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Who wrote these famous books?

These are the most well-known books with a single definite or likely author – the ones with over 50 Wikipedia languages (by Sep 2022), in descending order. Can you name the people who wrote them? Every writer only appears once!
Books of the bible and fairy tales without clear author not counted
Some of these are not strictly books, but texts that were later published in book form
Quiz by Gumbledalf
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Last updated: December 20, 2022
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First submittedSeptember 28, 2022
Times taken1,108
Average score48.9%
Rating4.64
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Book
language
year
Author
Iliad
Old Greek
-700
Homer
Don Quixote
Spanish
1615
Miguel de Cervantes
Book of Mormon
English
1830
Joseph Smith
The Little Prince
French
1943
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
The Lord of the Rings
English
1955
J. R. R. Tolkien
The Communist Manifesto
German
1848
Karl Marx
Divine Comedy
Italian
1320
Dante Alighieri
Shahnameh
Persian
1010
Ferdowsi
Romeo and Juliet
English
1597
William Shakespeare
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
English
1862
Lewis Carroll
Dream of the Red Chamber
Chinese
1759
Cao Xueqin
The Art of War
Old Chinese
-500
Sun Tzu
The Tale of Genji
Japanese
1010
Murasaki Shikibu
Aeneid
Latin
-19
Virgil
Nineteen Eighty-Four
English
1948
George Orwell
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
English
1997
J. K. Rowling
Robinson Crusoe
English
1719
Daniel Defoe
Mein Kampf
German
1925
Adolf Hitler
Charlotte's Web
English
1954
E. B. White
Kama Sutra
Sanskrit
250
Vatsyayana Mallanaga
War and Peace
Russian
1869
Leo Tolstoy
Republic
Old Greek
-375
Plato
Crime and Punishment
Russian
1869
Fyodor Dostoevsky
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Spanish
1967
Gabriel Garcia Márquez
On the Origin of Species
English
1859
Charles Darwin
Kalevala
Finnish
1835
Elias Lönnrot
The Old Man and the Sea
English
1958
Ernest Hemingway
The Prince
Italian
1513
Niccolò Machiavelli
Ulysses
English
1922
James Joyce
Tao Te Ching
Old Chinese
-400
Laozi
The Da Vinci Code
English
2003
Dan Brown
Frankenstein
English
1818
Mary Shelley
Oliver Twist
English
1839
Charles Dickens
The Diary of a Young Girl
Dutch
1947
Anne Frank
Dracula
English
1897
Bram Stoker
The Three Musketeers
French
1844
Alexandre Dumas
Pride and Prejudice
English
1813
Jane Austen
Principia Mathematica
Latin
1680
Isaac Newton
Elements
Old Greek
-300
Euclid
The Adventures of Pinocchio
Italien
1881
Carlo Collodi
The Alchemist
Portuguese
1988
Paulo Coelho
Les Misérables
French
1862
Victor Hugo
Moby-Dick
English
1851
Herman Melville
Gulliver's Travels
English
1726
Jonathan Swift
The Catcher in the Rye
English
1951
J. D. Salinger
The Decameron
Italian
1348
Giovanni Boccaccio
The Great Gatsby
English
1925
F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Stranger
French
1942
Albert Camus
Lolita
English
1954
Vladimir Nabokov
The Little Mermaid
Danish
1837
Hans Christian Andersen
The Jungle Book
English
1894
Rudyard Kipling
The Metamorphosis
German
1912
Franz Kafka
Metamorphoses
Latin
8
Ovid
Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Seas
French
1870
Jules Verne
Waiting for Godot
English
1949
Samuel Beckett
Journey to the West
Chinese
1592
Wu Cheng'en
Thus Spoke Zarathustra
German
1883
Friedrich Nietzsche
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
English
1876
Mark Twain
Paradise Lost
English
1667
John Milton
Wuthering Heights
English
1847
Emily Brontë
The Master and Margarita
Russian
1967
Mikhail Bulgakov
Jane Eyre
English
1847
Charlotte Brontë
Madame Bovary
French
1856
Gustave Flaubert
The Picture of Dorian Gray
English
1890
Oscar Wilde
The Canterbury Tales
English
1387
Geoffrey Chaucer
Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Old Chinese
1522
Luo Guanzhong
Panchatantra
Sanskrit
-200
Vishnu Sharma
Almagest
Old Greek
150
Claudius Ptolemy
Theogony
Old Greek
-700
Hesiod
Eugene Onegin
Russian
1833
Alexander Pushkin
A Game of Thrones
English
1996
George R. R. Martin
The Wealth of Nations
English
1776
Adam Smith
The Name of the Rose
Italian
1980
Umberto Eco
Uncle Tom's Cabin
English
1852
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Faust
German
1831
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
To Kill a Mockingbird
English
1960
Harper Lee
The Wizard of Oz
English
1900
Frank L. Baum
The Hound of the Baskervilles
English
1902
Arthur Conan Doyle
Twilight
English
2005
Stephenie Mayer
Commentarii de Bello Gallico
Latin
-49
Julius Caesar
Sahih _-_____
Arabic
846
Muhammad al-Bukhari
Life Is a Dream
Spanish
1635
Pedro Calderón de la Barca
The Grapes of Wrath
English
1939
John Steinbeck
Antigone
Old Greek
-441
Sophocles
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
English
1950
C. S. Lewis
____'s Anatomy
English
1858
Henry Gray
Kojiki
Old Chinese
712
Ō no Yasumaro
The War of the Worlds
English
1897
H. G. Wells
Fahrenheit 451
English
1953
Ray Bradbury
Clash of Civilizations
English
1996
Samuel P. Huntington
Brave New World
English
1932
Aldous Huxley
Dune
English
1965
Frank Herbert
Gone with the Wind
English
1936
Margaret Mitchell
Treasure Island
English
1883
Robert Louis Stevenson
+2
Level 93
Sep 28, 2022
Very good quiz. One typo: it's Nabokov, not Nabukov, for Lolita.
+1
Level 67
Sep 29, 2022
Thanks! Fixed.
+1
Level 65
Sep 29, 2022
Not fixed yet. Caught me.
+1
Level 67
Sep 29, 2022
Sorry, forgot to resubmit
+1
Level 92
Oct 7, 2022
I really appreciated the criteria to select the books.

Of course the final list results in "occidental" literature to be over represented, but at least it is based on an objective criteria, not just "the best books" (according to my mother-in-law because she says so).

+1
Level 67
Oct 7, 2022
I agree, that's why I created this quiz in the first place. Objective criteria are the only way to take such a list seriously, and I think even a well-read literary scholar's list would reflect their personal preferences.

English books have an extremely outsized impact because they can be read all over the world in their original language, which diminishes diversity but probably isn't a problem for the quiz because this size is in English too.

If you like the concept, you can check out some of my other recent quizzes, they are compiled with the same method (and I'm in the process of creating more).

+1
Level 63
Oct 7, 2022
I love such quizzes, especially when they focus on so many literatures outside the English-speaking countries. I'm proud to have read most of these books, including the ones from the Far East.

Thank you! Nominated!

There are two spelling mistakes, though: Dorian Gray and Daniel Defoe have swapped one letter in their names. One of them is misspelt as "Grey" and the other as "Dafoe".

+1
Level 67
Oct 7, 2022
Wow, impressive! Thanks for the corrections and the kind words.
+1
Level 87
Oct 7, 2022
Nice quiz. Nominated. One question: Should Friedrich Engels, as co-author, be an acceptable answer for "The Communist Manifesto"?
+1
Level 67
Oct 7, 2022
Yes, he should. But now that I think about it, at 23 pages you can't really call it a book. I might remove it altogether.
+1
Level 81
Oct 19, 2022
Does anyone who know Engels wrote it not know that Marx also wrote it?
+1
Level 74
Dec 27, 2022
Really enjoyed this! In terms of getting out of Western books, I think Omar Khayyam's Rubayyat might be an example of a book that's quite well known worldwide.

The Mahabharata and Ramayana are super famous but I wouldn't have known their authors without looking them up. Maybe something like Maimonides' Mishne Torah, or maybe ibn Battuta's Rihla?

Just brainstorming, quiz is great as-is! Still mad at myself for forgetting Virgil went through so many Latin poets

+1
Level 67
Dec 27, 2022
Glad you liked it! The quiz criteria are objective rather than subjective, so I can't change the included books, only the cutoff.
+1
Level 72
Dec 27, 2022
Nominated but it's bit heavy for a featured quiz. Maybe you could edit it a little bit?
+1
Level 67
Dec 27, 2022
Thanks! What do you mean by "heavy", do you think it's too long? The criteria are objective, so I can't choose the included books.
+1
Level 74
Dec 27, 2022
Loved this. I was going to suggest accepting the spelling my copy of the Shahnameh uses, except that it turns out I was the one misspelling Ferdowsi. Engels deserves co-billing for the Manifesto.