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The Book List's Top Authors
Based on The 1,276 Best Books of All-Time

The Book List includes 1,276 books by 879 authors. Below is a brief analysis of the best of those authors, ranked by both breadth and depth of their respective canons...

Most Aggregate Points
Most Total Books
Best Quality per Book
One-Hit Wonders

Top Authors by Aggregate Points
RankPictureAuthorAggregate Points
1J.R.R. Tolkien1043
2William Shakespeare743
3George Orwell619
4Harper Lee611
5Gabriel Garcia Marquez552
6John Steinbeck478
7Kurt Vonnegut469
8Charles Dickens436
9F. Scott Fitzgerald415
10J.D. Salinger404

Top Authors by Total Number of Books
RankPictureAuthorTotal Books
1William Shakespeare14
2C.S. Lewis13
3Kurt Vonnegut12
4Stephen King12
5Stephen R. Donaldson9
6Ray Bradbury7
7Isaac Asimov7
8Tom Robbins7
9Nine Authors Tied6
Tie broken by number of aggregate points on List

Top Authors by Highest Quality per Book
(Requires at least two books on List)
RankPictureAuthorPoints per Book
1George Orwell309.50
2J.R.R. Tolkien208.60
3J.D. Salinger134.67
4Vladimir Nabokov125.67
5Gabriel Garcia Marquez110.40
6F. Scott Fitzgerald103.75
8Leo Tolstoy101.00
9Ken Kesey91.00
10James Joyce89.25

Top "One-Hit Wonder" Authors
(Most points per book - requires exactly one book on List)
RankPictureAuthorPoints per BookBook
1Harper Lee611To Kill a Mockingbird
2Joseph Heller295Catch-22
3Herman Melville230Moby-Dick
4Charlotte Bronte219Jane Eyre
5Elie Wiesel218Night
6Emily Bronte196Wuthering Heights
7Richard Adams174Watership Down
8Miguel de Cervantes165Don Quixote
9Nathaniel Hawthorne149The Scarlet Letter
10William Golding144Lord of the Flies

Author images courtesy of