One can never have enough of books! Here is a list of some of the world’s best selling books of all times for all book lovers!
The Bible is one of the topmost selling books of all times. This is divided into two sections – the Old Testament and the New Testament. There are many translations of the same that can be found in major bookstores. Currently, there are approximately 438 translations of the full Bible in various languages.
A Tale of Two Cities:
Charles Dickens is known for his great works and a ‘Tale of Two Cities’ is a fine example, which also ranks high as one the best selling books around the world. This historical novel is written during the time of the French Revolution. It is set against the backdrop of London, Paris, England and France.
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The Lord of the Rings:
One of the best sellers of the recent times, ‘The Lord of the Rings’ is a fantasy novel that is very extensive and consists of three parts. J.R.R. Tolkien began this work as a sequel to one of his earlier works titled, ‘The Hobbit’. This brought about a new market for fantasy books owing to the popularity of this category. ‘The Lord of the Rings’ has also been made successfully into a film – a total of 3 in number.
And Then There Were None:
Agatha Christie has always been known for her detective fiction. ‘And Then There Were None’ is known the world over as one of the best selling mystery books of all times! This book was first published with a different title – ‘Ten Little Indians’. It has also been adapted for a play and a film.
The Da Vinci Code:
This book is known as probably one of author Dan Brown’s best works. ‘The Da Vinci Code’ was one of the most popular mystery novels. This book created a lot of controversy and despite all the problems it faced, it has been one of the major successes in recent times. The book has later been printed with special illustrations to support the text matter and there was also a film released with the same title.
Anne of Green Gables:
This book was initially meant for all ages, but in the recent times it has been termed as a children’s book. Author Lucy Maud Montgomery wrote this book when she was inspired by a story she had written during her childhood days. Today, there are many tourist attractions developed with a base on this story.
This book is an autobiography of a highbred horse and the story of his life. The author, Anna Sewell, talks about this horse named Black Beauty and the incidents that revolve around him, all of which have a story to tell. The author’s primary aim was to introduce acts of kindness for horses and animals in general. This beautiful story also ranks high in the top list of the world’s best selling books.
One of Paulo Coelho’s famous works, ‘The Alchemist’ is all about following your dreams. The story revolves around a boy named Santiago who has a dream that talks about a hidden treasure. Santiago then begins his travel, which ultimately revolves around how a person should follow one’s dream.
Harry Potter Series:
J.K. Rowling created a sensation with her ‘Harry Potter’ series. These series that consist of seven novels are based purely on the fantasy world. It unravels the story of a young wizard named Harry Potter and his series of adventures with friends, Ron Weasley and Hermoine Granger. The seven series have created a sensation, which ultimately saw the release of the movies as well.
To Kill a Mockingbird:
This novel deals with many issues with a fine touch of humor. ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ was also adapted for a film that even won at the Oscars. Written by Harper Lee, the story takes place during the time of the Great Depression. It also deals with racial injustice. This novel has won the Pulitzer Prize.
Gone with the Wind:
One of the most popular selling novels of all times, ‘Gone with the Wind’ is written by Margaret Mitchell and has won the Pulitzer Prize. The story revolves around the character, Scarlett O’Hara and her experiences during the Civil War and post-Civil War period. This American novel has won the Pulitzer Prize and the story was later adapted for a film which even won the Academy Awards.
Rich Dad Poor Dad:
This book revolves around helping people become financially independent and is written in a very interesting manner by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter. The story talks about two men and their work and life. It’s about thinking differently and investing money wisely! This book has drawn lot of criticism as well.
The Wind in the Willows:
A classic in true sense, this book is a part of children’s literature and is set against the backdrop of England. It is based on animal characters. Written by Kenneth Grahame, it has a fine mix of adventure and stories based on friendship. There are some beautiful illustrated versions of the same.
Mario Puzo penned this crime novel that became one of the biggest sensations! The story revolves around the underworld and centers mainly on the Corleone family. The emphasis is not only on the underworld but family issues as well. The book has been adapted for film with sequels for the same.
The Cat in the Hat:
Another best selling book that belongs to the children’s section is ‘The Cat in the Hat’. The cat is seen in six of such children’s book written by Dr. Seuss. The cat is portrayed in the typical costume of a red and white-stripped hat. These series have also been adapted for a film.
Who Moved My Cheese?
This book revolves around four characters namely two mice and two miniature humans. This is basically a motivational book written by Spencer Johnson. It is written in an interesting style that tells the tale of the hunt for cheese. This book is also rated as New York Times bestseller.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory:
A book targeted for children, the story is about a character called Charlie Bucket and the chocolate factory. Written by Roald Dahl, this book has also been adapted for a movie.
British author Enid Blyton is known for her wonderful series of children’s literature. Noddy is a complete creation of Enid Blyton and the story revolves around his adventures in Toyland. Noddy is actually a wooden toy that runs away from the woodsman who carves him. Noddy then settles in Toyland. This toy is portrayed as a very kind and honest person and children can learn a lot from his tales! Noddy also has his very own television show! Enid Blyton is also known for her ‘Famous 5’ and ‘5 Findouters’ series.
Nancy Drew Series:
Nancy Drew has always been one of the most popular amateur sleuths amongst youngsters. Nancy Drew was portrayed as a teenager who has the knack of solving mysteries accompanied by her faithful friends, George Fayne and Bess Marvin. The early series were written by Edward Stratemeyer and targeted the young readers. After him, Mildred A. Wirt Benson continued with 23 series. These stories were all written under the name, ‘Carolyn Keene’. The Nancy Drew Files were aimed at slightly older group of teenagers. The Nancy Drew series have also been used for movies.
Peter Rabbit Series:
Peter Rabbit is also one of the world’s best selling books of all times. This rabbit is always seen in a bright blue coat and shoes made of wood. The Peter Rabbit series is immensely popular with children. These series are written by Beatrix Potter.
Winnie-the-Pooh is a cute little bear whose tales have been translated in many languages. The series, written by A.A. Milne is based on Milne’s son’s teddy bear. In 1930, Stephen Slesinger bought the rights to ‘Winnie-the-Pooh’ and then marketed the same for the next 20 years. In 1933, this bear and his friends first appeared in color.
The Hardy Boys Series:
The Hardy Boys is all about two young detectives who have a knack of solving adventures. The Hardy Boy series has been written by many different authors. These authors used the penname of Franklin W. Dixon. The Hardy Boys Case Files were aimed at a slightly older group of teenagers.
The Bobbsey Twins Series:
The Bobbsey Twins are also one of the best selling books that belong to the children’s literature. Laura Lee Hope is the penname adopted by the various authors. The first volume was written by Edward Stratemeyer. After the original series, there were many attempts to revive the same.
The Chronicles of Narnia:
These series of fantasy novels are also amongst the most popular amongst books for children. Written by C.S. Lewis, these series are total seven in number. The story revolves around children and the kind of adventures they have. The main essence of the books lies in the magic and the fact that animals can talk. The books are all about fighting evil and the characters find root in Greek and Roman mythology.
Chicken Soup for the Soul:
The first book itself sold over millions of copies. ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ is a collection of many stories that are truly inspiring. Since the first volume, there have been many books that were published later on. The initial 101 stories were written by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen.
James Bond Series:
The first 12 novels in the James Bond series were written by Ian Fleming. The character of James Bond has also been used to make some of the most smashing hit movies in Hollywood. After Ian Fleming, there were many other authors who continued these series. The fictional character of James Bond 007 is one of the most popular characters represented even in comic strips and video games.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland:
The book is popular amongst children as well as adults. ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ is about a little girl Alice and her journey, which brings her in contact with many animals that can talk. She enters the world of fantasy by falling down a rabbit hole. This novel is written by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the penname of Lewis Carroll.
This fantasy novel is written by J. R. R. Tolkien for children. This book, a fairy tale, is full of dramatic scenes and is interspersed with poems. This book was even nominated for the Carnegie Medal. ‘The Lord of the Rings’ was the sequel to this book, which also became equally popular. This fantasy novel also holds a prize awarded by the New York Herald Tribune.
The Catcher in the Rye:
The story revolves around the main character, Holden Caulfield. It further describes his life in New York City and the kind of experiences he has, marked with loneliness. This novel was written by J.D. Salinger and was also amidst controversy. This novel is also one of the best selling novels of all times.
Little Women is one of the worlds best selling books that is based on the life of four sisters. It was written in two parts by American author Louisa May Alcott. In 1880, the book was published in a single volume. This novel is based on the author’s own experiences and she even wrote a sequel to this book.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer:
We all know the popularity of Tom Sawyer and his friend Huckleberry Finn. One of Mark Twain’s best selling books, ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’ is an American classic with a story that takes us through the life of a mischievous orphan boy named Tom. Tom, with his mischievous friend, takes us through some interesting adventures.
The Adventures of Pinocchio:
The mischievous tales of Pinocchio are something we all have grown up listening to. This story is about a puppet that talks to others. This book falls in the category of children’s classic and is written by an Italian author, Carlo Collodi.
The Wizard of Oz:
Dorothy’s adventures with her dog Toto, on the road to the Emerald City became an instant hit. Dorothy, with her friends, Tin Woodman, Cowardly Lion and the Scarecrow unfold a wonderful story. This children’s novel is written by L. Frank Baum and has also been adapted for a movie.
This thesaurus is one of the most widely used books especially in the United Kingdom where it is trademarked. This book contains synonyms and connotations, which students or even adults can use.
The Little Prince:
This story is about a Prince and his narration of his stories. Written by Antoine de Saint Exupery, this novel also includes a series of drawings. It definitely is amongst the world’s best selling books. Besides, it has been translated in over 180 languages.
Guinness World Records:
This book is known the world over for its compilation of people who achieve unimaginable feats. This book was based on an idea thought by Sir Huge Beaver who was the managing director of the Guinness Brewery. It took shape with the efforts of Norris and Ross McWhirter. The phenomenal sales of this book are itself a world record!
The Kite Runner:
This novel was particularly the best selling book in 2005. ‘The Kite Runner’ is written by Khaled Hosseini. The story revolves around a young boy names Amir set in a district of Kabul. This book beautifully narrates a story that is full of turbulent moments. The book has also been adapted for a movie.
This book written by Adolf Hitler, gained immense popularity especially when Hitler rose to power. It contains many of Hitler’s views, which also drew a whole lot of criticism due to the content termed as racist by many.
The Sidney Sheldon Series:
Sidney Sheldon was known for his award winning works. He known for his racy novels which can be termed as ‘unputdownables!’ Sheldon wrote many best selling novels in his career. ‘The Other Side of Midnight’ and ‘Master of the Game’ are some of the world’s best selling titles written by the great maestro.
Danielle Steel Series:
Danielle Steel is a romantic novelist of great regard with many best sellers to her credit. Her novels are based on drama and the stories have been adapted for television and films as well. One of Danielle Steel’s best selling books has been ‘The Wedding’.
The Pelican Brief:
John Grisham is known for his books that are based on legal dramas. ‘The Pelican Brief’ is one his many best selling books of all times! This book has the right mix of suspense and legal drama. Apart from this, John Grisham has also penned ‘The Firm’, ‘The Client’, ‘The Rainmaker’, ‘A Time to Kill’ etc which have been widely appreciated.
The Jason Bourne Series:
Jason Bourne is a character that was created by writer Robert Ludlum. This author was known for his thriller novels. ‘The Bourne Identity’, ‘The Bourne Supremacy’, ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’, ‘The Bourne Legacy’ and the ‘The Bourne Betrayal’ are the complete series, out of which, two have been adapted for films.
Kane and Abel:
This book was an international success and reached the top slot on the list of best selling books all over the world. Jeffrey Archer is known for ‘Kane and Abel’ as well as the sequel for this book, ‘The Prodigal Daughter’. Apart from these books, Jeffrey Archer has many more novels to his credit.
The Count of Monte Cristo:
One of the highest selling books of all times, this novel, written by Alexandre Dumas, is set against the backdrop of France. This adventure novel has a historical setting and is one of the author’s most popular books along with the ‘The Three Musketeers’.
Best Short Stories by Guy de Maupassant:
Guy de Maupassant was a French writer best known for his wonderfully written short stories. He penned many novels, but his short stories created a big impact worldwide. His books, which are a collection of his best short stories, are amongst the world’s best selling books of all times.
This book best showcased Leo Tolstoy’s flawless style of writing. ‘Anna Karenina’, is one of Leo Tolstoy’s best works. This Russian writer is known the world over as one of the greatest novelists of all times. There are many other books by this author that became best sellers and ‘War and Peace’ is one of them.
The Picture of Dorian Gray:
Oscar Wilde is known for his stories and plays. ‘The Picture of Dorian Gray’ is one of the examples of classic literature although it was also found controversial. This book is centered on Dorian Gray and his obsession for a painting (of himself) by Basil Hallward. Dorian Gray is one of Oscar Wilde’s best works amongst his other stories.
The Gift of the Magi:
William Sydney Porter, famously known as, O. Henry was always known for his short stories. Amongst his many works, ‘The Gift of the Magi’ has a beautiful moral in the end. It speaks about true love. This short story has a typical surprise ending which was characteristic of the writing style of O. Henry.
Pride and Prejudice:
This novel is one of Jane Austen’s finest works. The story revolves around Elizabeth Bennet and her relationship with Mr. Darcy. The story has been adapted for film and television. Jane Austen also wrote many other books such as, ‘Sense and Sensibility’, ‘Emma’ etc.
William Shakespeare’s Works:
William Shakespeare has written many classic plays and poems and is known as one of the greatest writers in the English language. The various periods he grew up in influenced his style of writing. His poetic language has made a lasting impression on the minds of those who love to read excellent literature. ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, ‘Romeo and Juliet’, ‘Hamlet’, ‘Macbeth’ etc are only a few of his famous works.
The Perry Mason Series:
Erle Stanley Gardner was one of the most famous authors known for his ‘Perry Mason’ series. The series always centered on Perry Mason who is an attorney and solves difficult cases with the help of evidence and pure facts. He is helped by his secretary Della Street and investigator Paul Drake. These Perry Mason series are also amongst the world’s best selling books that fall under the best ‘whodunnits’ of all times!
The Secret Garden:
This beautiful novel is based on the life of a girl, Mary Lennox and how she copes with her life with her uncle in England. The book is actually about the using the powers of the mind to heal from within. This book is amongst one of the classics of children’s literature. It is also amongst Frances Hodgson Burnett’s most popular works.
The Jungle Book:
This collection of short stories is one of the most popular and famous ever written by Rudyard Kipling. These fables center around Mowgli and revolves on the adventures of this child who is raised in the Indian jungle by wolves. ‘Jungle Book’ has been adapted for film, animations for television as well as comics.
The Adventures of Tintin:
The many series based on the young reporter named Tintin is very much popular till date. This Belgian reporter with his friend, Captain Haddock, Professor Calculus and the detectives Thompson and Thomson take the readers on interesting journey, full of mystery with a tinge of humor. The series was created by a Belgian artist, Herge.
The Adventures of Asterix:
These series are amongst the world’s best selling books of all times. Written by Rene Goscinny and illustrated by Albert Uderzo (Goscinny and Uderzo), these series are entertaining due to the various characterization and the adventures as well. Asterix, along with friend Obelix and Dogmatix the dog, always find themselves in the midst of adventure against the Romans.
Fairytales written by Grimm Brothers:
The Grimm Brothers are known for their outstanding work in the category of fairytales. Their folk tales and fairy tales are amongst the best in the world. Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm were held in high regard. Some of their most popular works are ‘Snow White’, ‘Cinderella’, ‘Sleeping Beauty’, ‘Hansel and Gretel’, ‘Rumpelstiltskin’ etc.
The God of Small Things:
This book won the Booker Prize and is rather semi-autobiographical in nature. ‘The God of Small Things’ was particularly listed in the Bestsellers List particularly in the year 1996. Author Arundhati Roy makes a mention of her childhood memories.
Sherlock Holmes Series:
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote these brilliant stories based on fictional character of Sherlock Holmes. Holmes with Dr. Watson, solves some of the most complex cases with amazing simplicity. This is simply with the use of logics and deduction. These stories have even been adapted for television series.
A Series of Unfortunate Events:
Author Daniel Handler used the penname of Lemony Snicket to write ‘A Series of Unfortunate Events’. These are total 13 in number that center on the adventures of the Baudelaire orphans. Their adventures begin when they lose their parents in a raging fire. This concept was also used for the Academy Award Winning film, ‘Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events’ which is primarily based on the first three novels.
This very popular sci-fi novel written by Michael Crichton created a rage of sorts. The ‘Lost World’ was the only sequel to this book. These books further gave way to two blockbuster movies by the same name directed by Steven Spielberg.
These were some of the world’s best selling books of all times! Books are thus, truly a man’s best friend.
By Kashmira Lad
The views in this article are not neccessarily those of the publisher and the article is only meant for entertainment.
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