Overall Rankings

This is a manually maintained list of every book David J. Peterson has reviewed ranked exactly (i.e. books within a grade are ranked crucially with respect to one another). Click on a book’s title to read its review, or click on the name of an author to view all the reviews of books by that author.



  1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  2. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  3. Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
  4. Paradise Lost by John Milton
  5. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
  6. Darkness at Noon by Arthur Koestler
  7. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
  8. Ulysses by James Joyce
  9. Orlando Furioso by Ludovico Ariosto
  10. The Manuscript Found in Saragossa by Jan Potocki
  11. The Epic of Gilgamesh by Anonymous
  12. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  13. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
  14. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  15. Journey to the West by Wu Cheng’en
  16. Sundiata by D. T. Niane
  17. Skinny Legs and All by Tom Robbins

  18. A

  19. House of Glass by Pramoedya Ananta Toer
  20. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
  21. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  22. Oblomov by Ivan Goncharov
  23. Orlando: A Biography by Virginia Woolf
  24. The Kalevala by Traditional
  25. This Earth of Mankind by Pramoedya Ananta Toer
  26. Fathers and Sons by Ivan Turgenev
  27. The Adventures of the Ingenious Alfanhuí by Rafael Sánchez Ferlosio
  28. Masters of Atlantis by Charles Portis
  29. Dictionary of the Khazars by Milorad Pavić
  30. The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
  31. Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins
  32. Footsteps by Pramoedya Ananta Toer
  33. Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas by Tom Robbins
  34. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
  35. Amerika by Franz Kafka
  36. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
  37. Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth
  38. Cane by Jean Toomer
  39. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
  40. Tales from Moominvalley by Tove Jansson
  41. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
  42. The Silver Stallion by James B. Cabell
  43. Nohow On by Samuel Beckett
  44. Child of All Nations by Pramoedya Ananta Toer
  45. Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
  46. The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
  47. The Castle by Franz Kafka
  48. True Grit by Charles Portis

  49. A-

  50. The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear by Walter Moers
  51. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez
  52. Something Happened by Joseph Heller
  53. Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis
  54. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
  55. Le Morte d’Arthur by Sir Thomas Malory
  56. Sylvie and Bruno by Lewis Carroll
  57. The Odyssey by Homer
  58. The Tower of Myriad Mirrors by Tung Yueh
  59. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  60. Touch the Earth by Various
  61. This Side of Paradise by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  62. The Fall by Albert Camus
  63. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  64. Moominvalley in November by Tove Jansson
  65. Moominland Midwinter by Tove Jansson
  66. The Iliad by Homer
  67. The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann
  68. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
  69. Comet in Moominland by Tove Jansson
  70. The Nibelungenlied by Anonymous
  71. Finn Family Moomintroll by Tove Jansson
  72. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  73. The American by Henry James
  74. The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighiere
  75. The Satyricon by Petronius

  76. B+

  77. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  78. Invitation to a Beheading by Vladimir Nabokov
  79. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  80. Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson
  81. Forest of a Thousand Daemons by Daniel Olorunfemi Fagunwa
  82. First Love by Ivan Turgenev
  83. If On a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino
  84. Narative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave: Written by Himself by Frederick Douglass
  85. The Defense by Vladimir Nabokov
  86. The Great American Novel by Philip Roth
  87. Black Elk Speaks by John G. Neihardt
  88. The Moon and Sixpence by W. Somerset Maugham
  89. Despair by Vladimir Nabokov
  90. The Bostonians by Henry James
  91. Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
  92. Of Love and Other Demons by Gabriel García Márquez
  93. The Man Who Was Thursday by G. K. Chesterton
  94. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  95. Gods’ Man by Lynd Ward
  96. The Code of the Woosters by P. G. Wodehouse
  97. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
  98. The Secret Sharer by Joseph Conrad
  99. Closing Time by Joseph Heller
  100. Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
  101. Chronicle in Stone by Ismail Kadare

  102. B

  103. Matilda by Roald Dahl
  104. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
  105. The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  106. God Knows by Joseph Heller
  107. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues by Tom Robbins
  108. The Song of Roland by Anonymous
  109. Glory by Vladimir Nabokov
  110. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
  111. A Hero of Our Time by Mikhail Lermontov
  112. Watt by Samuel Beckett
  113. That Hideous Strength by C. S. Lewis
  114. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
  115. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  116. The Assistant by Bernard Malamud
  117. Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger
  118. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
  119. The Tenth Man by Graham Greene
  120. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  121. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
  122. The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  123. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
  124. Old New York by Edith Wharton
  125. Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut

  126. B-

  127. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin by Benjamin Franklin
  128. Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche
  129. The Swindler by Francisco de Quevedo
  130. Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins
  131. Nine Stories by J. D. Salinger
  132. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
  133. Time Stops for No Mouse by Michael Hoeye
  134. The Thirteenth Tribe by Arthur Koestler
  135. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
  136. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  137. Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction by J. D. Salinger
  138. Jacob’s Room by Virginia Woolf
  139. The Aeneid by Virgil
  140. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  141. Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  142. The Double by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  143. Murphy by Samuel Beckett
  144. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  145. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  146. The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
  147. The Ambassadors by Henry James
  148. Love That Dog by Sharon Creech
  149. Torture Garden by Octave Mirbeau
  150. Perelandra by C. S. Lewis
  151. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
  152. Beowulf by Anonymous
  153. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Anonymous
  154. Heart of a Dog by Mikhail Bulgakov
  155. Smoke by Ivan Turgenev
  156. The Devil’s Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce
  157. Prince Caspian by C. S. Lewis
  158. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
  159. El Conde Lucanor by Don Juan Manuel
  160. Lazarillo de Tormes by Anonymous
  161. The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas
  162. Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
  163. A Room with a View by E. M. Forster
  164. Jasmine by Bharati Mukherjee

  165. C+

  166. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  167. The Enormous Crocodile by Roald Dahl
  168. Tender Is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  169. By the Great Horn Spoon by Sid Fleischman
  170. Villa Incognito by Tom Robbins
  171. Animal Farm by George Orwell
  172. Out of the Silent Planet by C. S. Lewis
  173. The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon
  174. The Stranger by Albert Camus
  175. Ragged Dick by Horatio Alger, Jr.
  176. Struggling Upward by Horatio Alger, Jr.
  177. Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt
  178. Feet of Clay by Terry Pratchett
  179. The Bhagavad Gita by Anonymous
  180. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  181. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

  182. C

  183. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
  184. Sanctuary by William Faulkner
  185. The Moviegoer by Walker Percy
  186. Donald Duk by Frank Chin
  187. Dune by Frank Herbert
  188. Sing Down the Moon by Scott O’Dell
  189. The Cat Who Went to Heaven by Elizabeth Coatsworth
  190. The Quiet American by Graham Greene
  191. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
  192. Waiting for the Barbarians by J. M. Coetzee
  193. The Crow by James O’Barr
  194. The Theogony by Hesiod
  195. The Kitchen God’s Wife by Amy Tan
  196. Silas Marner by George Eliot
  197. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

  198. C-

  199. The Malone Trilogy by Samuel Beckett
  200. The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi
  201. A Vision by William Butler Yeats
  202. The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  203. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
  204. The Call of the Wild by Jack London
  205. The Egypt Game by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
  206. The Golovlovs by Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin
  207. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
  208. Summer by Edith Wharton
  209. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
  210. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
  211. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  212. Ordinary People by Judith Guest
  213. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  214. Kiss Me, Judas by Will Christopher Baer
  215. Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
  216. The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner
  217. The Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
  218. Into the Dark by Nicholas Wilde
  219. Paradise by Toni Morrison
  220. The Island of Dr. Moreau by H. G. Wells
  221. The Pearl by John Steinbeck
  222. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

  223. D

  224. La Bohème by Giacomo Puccini
  225. Revenge of the Rainbow Dragons by Rose Estes
  226. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  227. The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton
  228. Shapechangers by Jennifer Roberson
  229. A Spy in the House of Love by Anaïs Nin
  230. The Western Lands by William S. Burroughs
  231. To a God Unknown by John Steinbeck
  232. Disclosure by Michael Crichton
  233. Rising Sun by Michael Crichton
  234. The Terminal Man by Michael Crichton
  235. Congo by Michael Crichton
  236. It by Stephen King
  237. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

  238. F

  239. The Illyrian Adventure by Lloyd Alexander
  240. The Client by John Grisham
  241. Coma by Robin Cook
  242. Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton
  243. The Funhouse by Dean Koontz
  244. Blaster Master by F. X. Nine
  245. Wizards & Warriors by Ellen Miles
  246. How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
  247. Ninja Gaiden by A. L. Singer