When was the last time you read a really good book? Do you have a stack next to the nightstand or downloaded onto the Kindle? So much to read, so little time. The following is a list of the top books everyone should read.

A Confederacy Of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

You’ll be hard pressed to come across such a unique character as the hero of this book, Ignatius J. Reilly. To say he is insufferable is to do him justice. Ignatius is kind of a modern day Don Quixote but instead of chasing windmills, he chases after the perceived injustices in his corner of the world. Funny. Poignant. Sad and ultimately hopeful. Plus, the story of this book’s journey to get published will break your heart.

Love In The Time Of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The pitch of this book is a little odd: A young man falls hopelessly in love with a woman he barely knows. To prove how much he loves her, he sets out on a life of passionate affairs with other women. It takes several decades for these two crazy kids to finally get together. Beautifully written by a true master.

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

You know how the book is always better than the movie? Well, the feature adaptation of The Princess Bride is pretty darn good but the book… well, you really have to dive in. Much like the movie, it’s a tome you can go back to time and time again.

Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt

Want to appreciate all the things in your life? Read a single chapter from this book. OMG is it depressing. Yet, it is also one of the most hopeful stories you’ll ever come across. If the author made it out of those living conditions (which he did), then anything can happen.

The Stand by Stephen King

Yes, Stephen has a lot to pick from but this epic of a world gone to ruin is among his best. As with every epic King novel, you’re drawn into a world where several engaging characters are vying for attention. Ultimately, everyone comes together on the side of good or evil where they, well, take a stand. Great stuff.

A Prayer For Owen Meany by John Irving

This is one time that Hollywood missed the target by a wide margin. Don’t even bother looking for the film version of this story. Doesn’t come close to the book and capturing the true essence of Owen. John Irving at his best and that is saying a lot. What books are on your must read list?