Home » Booklists » Top 100 World Literature Titles (According to Teachers)

Top 100 World Literature Titles (According to Teachers)

It has been brought to my attention, dear readers, that I haven’t posted a Top 100 book list in a while, and that the ones that I have posted have been very American/English-centric. So, I’ve decided to kill two birds with one stone and give you this fun list of the top 100 books in world literature. The best part? It was put together by literature teachers from around the country with the intention of teaching these books in classrooms. Yay, learning!

The list was published on Perfection Learning, a curriculum resource site for K-12 teachers, and the books on it are ranked in order of popularity. Both fiction and nonfiction titles are included in the list. As always, I’ve written it out here for your convenience, dear readers, and bolded the titles that I’ve personally read.

How many have you read? Did you read any of these in school, or on your own time? For any literature teachers reading this, do you teach these in your classes? Are any titles missing? Discuss!

  1. Things Fall Apart~Chinua Achebe (Africa)
  2. Night~Elie Wiesel (Europe)
  3. The Kite Runner~Khaled Hosseini (Middle East)
  4. The Stranger~Albert Camus (Europe)
  5. Cry, the Beloved Country~Alan Paton (Africa)
  6. The Metamorphosis~Franz Kafka (Europe)
  7. Siddhartha~Hermann Hesse (Europe)
  8. The Joy Luck Club~Amy Tan (China)
  9. Oedipus the King~Sophocles (Ancient World)
  10. The Odyssey~Homer (Ancient World)
  11. A Doll’s House~Henrik Ibsen (Europe)
  12. All Quiet on the Western Front~Erich M. Remarque (Europe)
  13. One Hundred Years of Solitude~Gabriel Garcia Marquez (South America)
  14. Candide~Voltaire (Europe)
  15. Antigone~Sophocles (Ancient World)
  16. Crime and Punishment~Fyodor Dostoyevski (Europe)
  17. The Inferno~Dante Alighieri (Europe)
  18. The Iliad~Homer (Ancient World)
  19. Life of Pi~Yann Martel (Canada)
  20. Cyrano de Bergerac~Edmond Rostand (Europe)
  21. Les Miserables~Victor Hugo (Europe)
  22. Don Quixote~Miguel de Cervantes (Europe)
  23. Nectar in a Sieve~Kamala Markandaya (India)
  24. Like Water for Chocolate~Laura Esquivel (Mexico)
  25. The Epic of Gilgamesh (Ancient World)
  26. Bless Me, Ultima~Rudolfo Anaya (Latin America)
  27. Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace…One School at a Time~Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin (Middle East)
  28. Madame Bovary~Gustave Flaubert (Europe)
  29. Mythology~Edith Hamilton (Ancient World)
  30. The Alchemist~Paulo Coelho (Europe)
  31. In the Time of the Butterflies~Julia Alvarez (The Caribbean)
  32. Hiroshima~John Hersey (Japan)
  33. Kaffir Boy: The True Story of a Black Youth’s Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa~Mark Mathabane (Africa)
  34. The House of the Spirits~Isabel Allende (South America)
  35. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier~Ishmael Beah (Africa)
  36. The Count of Monte Cristo~Alexandre Dumas (Europe)
  37. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich~Alexander Solzhenitsyn (Europe)
  38. A Thousand Splendid Suns~Khaled Hosseini (Middle East)
  39. The Poisonwood Bible~Barbara Kingsolver (Africa)
  40. Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress~Dai Sijie (China)
  41. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man~James Joyce (Ireland)
  42. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl~Anne Frank (Europe)
  43. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood~Marjane Satrapi (Middle East)
  44. The Power of One~Bryce Courtenay (Africa)
  45. First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers~Loung Ung (Cambodia)
  46. The Handmaid’s Tale~Margaret Atwood (Canada)
  47. Anna Karenina~Leo Tolstoy (Europe)
  48. The Prince~Niccolo Machiavelli (Europe)
  49. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan: A Novel~Lisa See (China)
  50. Persepolis 2: The Story of a Return~Marjane Satrapi (Middle East)
  51. The Aeneid~Virgil (Ancient World)
  52. The God of Small Things~Arundhati Roy (India)
  53. Midnight’s Children~Salman Rushdie (India)
  54. Love in the Time of Cholera~Gabriel Garcia Marquez (South America)
  55. Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books~Azar Nafisi (Middle East)
  56. The Book Thief~Markus Zusak (Europe)
  57. Annie John~Jamaica Kincaid (Caribbean)
  58. Chronicle of a Death Foretold~Gabriel Garcia Marquez (South American)
  59. Obasan~Joy Kogawa (Japan/Canada)
  60. Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution~Ji-li Jiang (China)
  61. Medea~Euripides (Ancient World)
  62. I Have Lived a Thousand Years: Growing Up in the Holocaust~Livia Bitton-Jackson (Europe)
  63. Girl in Hyacinth Blue~Susan Vreeland (Europe)
  64. The Little Prince~Antoine de Saint-Exupery (Europe)
  65. Living Up the Street~Gary Soto (Latin American)
  66. The Namesake~Jhumpa Lahiri (India)
  67. Sold~Patricia McCormick (India)
  68. The Bookseller of Kabul~Asne Seierstad (Middle East)
  69. What is the What: The Autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng~Dave Eggers (Africa)
  70. All But My Life: A Memoir~Gerda Weissman Klein (Europe)
  71. My Forbidden Face: Growing Up Under the Taliban~Latifa (Middle East)
  72. Before We Were Free~Julia Alvarez (Caribbean)
  73. The Bonesetter’s Daughter~Amy Tan (China)
  74. Dawn~Elie Wiesel (Europe)
  75. Dreaming in Cuban~Cristina Garcia (Caribbean)
  76. Falling Leaves: The Memoir of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter~Adeline Yen Mah (China)
  77. The Hunchback of Notre Dame~Victor Hugo (Europe)
  78. In My Hands: Memories of a Holocaust Survivor~Irene Opdyke (Europe)
  79. Le Morte d’Arthur~Thomas Malory (Europe)
  80. Out of Africa and Shadows on the Grass~Isak Dinesen (Africa)
  81. The Phantom of the Opera~Gaston Leroux (Europe)
  82. Purple Hibiscus~Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Africa)
  83. Ties That Bind, Ties That Break~Lensey Namioka (Asia)
  84. Waiting~Ha Jin (Asia)
  85. Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America~Firoozeh Dumas (Middle East)
  86. A Book of Luminous Things: An International Anthology of Poetry~Czeslaw Milosz, ed.
  87. Enrique’s Journey: The Story of a Boy’s Dangerous Odyssey~Sonia Nazario (Central America)
  88. The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency~Alexander McCall Smith (Africa)
  89. Retold African American Folktales~David Haynes (Africa)
  90. Waiting for Godot~Samuel Beckett (Ireland)
  91. American Shaolin: Flying Kids, Buddhist, Monks, and the Legend of Iron Crotch: An Odyssey in the New China~Matthew Polly (China)
  92. Apology~Plato (Ancient World)
  93. The Bet~Anton Chekhov (Europe)
  94. Born Confused~Tanuja Desai Hidier (India)
  95. The Good Earth~Pearl S. Buck (China)
  96. Chanda’s Secrets~Allan Stratton (Africa)
  97. The Cherry Orchard~Anton Chekhov (Europe)
  98. Chinese Cinderella: The True Story of an Unwanted Chinese Daughter~Adeline Yen Mah (China)
  99. City of the Beasts~Isabel Allende (South America)
  100. Crow Lake~Mary Lawson (Canada)

2 thoughts on “Top 100 World Literature Titles (According to Teachers)

  1. Pingback: Summer Reading, In The Now… | allthingswordy

  2. It is, like all such lists, odd. That is to say there are wonderful books and pedestrian books. And at least one very bad book—Three Cups of Tea has been exposed as a self-serving lie. And it’s badly written.

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