Highest Rated Non-Sequel Books (Average Rating 4.5+, 1000+ Ratings)

Lists of the books with the highest average Goodreads rating, such as this one, are often dominated by sequels and other follow-ups to existing popular works. The reason for this is obvious - sequels, prequels and suchlike are likely to be overwhelmingly read by people who enjoyed the original work, and therefore a higher proportion of readers will rate them very highly. (There are obviously exceptions to this, where a follow-up disappointed readers - I've got a list for those.)

This list is intended to collect only those standalone books and first books in a series which received overwhelmingly high average ratings. As indicated in the title, only books with an average rating of 4.5 stars or more (indicating that the majority of readers awarded the maximum 5 stars) should be included, and they should have been rated by at least 1000 people. This limit was included to ensure statistical significance, but in hindsight was probably too low. I have since created a counterpart list for books with fewer ratings:

Highest Rated Non-Sequel Books (Average 4.5+) With 100-1000 Ratings

To re-iterate: this list is only for books which are standalones or the first in a series/franchise. Sequels, prequels, combined editions and suchlike should not be included.
1

by
4.61 avg rating — 350,023 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
2

by
4.51 avg rating — 781,412 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
3

by
4.57 avg rating — 822,793 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
4

by
4.46 avg rating — 1,333,377 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
5

by
4.50 avg rating — 84,036 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
6

by
4.51 avg rating — 723,275 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
7

by
4.51 avg rating — 610,857 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
8

by
4.58 avg rating — 178,736 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
8

by
4.63 avg rating — 6,952 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
10

by
4.54 avg rating — 16,460 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
11

by
4.72 avg rating — 95,503 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
12

by
4.51 avg rating — 21,445 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
13

by
4.50 avg rating — 128,045 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
14

by
4.51 avg rating — 4,424 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
15

by
4.52 avg rating — 5,411 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
16

by
4.71 avg rating — 5,652 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
17

by
4.51 avg rating — 131,083 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
18

by
4.45 avg rating — 27,942 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
18

by
4.62 avg rating — 21,923 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
20

by
4.60 avg rating — 143,041 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
21

by
4.50 avg rating — 230,144 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
22

by
4.41 avg rating — 27,761 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
23

by
4.54 avg rating — 15,211 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
24

by
4.50 avg rating — 65,767 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
25

by
4.36 avg rating — 17,304 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
26

by
4.51 avg rating — 74,657 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
27

by
4.56 avg rating — 79,158 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
27

by
4.66 avg rating — 22,644 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
29

by
4.58 avg rating — 4,975 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
29

by
4.46 avg rating — 7,230 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
29

by
4.54 avg rating — 9,542 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
29

by
4.64 avg rating — 2,409 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
33

by
4.51 avg rating — 2,332 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
33

by
4.63 avg rating — 39,006 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
33

by
4.60 avg rating — 14,213 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
33

by
4.60 avg rating — 3,045 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
37

by
4.58 avg rating — 68,429 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
38

by
4.56 avg rating — 15,668 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
38

by
4.57 avg rating — 3,320 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
40

by
4.55 avg rating — 17,463 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
40

by
4.63 avg rating — 21,928 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
40

by
4.53 avg rating — 25,699 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
43

by
4.60 avg rating — 7,172 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
43

by
4.49 avg rating — 6,772 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
43

by
4.53 avg rating — 7,009 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
46

by
4.57 avg rating — 4,832 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
46

by
4.57 avg rating — 10,779 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
46

by
4.47 avg rating — 72,877 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
46

by
4.52 avg rating — 7,168 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
50

by
4.60 avg rating — 16,392 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
51

by
4.47 avg rating — 92,639 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
52

by
4.44 avg rating — 59,948 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
53

by
4.72 avg rating — 18,067 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
54

by
4.64 avg rating — 2,197 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
55

by
4.47 avg rating — 23,916 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
56

by
4.52 avg rating — 3,065 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
57

by
4.52 avg rating — 1,555 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
58

by
4.67 avg rating — 1,361 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
59

by
4.64 avg rating — 1,397 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
60

by
4.48 avg rating — 1,684 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
61

by
4.57 avg rating — 1,656 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
62

by
4.59 avg rating — 3,624 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
63

by
4.50 avg rating — 1,562 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
64

by
4.56 avg rating — 3,700 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
65

by
4.49 avg rating — 4,730 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
66

by
4.51 avg rating — 25,556 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
67

by
4.51 avg rating — 68,898 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
68

by
4.57 avg rating — 34,540 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
69

by
4.57 avg rating — 19,789 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
70

by
4.62 avg rating — 3,061 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
71

by
4.55 avg rating — 3,828 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
72

by
4.38 avg rating — 8,758 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
73

by
4.56 avg rating — 8,568 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
74

by
4.56 avg rating — 3,039 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
75

by
4.58 avg rating — 5,356 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
76

by
4.50 avg rating — 15,782 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
77

by
4.61 avg rating — 3,546 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
78

by
4.57 avg rating — 1,136 ratings
Rate this book
Clear rating
flag this list (?)
78 books · 65 voters · list created July 15th, 2016 by Keith (votes) .
27 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Keith 4276 books
90 friends
BookLovingLady 5033 books
62 friends
Mitchell 7680 books
154 friends
Phillip 4741 books
134 friends
Susan 6742 books
141 friends
Tom 415 books
0 friends
Martin 305 books
30 friends
Espen 370 books
4 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-16 of 16 (16 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Fantastic. Added to my to-do list, the task of going over to the list that inspired this one, to select a bunch of qualifying titles. Bear in mind, each voter is allowed a cap of 100 entries, even, so far as I know, the list creator.


message 2: by BookLovingLady (last edited Jul 15, 2016 10:04PM) (new)

BookLovingLady "this cuts out very obscure or niche-interest books where the average rating is less statistically significant".

It does create a problem though when you are not located in the USA (or in one of the other English speaking countries). I'm Dutch and located in the Netherlands and not all that many Dutch are to be found on Goodreads.
Apart from that, books published in Dutch will never reach the same number of copies sold that books published in English might reach (and as a result will never reach the same number of readers/ratings).
So 'obscure' or 'niche-interest' doesn't always apply for some of the books I voted for on Books With a Goodreads Average Rating of Over 4.5 :-)


message 3: by Keith (new)

Keith Booklovinglady wrote: "It does create a problem though when you are not located in the USA (or in one of the other English speaking countries)."

That's a good point. Perhaps I should introduce a lower cut-off for books which aren't in English? What figure would you suggest for this lower cut-off - 500? 200?


message 4: by Keith (last edited Jul 16, 2016 02:04AM) (new)

Keith Also, books like the Calvin and Hobbes collection shouldn't count for this list if they're compilations of material previously published elsewhere or the second or subsequent such collection to be published.

Edit: I see the one Mitchell posted is in fact the first Calvin and Hobbes collection, so that's maybe OK. If the strips were previously published in newspapers, though, it's arguably disqualified because, like a novel in a series, most people who bought it were probably people who had previously enjoyed the material, skewing the average rating.


message 5: by BookLovingLady (last edited Jul 16, 2016 05:53AM) (new)

BookLovingLady Keith wrote: "That's a good point. Perhaps I should introduce a lower cut-off for books which aren't in English? What figure would you suggest for this lower cut-off - 500? 200?..."

Hard to say really... It's not only the Netherlands you see. Other countries with a 'non-English' language have different population numbers and may have more/less members on GR. Belgium for instance is Flemish (Dutch), French and German speaking. Belgium itself has less inhabitants than we do, but books in Dutch, French and German are not just published in Belgium. And how about a country like Luxemburg, where they speak French and German but only have about half a million inhabitants :-)

Bearing this in mind, I guess the Listopia text is best left the way it is simply because it will not be possible to mention all other languages and give a lower cut-off point for each of them.

Thanks for the offer though :-)


message 6: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Thank you for making that good point, Booklovinglady. Maybe you would like to create a separate list for books that are available in Dutch, and give that list a lower cut-off line?

Re Calvin and Hobbes - both my son and I love the books, never saw the strips in the newspapers. Hard to say about things like that. Also, for example, Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened started from a blog. I love the book, did not know about the blog until afterwards. If the community rating were high enough, I would definitely have added it to this list.


message 7: by Tom (last edited Sep 17, 2016 03:05PM) (new)

Tom The Sacred Band Should probably be removed, collection of multiple short stories/books and 1/4 of expected total ratings.


message 8: by BookLovingLady (last edited Sep 18, 2016 01:41AM) (new)

BookLovingLady Tom wrote: "The Sacred Band Should probably be removed, collection of multiple short stories/books and 1/4 of expected total ratings."

You're right, it only has 214 ratings at the moment, so I've removed it from the list.


message 9: by Keith (new)

Keith I've removed volume 1 of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, which had sadly fallen to 4.44.


message 10: by Keith (new)

Keith Keith wrote: "I've removed volume 1 of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, which had sadly fallen to 4.44."

And now it's back up to 4.5. Back on the list it goes!


message 11: by Keith (new)

Keith Keith wrote: "Keith wrote: "I've removed volume 1 of Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, which had sadly fallen to 4.44."

And now it's back up to 4.5. Back on the list it goes!"


And off it goes once more, as it had fallen to 4.44 again...


message 12: by Keith (new)

Keith The Sandman: King of Dreams, currently at #11 on this list, should be removed as it's not (as I initially thought) the first volume in Neil Gaiman's graphic novel series - it's a non-fiction book about the series.


message 13: by BookLovingLady (new)

BookLovingLady Keith wrote: "The Sandman: King of Dreams, currently at #11 on this list, should be removed as it's not (as I initially thought) the first volume in Neil Gaiman's graphic novel series - it's a non-fiction book about the series. ..."

I've removed it.


message 14: by Keith (new)

Keith Thanks.


message 15: by Jason (new)

Jason Bennett Awesome list here Keith Thanks!


message 16: by Keith (new)

Keith I've now created a counterpart list for highly rated non-sequel books with fewer ratings:

Highest Rated Non-Sequel Books (Average 4.5+) With 100-1000 Ratings


back to top