The Most Impressive Book to Read: Ranking the Best Literary Works

Choose the book you think is the most impressive!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 23, 2024 05:44
Welcome to StrawPoll, your ultimate hub for exciting polls and rankings! Today, we present to you a thought-provoking question that has sparked countless debates – "What is the most impressive book to read?" As fellow bookworms, we understand the impact of a great book and the unforgettable experience it can offer. We have curated a diverse list of literary masterpieces, from timeless classics to contemporary gems, covering various genres and themes. Now, it's time for you to decide which literary marvel deserves the top spot! Cast your vote, share your thoughts, and even suggest a missing title that you think deserves recognition. Dive into this literary adventure, and let's uncover the most impressive book together!

What Is the Most Impressive Book to Read?

  1. 1
    "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
    Luis Rivera · Public domain
    This magical realist novel tells the story of seven generations of the Buendia family in the fictional town of Macondo. It is praised for its vivid imagery, intricate plot, and exploration of themes such as love, family, and the cyclical nature of history.
    One Hundred Years of Solitude is a mesmerizing novel written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. It tells the captivating story of the Buendia family across multiple generations in the fictional town of Macondo. The book explores themes of love, solitude, magic realism, and the circular nature of time. The narrative is rich with vivid imagery, stunning prose, and complex characters who grapple with their own desires and struggles. As the Buendia family experiences both triumphs and tragedies, the novel offers a profound reflection on the human condition.
    • Genre: Magical Realism
    • Publication Year: 1967
    • Setting: Fictional town of Macondo
    • Number of Pages: 417
    • Original Language: Spanish
    "One Hundred Years of Solitude" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez in other rankings
  2. 2
    "Les Miserables" by Victor Hugo
    Émile Bayard · Public domain
    This epic novel follows the life of Jean Valjean, a French peasant who is imprisoned for stealing bread and later becomes a successful businessman and mayor. It is known for its social commentary on poverty, justice, and redemption, and has been adapted into numerous films and stage productions.
    Les Misérables is a renowned novel written by Victor Hugo, a French author. It is a captivating and powerful work that depicts the struggles of various characters against the backdrop of 19th-century France. The story explores themes of justice, redemption, love, and the human spirit's endurance in the face of adversity. Les Misérables is hailed for its rich and intricate storytelling, well-developed characters, and thought-provoking social commentary. It is a literary masterpiece that has remained influential since its publication in 1862.
    • Genre: Historical fiction
    • Publication year: 1862
    • Setting: 19th-century France
    • Themes: Justice, redemption, love, resilience
    • Characteristics: Rich storytelling, intricate plot
  3. 3
    This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is set in the American South during the Great Depression and follows the story of Scout Finch, a young girl who witnesses racial injustice and prejudice in her community. It is praised for its themes of courage, empathy, and the power of education.
    To Kill a Mockingbird is a powerful and influential novel written by Harper Lee. It explores themes of racial inequality, social injustice, and the loss of innocence through the eyes of Scout Finch, a young girl growing up in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama during the 1930s. The story revolves around Scout's father, Atticus Finch, a lawyer who defends Tom Robinson, a black man falsely accused of assaulting a white woman. With its compelling storytelling and thought-provoking themes, To Kill a Mockingbird has become a classic of American literature.
    • Publication Year: 1960
    • Genre: Fiction
    • Setting: Maycomb, Alabama, 1930s
    • Main Characters: Scout Finch, Atticus Finch, Jem Finch, Tom Robinson
    • Themes: Racial inequality, social injustice, loss of innocence
    "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee in other rankings
  4. 4
    This classic novel is set in the Roaring Twenties and follows the story of Jay Gatsby, a mysterious millionaire who throws extravagant parties in the hopes of winning back his former love, Daisy Buchanan. It is known for its exploration of the American Dream, wealth, and social class.
    The Great Gatsby is a novel written by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It is widely regarded as one of the greatest works of American literature and is known for its portrayal of the Jazz Age in the 1920s. The story follows Jay Gatsby, a wealthy and mysterious man, as he tries to win back the love of his life, Daisy Buchanan, who is now married to another man. Through themes of love, wealth, and the corruption of the American Dream, Fitzgerald explores the tragic and unattainable nature of romantic idealism.
    • Publication Date: April 10, 1925
    • Genre: Fiction, Romanticism, Modernism
    • Setting: 1920s, Long Island, New York
    • Point of View: First-person narrator (Nick Carraway)
    • Main Characters: Jay Gatsby, Daisy Buchanan, Tom Buchanan, Nick Carraway, Jordan Baker
    "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald in other rankings
  5. 5
    "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger
    Bantam · Public domain
    This coming-of-age novel follows the story of Holden Caulfield, a teenage boy who is expelled from his prep school and spends a few days wandering around New York City. It is praised for its portrayal of teenage angst, disillusionment, and the loss of innocence.
    The Catcher in the Rye is a novel written by J.D. Salinger. It was first published in 1951 and has since become one of the most popular yet controversial books in American literature. The story revolves around the rebellious and disillusioned protagonist, Holden Caulfield, as he navigates the complexities of adolescence and struggles with identity, isolation, and societal expectations.
    • Publication Year: 1951
    • Genre: Coming-of-age novel
    • Themes: Adolescence, alienation, identity, societal expectations, innocence
    • Controversies: Profanity, sexual content, rebellion against authority
    • Censorship History: Often challenged and banned due to its perceived explicit content and themes
    "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger in other rankings
  6. 6
    "1984" by George Orwell
    Michael Kennar · Public domain

    "1984" by George Orwell

    George Orwell
    This dystopian novel is set in a future totalitarian society where the government controls every aspect of citizens' lives. It is known for its exploration of themes such as political oppression, propaganda, and language manipulation. Its concepts and phrases, such as "Big Brother" and "doublethink," have become part of the cultural lexicon.
    1984 is a dystopian novel written by George Orwell. It portrays a totalitarian society ruled by the Party, led by Big Brother, where the government exercises complete control over its citizens. The story follows Winston Smith, a middle-aged man who rebels against the oppressive regime and questions the nature of truth, language, and freedom. 1984 is considered a classic work of literature that remains relevant in its exploration of surveillance, propaganda, and the erosion of individuality.
    • Publication Date: June 8, 1949
    • Genre: Dystopian fiction, political fiction
    • Setting: Oceania, a totalitarian state
    • Themes: Totalitarianism, surveillance, censorship, language manipulation
    • Protagonist: Winston Smith
    "1984" by George Orwell in other rankings
  7. 7
    This epic fantasy novel follows the journey of hobbit Frodo Baggins as he seeks to destroy the One Ring, a powerful tool of evil. It is praised for its world-building, character development, and exploration of themes such as good versus evil, power, and friendship. It has been adapted into numerous films and TV shows.
    The Lord of the Rings is an epic fantasy novel written by J.R.R. Tolkien. It is considered one of the most impressive books ever written and has captivated readers since its publication. The story takes place in the fictional world of Middle-earth and follows a diverse group of characters as they embark on a perilous journey to destroy a powerful ring and defeat the dark lord Sauron.
    • Protagonist: Frodo Baggins
    • Publication Year(s): 1954-1955
    • Setting: Middle-earth
    • Genre: Epic fantasy
    • Number of Books: 3 (The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, The Return of the King)
    "The Lord of the Rings" by J.R.R. Tolkien in other rankings
  8. 8
    This philosophical novel follows the story of three brothers and their father, a wealthy and corrupt landowner. It is known for its exploration of themes such as morality, religion, and the nature of humanity. It is considered one of the greatest works of Russian literature.
    The Brothers Karamazov is a renowned novel by Fyodor Dostoevsky, considered one of the greatest literary works of all time. It is a philosophical and psychological masterpiece that explores complex themes such as religion, morality, family, and the nature of human existence.
    • Genre: Fiction
    • Published Date: 1880
    • Number of Pages: 796
    • Setting: Russia
    • Narrative Style: Third-person
  9. 9
    "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen
    Jane Austen (1775-1817) · Public domain
    This romantic novel is set in Georgian England and follows the story of Elizabeth Bennet, a witty and independent young woman, and Mr. Darcy, a wealthy and proud gentleman. It is praised for its social commentary on class, gender, and marriage, as well as its memorable characters and witty dialogue.
    "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen in other rankings
  10. 10
    This epic poem tells the story of Odysseus, a Greek hero who faces numerous challenges on his journey home after the Trojan War. It is praised for its exploration of themes such as hospitality, loyalty, and the nature of the gods. It is considered one of the greatest works of ancient Greek literature.
    The Odyssey is an epic poem attributed to the ancient Greek poet Homer. It is one of the oldest works of Western literature and serves as a sequel to Homer's other epic poem, The Iliad. The Odyssey tells the story of Odysseus, a Greek hero who embarks on a long and perilous journey back home after the fall of Troy. Faced with numerous obstacles and challenges, Odysseus encounters mythical creatures, visits various enchanted islands, and deals with divine interventions as he tries to reunite with his wife and son in Ithaca.
    • Genre: Epic Poetry
    • Publication Date: 8th century BCE
    • Language: Ancient Greek
    • Length: 12,110 lines
    • Narrative Style: Third-person

Missing your favorite book?


Ranking factors for impressive book

  1. Literary Merit
    Consider the quality of the writing, the author's skill in language and storytelling, and the book's contribution to the literary world.
  2. Subject Matter
    The subject of the book should be interesting, thought-provoking, and relevant. It should also provide new or valuable insights or perspective on a given topic.
  3. Impact and Influence
    The book should have had an impact on society, culture, or the literary world, contributing to important discussions and even influencing other works.
  4. Originality and Creativity
    The book should be unique and innovative in its ideas, narrative structure, or overall presentation.
  5. Universal Appeal
    The book should be accessible and enjoyable to a wide range of readers and not focused primarily on a niche audience.
  6. Emotional Resonance
    The book should evoke emotions and provide a memorable experience for the reader, whether it's through compelling character development, relatable themes, or a powerful storyline.
  7. Longevity and Timelessness
    The book should stand the test of time, with themes and ideas that remain relevant or insightful even as society and culture shift over time.
  8. Complexity and Depth
    The book should be intellectually challenging and thought-provoking, providing room for analysis and interpretation.
  9. Aesthetic Appeal
    The book should be well-designed and visually appealing in terms of cover art, layout, typography, and any illustrations or accompanying images.
  10. Educational Value
    The book should teach valuable lessons, impart knowledge, or explore important themes or ideas that contribute to personal growth and development.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most impressive book to read. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or book is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 205 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each book once every 24 hours. The rank of each book is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most impressive book to read

Reading is a timeless activity that has the power to transport us to different worlds, inspire us, and teach us life lessons. With so many books available, it can be difficult to decide which one to pick up next. When it comes to finding the most impressive book to read, the answer is subjective and varies from person to person. However, there are some books that have stood the test of time and have captured the hearts and minds of readers across generations. From classic literature to modern bestsellers, the most impressive book to read is one that resonates with you and leaves a lasting impact. So, whether you're looking for a page-turning thriller or a thought-provoking work of non-fiction, there's a book out there that's waiting to be discovered.

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