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Best Books for Smart People

There are so many of us here on Goodreads sick of seeing "best books ever" lists with Twilight and The Hunger Games. Well, how about all of us with a mental age over 13 make a "greatest books list"?

The rules are simple; books must not be shit you read in high school. I'm talking about Joyce, Proust, Dostoyevsky, Kafka, etc., or maybe some lesser known literary masters that time has forgot.
1

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4.19 avg rating — 3,853,551 ratings
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2

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4.27 avg rating — 5,307,921 ratings
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3

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4.14 avg rating — 296,654 ratings
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4

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4.28 avg rating — 3,635,317 ratings
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5

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4.14 avg rating — 1,862,636 ratings
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6

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3.69 avg rating — 2,586,243 ratings
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7

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4.10 avg rating — 859,999 ratings
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8

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4.30 avg rating — 1,151,931 ratings
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9

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3.79 avg rating — 123,614 ratings
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10

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3.97 avg rating — 3,295,298 ratings
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11

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4.37 avg rating — 378,472 ratings
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12

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3.95 avg rating — 141,095 ratings
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13

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4.13 avg rating — 159,198 ratings
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14

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4.28 avg rating — 424,998 ratings
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15

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3.88 avg rating — 2,240,805 ratings
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16

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4.28 avg rating — 829,546 ratings
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17

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4.18 avg rating — 336,050 ratings
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18

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3.86 avg rating — 169,531 ratings
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19

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4.20 avg rating — 53,183 ratings
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20

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3.74 avg rating — 118,925 ratings
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21

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3.86 avg rating — 881,110 ratings
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22

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4.07 avg rating — 757,463 ratings
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23

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3.82 avg rating — 159,388 ratings
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24

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3.92 avg rating — 851,372 ratings
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25

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3.87 avg rating — 76,651 ratings
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26

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4.09 avg rating — 763,559 ratings
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27

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4.06 avg rating — 105,284 ratings
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28

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4.24 avg rating — 201,754 ratings
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29

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3.96 avg rating — 91,056 ratings
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30

by
4.09 avg rating — 216,492 ratings
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31

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4.15 avg rating — 2,916,224 ratings
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32

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4.28 avg rating — 552,013 ratings
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33

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3.88 avg rating — 1,571,576 ratings
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34

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4.46 avg rating — 2,460,560 ratings
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35

by
4.07 avg rating — 716,816 ratings
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36

by
3.85 avg rating — 137,653 ratings
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37

by
3.89 avg rating — 401,020 ratings
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38

by
4.02 avg rating — 394,769 ratings
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39

by
4.82 avg rating — 45 ratings
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40

by
4.34 avg rating — 191,357 ratings
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41

by
4.09 avg rating — 664,417 ratings
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42

by
3.96 avg rating — 272,438 ratings
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43

by
4.17 avg rating — 102,004 ratings
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44

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4.02 avg rating — 613,384 ratings
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44

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4.06 avg rating — 136,460 ratings
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46

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4.25 avg rating — 639,753 ratings
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47

by
4.29 avg rating — 10,482 ratings
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48

by
4.19 avg rating — 740,911 ratings
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49

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4.08 avg rating — 698,693 ratings
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50

by
3.88 avg rating — 310,588 ratings
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51

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3.90 avg rating — 102,015 ratings
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52

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4.25 avg rating — 599,406 ratings
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53

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4.13 avg rating — 53,754 ratings
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54

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3.89 avg rating — 240,365 ratings
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55

by
3.88 avg rating — 129,715 ratings
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56

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3.87 avg rating — 36,284 ratings
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57

by
4.20 avg rating — 6,173 ratings
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58

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3.79 avg rating — 729,137 ratings
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59

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4.56 avg rating — 43 ratings
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60

by
4.81 avg rating — 26 ratings
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61

by
4.06 avg rating — 130,592 ratings
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62

by
4.34 avg rating — 5,277 ratings
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63

by
3.66 avg rating — 81,007 ratings
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64

by
4.11 avg rating — 43,475 ratings
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65

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3.89 avg rating — 1,348,436 ratings
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66

by
4.14 avg rating — 598,195 ratings
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67

by
3.69 avg rating — 293,534 ratings
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68

by
4.25 avg rating — 752,988 ratings
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69

by
3.86 avg rating — 317,340 ratings
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70

by
4.13 avg rating — 333,722 ratings
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71

by
3.51 avg rating — 110,729 ratings
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72

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4.40 avg rating — 162,253 ratings
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73

by
4.10 avg rating — 113,109 ratings
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74

by
3.69 avg rating — 14,376 ratings
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75

by
3.82 avg rating — 261,204 ratings
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76

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3.84 avg rating — 40,246 ratings
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77

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3.77 avg rating — 161,999 ratings
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78

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4.43 avg rating — 155,346 ratings
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79

by
4.24 avg rating — 173,955 ratings
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80

by
4.01 avg rating — 90,809 ratings
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81

by
4.43 avg rating — 51 ratings
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82

by
3.89 avg rating — 228,547 ratings
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83

by
3.89 avg rating — 46,757 ratings
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83

by
3.52 avg rating — 206,597 ratings
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85

by
4.34 avg rating — 280,867 ratings
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86

by
4.19 avg rating — 28,315 ratings
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87

by
3.84 avg rating — 1,356,663 ratings
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88

by
4.23 avg rating — 2,387 ratings
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89

by
4.24 avg rating — 545,386 ratings
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90

by
4.28 avg rating — 260,522 ratings
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91

by
4.50 avg rating — 166,632 ratings
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92

by
3.58 avg rating — 254,195 ratings
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93

by
4.10 avg rating — 20,525 ratings
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94

by
3.97 avg rating — 34,099 ratings
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95

by
3.86 avg rating — 109,817 ratings
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96

by
4.03 avg rating — 257,408 ratings
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97

by
4.07 avg rating — 2,167 ratings
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98

by
3.81 avg rating — 51,488 ratings
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98

by
3.97 avg rating — 150,095 ratings
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100

by
4.29 avg rating — 300,844 ratings
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681 books · 154 voters · list created October 28th, 2012 by deleted user.
90 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Ruchi 570 books
9 friends
Dustin 8886 books
1316 friends
Brian 297 books
233 friends
Carole 165 books
2 friends
ღ Carol jinx~☆~☔ʚϊɞ 3612 books
456 friends
volkhova 512 books
33 friends
Debbie 3108 books
3 friends
Albert 15 books
131 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by William (new)

William Wallace Why all the Grisham? A Time to Kill was excellent and so I read more. A slope appeared: it was all downhill from his first book. About number six started books that were poorly if at all edited. It is as if he said that he sold millions so just publish it like he wrote it. I don't read him any more and don't see why he is on any list for intelligent people at all, despite the excellence of the first book.


message 2: by Grigoriy (new)

Grigoriy Great books, thank you so much!Here is a web-site with a lot of book recommendations from outstanding entrepreneurs, great politicians and other celebrities - http://www.favobooks.com/


message 3: by BookLovingLady (last edited Sep 06, 2015 07:47AM) (new)

BookLovingLady William wrote: "Why all the Grisham? ..."

John Grisham (#23, 43, 109, 251, 253, 256, 259, 261, 263, 265, 271) shouldn't be on this list, judging from the desciption ("I'm talking about Joyce, Proust, Dostoyevsky, Kafka, etc, or maybe some lesser known literary masters that time has forgot").

Same goes for Stephen King (#39, 54, 56), in my humble opinion. Nor should Georgette Heyer (#125, 307) be on it (even though I love her books). And that's not even mentioning some of the others I came across.

All in all, this list isn't what it set out to be anymore, unfortunately. Such a pity...


message 4: by Eileen (new)

Eileen Agreed. Some of this list is ridiculous. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo shouldn't be on here either. To Kill a Mockingbird is a good book but it's also standard middle school assigned reading.


message 5: by L (new)

L I just added several books. I might have misunderstood the intent of the list. I took it to be a list books a smart (well-read and/or well educated) people would be likely to enjoy. I didn't just select books by the masters because everyone knows about them. I picked some I thought others may not have enjoyed yet.

My tastes are broad. I hope you like these suggestions.


message 6: by Vicki (new)

Vicki Booklovinglady wrote: "William wrote: "Why all the Grisham? ..."

John Grisham (#23, 43, 109, 251, 253, 256, 259, 261, 263, 265, 271) shouldn't be on this list, judging from the desciption ("I'm talking about Joyce, Prou..."


An Infamous Army, by Georgette Heyer, is widely considered the best fictional account of the Battle of Waterloo; it is my understanding that it has even been on a course reading list at West Point.


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