The Greatest Nonfiction Books

all | 2000 | 1990 | 1980 | 1970 | 1950 | 1900 |
  1. 201 . The Stripping of the Altars by Eamon Duffy

    Image of The Stripping of the Altars

    While its title suggests a focus on iconoclasm, its concerns are broader, dealing with the shift in religious sensibilities in English society between 1400 and 1580. In particular, the book is conc...


  2. 202 . Protestant, Catholic, Jew by Will Herberg

    Image of Protestant, Catholic, Jew

    Protestant, Catholic, Jew created a sociological framework for the study of religion in the United States. Herberg demonstrated how immigration and American ethnic culture were reflected in religio...


  3. 203 . All the President's Men by Bob Woodward, Carl Bernstein

    Image of All the President's Men

    The full account of the Watergate scandal from the two Washington Post reporters who broke the story. This is “the work that brought down a presidency…perhaps the most influential piece of journali...

    - Google

  4. 204 . Persons and Places by George Santayana

    Image of Persons and Places

    Santayana's autobiography


  5. 205 . The Whig Interpretation of History by Herbert Butterfield

    Image of The Whig Interpretation of History

    The Whig historian studies the past with reference to the present. He looks for agency in history. And, in his search for origins and causes, he can easily select those facts that give support to h...


  6. 206 . Lost in the Cosmos by Walker Percy

    Image of Lost in the Cosmos

    Lost in the Cosmos by the late Walker Percy is a mock self-help book and social satire on the American value of autonomy published in 1983. Organized into roughly four sections that explore ideas ...


  7. 207 . After Virtue by Alasdair MacIntyre

    Image of After Virtue

    After Virtue is a book on moral philosophy by Alasdair MacIntyre. MacIntyre provides a bleak view of the state of modern moral discourse, regarding it as failing to be rational, and failing to admi...


  8. 208 . The Son of a Servant by August Strindberg

    Image of The Son of a Servant

    The Son of a Servant (Swe: Tjänstekvinnans son) is the autobiographical novel of August Strindberg in four parts, published between 1886 and 1909.

    - Google

  9. 209 . Germania by Cornelius Tacitus

    Image of Germania

    The Germania of Tacitus is the most extensive account of the ancient Germans written during the Roman period, but has been relatively neglected in the scholarship of the English-speaking world: the...

    - Google

  10. 210 . The New Science of Politics by Eric Voegelin

    Image of The New Science of Politics

    Compressed within the Draconian economy of the six Walgreen lectures is a complete theory of man, society, and history, presented at the most profound and intellectual level. . . . Voegelin's [work...


  11. 211 . The Nature and Destiny of Man by Reinhold Niebuhr

    Image of The Nature and Destiny of Man

    Arguably Niebuhl's most important work, this book offers a sustained articulation of his theological ethics and is considered a landmark in 20th-century thought. This book issues a challenge to Wes...


  12. 212 . The Great Chain of Being by Arthur Lovejoy

    Image of The Great Chain of Being

    From later antiquity down to the close of the eighteenth century, most philosophers and men of science and, indeed, most educated men, accepted without question a traditional view of the plan and s...


  13. 213 . The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James

    Image of The Varieties of Religious Experience

    The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature is a book by the Harvard psychologist and philosopher William James that comprises his edited Gifford Lectures on "Natural Theology" d...


  14. 214 . Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin

    Image of Notes of a Native Son

    Notes of a Native Son collects ten of Baldwin's essays, which had previously appeared in such magazines as Harper's Magazine, Partisan Review, and The New Leader. The essays mostly tackle issues of...


  15. 215 . The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

    Image of The Tipping Point

    Gladwell defines a tipping point as a sociological term: "the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point." The book seeks to explain and describe the "mysterious" sociological change...


  16. 216 . Genetics and the Origin of Species by Theodosius Dobzhansky

    Image of Genetics and the Origin of Species

    Genetics and the Origin of Species (ISBN 0-231-05475-0) is a 1937 book by the Ukrainian-American evolutionary biologist Theodosius Dobzhansky and one of the important books of the modern evolutiona...


  17. 217 . Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant

    Image of Critique of Pure Reason

    The Critique of Pure Reason (German: Kritik der reinen Vernunft ) by Immanuel Kant, first published in 1781, second edition 1787, is one of the most influential works in the history of philosophy. ...


  18. 218 . Encyclopédie by Denis Diderot

    Image of Encyclopédie

    Encyclopédie, ou dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers (English: Encyclopedia, or a systematic dictionary of the sciences, arts, and crafts) was a general encyclopedia publish...


  19. 219 . A Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft

    Image of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

    A Vindication of the Rights of Woman: with Strictures on Political and Moral Subjects (1792), written by the eighteenth-century British feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, is one of the earliest works of...


  20. 220 . Citizens by Simon Schama

    Image of Citizens

    Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution is a book by the historian Simon Schama. It was published in 1989, the bicentenary of the French Revolution, and like many other works in that year, w...


  21. 221 . The Mismeasure of Man by Stephen Jay Gould

    Image of The Mismeasure of Man

    The Mismeasure of Man is a 1981 book written by the Harvard paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould (1941–2002). The book is a history and critique of the methods and motivations underlying biological det...


  22. 222 . The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

    Image of The Year of Magical Thinking

    The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion, is an account of the year following the death of the author's husband John Gregory Dunne (1932–2003). Published by Knopf in October 2005, the book was ...


  23. 223 . The American Language by H. L. Mencken

    Image of The American Language

    The American Language, first published in 1919, is H. L. Mencken's book about the English language as spoken in the United States. Mencken was inspired by "the argot of the colored waiters" in W...


  24. 224 . Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss

    Image of Eats, Shoots and Leaves

    Eats, Shoots & Leaves is a non-fiction book written by Lynne Truss, the former host of the BBC Radio 4's Cutting a Dash programme. In the book, published in 2003, Truss bemoans the state of punctua...


  25. 225 . The Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T.E. Lawrence

    Image of The Seven Pillars of Wisdom

    Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence CB, DSO (16 August 1888 – 19 May 1935), known professionally as T. E. Lawrence, was a British military officer renowned especially for his liaison role dur...


  26. 226 . Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality by Sigmund Freud

    Image of Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality

    Presents the renowned psychologist's ideas on sexual aberrations and the development and features of human sexuality during infancy and puberty

    - Google

  27. 227 . The Making of the English Working Class by E. P. Thompson

    Image of The Making of the English Working Class

    The Making of the English Working Class is an influential and pivotal work of English social history.


  28. 228 . Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard

    Image of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

    Pilgrim at Tinker Creek is a 1974 nonfiction narrative book by Annie Dillard. It won the Pulitzer Prize in 1975. The book is about Dillard's experiences at Tinker Creek, which is located in Virg...


  29. 229 . Atomic Theory and the Description of Nature by Niels Bohr

    Image of Atomic Theory and the Description of Nature

    Great Books of the Western World is a series of books originally published in the United States in 1952 by Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. to present the western canon in a single package of 54 volume...


  30. 230 . Schott's Original Miscellany by Ben Schott

    Image of Schott's Original Miscellany

    Schott's Miscellanies are a trio of best-selling books by Ben Schott. They consist of a collection of trivia generally centred on the culture of the United Kingdom (and to a lesser extent the rest ...


  31. 231 . Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche

    Image of Beyond Good and Evil

    Beyond Good and Evil (German: Jenseits von Gut und Böse), subtitled "Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future" (Vorspiel einer Philosophie der Zukunft), is a book by the German philosopher Friedrich N...


  32. 232 . Geography by Ptolemy

    Image of Geography

    The Geography (Latin: Geographia, Cosmographia; Greek: Γεωγραφικὴ Ὑφήγησις Geographike Hyphegesis) is Ptolemy's main work besides the Almagest. It is a treatise on cartography and a compilation of ...


  33. 233 . Lives of the Artists by Giorgio Vasari

    Image of Lives of the Artists

    The Lives of the Most Excellent Italian Painters, Sculptors, and Architects, from Cimabue to Our Times, or Le Vite de' più eccellenti pittori, scultori, e architettori, as it was originally known i...


  34. 234 . A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle

    Image of A Year in Provence

    A Year in Provence is autobiographical novel by Peter Mayle about his first year in Provence, and the local events and customs. It was adapted into a television miniseries starring John Thaw and Li...


  35. 235 . Rights of Man by Thomas Paine

    Image of Rights of Man

    Rights of Man, by Thomas Paine, posits that popular political revolution is permissible when a government does not safeguard its people, their natural rights, and their national interests. It defen...


  36. 236 . The life of Samuel Johnson by Boswell

    Image of The life of Samuel Johnson

    He's one of English literature's all-time heavyweights, but most of what we know about Samuel Johnson, the man, comes from his friend Boswell’s hearty anecdotal biog.


  37. 237 . Beyond the Pleasure Principle by Sigmund Freud

    Image of Beyond the Pleasure Principle

    Psychosocial developmentConsciousPreconsciousUnconsciousPsychic apparatusId, ego, and super-egoLibidoDriveTransferenceCountertransferenceEgo defensesResistanceProjection


  38. 238 . Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego by Sigmund Freud


  39. 239 . The Complete Works of Plato by Plato

    Image of The Complete Works of Plato

    Plato (pronounced /ˈpleɪtoʊ/) (Greek: Πλάτων, Plátōn, "broad") (428/427 BC[a] – 348/347 BC), was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the ...


  40. 240 . Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man by Siegfried Sassoon

    Image of Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man

    Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man is a novel by Siegfried Sassoon, first published in 1928. It won both the Hawthornden Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, being immediately recognised as a c...


  41. 241 . An Introduction to Metaphysics by Henri Bergson


  42. 242 . Instincts and Their Vicissitudes by Sigmund Freud


  43. 243 . Canon of Medicine by Avicenna

    Image of Canon of Medicine

    The Canon of Medicine (Arabic: القانون في الطب‎ al-Qānūn fī al-Ṭibb) is an encyclopedia of medicine in five books compiled by Persian philosopher Ibn Sīnā (Avicenna) and completed in 1025. It prese...


  44. 244 . A Child Called 'It' by Dave Pelzer

    Image of A Child Called 'It'

    A Child Called "It": One Child's Courage to Survive is Dave Pelzer's 1995 autobiographical account of his alleged abuse as a child by an alcoholic mother, Catherine Roerva.


  45. 245 . New Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis by Sigmund Freud


  46. 246 . Observations on "Wild" Psycho-Analysis by Sigmund Freud

    Image of Observations on "Wild" Psycho-Analysis

    Great Books of the Western World is a series of books originally published in the United States in 1952 by Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. to present the western canon in a single package of 54 volume...


  47. 247 . The Word of God and the Word of Man by Karl Barth

    Image of The Word of God and the Word of Man

    Great Books of the Western World is a series of books originally published in the United States in 1952 by Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. to present the western canon in a single package of 54 volume...


  48. 248 . The Expanding Universe by Arthur Eddington

    Image of The Expanding Universe

    Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, OM, FRS (28 December 1882 – 22 November 1944) was a British astrophysicist of the early 20th century. The Eddington limit, the natural limit to the luminosity of stars...


  49. 249 . Rameau's Nephew by Denis Diderot

    Image of Rameau's Nephew

    Rameau's Nephew, or the Second Satire (French: Le Neveu de Rameau ou La Satire seconde) is an imaginary philosophical conversation written by Denis Diderot, probably between 1761 and 1772.


  50. 250 . Selected Papers on Hysteria by Sigmund Freud

    Image of Selected Papers on Hysteria

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How is this list generated?


This list is generated from 66 "best of" book lists from a variety of great sources. An algorithm is used to create a master list based on how many lists a particular book appears on. Some lists count more than others. I generally trust "best of all time" lists voted by authors and experts over user-generated lists. On the lists that are actually ranked, the book that is 1st counts a lot more than the book that's 100th.

If you have any comments, suggestions, or corrections please feel free to e-mail me.

The Lists

If you're interested in the details about how the rankings are generated and which lists are the most important(in my eyes) please check out the list details page.


  1. 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime

    A bucket list of books to create a well-read life, from Amazon Book Editors.

    Amazon.com
  2. 100 Major Works of Modern Creative Nonfiction

    Essays, memoirs, autobiographies, biographies, travel writing, history, cultural studies, nature writing--all fit under the broad heading of creative nonfiction, and all are represented here: a list of 100 major works of creative nonfiction published by British and American writers over the past 80 years.

    About.com
  3. 100 Most Influential Books of the Century

    Boston Public Library's list of "The 100 Most Influential Books of the Century". A booklist for Adults.

    Boston Public Library
  4. 110 Best Books: The Perfect Library

    From classics and sci-fi to poetry, biographies and books that changed the world… we present the ultimate reading list.

    The Telegraph
  5. 20th Century's Greatest Hits: 100 English-Language Books of Fiction

    The 20th Century’s Greatest Hits: 100 English-Language Books of Fiction is a popular "best of" list compiled by Larry McCaffery largely in response to Modern Library 100 Best Novels list (1999), which McCaffery saw as being out of touch with 20th-century fiction. McCaffery writes that he sees his list "as a means of sharing with readers my own views about what books are going to be read 100 or 1000 years from now".

    Larry McCaffery
  6. 50 Books to (Re-)Read at 50

    Your essential short list of novels, nonfiction and biographies Got some time on your hands? This list of 50 great books is a good way to raise your literary IQ. It's by no means the "definitive" list, but each of these masterpieces is at least as relevant and powerful today as when it was written. And they're all still terrific reads.

    nextavenue
  7. 50 Greatest Books of All Time

    A list of the 50 greatest books of all time as determined by a panel of secret judges for Globe and Mail. The books are not ranked.

    Globe and Mail
  8. 50 Memorable Books from 50 Years of Books to Remember

    A representative selection from over 1500 titles on annual lists of Books to Remember from 1956 to 2005. Chosen by a group of librarians who are specialists in their genres, these outstanding works of fiction, non-fiction and poetry provide an informative or transformative reading experience, and are chosen for their literary excellence, uniqueness of concept and command of subject matter.

    The New York Public Library
  9. Biblioteca

    38 Argentinean Authors were polled by the Argentinean government for their favorite books. This is a tally of all books with more than 1 vote.

    Argentina
  10. Books of the Decade

    The 50 books that defined the decade(2000)

    The Guardian
  11. Books That Changed the World: The 50 Most Influential Books in Human History

    A 208 page book written in 2009 by Journalist and Author Andrew Taylor. Books from every field of human creativity and intellectual endeavor - from poetry to politics, from fiction to philosophy, from theology to anthropology, and from economics to physics – have been selected to create a rounded and satisfying picture of how 50 towering achievements of the human intellect have built our societies, shaped our values, enhanced our understanding of the nature of the world, enabled technological advancements, and reflected our concerns and dilemmas, strengths and failings. In a series of engaging and lively essays, Andrew Taylor sets each work and its author firmly in historical context, summarizes the content of the work in question, and explores its wider influence and legacy. A fascinating and richly informative read.

    Book
  12. Costa Book Award - Best Novel

    The Costa Book Awards are a series of literary awards given to books by authors based in the United Kingdom and Ireland. They were known as the Whitbread Book Awards until 2005, after which Costa Coffee, a subsidiary of Whitbread, took over sponsorship. The awards, launched in 1971, are given both for high literary merit but also for works that are enjoyable reading and whose aim is to convey the enjoyment of reading to the widest possible audience. As such, they are a more populist literary prize than the Booker Prize.

    Costa Coffee
  13. D. G. Myers’ 50 Greatest English Language Novels

    D. G. Myers’, critic and literary historian’s 50 Greatest English Language Novels. A critic and literary historian for nearly a quarter of a century at Texas A&M and Ohio State.

    D. G. Myers
  14. Donald Barthelme’s Reading List

    81 books recommended by Author Donald Barthelme to his students at the University of Houston.

    Believer Mag
  15. El Pais Favorite Books of 100 Spanish Authors

    El Pais ran A Poll of 100 Spanish Authors and Their Favorite Books. This is summary of all the books

    El Pais
  16. Entertainment Weekly's Top 100 Novels

    Entertainment Weekly’s Top 100 Novels (2013), as selected by the EW staff in its July 5th 2013 issue

    Entertainment Weekly
  17. Extreme Classics: The 100 Greatest Adventure Books of All Time

    The 100 greatest adventure books chosen by National Geographic.

    National Geographic Adventure Magazine
  18. For The Love of Books

    Ronald Schwartz polled 115 major writers about their favorite books, and published each of their ballots in the book “For the Love of Books”.

    For The Love of Books
  19. Great Books of the Western World

    Great Books of the Western World is a series of books originally published in the United States in 1952 by Encyclopædia Britannica Inc. to present the western canon in a single package of 54 volume...

    Great Books Foundation
  20. Harvard Book Store Staff's Favorite 100 Books

    In early 2010 Harvard Book Store employees worked together to come up with a list of our favorite books. Each staff member submitted a list of their favorite books of all time, in (rough) order of preference. Their selections were then weighted according to the order and the results were tabulated. It was by no means a perfect system, but it was the best way we could think of to quantify opinions that are in no way quantifiable. Now, we read a lot, so it was hard to narrow it down. What we came up with are the books that moved us, that changed the way we think about the world, and that we will happily read over and over again. We hope you enjoy them too.

    Harvard Book Store
  21. Koen Book Distributors Top 100 Books of the Past Century

    Intended as a companion to the infamous Modern Library ranking of the top 100 books of the past century, this list represents a different viewpoint--that of the booksellers themselves. Compiled from the responses of over 150 Koen Book Distributors customers, the following titles represent the very best in modern literature.

    themodernnovel.com
  22. Le Monde's 100 Books of the Century

    The 100 Books of the Century (French: Les cent livres du siècle) is a list of the one hundred best books of the 20th century, according to a poll conducted in the spring of 1999 by the French retailer Fnac and the Paris newspaper Le Monde. Starting from a preliminary list of 200 titles created by bookshops and journalists, 17,000 French voted by responding to the question, "Which books have stayed in your memory?" (« Quels livres sont restés dans votre mémoire ? »). The list of acclaimed titles mixes great novels with poetry and theatre, as well as the comic strip. The first fifty works on the list were the subject of an essay by Frédéric Beigbeder, The Last Inventory Before Liquidation, in which he notably drew attention to its French-centred character.

    Le Monde
  23. Man Booker Prize

    The Man Booker Prize for Fiction, also known in short as the Booker Prize, is a literary prize awarded each year for the best original full-length novel, written in the English language, by a citizen of either the Commonwealth of Nations, Ireland, or Zimbabwe.[1] The winner of the Booker Prize is generally assured of international renown and success and, for this reason, the prize is of great significance for the book trade.[2] It is also a mark of distinction for authors to be nominated for the Booker longlist or selected for inclusion in the shortlist.

    Man Booker Prize
  24. Modern classics: 11 novels that belong in the classroom

    When we think of English lit classes, we usually think of Hawthorne, Melville, Austen, Tolstoy, Dickens. But the times, they are a-changin’ and so too are the books we read, both in and out of the classroom. Since the millennium, a lot of good—nay, great—books have been published by masterful authors, all of whom are deserving of a spot on a high school or college curriculum. And as evidenced by these 11 novels, whoever said there were no new ideas didn’t know what they were talking about.

    Today.com
  25. National Book Award - Fiction

    The National Book Awards are among the most eminent literary prizes in the United States. Started in 1950, the awards are presented annually to American authors for literature published in the prior year, as well as lifetime achievement awards including the "Medal of Distinguished Contribution to American Letters" and the "Literarian Award". The purpose of the awards is "to celebrate the best of American literature, to expand its audience, and to enhance the cultural value of good writing in America.

    National Book Foundation
  26. National Book Award - Nonfiction

    The National Book Awards are among the most eminent literary prizes in the United States. Started in 1950, the awards are presented annually to American authors for literature published in the prior year, as well as lifetime achievement awards including the "Medal of Distinguished Contribution to American Letters" and the "Literarian Award". The purpose of the awards is "to celebrate the best of American literature, to expand its audience, and to enhance the cultural value of good writing in America.

    National Book Foundation
  27. National Book Critics Circle Award - Fiction

    The National Book Critics Circle Award is an annual award given by the National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) to promote the finest books and reviews published in English.

    National Book Critics Circle
  28. National Book Critics Circle Award - Nonfiction

    The National Book Critics Circle Award is an annual award given by the National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) to promote the finest books and reviews published in English.

    National Book Critics Circle
  29. Paste Magazine's Best Books of the Decade(2000-2009)

    The top 20 best books of the 2000s by Paste Magazine. It includes both fiction and nonfiction.

    Paste Magazine
  30. PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction

    The PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction is awarded annually by the PEN/Faulkner Foundation to the author of the best American work of fiction that year. The winner receives US $15,000 and each of four runners-up receives US $5000. The foundation brings the winner and runners-up to Washington, D.C. to read from their works at the Great Hall of the Folger Shakespeare Library. The PEN/Faulkner Foundation is an outgrowth of William Faulkner's generosity in donating his 1949 Nobel Prize winnings, "to establish a fund to support and encourage new fiction writers." Mary Lee Settle was also one of the founders after controversy at the 1979 National Book Award.[1] It is affiliated with the writers' organization International PEN. The award was first given in 1980.

    PEN/Faulkner
  31. Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography

    The Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography has been presented since 1917 for a distinguished biography or autobiography by an American author.

    Pulitzer Prize
  32. Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

    All the books that have won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction from 1948 to the present.

    Pulitzer Prize
  33. Pulitzer Prize for History

    The Pulitzer Prize for History has been awarded since 1917 for a distinguished book upon the history of the United States. Many history books have also been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction and Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography. Two people have won the Pulitzer Prize for History twice; Margaret Leech, for Reveille in Washington, 1860-1865 in 1941 and In the Days of McKinley in 1960, and Bernard Bailyn, for The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (1968) and Voyagers to the West: A Passage in the Peopling of America on the Eve of the Revolution (1987).

    Pulitzer Prize
  34. Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction

    The Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction has been awarded since 1962 for a distinguished book of non-fiction by an American author that is not eligible for consideration in any other category.

    Pulitzer Prize
  35. Radcliffe's 100 Best Novels

    Radcliffe Publishing Course
  36. Robert McCrum's top 10 books of the twentieth century

    Robert McCrum is The Observer's literary editor and the author of, among other books, My Year Off. This is a list of this top 10 books of the twentieth century.

    The Guardian
  37. The 100 Best Books of the Decade(2000)

    The Time's list of the 100 Best Books of the 2000s. It's a mix of fiction and nonfiction.

    Times
  38. The 100 Best Non-Fiction Books of the Century

    The 100 best non-fiction books of all time judged by a panel of historians, authors, publishers, and experts for the National Review Magazine.

    National Review
  39. The 100 Favorite Novels of Librarians

    Based on a survey of Librarians conducted by Brodart Co., September, 1998 - March, 1999. Brodart is an international company that services libraries around the world.

    Bookman.com
  40. The 100 Greatest American Novels, 1893 – 1993

    The 100 greatest american novels picked by Jeff O’Neal, Editor-in-Chief & Co-founder of Bookriot.com

    Jeff O'Neal at Bookriot.com
  41. The 100 Greatest Novels of All Time: The List

    The list of essential fiction from the past 300 years from Robert McCrum of The Observer.

    The Observer
  42. The 100 Most Influential Books Ever Written

    The 100 Most Influential Books Ever Written: The History of Thought from Ancient Times to Today (1998) is a book of intellectual history written by Martin Seymour-Smith (1928–1998), a British poet, critic, and biographer.

    Martin Seymour-Smith
  43. The 10 Best of the Decade(2000)

    Entertainment Weekly's top 10 best books of the 2000s

    Entertainment Weekly
  44. The 25 Favorite Books of 100 Francophone Writers

    Télérama, a weekly French magazine, asked 100s of french authors to list their top 10 favorite books of all time.

    Telerama
  45. The 50 Best Books of the Century

    ISI defined "best" as "volumes of extraordinary reflection and creativity in a traditional form, which heartens us with the knowledge that fine writing and clear-mindedness are perennially possible." All the books are non-fiction. The first 5 are ranked, the rest are alphabetical.

    Intercollegiate Studies Institute
  46. The 50 Books Everyone Needs to Read, 1963-2013

    The choices here are influenced by the following: the stipulation that any specific author should not be chosen for more than one year, a general focus on fiction over other genres, and the tastes/whims/glaring prejudices of Flavorwire’s literary editor.

    Flavor Wire
  47. The 80 Books Every Man Should Read

    An unranked, incomplete, utterly biased list of the greatest works of literature ever published.

    Esquire
  48. The Best Books of the 2000s

    The Best Books of the 2000s according to the Onion AV club. Includes Fiction and Nonfiction.

    The Onion AV Club
  49. The Best Southern Nonfiction of All Time

    The best southern United States nonfiction books of all time judged by 130 literary experts and authors.

    Oxford American
  50. The Best Southern Novels of All Time

    A list of the best southern novels of all time by Oxford American Magazine judged by 130 experts as well as authors.

    Oxford American
  51. The Greatest 20th Century Novels

    Waterstone’s 1999 poll of the greatest 20th century novels, according to British writers. This appeared to be the result of muddle in the way questions were put to and answered by the 47 authors, critics and media personalities who voted in the poll.

    Waterstone
  52. The Millions: The Best Fiction of the Millennium

    A poll of The Millions contributors and 48 of their favorite writers, editors, and critics, asking a single question: “What are the best books of fiction of the millennium(2000), so far?” The results were robust, diverse, and surprising.

    The Millions
  53. The Modern Library | 100 Best Nonfiction

    The Modern Library
  54. The Modern Library | 100 Best Novels

    Modern Library
  55. The New Classics - 100 Best Reads from 1983 to 2008

    Entertainment Weekly's list of the 100 best reads from 1983 to 2008.

    Entertainment Weekly
  56. The Novel 100: A Ranking of the Greatest Novels of All Time

    The list below is from the book The Novel 100: A Ranking of Greatest Novels All Time (Checkmark Books/Facts On File, Inc.: New York, 2004), written by Daniel S. Burt.

    The Novel 100
  57. The Telegraph’s 100 Novels Everyone Should Read

    The best novels of all time from Tolkien to Proust and Middlemarch

    Telegraph
  58. The Top 10: The Greatest Books of All Time

    The Top 10 book chosen by 125 top writers from the book "The Top 10" edited by J. Peder Zane.

    The Top 10 (Book)
  59. TIME Magazine All Time 100 Novels

    Time critics Lev Grossman and Richard Lacayo pick the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to the present.

    TIME Magazine
  60. Top 100 Works in World Literature

    The editors of the Norwegian Book Clubs, with the Norwegian Nobel Institute, polled a panel of 100 authors from 54 countries on what they considered the “best and most central works in world literature.” Among the authors polled were Milan Kundera, Doris Lessing, Seamus Heaney, Salman Rushdie, Wole Soyinka, John Irving, Nadine Gordimer, and Carlos Fuentes. The list of 100 works appears alphabetically by author. Although the books were not ranked, the editors revealed that Don Quixote received 50% more votes than any other book.

    Norwegian Book Clubs, with the Norwegian Nobel Institute
  61. Top 100 World Literature Titles

    The top 100 titles for the world literature classroom, ranked in order of popularity, chosen by literature teachers from across the country.

    Perfection Learning
  62. Top 10 British, Irish or Commonwealth Novels from 1980 to 2005

    The Observer asked 150 literary luminaries to vote for the best British, Irish or Commonwealth novel from 1980 to 2005.

    The Observer
  63. Världsbiblioteket (The World Library)

    Världsbiblioteket (The World Library) was a Swedish list of the 100 best books in the world, made in 1991 by the Swedish literary magazine Tidningen Boken. The list was compiled through votes from members of the Svenska Akademien, Swedish Crime Writers' Academy, librarian, authors and others. Approximately 30 of the books were Swedish.

    Tidningen Boken
  64. What Is the Best Work of American Fiction of the Last 25 Years?

    The New York Times Book Review's editor, Sam Tanenhaus, sent out a short letter to a couple of hundred prominent writers, critics, editors and other literary sages, asking them to please identify...

    New York Times
  65. W. Somerset Maugham’s Ten Greatest Novels of All Time

    Maugham's studies of the lives and masterpieces of ten great novelists are outstanding examples of literary criticism at its finest. Afforded here are some of the formulae of greatness in the genre, as well as the flaws and heresies which enfeeble it. Written by a master of fiction, "Ten Novels and Their Authors" is a unique and invaluable guide.

    Great Novelists and Their Novels
  66. ZEIT-Bibliothek der 100 Bücher

    Die Zeit