The Greatest Books Since 1990

all | 2000 | 1990 | 1980 | 1970 | 1950 | 1900 |
  1. 101 . Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk: A Novel by Ben Fountain

    Image of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk: A Novel

    A ferocious firefight with Iraqi insurgents at "the battle of Al-Ansakar Canal"—three minutes and forty-three seconds of intense warfare caught on tape by an embedded Fox News crew—has transformed ...

    - Google

  2. 102 . A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

    Image of A Fine Balance

    With a compassionate realism and narrative sweep that recall the work of Charles Dickens, this magnificent novel captures all the cruelty and corruption, dignity and heroism, of India. The time is ...

    - Google

  3. 103 . Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver

    Image of Pigs in Heaven

    When six-year-old Turtle Greer witnesses a freak accident at the Hoover Dam, her insistence on what she has seen, and her mother's belief in her, lead to a man's dramatic rescue. But Turtle's momen...

    - Google

  4. 104 . Soul Mountain by Xingjian Gao

    Image of Soul Mountain

    A Chinese man goes on a journey of self discovery in the distant regions of contemplating the disparaging effects of the Cultural Revolution.

    - Google

  5. 105 . The Sorrow Of War by Bao Ninh

    Image of The Sorrow Of War

    Kien’s job is to search the Jungle of Screaming Souls for corpses. He knows the area well – this was where, in the dry season of 1969, his battalion was obliterated by American napalm and helicopte...

    - Google

  6. 106 . The Half Brother: A Novel by Lars Saabye Christensen

    Image of The Half Brother: A Novel

    At the end of World War II, twenty-year-old Vera is brutally raped by an unknown assailant. From that rape is born a boy named Fred, a misfit who later becomes a talented boxer. Vera’s young son, B...

    - Google

  7. 107 . The Royal Physician's Visit: A Novel by Per Olov Enquist

    Image of The Royal Physician's Visit: A Novel

    An international sensation, The Royal Physician's Visit magnificently recasts the dramatic era of Danish history when Johann Friedrich Struensee -- court physician to mad young King Christian -- st...

    - Google

  8. 108 . Smilla's Sense of Snow: A Novel by Peter Høeg

    Image of Smilla's Sense of Snow: A Novel

    Smilla's Sense of Snow presents one of the toughest heroines in modern fiction. Smilla Qaavigaaq Jaspersen is part Eskimo but she lives in Copenhagen and keeps to herself. When her six-year old nei...

    - Google

  9. 109 . Somersault by Kenzaburō Ōe

    Image of Somersault

    Ten years after recanting their teachings and abandoning their zealous and violent congregation, two men known only as the Patron and Guide of Humankind seek to overcome a radical faction while lea...

    - Google

  10. 110 . The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

    Image of The Reader

    Hailed for its coiled eroticism and the moral claims it makes upon the reader, this mesmerizing novel is a story of love and secrets, horror and compassion, unfolding against the haunted landscape ...

    - Google

  11. 111 . Édes Anna by Dezső Kosztolányi

    Image of Édes Anna

    Anna Edes is a dark and deeply moving naturalistic novel, a classic work of twentieth-century Hungarian literature. A skillful portrayal of the cruelty and emptiness of bourgeois life, it was first...

    - Google

  12. 112 . Identity: A Novel by Milan Kundera

    Image of Identity: A Novel

    There are situations in which we fail for a moment to recognize the person we are with, in which the identity of the other is erased while we simultaneously doubt our own. This also happens with co...

    - Google

  13. 113 . The Years with Laura Diaz by Carlos Fuentes

    Image of The Years with Laura Diaz

    Like Fuentes's masterpiece THE DEATH OF ARTEMIO CRUZ, the action in this new novel begins in the state of Veracruz and moves to Mexico City. Now the principal figure Fuentes's first female protagon...

    - Google

  14. 114 . The Black Book by Orhan Pamuk

    Image of The Black Book

    The Black Book is Orhan Pamuk's tour de force, a stunning tapestry of Middle Eastern and Islamic culture which confirmed his reputation as a writer of international stature. Richly atmospheric and ...

    - Google

  15. 115 . The Rings of Saturn by W. G. Sebald

    Image of The Rings of Saturn

    Shortlisted for the 1998 Los Angeles Times Book Award in Fiction: "Stunning and strange . . . Sebald has done what every writer dreams of doing. . . . The book is like a dream you want to last fore...

    - Google

  16. 116 . The Feast of the Goat: A Novel by Mario Vargas Llosa

    Image of The Feast of the Goat: A Novel

    Haunted all her life by feelings of terror and emptiness, forty-nine-year-old Urania Cabral returns to her native Dominican Republic - and finds herself reliving the events of l961, when the capita...

    - Google

  17. 117 . Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri

    Image of Interpreter of Maladies

    Interpreter of Maladies is a 2000 collection of nine short stories by Indian American author Jhumpa Lahiri. It won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award. It was also...


  18. 118 . Underworld by Don DeLillo

    Image of 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.


  19. 119 . Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Simon Armitage


  20. 120 . In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez

    Image of In the Time of the Butterflies

    In the Time of the Butterflies is a historical novel by Julia Alvarez, relating an account of the Mirabal sisters during the time of the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic. The book is...


  21. 121 . Last Orders by Graham Swift

    Image of Last Orders

    Last Orders is a 1996 Booker Prize-winning novel by British author Graham Swift. The story makes much use of flashbacks to tell the convoluted story of the relationships between a group of war v...


  22. 122 . Pastoralia by George Saunders

    Image of Pastoralia

    If Americans in the future were to try to send us a message about where our culture is heading, they might simply point to the fiction of George Saunders. Living in a world that's both indelibly or...


  23. 123 . The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans

    Image of The Horse Whisperer

    His name is Tom Booker. His voice can calm wild horses, his touch can heal broken spirits. And Annie Graves has traveled across a continent to the Booker ranch in Montana, desperate to heal her inj...

    - Google

  24. 124 . The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

    Image of The Da Vinci Code

    The Da Vinci Code is a 2003 mystery-detective fiction novel written by American author Dan Brown. It follows symbologist Robert Langdon and Sophie Neveu as they investigate a murder in Paris's Louv...


  25. 125 . Mating by Norman Rush

    Image of Mating

    Mating is a novel by American author Norman Rush. It is a first-person narrative of an unnamed American anthropology graduate student in Botswana around 1980. It focuses on her relationship with Ne...


  26. 126 . A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

    Image of A Thousand Splendid Suns

    After 103 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and with four million copies of The Kite Runner shipped, Khaled Hosseini returns with a beautiful, riveting, and haunting novel that confirms h...

    - Google

  27. 127 . High Fidelity by Nick Hornby

    Image of High Fidelity

    High Fidelity is a 1995 British novel by Nick Hornby. It was adapted into a 2000 film directed by Stephen Frears and starring John Cusack. It also served as the basis for a 2006 Broadway musical of...


  28. 128 . What Is the What by Dave Eggers

    Image of What Is the What

    What Is the What is the story of Valentino Achak Deng, a refugee in war-ravaged southern Sudan who flees from his village in the mid-1980s and becomes one of the so-called Lost Boys. Valentino’s tr...

    - Google

  29. 129 . Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

    Image of Half of a Yellow Sun

    Half of a Yellow Sun is a novel that was written by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It was first published in 2006 by Knopf/Anchor and tells the story of two sisters Olanna and Kainene du...


  30. 130 . Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes

    Image of Birthday Letters

    Birthday Letters, published in 1998 (ISBN 0-374-52581-1), is a collection of poetry by English poet and children's writer Ted Hughes. Released only months before Hughes's death, the collection won ...


  31. 131 . The Intuitionist: A Novel by Colson Whitehead

    Image of The Intuitionist: A Novel

    Colson Whitehead's The Intuitionist wowed critics and readers everywhere and marked the debut of an important American writer. This marvellously inventive, genre-bending, noir-inflected novel, set ...

    - Google

  32. 132 . The Great Fire by Shirley Hazzard

    Image of The Great Fire

    A Great Writer's Sweeping Story of Men and Women Struggling to Reclaim Their Lives in The Aftermath of World Conflict. The conflagration of her title is the Second World War. In war-torn Asia an...


  33. 133 . Fifty Shades of Grey: by E L James

    Image of Fifty Shades of Grey:

    When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is star...

    - Google

  34. 134 . Anil's Ghost by Michael Ondaatje

    Image of Anil's Ghost

    Anil’s Ghost is the critically acclaimed fourth novel by Michael Ondaatje. It was first published in 2000 by McClelland and Stewart. Anil’s Ghost follows the life of Anil Tissera, a native Sri L...


  35. 135 . The Help by Kathryn Stockett

    Image of The Help

    The Help is a 2009 novel by American author Kathryn Stockett. The story is about African-American maids working in white households in Jackson, Mississippi, during the early 1960s. A USA Today arti...

    - Google

  36. 136 . Independence Day by Richard Ford

    Image of Independence Day

    Independence Day follows Frank Bascombe, a New Jersey real estate agent, through the titular holiday weekend as he visits his ex-wife, his troubled son, his current lover, the renters of one of his...


  37. 137 . Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

    Image of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

    Lily is the daughter of a humble farmer, and to her family she is just another expensive mouth to feed. Then the local matchmaker delivers startling news: if Lily's feet are bound properly, they wi...

    - Google

  38. 138 . Persepolis Two by Marjane Satrapi

    Image of Persepolis Two

    The great-granddaughter of Iran's last emperor and the daughter of ardent Marxists continues her description of growing up in Tehran, a country plagued by political upheaval and vast contradictions...

    - Google

  39. 139 . Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson

    Image of Out Stealing Horses

    Out Stealing Horses (Ut og stjæle hester) is a 2003 novel by Per Petterson. It was translated into English in 2005 by Anne Born, published in the UK that year, and in the US in 2007. Among other aw...


  40. 140 . The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

    Image of The Namesake

    Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies established this young writer as one the most brilliant of her generation. Her stories are one of the very few debut works -- and only a handful of collectio...

    - Google

  41. 141 . Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks

    Image of Birdsong

    While staying as the guest of a factory owner in pre-First World War France, Stephen Wraysford embarks on a passionate affair with Isabelle, the wife of his host. The affair changes them both for e...

    - Google

  42. 142 . Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh

    Image of Trainspotting

    Trainspotting is the novel that first launched Irvine Welsh's spectacular career—an authentic, unrelenting, and strangely exhilarating episodic group portrait of blasted lives. It accomplished for ...

    - Google

  43. 143 . Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland

    Image of Girl in Hyacinth Blue

    A Dutch painting of a young girl survives three and a half centuries through loss, flood, anonymity, theft, secrecy, even the Holocaust. This is the story of its owners whose lives are influenced b...

    - Google

  44. 144 . The Van by Roddy Doyle

    Image of The Van

    Jimmy Rabbitte Senior pulls himself out of a mid-life crisis when he purchases a greasy fish-and-chip van and sells grub to Dublin's drunk and hungry during the heady days of Ireland's triumphs in ...

    - Google

  45. 145 . The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

    Image of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is a 2003 novel by British writer Mark Haddon. It won the 2003 Whitbread Book of the Year and the 2004 Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First B...


  46. 146 . Sold by Patricia McCormick

    Image of Sold

    Lakshmi is a thirteen-year-old girl who lives with her family in a small hut on a mountain in Nepal. Though she is desperately poor, her life is full of simple pleasures, like playing hopscotch wit...

    - Google

  47. 147 . Collected Poems of Ted Hughes by Ted Hughes

    Image of Collected Poems of Ted Hughes

    Edward James Hughes was an English poet and children's writer, known as Ted Hughes. Critics routinely rank him as one of the best poets of his generation. Hughes was British Poet Laureate from 1984...


  48. 148 . Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

    Image of Life After Life

    What if you could live again and again, until you got it right? On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first brea...

    - Google

  49. 149 . Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez

    Image of Before We Were Free

    Anita de la Torre never questioned her freedom living in the Dominican Republic. But by her 12th birthday in 1960, most of her relatives have emigrated to the United States, her Tío Toni has disapp...

    - Google

  50. 150 . The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan

    Image of The Bonesetter's Daughter

    Struggling to regain her voice and express her true feelings to her husband, ghostwriter Ruth Young discovers that her inability to speak closely parallels the story of her mother LuLing's early li...

    - Google

How is this list generated?


This list is generated from 116 "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. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. Pour une Bibliothèque Idéale

    "In the early 1950s Raymond Queneau asked several dozen French authors and critics to list the hundred books they would choose if they had to limit themselves to that number. He reproduced all their responses in the book Pour une Bibliothèque Idéale (Gallimard, 1956), along with the overall top 100 list reproduced above."

    Raymond Queneau
  7. 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
  8. The Ideal Library

    100 prominent cultural figures, mostly writers, were polled for their choice of an "ideal library". The following list is a tally of every book that received at least 2 votes.

    Book
  9. 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)
  10. 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
  11. The 100 Greatest British Novels

    BBC Culture polled book critics outside the UK, to give an outsider’s perspective on the best in British literature.

    BBC
  12. 100 Life-Changing Books

    National Book Award-winning authors got together to select what was, in their opinions, 100 life-changing books.

    National Book Award
  13. Finest Works of Fiction

    In Novels and Novelists, A Guide to the World of Fiction (1980) Seymour-Smith and the other contributors selected about 55 works of fiction as receiving full marks on the four criteria used for evaluation: Readability, Characterization, Plot, and Literary Merit. These represent, for the contributors, the finest works of fiction that have been written.

    Martin Seymour-Smith and Editors
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. The Celebrity Reading List

    The Gardiner Public Library, from 1988 to 2007, polled various famous figures from all around the world (writers, artists, filmmakers, politicians, actors, etc.) to ask for their book recommendations. This list is based on the books that received at least two mentions.

    Gardiner Public Library
  17. The New Lifetime Reading Plan

    Clifton Paul "Kip" Fadiman (May 15, 1904 – June 20, 1999) was an American intellectual, author, editor, radio and television personality. The New Lifetime Reading Plan provides readers with brief, informative and entertaining introductions to more than 130 classics of world literature. From Homer to Hawthorne, Plato to Pascal, and Shakespeare to Solzhenitsyn, the great writers of Western civilization can be found in its pages. In addition, this new edition offers a much broader representation of women authors, such as Charlotte Bront%, Emily Dickinson and Edith Wharton, as well as non-Western writers such as Confucius, Sun-Tzu, Chinua Achebe, Mishima Yukio and many others. This fourth edition also features a simpler format that arranges the works chronologically in five sections (The Ancient World; 300-1600; 1600-1800; and The 20th Century), making them easier to look up than ever before. It deserves a place in the libraries of all lovers of literature.

    The New Lifetime Reading Plan
  18. Recommended Books

    "Discover which books made a difference in the early lives of the most eminent achievers of our times."

    Academy of Achievement
  19. The 16 Greatest Books of All Time

    Two book editors for the nyulocal.com present their list of the 16 greatest books of all time, with a list of runner-ups as well.

    NYU Local
  20. Great Books

    "Great Books is an hour-long documentary and biography program that aired on The Learning Channel. The series was a project co-created by Walter Cronkite and former child actor Jonathan Ward under a deal they had with their company Cronkite-Ward, the The Discovery Channel, and The Learning Channel. Premiering on September 8, 1993, to coincide with International Literacy Day, the series took in-depth looks into some of literature's greatest fictional and nonfictional books and the authors who created them. The series is mostly narrated by Donald Sutherland." - Wikipedia

    The Learning Channel
  21. "Our Readable Century", The Best Books of the 20th Century

    Literary publication January Magazine polled writers for their favorite works of 2oth century fiction. These were the most mentioned books.

    January Magazine
  22. The Bigger Read List

    The English PEN staff compiled a list of the best works not written in the English language. This list combines their list with the suggestions made by Fred Armentrout, President of Hong Kong (English-Speaking) PEN.

    English PEN
  23. 25 acclaimed international writers choose 25 of the best books from the last 25 years

    The 25 books were chosen by 25 respected names in international writing, many of whom have contributed over the years to Wasafiri magazine, including Indra Sinha, Blake Morrison and Fred D’Aguiar. Note: I don't think the voters understood "the last 25 years" bit. There are many books that are much much older.

    Wasafiri Magazine
  24. "Best Foreign Work of Fiction"

    The French literary magazine Transfuge asked a group of francophone writers to pick their best foreign work of fiction. These are the results.

    Transfuge
  25. Best German Novels of the Twentieth Century

    The Best German Novels of the Twentieth Century is a list of books compiled in 1999 by Literaturhaus München and Bertelsmann, in which 99 prominent German authors, literary critics, and scholars of German ranked the most significant German-language novels of the twentieth century. The group brought together 33 experts from each of the three categories. Each was allowed to name three books as having been the most important of the century.

    Wikipedia
  26. The 100 Greatest Books Ever Written

    Easton Press's selection of the greatest books of the Western Canon.

    Easton Press
  27. The Modern Library | 100 Best Nonfiction

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

    Modern Library
  29. 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
  30. ZEIT-Bibliothek der 100 Bücher

    Die Zeit
  31. 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime

    Amazon UK editors select 100 books that they deem "essential".

    Amazon.com (UK)
  32. 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime

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

    Amazon.com (USA)
  33. 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
  34. 48 Good Books

    Recommended literature by the Undergraduate Academies and Libraries of the University of Buffalo.

    University of Buffalo
  35. Select 100

    "This list was compiled by tabulating nominations by UWM faculty, staff and students for the Select 100. It includes changes which have resulted from nominations received since the original list was released. We asked you to recommend books which you have found to be so useful and important that no one could consider himself/herself an educated or enlightened person without having read them. This is your cumulative response."

    University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  36. 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
  37. 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
  38. 100 Best Books

    Michael Sexson, English teacher at Montana State University, in 2000 had his class of 45 students compose a list of the 100 greatest works of literature ever written, in their collective opinions.

    Montana State University
  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 21st Century's 12 Greatest Novels

    The BBC polled a number of book critics to determine the greatest novels of the current century so far.

    BBC Poll
  41. The Great American Read

    PBS and the producers worked with the public opinion polling service “YouGov” to conduct a demographically and statistically representative survey asking Americans to name their most-loved novel. Approximately 7,200 people participated. The results were tallied and organized based on our selection criteria and overseen by an advisory panel of 13 literary industry professionals. The criteria for inclusion on the top 100 list were as follows: Each author was limited to one title on the list (to keep the list varied). Books published in series or featuring ongoing characters counted as one eligible entry on the list (e.g. the Harry Potter series or Lord of the Rings)to increase variety. Books could be from anywhere in the world as long as they were published in English. Only fiction could be included in the poll. Each advisory panel member was permitted to select one book for discussion and possible inclusion on the top 100 list from the longer list of survey results.

    PBS
  42. 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
  43. 50 Books That Changed the World

    "For centuries, books have been written in an attempt to share knowledge, inspiration, and discoveries. Sometimes those books make such an impact that they change the way the world thinks about things. The following books have done just that by providing readers an education in politics and government, literature, society, academic subjects such as science and math, and religion."

    Open Education Database
  44. 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
  45. 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
  46. Great Books

    A short list of essential works of the Western Canon, as selected scholar Anthony O'Hear.

    Anthony O'Hear
  47. How to Read and Why

    Information is endlessly available to us; where shall wisdom be found?" is the crucial question with which renowned literary critic Harold Bloom begins this impassioned book on the pleasures and benefits of reading well. For more than forty years, Bloom has transformed college students into lifelong readers with his unrivaled love for literature. Now, at a time when faster and easier electronic media threatens to eclipse the practice of reading, Bloom draws on his experience as critic, teacher, and prolific reader to plumb the great books for their sustaining wisdom. - Amazon

    Harold Bloom
  48. How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A Reading List

    English professor Thomas C. Foster, at the end of his book, includes a recommended "reading list".

    Thomas C. Foster
  49. Masterpieces of World Literature

    Scholar Frank N. Magill’s famous literary studies reference book. A selection of over 200 of the greatest works of literature of all time

    Frank N. Magill
  50. Radcliffe's 100 Best Novels

    Radcliffe Publishing Course
  51. The 100 Best Books in the World

    German bookseller website AbeBooks.de makes their selection for the "100 greatest books ever written".

    AbeBooks.de (in German)
  52. The Great Books Reader

    "In this volume you will be guided by esteemed professors and writers who have selected excerpts from the most important books in Western Civilization. A brief essay illuminates each excerpt and puts the work in context. Take your education to the next level by letting some of the best thinkers of today walk you through the most influential books in history."

    Book
  53. Third World Novels… The Top 10

    There are many gifted Third World writers who can help you transcend barriers of language and tradition but you might find it difficult to know where to start. As a guide, the NI has chosen its ten best novels - the ones which are both enjoyable to read and give a vivid impression of life in developing countries. They are not listed in any significant order.

    New Internationalist
  54. 100 Essential Books

    The Brazilian cultural magazine Bravo! selects 100 essential books.

    Bravo! Magazine
  55. Best Books Ever

    "Whatever it's called we love a list of what we think are the best books of all time so we've compiled an entirely arbitrary and personal selection of 100 titles below for you to disagree with."

    bookdepository.com
  56. The best books in Spanish for the last 25 years

    50 critics, writers and booksellers from both sides of the Atlantic choose the milestones of the last quarter century.

    El Pais
  57. The Best Classics

    The Times selection of the 100 best classic works of literature.

    The Times
  58. The College Board: 101 Great Books Recommended for College-Bound Readers

    The 101 great books recommended by "The College Board", an American not-for-profit organization that was formed in December 1899 as the College Entrance Examination Board (CEEB) to expand access to higher education.

    http://www.uhlibrary.net/pdf/college_board_recommended_books.pdf
  59. 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
  60. 50 Books to Read Before You Die

    Complex Magazine's selection of 50 must-read books.

    Complex
  61. Books That Changed the World

    Scholar Robert B. Downs selects the "great works that revolutionized our ideas about the universe - and ourselves".

    Book
  62. From Zero to Well-Read in 100 Books

    100 books that, in the opinion of Bookriot.com editor-in-chief Jeff O'Neal, one should read before deeming themselves "well-read".

    Jeff O'Neal at Bookriot.com
  63. In Which These Are the 100 Greatest Novels

    ThisRecording.com Editor Alex Carnevale selects his choices for the "100 Greatest Novels of All Time".

    ThisRecording.com
  64. 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
  65. 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
  66. 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
  67. 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
  68. 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
  69. 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
  70. 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
  71. Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

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

    Pulitzer Prize
  72. 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
  73. 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
  74. The 100 Greatest Novels

    Critic Ted Gioia's selection of the 100 greatest novels ever written.

    greatbooksguide.com
  75. 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
  76. 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
  77. 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
  78. The Greatest Novel of All Time

    Author William Faulkner named Tolstoy's "Anna Karenina" as the single greatest novel of all time.

    William Faulkner
  79. 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
  80. 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
  81. 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
  82. 100 Best Novels in English Since 1900

    Jeffrey St. Clair and Alexander Cockburn's favorite novels since 1900.

    Counterpunch
  83. 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
  84. Donald Barthelme’s Reading List

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

    Believer Mag
  85. 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
  86. The 80 Books Every Man Should Read

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

    Esquire
  87. The Graphic Canon

    The classic canon of Western civilization meets the artists and illustrators who have remade reading in the last years of the twentieth century and the first decade of the twenty-first century in Russ Kick's magisterial, three-volume, full-color The Graphic Canon, volumes 1, 2, and 3. - Amazon

    Book
  88. The Telegraph’s 100 Novels Everyone Should Read

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

    Telegraph
  89. 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
  90. 100 Best Novels Written in English

    Respected literary critic Robert McCrum selects the definitive 100 novels written in English.

    The Guardian
  91. 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
  92. 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
  93. 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
  94. 50 Books to Read Before You Die

    Barnes and Noble's selection of the 50 most essential books.

    Barnes and Noble
  95. 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
  96. Books of the Decade

    The 50 books that defined the decade(2000)

    The Guardian
  97. 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
  98. 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
  99. 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
  100. Extreme Classics: The 100 Greatest Adventure Books of All Time

    The 100 greatest adventure books chosen by National Geographic.

    National Geographic Adventure Magazine
  101. Greatest Prose Works of the 20th Century

    Author Vladimir Nabokov's selection of the Top 4 greatest prose works of the 20th century.

    Vladimir Nabokov
  102. 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
  103. 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
  104. 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
  105. 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
  106. 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
  107. 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
  108. The 10 Best of the Decade(2000)

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

    Entertainment Weekly
  109. 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
  110. The 75 Best Books of the Past 75 Years

    A list of voted on by 17 employees(book sellers) at Parnassus Books in Nashville, TN for Parade Magazine.

    Parade Magazine
  111. 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
  112. 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
  113. The Book of Great Books: A Guide to 100 World Classics

    Editor W. John Campbell provides explanations and summaries for 100 of the world's best books.

    Book
  114. The Dream of the Great American Novel

    Writer Lawrence Buell discusses the primary contenders for the title of the "Great American Novel".

    Book
  115. 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
  116. Waterstone's Books of the Century

    Waterstones is a bookstore chain with more than 200 stores in the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland and Europe. In January 1997, Waterstones announced the results of its Books of the Century poll to find out what the public considered to be the hundred greatest books of the twentieth century. Over 25, 000 people took part in the poll and the Book of the Century was revealed as J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.

    LibraryThing