The Greatest Nonfiction Books Since 1970

all | 2000 | 1990 | 1980 | 1970 | 1950 | 1900 |
  1. 1 . The Civil War by Shelby Foote

    Image of The Civil War

    The Civil War: A Narrative (1958-1974) is a three volume, 2,968-page, 1.2 million-word history of the American Civil War by Shelby Foote. Although previously known as a novelist, Foote is most famo...


  2. 2 . The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    Image of The Gulag Archipelago

    The Gulag Archipelago is a book by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn based on the Soviet forced labor and concentration camp system. The three-volume book is a massive narrative relying on eyewitness testimon...


  3. 3 . The Right Stuff by Tom Wolfe

    Image of The Right Stuff

    The Right Stuff is a 1979 book by Tom Wolfe about the pilots engaged in U.S. postwar experiments with experimental rocket-powered, high-speed aircraft as well as documenting the stories of the firs...


  4. 4 . Modern Times by Paul Johnson

    Image of Modern Times

    The classic world history of the events, ideas, and personalities of the twentieth century.


  5. 5 . Roll, Jordan, Roll by Eugene Genovese

    Image of Roll, Jordan, Roll

    This weighty book intends to "tell the story of slave life as carefully and accurately as possible."


  6. 6 . The Feynman Lectures on Physics by Richard P. Feynman

    Image of  The Feynman Lectures on Physics

    Richard P. Feynman (1918–1988) was widely recognized as the most creative physicist of the post–World War II period. His career was extraordinarily expansive. From his contributions to the developm...


  7. 7 . Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig

    Image of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

    Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values is the first of Robert M. Pirsig's texts in which he explores his Metaphysics of Quality. The 1974 book describes, in first person,...


  8. 8 . The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes

    Image of The Making of the Atomic Bomb

    The Making of the Atomic Bomb, a book written by Richard Rhodes, won the 1988 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction, a National Book Award and a National Book Critics Circle Award. The 900-page bo...


  9. 9 . Dispatches by Michael Herr

    Image of Dispatches

    Dispatches is a non-fiction book by Michael Herr that describes the author's experiences in Vietnam as a war correspondent for Esquire magazine. First published in 1977, Dispatches was one of the f...


  10. 10 . A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again by David Foster Wallace


  11. 11 . The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen

    Image of The Snow Leopard

    The Snow Leopard is a 1978 book by Peter Matthiessen, which is an account of his two month journey along with naturalist George Schaller in 1973 to Crystal Mountain, in the Dolpo region on the Tibe...


  12. 12 . Samuel Johnson by Walter Jackson Bate

    Image of Samuel Johnson

    This 1979 chronicle is seen by critics not only as the definitive life of Dr. Johnson, but as a model of well-researched, lucid, fair--but always affectionate--biography.


  13. 13 . Sociobiology by Edward O. Wilson

    Image of Sociobiology

    Sociobiology: The New Synthesis is a book written by E. O. Wilson, which started the sociobiology debate, one of the great scientific controversies in biology of the 20th century. Wilson popularize...


  14. 14 . The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts by Maxine Hong Kingston

    Image of The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts

    A Chinese American woman tells of the Chinese myths, family stories and events of her California childhood that have shaped her identity.

    - Google

  15. 15 . Centesimus Annus by Pope John Paul II

    Image of Centesimus Annus

    Centesimus Annus (which is Latin for "hundredth year") was an encyclical written by Pope John Paul II in 1991, on the hundredth anniversary of Rerum Novarum. It is part of a larger body of writings...


  16. 16 . Up in the Old Hotel by Joseph Mitchell

    Image of Up in the Old Hotel

    Mitchell explored a New York City that has now vanished in his four books and his classic reportage for The New Yorker. Mitchell's eccentrics live again in this omnibus volume that contains all of ...


  17. 17 . Battle Cry of Freedom by James M. McPherson

    Image of Battle Cry of Freedom

    Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era is a Pulitzer Prize-winning history of the American Civil War published in 1988 by James M. McPherson. Writing for the The New York Times, historian Hugh Br...


  18. 18 . The Face of Battle by John Keegan

    Image of The Face of Battle

    The Face of Battle, is a 1976 non-fiction book on military history by the English military historian John Keegan. It deals with the structure of warfare in three time periods—medieval Europe, th...


  19. 19 . Chronicles of Wasted Time by Malcolm Muggeridge

    Image of Chronicles of Wasted Time

    autobiography of Malcolm Muggeridge.

    -

  20. 20 . On Writing by Stephen King

    Image of On Writing

    On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft is an autobiography and writing guide by Stephen King, published during 2000. It is a book about the prolific author's experiences as a writer. Although he discuss...


  21. 21 . On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen by Harold McGee

    Image of On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

    Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking is a kitchen classic. Hailed by Time magazine as "a minor masterpiece" when it first appeared in 1984, On Food and Cooking is the bible to which food lovers and p...

    - Google

  22. 22 . Duke of Deception by Geoffrey Wolff

    Image of Duke of Deception

    Duke Wolff was a flawless specimen of the American clubman -- a product of Yale and the OSS, a one-time fighter pilot turned aviation engineer. Duke Wolff was a failure who flunked out of a series ...

    - Google

  23. 23 . Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground, 1981-1991 by Michael Azerrad

    Image of Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes from the American Indie Underground, 1981-1991

    This is the never-before-told story of the musical revolution that happened right under the nose of the Reagan Eighties--when a small but sprawling network of bands, labels, fanzines, radio station...

    - Google

  24. 24 . El Bulli: 1998-2002 by Ferran Adria, Juli Soler, Albert Adria

    Image of El Bulli: 1998-2002

    Ferran Adria is widely considered to be the most innovative, most influential, and indeed the greatest chef in the world today. Culinary giants like Thomas Keller venerate him. El Bulli, the restau...

    - Google

  25. 25 . Larousse Gastronomique: The World's Greatest Culinary Encyclopedia by Joël Robuchon

    Image of Larousse Gastronomique: The World's Greatest Culinary Encyclopedia

    Larousse Gastronomique is the world's classic culinary reference book, with over 35,000 copies sold in the UK alone. Larousse is known and loved for its authoritative and comprehensive collection o...

    - Google

  26. 26 . The Emperor by Ryszard Kapuscinski

    Image of The Emperor

    After the deposition of Haile Selassie in 1974, which ended the ancient rule of the Abyssinian monarchy, Ryszard Kapuscinski travelled to Ethiopia and sought out surviving courtiers to tell their s...

    - Google

  27. 27 . Truman by David McCullough


  28. 28 . The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad

    Image of The Bookseller of Kabul

    Two weeks after September 11th, award-winning journalist Åsne Seierstad went to Afghanistan to report on the conflict there. In the following spring she returned to live with an Afghan family for s...

    - Google

  29. 29 . Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers by Tom Wolfe

    Image of Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers

    Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers was a 1970 book by Tom Wolfe. The book, Wolfe's fourth, is composed of two articles by Wolfe, "These Radical Chic Evenings," first published in June of 1...


  30. 30 . 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...


  31. 31 . The Unheavenly City by Edward C. Banfield

    Image of  The Unheavenly City

    -

  32. 32 . Future Shock: The Third Wave by Alvin Toffler

    Image of Future Shock: The Third Wave

    Explores the nature and implications of a third wave of change that is now creating a new civilization with its own life-styles, jobs, sexual attitudes, concepts of family and love, economic struct...

    - Google

  33. 33 . The End of History and the Last Man by Francis Fukuyama

    Image of The End of History and the Last Man

    The End of History and the Last Man is a 1992 book by Francis Fukuyama, expanding on his 1989 essay "The End of History?", published in the international affairs journal The National Interest. In t...


  34. 34 . The Habit of Being by Flannery O’'Connor

    Image of The Habit of Being

    Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Special Award "I have come to think that the true likeness of Flannery O'Connor will be painted by herself, a self-portrait in words, to be found in her l...


  35. 35 . Essays of E. B. White by E. B. White

    Image of Essays of E. B. White

    The classic collection by one of the greatest essayists of our time. White is the apotheosis of the American liberal now spurned and detested by the Left (and the cultural mainstream). His mesme...


  36. 36 . Care of the Soul: Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness by Thomas Moore

    Image of Care of the Soul: Guide for Cultivating Depth and Sacredness

    This New York Times bestseller (more than 200,000 hardcover copies sold) provides a path-breaking lifestyle handbook that shows how to add spirituality, depth, and meaning to modern-day life by nur...

    - Google

  37. 37 . Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression by Studs Terkel

    Image of Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression

    In this unique recreation of one of the most dramatic periods in modern American history, Studs Terkel recaptures the Great Depression of the 1930s in all its complexity. featuring a mosaic of memo...

    - Google

  38. 38 . The Closing of the American Mind by Allan Bloom

    Image of The Closing of the American Mind

    One of our country's most distinguished political philosophers argues that the social/political crisis of 20th-century America is really an intellectual crisis. Allan Bloom's sweeping analysis is e...


  39. 39 . Ethnic America by Thomas Sowell

    Image of Ethnic America

    A distinguished economist traces the history of nine American ethnic groups--the Irish, the Germans, the Jews, the Italians, the Chinese, the Japanese, the Blacks, the Puerto Ricans, and the Mexica...


  40. 40 . Systematic Theology by Wolfhart Pannenberg

    Image of Systematic Theology

    An important mark of a systematic theology is that it be distinct from the rest; owning one does not preclude the need for others. What distinguishes Pannenberg's (systematic theology, Univ. of Mun...


  41. 41 . A Fire on the Moon by Norman Mailer

    Image of A Fire on the Moon

    Mailer's superb account, written as it was happening, of the first attempt to land men on the moon 'Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.' A Fire on the Moon tells the scarcely cred...

    - Google

  42. 42 . Kafka's Other Trial by Elias Canetti

    Image of Kafka's Other Trial

    'Perhaps the most revealing essay on Kafka ever published' The Times Literary Supplement In July 1914, Franz Kafka's fiancée Felice broke off their engagement in a humiliating public tribunal, surr...

    - Google

  43. 43 . The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron

    Image of The Artist's Way

    The Artist’s Way is the seminal book on the subject of creativity. An international bestseller, millions of readers have found it to be an invaluable guide to living the artist’s life. Still as vit...

    - Google

  44. 44 . The Voices of Marrakesh: A Record of a Visit by Elias Canetti

    Image of The Voices of Marrakesh: A Record of a Visit

    Nobel Prize-winning author Canetti spent only a few weeks in Marrakesh, but it was a visit that would remain with him for the rest of his life. In The Voices of Marrakesh, he captures the essence o...

    - Google

  45. 45 . Angela's Ashes: A Memoir by Frank McCourt

    Image of Angela's Ashes: A Memoir

    Angela’s Ashes is a memoir by Irish-American author Frank McCourt and tells the story of his childhood in Brooklyn and Ireland. It was published in 1996 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography or ...


  46. 46 . Second World War by John Keegan

    Image of Second World War

    Praised as "the best military historian of our generation" by Tom Clancy, John Keegan here reconsiders his masterful study of World War II, The Second World War, with a new foreword. Keegan examine...


  47. 47 . The Making of Homeric Verse by Milman Parry

    Image of The Making of Homeric Verse

    Milman Parry, who died in 1935 while a young assistant professor at Harvard, is now considered one of the leading classical scholars of this century. Yet Parry's articles and French dissertations--...


  48. 48 . The Lives of a Cell by Lewis Thomas

    Image of The Lives of a Cell

    The Lives of a Cell: Notes of a Biology Watcher is a 1974 collection of 29 essays written by Lewis Thomas for the New England Journal of Medicine during the preceding three years. The pieces are lo...


  49. 49 . The Strange Ride of Rudyard Kipling by Angus Wilson

    Image of The Strange Ride of Rudyard Kipling

    A critical biography of Kipling focuses on the writer's literary and peripatetic searches for a refuge to replace the lost Indian Eden of his childhood


  50. 50 . The Christian Tradition by Jaroslav Pelikan

    Image of The Christian Tradition

    The century's most comprehensive account of Christian teaching from the second century on.


How is this list generated?


This list is generated from 107 "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. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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)
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. ZEIT-Bibliothek der 100 Bücher

    Die Zeit
  18. "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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. Recommended Books

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

    Academy of Achievement
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. "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
  26. Great Books

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

    Anthony O'Hear
  27. 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
  28. 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
  29. 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
  30. 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
  31. 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
  32. 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
  33. 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
  34. 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
  35. 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
  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. The Greatest Novel of All Time

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

    William Faulkner
  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. 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
  40. 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
  41. Books That Changed the World

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

    Book
  42. 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
  43. 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
  44. 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
  45. The Modern Library | 100 Best Nonfiction

    The Modern Library
  46. 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
  47. 50 Books to Read Before You Die

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

    Complex
  48. 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
  49. Donald Barthelme’s Reading List

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

    Believer Mag
  50. 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
  51. 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
  52. 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)
  53. The 100 Greatest Books Ever Written

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

    Easton Press
  54. The 100 Greatest Novels

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

    greatbooksguide.com
  55. The Best Classics

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

    The Times
  56. 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
  57. 100 Books to Read in a Lifetime

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

    Amazon.com (UK)
  58. 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)
  59. 48 Good Books

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

    University of Buffalo
  60. 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
  61. Radcliffe's 100 Best Novels

    Radcliffe Publishing Course
  62. 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
  63. The Modern Library | 100 Best Novels

    Modern Library
  64. 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
  65. 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
  66. 100 Best Novels in English Since 1900

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

    Counterpunch
  67. 100 Best Novels Written in English

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

    The Guardian
  68. 100 Essential Books

    The Brazilian cultural magazine Bravo! selects 100 essential books.

    Bravo! Magazine
  69. 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
  70. 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
  71. 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
  72. The Dream of the Great American Novel

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

    Book
  73. 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
  74. 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
  75. 50 Books to Read Before You Die

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

    Barnes and Noble
  76. 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
  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 Telegraph’s 100 Novels Everyone Should Read

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

    Telegraph
  79. 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
  80. 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
  81. 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
  82. The 80 Books Every Man Should Read

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

    Esquire
  83. Books of the Decade

    The 50 books that defined the decade(2000)

    The Guardian
  84. 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
  85. 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
  86. Extreme Classics: The 100 Greatest Adventure Books of All Time

    The 100 greatest adventure books chosen by National Geographic.

    National Geographic Adventure Magazine
  87. 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
  88. 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
  89. 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
  90. 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
  91. 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
  92. 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
  93. 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
  94. 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
  95. 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
  96. 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
  97. Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

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

    Pulitzer Prize
  98. 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
  99. 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
  100. 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
  101. 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
  102. The 10 Best of the Decade(2000)

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

    Entertainment Weekly
  103. 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
  104. 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
  105. 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
  106. 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
  107. 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