We all love finding a good book, and this list suggests there are simply some books we all love. So, if you are on the hunt for your next great read checkout this list of some of the best-selling single-volume books generating more than 100 million copies.
#1 The Lord of the Rings
Author: J.R.R. Tolkein | First Published: 1954-1955
The title of the novel refers to the story's main antagonist, the Dark Lord Sauron, who had in an earlier age created the One Ring to rule the other Rings of Power as the ultimate weapon in his campaign to conquer and rule all of Middle-earth. From quiet beginnings in the Shire, a hobbit land not unlike the English countryside, the story ranges across Middle-earth, following the course of the War of the Ring through the eyes of its characters.
Fun Fact: The work was initially intended by Tolkien to be one volume of a two-volume set, the other to be The Silmarillion, but this idea was dismissed by his publisher for economic reasons.
#2 The Hobbit
Author: J.R.R. Tolkein | First Published: 1937
Set in a time "Between the Dawn of Færie and the Dominion of Men", The Hobbit follows the quest of home-loving hobbit Bilbo Baggins to win a share of the treasure guarded by the dragon, Smaug. Bilbo's journey takes him from light-hearted, rural surroundings into more sinister territory.
Fun Fact: The work has never been out of print.
#3 Le Petit Prince (The Little Prince)
Author: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry | First Published: 1943
Few stories are as widely read and as universally cherished by children and adults alike as The Little Prince. The Little Prince (French: Le Petit Prince; French pronunciation: [lə.pə.tiˈpʁɛ̃s]), first published in 1943, is a novella, the most famous work of the French aristocrat, writer, poet, and pioneering aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900–1944).
Fun Fact: The novella is the fourth most-translated book in the world and was voted the best book of the 20th century in France.
#4 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Author: J.K. Rowling | First Published: 1997
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is the first novel in the Harry Potter series and J. K. Rowling's debut novel, first published in 1997 by Bloomsbury. The plot follows Harry Potter, a young wizard who discovers his magical heritage as he makes close friends and a few enemies in his first year at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. With the help of his friends, Harry faces an attempted comeback by the dark wizard Lord Voldemort, who killed Harry's parents, but failed to kill Harry when he was just a year old.
Fun Fact: The wizarding world’s plants come from a real book, Culpeper's Complete Herbal.
#5 And Then There Were None
Author: Agatha Christie | First Published: 1939
And Then There Were None is the world’s best-selling mystery novel by Agatha Christie. Ten strangers, apparently with little in common, are lured to an island mansion off the coast of Devon by the mysterious U.N.Owen. Over dinner, a record begins to play, and the voice of an unseen host accuses each person of hiding a guilty secret. That evening, former reckless driver Tony Marston is found murdered by a deadly dose of cyanide. The tension escalates as the survivors realise the killer is not only among them but is preparing to strike again… and again..
Fun fact: Widely considered Agatha Christie’s masterpiece and described by her as the most difficult of her books to write.
#6 紅樓夢/红楼梦 (Dream of the Red Chamber)
Author: Cao Xueqin | First Published: 1754 - 1791
Dream of the Red Chamber, also called The Story of the Stone, composed by Cao Xueqin, is one of China's Four Great Classical Novels. Red Chamber is believed to be semi-autobiographical, mirroring the rise and decline of author Cao Xueqin's own family and, by extension, of the Qing Dynasty. As the author details in the first chapter, it is intended to be a memorial to the damsels he knew in his youth: friends, relatives and servants. The novel is remarkable not only for its huge cast of characters and psychological scope, but also for its precise and detailed observation of the life and social structures typical of 18th-century society.
Fun Fact: It is considered a masterpiece of Chinese literature and is generally acknowledged to be the pinnacle of Chinese fiction.
#7 She: A History of Adventure
Author: H. Rider Haggard | First Published: 1887
She is the story of Cambridge professor Horace Holly and his ward Leo Vincey, and their journey to a lost kingdom in the African interior. The journey is triggered by a mysterious package left to Leo by his father, to be opened on his 25th birthday; the package contains an ancient shard of pottery and several documents, suggesting an ancient mystery about the Vincey family.
Fun Fact: 'She" has been filmed numerous times and was even one of the first novels adapted for (silent) cinema, when Georges Méliès filmed it in 1899 as La Colonne de feu.
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