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The Greatest Books Since 1980


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  1. 1. Beloved by Toni Morrison

    Cover Image for the book Beloved

    Beloved (1987) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Nobel laureate Toni Morrison. The novel, her fifth, is loosely based on the life and legal case of the slave Margaret Garner, about whom Morrison... - wikipedia

      
  2. 2. Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie

    Cover Image for the book Midnight's Children

    Midnight's Children is a loose allegory for events in India both before and, primarily, after the independence and partition of India, which took place at midnight on 15 August 1947. The protagonis... - Wikipedia

      
  3. 3. The Color Purple by Alice Walker

    Cover Image for the book The Color Purple

    Taking place mostly in rural Georgia, the story focuses on female black life during the 1930s in the Southern United States, addressing the numerous issues including their exceedingly low position ... - Wikipedia

      
  4. 4. American Pastoral by Philip Roth

    Cover Image for the book American Pastoral

    American Pastoral is a Philip Roth novel concerning Seymour "Swede" Levov, a Jewish-American businessman and former high school athlete from Newark, New Jersey. Levov's happy and conventional upper... - Wikipedia

      
  5. 5. Money by Martin Amis

    Cover Image for the book Money

    Money tells the story of, and is narrated by, John Self, a successful director of commercials who is invited to New York by Fielding Goodney, a film producer, in order to shoot his first film. Self... - Wikipedia

      
  6. 6. White Noise by Don DeLillo

    Cover Image for the book White Noise

    Set at a bucolic midwestern college known only as The-College-on-the-Hill, White Noise follows a year in the life of Jack Gladney, a professor who has made his name by pioneering the field of Hitle... - Wikipedia

      
  7. 7. Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy

    Cover Image for the book Blood Meridian

    Blood Meridian, or the Evening Redness in the West is a 1985 Western novel by American author Cormac McCarthy. It was McCarthy's fifth book, and was published by Random House. The narrative foll... - Wikipedia

      
  8. 8. Rabbit Is Rich by John Updike

    Cover Image for the book Rabbit Is Rich

    Rabbit Is Rich is a 1981 novel by John Updike. It is the third novel of the four-part series which begins with Rabbit, Run and Rabbit Redux, and concludes with Rabbit At Rest. There is also a relat... - Wikipedia

      
  9. 9. Atonement by Ian McEwan

    Cover Image for the book Atonement

    Atonement is a 2001 novel by British author Ian McEwan. It tells the story of protagonist Briony Tallis's crime and how it changes her life, as well as those of her sister Cecilia and her lover Rob... - Wikipedia

      
  10. 10. Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson

    Cover Image for the book Housekeeping

    Ruth narrates the story of how she and her younger sister Lucille are raised by a succession of relatives in the fictional town of Fingerbone, Idaho (some details are similar to Robinson's hometown... - Wikipedia

      
  11. 11. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

    Cover Image for the book A Confederacy of Dunces

    A Confederacy of Dunces is a picaresque novel written by John Kennedy Toole, published in 1980, 11 years after the author's suicide. The book was published through the efforts of writer Walker Perc... - Wikipedia

      
  12. 12. Rabbit at Rest by John Updike

    Cover Image for the book Rabbit at Rest

    In John Updike's fourth and final novel about ex-basketball player Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom, the hero has acquired heart trouble, a Florida condo, and a second grandchild. His son, Nelson, is behavi... - Publisher

      
  13. 13. The Road by Cormac McCarthy

    Cover Image for the book The Road

    The Road is a 2006 novel by American writer Cormac McCarthy. It is a post-apocalyptic tale of a journey taken by a father and his young son over a period of several months, across a landscape blast... - Wikipedia

      
  14. 14. The Executioner's Song by Norman Mailer

    Cover Image for the book The Executioner's Song

    The Executioner's Song is a 1980 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Norman Mailer that depicts the events surrounding the execution of Gary Gilmore by the state of Utah for murder. The title of the bo... - Wikipedia

      
  15. 15. Schindler's List by Thomas Keneally

    Cover Image for the book Schindler's List

    The book tells the story of Oskar Schindler, a Nazi Party member, who turns into the unlikely hero. By the end of the war, Schindler has saved 1,200 Jews from concentration camps all over Poland an... - Wikipedia

      
  16. 16. Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey

    Cover Image for the book Oscar and Lucinda

    It tells the story of Oscar Hopkins, the Cornish son of a Plymouth Brethren minister who becomes an Anglican priest, and Lucinda Leplastrier, a young Australian heiress who buys a glass factory. Th... - Wikipedia

      
  17. 17. Neuromancer by William Gibson

    Cover Image for the book Neuromancer

    The novel tells the story of a washed-up computer hacker hired by a mysterious employer to work on the ultimate hack. Gibson explores artificial intelligence, virtual reality, genetic engineering, ... - Wikipedia

      
  18. 18. The BFG by Roald Dahl

    Cover Image for the book The BFG

    When Sophie is snatched from her orphanage bed by the BFG (Big Friendly Giant), she fears she will be eaten. But the two join forces to vanquish the nine other far less gentle giants who threaten t... - Publisher

      
  19. 19. Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe

    Cover Image for the book Bonfire of the Vanities

    Tom Wolfe’s modern American satire tells the story of Sherman McCoy, a Wall Street “Master of the Universe” who has it all — a Park Avenue apartment, a job that brings wealth, power and prestige, a... - Publisher

      
  20. 20. An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro

    Cover Image for the book An Artist of the Floating World

    It is set in post-World War II Japan and is narrated by Masuji Ono, an aging painter, who looks back on his life and how he has lived it. He notices how his once great reputation has faltered since... - Wikipedia

      
  21. 21. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

    Cover Image for the book The Remains of the Day

    The Remains of the Day (1989) is the third published novel by Japanese-British author Kazuo Ishiguro. The Remains of The Day is one of the most highly-regarded post-war British novels. It won the B... - Wikipedia

      
  22. 22. Waiting for the Barbarians by J.M. Coetzee

    Cover Image for the book Waiting for the Barbarians

    For decades the Magistrate has been a loyal servant of the Empire, running the affairs of a tiny frontier settlement and ignoring the impending war with the barbarians. When interrogation experts a... - Publisher

      
  23. 23. Ironweed by William Kennedy

    Cover Image for the book Ironweed

    Ironweed is set during the Great Depression and tells the story of Francis Phelan, an alcoholic vagrant originally from Albany, New York, who left his family after accidentally killing his infant s... - Publisher

      
  24. 24. Lanark by Alasdair Gray

    Cover Image for the book Lanark

    Lanark, subtitled A Life in Four Books, was the first novel of Scottish writer Alasdair Gray, and is still his best known. Written over a period of almost thirty years, it combines realist and dyst... - Wikipedia

      
  25. 25. The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster

    Cover Image for the book The New York Trilogy

    Paul Auster's brilliant debut novels, City of Glass, Ghosts, and The Locked Room, are here collected in a cloth edition for the first time in the United States. These three novels brought Auster in... - Publisher

      
  26. 26. Underworld by Don DeLillo

    Cover Image for the book Underworld

    Underworld is a postmodern novel written in 1997 by Don DeLillo. It was nominated for the National Book Award, is one of his better-known novels, and was a best-seller. - Wikipedia

      
  27. 27. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

    Cover Image for the book The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle

    The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (ねじまき鳥クロニクル, Nejimaki-dori Kuronikuru?) is a novel by Haruki Murakami. The first published translation was by Alfred Birnbaum. The American translation and its British ad... - Wikipedia

      
  28. 28. Blindness by Jose Saramago

    Cover Image for the book Blindness

    Blindness is a novel by Portuguese author José Saramago. Blindness is the story of an unexplained mass epidemic of blindness afflicting nearly everyone in an unnamed city, and the social breakdo... - Wikipedia

      
  29. 29. City of Salt by Abdelrahman Munif

    Cover Image for the book City of Salt

    Banned in Saudia Arabia, this is a blistering look at Arab and American hypocrisy following the discovery of oil in a poor oasis community. - Publisher

      
  30. 30. Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie

    Cover Image for the book Satanic Verses

    The character of the chief protagonist of The Satanic Verses is based on Indian film star Amitabh Bachchan and a bit of Rama Rao. The title refers to what are known as the satanic verses, a group o... - Wikipedia

      
  31. 31. Collected Poems of Arthur Rimbaud by Arthur Rimbaud

    Cover Image for the book Collected Poems of Arthur Rimbaud

    Rimbaud is the enfant terrible of French literature, the precocious genius whose extraordinary poetry is revolutionary in its visionary, hallucinatory content and its often liberated forms. He wrot... - Google Books

      
  32. 32. Complete Poems of Andrew Marvell by Andrew Marvell

    Cover Image for the book Complete Poems of Andrew Marvell

    The Complete Poems of Andrew Marvell

      
  33. 33. The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa

    Cover Image for the book The Book of Disquiet

    The Book Of Disquietude or The Book of Disquiet (Livro do Desassossego in Portuguese), published posthumously, is one of the greatest works by Fernando Pessoa. It is signed under the semi-heteronym... - Wikipedia

      
  34. 34. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon

    Cover Image for the book The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

    The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is a 2000 novel by American author Michael Chabon that won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2001. The novel follows the lives of the title characters, a C... - Wikipedia

      
  35. 35. Disgrace by J. M. Coetzee

    Cover Image for the book Disgrace

    Disgrace is a 1999 novel by South African-born author J. M. Coetzee, winner of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature; the book itself won the Booker Prize in 1999, the year in which it was published. ... - Wikipedia

      
  36. 36. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen

    Cover Image for the book The Corrections

    The Corrections is a 2001 novel by American author Jonathan Franzen. It revolves around the troubles of an elderly Midwestern couple and their three adult children, tracing their lives from the mid... - Wikipedia

      
  37. 37. Austerlitz by W. G. Sebald

    Cover Image for the book Austerlitz

    Austerlitz, the internationally acclaimed masterpiece by "one of the most gripping writers imaginable" (The New York Review of Books), is the story of a man?s search for the answer to his life?s ce... - Publisher

      
  38. 38. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

    Cover Image for the book Lonesome Dove

    Lonesome Dove, written by Larry McMurtry, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning western novel and the first published book of the Lonesome Dove series. The story focuses on the relationship of several retire... - Wikipedia

      
  39. 39. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

    Cover Image for the book The Handmaid's Tale

    The Handmaid's Tale is a feminist dystopian novel, a work of science fiction or speculative fiction, written by Canadian author Margaret Atwood and first published by McClelland and Stewart in 1985... - Wikipedia

      
  40. 40. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

    Cover Image for the book His Dark Materials

    The story involves fantasy elements such as witches and armoured polar bears, and alludes to a broad range of ideas from fields such as physics, philosophy, theology and spirituality. It follows th... - Wikipedia

      
  41. 41. The Known World by Edward P. Jones

    Cover Image for the book The Known World

    The Known World is a 2003 historical novel by Edward P. Jones. It was his first novel and second book. Set in antebellum Virginia, it examines issues regarding the ownership of black slaves by free... - Wikipedia

      
  42. 42. Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

    Cover Image for the book Watchmen

    Watchmen is a graphic novel—a book-length comic book with ambitions above its station—starring a ragbag of bizarre, damaged, retired superheroes: the paunchy, melancholic Nite Owl; the raving dooms... - Time

      
  43. 43. Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone by J. K. Rowling

    Cover Image for the book Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone

    Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is the first novel in the Harry Potter series written by J. K. Rowling and featuring Harry Potter, a young wizard. It describes how Harry discovers he is a ... - Wikipedia

      
  44. 44. Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie

    Cover Image for the book Haroun and the Sea of Stories

    Haroun and the Sea of Stories is a 1990 children's book by Salman Rushdie. It was Rushdie's first novel after The Satanic Verses. It is a phantasmagorical story set in a city so old and ruinous tha... - Wikipedia

      
  45. 45. Possession by A.S. Byatt

    Cover Image for the book Possession

    Part historical as well as contemporary fiction, the title Possession refers to issues of ownership and independence between lovers, the practice of collecting historically significant cultural art... - Wikipedia

      
  46. 46. L.A. Confidential by James Ellroy

    Cover Image for the book L.A. Confidential

    Los Angeles in the 1950s: from its fabulous mansions to its sizzling nightclubs, it is a sprawling center of corruption and dangerous passions. Now a horrific mass murder invades the bleak cityscap... - Publisher

      
  47. 47. The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien

    Cover Image for the book The Things They Carried

    The Things They Carried is a collection of related stories by Tim O'Brien, about a platoon of American soldiers in the Vietnam War, originally published in hardcover by Houghton Mifflin, 1990. Whil... - Wikipedia

      
  48. 48. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

    Cover Image for the book Gilead

    Gilead is a novel written by Marilynne Robinson and published in 2004. It won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, as well as the National Book Critics Circle Award. The novel is the fictional auto... - Wikipedia

      
  49. 49. Wise Children by Angela Carter

    Cover Image for the book Wise Children

    Wise Children follows the fortunes of the Chance twins, Dora and Nora, taking in the story of their show business family — the Hazards — over the past century. Born illegitimately, spurned by their... - Publisher

      
  50. 50. Northern Lights by Philip Pullman

    Cover Image for the book Northern Lights

    Mattie Gokey has a word for everything. She collects words, stores them up as a way of fending off the hard truths of her life, the truths that she can't write down in stories. The fresh pain of he... - Publisher

      

The Lists

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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. - The New York Public Library

  5. Books of the Decade

    The 50 books that defined the decade(2000) - The Guardian

  6. 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 C... - Costa Coffee

  7. Donald Barthelme’s Reading List

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

  8. Extreme Classics: The 100 Greatest Adventure Books of All Time

    The 100 greatest adventure books chosen by National Geographic. - National Geographic Adventure Magazine

  9. 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

  10. Harvard Book Store Staff's Favorite 100 Books

    A list of the Harvard Book Store staff's top 100 favorite books. - Harvard Book Store

  11. 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 citiz... - Man Booker Prize

  12. 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 prio... - National Book Foundation

  13. 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 prio... - National Book Foundation

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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... - PEN/Faulkner

  18. 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

  19. Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

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

  20. 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 N... - Pulitzer Prize

  21. 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

  22. Radcliffe's 100 Best Novels

    - Radcliffe Publishing Course

  23. St. John's College Academic Program Reading List

    The reading list that serves as the core of the St. John's College curriculum had its beginnings at Columbia College, at the University of Chicago, and at the University of Virginia. Since 1937, th... - St. John's College

  24. 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

  25. 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

  26. The 100 Greatest Novels of All Time: The List

    The Observer's list of essential fiction from the past 300 years. - The Observer

  27. 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,... - Martin Seymour-Smith

  28. The 10 Best of the Decade(2000)

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

  29. 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... - Intercollegiate Studies Institute

  30. The 75 Books Every Man Should Read

    -

  31. 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

  32. 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

  33. 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

  34. The Big Read

    The Big Read was a survey on books carried out by the BBC in the United Kingdom in 2003, where over three quarters of a million votes were received to find the nations best-loved book of all time, ... - BBC

  35. The Modern Library | 100 Best Nonfiction

    - The Modern Library

  36. The Modern Library | 100 Best Novels

    - Modern Library

  37. The New Classics - 100 Best Reads from 1983 to 2008

    Entertainment Weekly's list of the 100 best reads from 1083 to 2008. There's no description of who the judges were. - Entertainment Weekly

  38. 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

  39. 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)

  40. 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

  41. 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 litera... - Norwegian Book Clubs, with the Norwegian Nobel Institute

  42. 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

  43. 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

What?

I've always loved to read and I'm a big fan of "best of" lists. After reading through about 5 or so "Greatest Books of all Time" lists I got the idea of combining the lists into 1 master list of the greatest books of all time.

A goal of mine is to someday read The first 100 of these books. I built this application to help me generate the list as well as keep track of which books I've already read. You too can track which books you've read if you create an account. You can view details about a specific list or book by clicking the titles.

I had a great time creating this site and I hope you enjoy it. If you have any Comments please


How?

This list is generated from 43 "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.

Where Can I Buy The Books?

If you click on the title of the books you can easily see a summary of what amazon.com has for sale based on price and binding(paperback, hardcover, audio, etc). The prices and availability are updated daily directly from Amazon.com.

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