What novels have you read?

100 books that you have to read

You can find them here: 100 good books, classics of world literature, bestsellers from recent years, the funniest or the most exciting books, the most beautiful love stories and also one or the other important non-fiction book - just books that you have to read.

You can easily buy a few thousand books at a good bookstore.

The bookseller there can easily order a lot more titles for you.

Or you can visit an online bookstore right away and can choose from well over a million German-language titles.


But which of them are books that you have to read? Really good books?

Many people who want to read more, are looking for new good books or finally want to discover the best books of all time ask this question. This list - Must-read books - helps you with your search and shows you a top 100 selection of the most important books.

We have set up the order of the 100 books that you have to read without any evaluation.

Whether a certain book is better than another Even literary experts can argue about this endlessly and in the end it is always a matter of taste. But enough of the theory. Here you are:

The hundred books you have to read

# 100 “Pride and Prejudice” by Jane Austen

The novel takes place around 1800 and tells the story of the young Elizabeth, who successfully rebels against the dusty conventions of English society, To maybe find the love of a lifetime one day

There is no shortage of offers, but who will win the race in the end? "Pride and Prejudice" is more than just a romance novel but at the same time amusing narrative, society portrait and the first of the hundred books that one must have read.

Maybe you also know the film adaptation with Keira Knightley and are looking for the book about it?

# 99 "High Fidelity" by Nick Hornby

With the funny story of Rob and his most spectacular breakups, “High Fidelity” dissects the quirks of today's men with a razor-sharp edge.

This prime example of modern pop literature has also already been filmed - starring John Cusack.

# 98 “The Far Hope” by Ellin Carsta

“Distant Hope” traces another historical image of society. Here you will be taken into a 19th century Hamburg merchant family and experience an exciting family chronicle.

The book shows you well how compelling historical novels can be.
And on the last page the story only seems to end ... You will find even more hours of reading fun in three more parts.

# 97 “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” by Hunter S. Thompson

This story of bizarre guys, the wild Las Vegas of the sixties and a crazy drug trip is unparalleled when it comes to weirdness.

At the same time you read between the lines a bitter reckoning with the "American Dream". Here you hold a film in your hands again, who came to the screen in 1998 with Johnny Depp in the lead role.

# 96 “A jumping fountain” by Martin Walser

Walser is one of the most important German storytellers of the post-war years and has written many a must-read book.

“A jumping fountain” is a very autobiographical work and reports impressively of the great economic crisis of the 1930s, the rise of the Nazis, war experiences and the end of the Second World War.

# 95 "The Time Machine" by H.G. Wells

When this book came out in 1895, nobody knew what science fiction was.

“The time machine” only invented the genre. An inventor travels here into a distant future, where people seem to live in paradise.

However, this paradise only works thanks to other people, who live miserably in caves and keep the world going on the surface at all.

As the situation escalates, it's not just the time traveler's life that is at stake ...

# 94 "I'll make you well, said the bear" by Janosch

The 48-page story with many illustrations is a classic children's book, But it is also on the must-read list for adults.

It is a wonderful story about friendship, which with its simplicity and warmth will surely bring you joy again and again.

# 93 “An Unpopular Woman” by Nele Neuhaus

An exciting crime thriller from Germany with a young investigator and crime in the best company - Must-read books can often be lighter fare and just entertain you well.

# 92 "Atonement" by Ian McEwan

"Atonement" is an extremely elegantly written family drama in which the story fits together piece by piece like a puzzle.

It starts with the lie of a 13 year old girl which will ultimately change the lives of several people forever.Exciting modern literature among the must-read books.

# 91 “Catch-22” by Joseph Heller

The book went unnoticed for a long time until word of mouth from readers made it a worldwide hit.

Like no other book, “Catch-22” reveals the absurdity of wars or the thinking and rules of the military.

At the same time it shows you a real antihero, whose figure still serves as a template for countless other broken and torn protagonists in books and films.

# 90 "The Science Lie" by Ben Goldacre

Medicine or cosmetics: Again and again, pseudoscientific arguments should lead you to buy certain products.

The non-fiction author Ben Goldacre exposes them all in a humorous way and shows you how to distinguish real from false science.

Even if you've always had your doubts you will see doctors and the pharmaceutical or cosmetics companies in a completely different light after reading this.

# 89 “The Last Stand” by Stephen King

Stephen King has been considered the master of horror for decades.

For him, this does not only take place in the supernatural with monsters or demons, but also in the abyss of human characters.

"The Last Stand" combines both against the background of a devastating disease, which almost completely wipes out humanity. It's King's epic XL masterpiece about the ever new struggle between good and bad.

# 88 “The Monster” by Terézia Mora

“The Monster” tells the story of a man who, after his wife's suicide, slowly learns what his long-time partner really thought and felt.

The book is a long and often arduous journey into the truths of life.

It is also out of the ordinary in terms of style. For example, it uses shared pages with a storyline and diary entries similar to the split screens in films or series like "24".

# 87 "I'll be gone then" by Hape Kerkeling

The Camino de Santiago in northern Spain is a route on which people hike hundreds of kilometers for self-awareness and self-reflection.

The great German entertainer Hape Kerkeling has also gone and reports here vividly about this experience.

# 86 “London Fields” by Martin Amis

Just released in 2018, this multi-layered, subtle thriller immediately made it into the must-read books.

Murder and Mystery by one of the most famous contemporary British writers.

# 85 “The Therapy” by Sebastian Fitzek

Gripping psychological thriller from Germany's master for tension.

Here Fitzek makes girls disappear and a confused woman appears whose therapy may explain everything

This book doesn't live on big action, but from the threats that lurk within the characters.

# 84 “Ecce Homo” by Friedrich Nietzsche

Subtitle: "How to become what you are."

This is the late self-interpretation of the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and a major analysis of morality, soul, will and religion.

Great work or great nonsense?
Few must-read books are as controversial as this one, because Nietzsche suffered from mental illness in his last years ...

# 83 "Brighton Rock" by Graham Greene

You will often discover this classic crime thriller in German under the title “Am Abgrund des Lebens”.

It is set in the British seaside resort of Brighton. That wasn't always a tourist attraction.

In the early 1930s, rival gangster gangs had a firm grip on the city - enough material for an exciting story.

# 82 "The man who mistook his wife for a hat" by Oliver Sacks

Oliver Sacks is a professor of Neurology and psychiatry.

The literary processing of his cases has made him world famous. He tells you about it in this book 24 small fascinating stories.

# 81 “Winter potato dumplings” by Rita Falk

"Winter potato dumplings" is an exciting and just as funny detective novel from the Lower Bavarian province with many quirky, rustic characters - short and entertaining reading fun.

# 80 “Narcissus and Goldmund” by Hermann Hesse

Hesse's story is one of the best known Developing novels in literary history and definitely one of the must-read books.

# 79 “Thunderstorm over Pluto” by Heinrich Steinfest

You can read crime fiction like a dime a dozen. But you rarely get such imaginative crazy stories as "Thunderstorm over Pluto" Find.

# 78 "Show your teeth" by Zadee Smith

A much acclaimed debut novel about the multicultural everyday life in London. Especially the light one but the author's always perfect narrative style makes this book a must-read.

# 77 “Reunion with Brideshead” by Evelyn Waugh

A real classic and one of the greatest British books of all time:

A dramatic look at the decadent life of the rich and beautiful between the two world wars.

You can find two versions here: the original from 1945 and an updated new edition from 1960.

It has also become a template for TV series and feature films.

# 76 "Pooh the Pooh" by Alan Alexander Milne

You probably know the little bear Winnie the Pooh from Disney films. This character was invented much earlier in this little children's book with ten short stories.

# 75 “Do androids dream of electric sheep?” By Philip K. Dick

This sci-fi novel is usually available under the title "Blade Runner".

Of course, the doorbell rings immediately. Dick's vision of the future of people and androids served as the model for the blockbuster with Harrison Ford, but has little in common with the film in terms of content.

# 74 "The Colors of Magic" by Terry Pratchett

The prelude to the famous "Discworld" novels and stories of the failed magician Rincewind.

Fantasy fans may already know this book by heart - definitely one of the must-read books for everyone else.

# 73 “The Sorrows of Young Werther” by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

This is the evolutionary novel par excellence. Coming of Age is what they say today. It's actually impossible: But if you haven't already read it at school, you should definitely do it now.

# 72 "The Street" by Cormac McCarthy

The story of a father and son who wander through the devastated America full of brutality and cannibalism after an apocalypse - a classic among the end-of-time thrillers.

# 71 “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak

This story is told about the nine-year-old girl Liesel from death personally. That makes “The Book Thief” a very special way of dealing with the German Nazi era.

# 70 “The judge and his executioner” by Friedrich Dürrenmatt

"The judge and his executioner" mixes detective novel with great literature and a character study in which the inspector finally changes sides, to bring down the criminal.

# 69 "The Story of Peter Rabbit" by Beatrix Potter

The character of the rabbit Peter Hase or Peter Rabbit and his adventures are another piece of the most famous, fantastic children's or youth literature of all time.

# 68 “Murder on the Orient Express” by Agatha Christie

This book is one of the greatest detective novels and should not be missing from the list of must-read books. Best Whodunit suspense that has been filmed several times.

# 67 "Casino Royale" by Ian Fleming

Have you always wanted to know who invented the legendary secret agent James Bond - 007? This 1953 book gives you the answer. It has finally been available in an unabridged version since 2012.

# 66 “Persepolis” by Marjane Satrapi

Visually impressive graphic novelwho retells the story of the Islamic Revolution in Iran from the perspective of the young girl Marji.

# 65 “The Trial” by Franz Kafka

"The Trial" or "The Trial" is a great oppressive parable about the unknown powers and influences, that can take over someone's life.

Typically Kafka, you can endlessly reinterpret this book.

# 64 “Nothing but Ghosts” by Judith Hermann

A collection of little love stories which actually represent the inability of many people to have relationships and love.

# 63 “And God said: We have to talk!” By Hans Rath

When a therapist is talking to a man who thinks he is God, the case seems clear.

But what if this man was indeed the Almighty?Hans Rath's book poses this question in a very funny way.

# 62 "The Hound of Baskerville" by Arthur Conan Doyle

This is the third case of the legendary detective Sherlock Holmes and for sure one of the most famous detective stories ever - in any case one of the must-read books.

# 61 "London - the biography" by Peter Ackroyd

A successful example of how exciting and entertaining stories can be told.

Not only England fans should read the London biography.

# 60 “Diary” by Anne Frank

Since 2001, this important contemporary document about the life of a Jewish girl hiding from the Gestapo has finally been available in a complete version.

In 2009, UNESCO declared Anne Frank's diary a World Heritage Site.

# 59 "A tiger comes to tea" by Judith Kerr

This English children's book classic is less known in German-speaking countries, The style of this work, published in 1968, still shapes children's books to this day.

# 58 “The Little Aquarius” by Otfried Preußler

Otfried Preußler has enriched the childhood of entire generations with many characters:

The little witch, the little ghost or the robber Hotzenplotz.

His first book, Little Aquarius, is often forgotten, but it is also worth reading and beautiful.

# 57 "The Tin Drum" by Günter Grass

The life of a nerd told by himself:

What can be right here and what isn't?

You can ask yourself this question over and over again in “Die Blechtrommel” and at the same time get to know one of the most important books in German post-war literature.

# 56 "Bridget Jones - Chocolate For Breakfast" by Helen Fielding

The humorous and self-deprecating experiences from the single life of a woman in her thirties are a bestseller in recent entertainment literature.

This Bridget Jones diary provided the template for the cinema blockbuster with Renée Zellweger.

# 55 "All We Had to Give" by Kazuo Ishiguro

Young people should actually have their whole life ahead of them. It's different with Kathy because she is a clone that, like her classmates, was only created as an organ donor.

The book by the Japanese Ishiguro is one of the most popular works in recent science fiction literature.

# 54 "1913: The Summer of the Century" by Florian Illies

A literary portrait of the period just before the First World War with a focus on the great figures of art and literature of the time.

"1913" does not gain its fascination as a huge historical ham, but through its many small, easily written episodes and anecdotes.

# 53 "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas" by John Boyne

The Irish Boyne recounts the cruel world of a concentration camp through the eyes of the camp commandant's son.

The story takes its course when he becomes friends with another boy - "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas".

# 52 "The Old Man and the Sea" by Ernest Hemingway

An old fisherman alone at sea and a fight for his last big catch - with this material Ernest Hemingway finally became a world literary figure and secured the Nobel Prize for Literature.

# 51 “Maria Stuart” - Friedrich Schiller

"Maria Stuart" is a historical drama in five acts and was written shortly before 1800 in the Weimar Classic.

Plays the action in Scotland and England it is actually much more about questions of human character and how the French Revolution, with its great aims, could turn into a reign of terror.

# 50 "The winemaker's daughter" by Kristen Harnisch

Impressive historical drama and at the same time the exciting story of a courageous young woman.

# 49 “Blackout” by Marc Elsberg

You are probably already annoyed when your cell phone battery runs out and you have neither a socket nor a power bank nearby ... But what if the power went out across Europe for days and weeks? "Blackout" tells you.

# 48 "It" by Stephen King

A book as thick as it is terrifying - "It" is one of the best that Stephen King has ever written and as a horror masterpiece it belongs on our list of must-read books.

# 47 "The Catcher in the Rye" by J.D. Salinger

A young person is confronted with the mendacity of the adult world. The realization becomes a turning point in his life.Salinger's book is another classic about growing up in difficult times.

# 46 "The Mill on the Raft" by George Eliot

Another portrait of society - often satirically and critically told - from England in the 19th century.

# 45 “The Magic Forest” by Enid Blyton

Imaginative children's story about three siblings who discover a very special forest around the “wonder world tree” behind their house and transform them into one fantastic world to be drawn into.

# 44 "The fruits of anger" by John Steinbeck

With this Steinbeck novel you travel to the America of the Great Depression.

Heavily indebted farmers lose their land to banks and head for California where they hope for a better life from good jobs. But this path also ends in exploitation ...

# 43 “Great Power Venice” by Jan Morris

Even a travel guide has made it into the top 100 must-read books.

The book by Jan Morris is not a classic travel guide, but rather approaches the lagoon city of Venice, its inhabitants and the long history in a narrative way.

# 42 "He's back" by Timur Vermes

The debut novel by Timur Vermes hit like a bomb and became an instant bestseller.

No wonder: in his extremely entertaining and funny book, he lets Adolf Hitler resurrect and manages a skilful balancing act between comedy and drama.

# 41 “The Incredible Story of Tracy Baker” by Jacqueline Wilson

Tracy Baker lives in a children's home and doesn't have it easy.

But she makes the best of her situation and always provides a prime example of one a positive view of life from. Recommended children's and feel-good book.

# 40 "1984" George Orwell

Written in 1949, this book outlines the oppressive dystopia of a surveillance state in 1984.

Definitely one of the books you have to read because Orwell's dark vision is quoted again and again, when it comes to today's surveillance measures.

# 39 “Germany. A winter fairy tale ”by Heinrich Heine

Heine's “Winter Tale” is one of the best pieces of German poetry.

The poet was inspired by a trip from Paris to Hamburg.

# 38 "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood

The book with the original title "The Handmaid’s Tale" describes another gloomy future vision in which women in society only serve as housewives, maidservants or to bear children - Filmed as a film in 1990 and as a TV series in 2017.

# 37 “A History of the World in 100 Objects” by Neil MacGregor

World history is told differently here.

The book does not follow great personalities or battles, rather, it spreads history on the basis of objects from the respective epochs - from the first hand ax to high-tech from the Far East.

# 36 “Nathan the Wise” by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

A drama from 1779 that, with its thoughts on enlightenment, tolerance and humanity, has lost none of its depth to this day.

# 35 “The Perfume: The Story of a Murderer” by Patrick Süskind

Patrick Süßkind is one of the most famous German authors.

He only wrote one book: "Perfume" in 1985.

It was sold over 20 million times around the world and finally hit theaters in 2006.The story of the murderer and perfumer Grenouille has become compulsory reading, if only because of its success.

# 34 "Moonlight tariff" by Ildikó von Kürthy

"Moonlight Tariff" is an extremely successful contemporary romance novel, who quickly found many fans with his witty, witty narrative style.

# 33 “Trainspotting” by Irvine Welsh

The story from Edinburgh's drug scene is actually not an actual story.

Loosely or at random, the book follows its protagonists through their lives full of drugs, violence and sex.

# 32 "Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus" by Mary Shelley

Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" is one of the most important works of horror novels, which ultimately shape every new horror film to this day.

But there's more to this than just one creepy creature. At the same time, the book offers deep insights into the human psyche and its disorders.

# 31 “American Gods” by Neil Gaimans

The saga, which is both mythological and modern, is one of the greatest book successes in recent years.

Here the great gods of antiquity fight against the new deities of our time for their existence in the mightiest battles of fantasy literature.

# 30 “Whoever disturbs the nightingale” by Harper Lee

Harper Lee tells the childhood story of the little Scout who grew up in the American South in the 1930s.

Racism is part of everyday life for them. When a white lawyer is appointed public defender of a black alleged rapist, be too he and his family quickly sense the racial hatred.

# 29 "A Song of Ice and Fire" aka "Game of Thrones" by George R.R.Martin

The struggle for the iron throne of the seven kingdoms of Westeros has been one of the most widely read fantasy materials since the first book was published in 1996 and provides volume for volume books that you have to read.

While the successful TV series has now come to an end, you still have to wait for the last novels by Martin - the release date is unclear.

# 28 “The Swarm” by Frank Schätzing

What if we had overlooked one of the most intelligent and powerful life forms on our planet and one day it turned against us?

Frank Schätzing's sci-fi thriller describes this scenario in a big book like a disaster movie.

# 27 "A Lousy Witch" by Jill Murphy

Maybe you have already seen the Netflix series "A Lousy Witch" or "The Worst Witch"?

It is based on that children's books of the same name by Jill Murphy, which enjoy legendary status, especially in the English-speaking world.

# 26 “Cabal and Love” by Friedrich Schiller

The drama in five acts is considered to be one of the most important German theater plays.

It represents a young love across social classes, which is ultimately destroyed by classism and intrigue.

# 25 "Last Round" by Graham Swift

"Last round