic American hellscape peopled with cannibals and rapists.

For John Banville, McCarthy was an “extraordinary novelist, one of the very finest at work today, in America and in the wider world”, whose “work stands proud of the literary landscape, like one of those majestic, sharp-shadowed buttes in Monument Valley, though his colours can be as delicate as the palest shades of the Painted Desert”.

...
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2023/jun/13/cormac-mccarthy-dead-novelist
 
Back
Top