The Greatest Books Since 1900

How is this list generated?

This list is generated from 130 "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'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.

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

  1. 601 . A Violent Life by Pier Paolo Pasolini

    Not far from tourist Rome are the slum suburbs. Here immigrants lured to the capital by promises of work, gather and make accommodation with the modern world. A new generation emerges, brutal, vuln...

    - Google
  2. 602 . Home and the World by Rabindranath Tagore

    Set against the backdrop of the Partition of Bengal by the British in 1905, Home and the World (Ghare Baire) is the story of a young liberal-minded zamindar Nikhilesh, his educated and sensitive wi...

    - Google
  3. 603 . Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford

    One of Nancy Mitford’s most beloved novels, Love in a Cold Climate is a sparkling romantic comedy that vividly evokes the lost glamour of aristocratic life in England between the wars. Polly Hampto...

    - Google
  4. 604 . Blindness by Henry Green

    "Blindness is a major novel . . . Every character and every scene is shot through with significance after significance." The Times [London]

    - Google
  5. 605 . Junky by William S. Burroughs

    Junk is not, like alcohol or a weed, a means to increased enjoyment of life. Junk is not a kick. It is a way of life. In his debut novel, Junky, Burroughs fictionalized his experiences using and pe...

    - Google
  6. 606 . Living by Henry Green

    LIVING, as an early novel, marks the beginning of Henry Green's career as a writer who made his name by exploring class distinctions through the medium of love. Set in an iron foundry in Birmingham...

    - Google
  7. 607 . A Severed Head by Iris Murdoch

    A novel about the frightfulness and ruthlessness of being in love Martin Lynch-Gibson believes he can possess both a beautiful wife and a delightful lover. But when his wife, Antonia, suddenly leav...

    - Google
  8. 608 . Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya

    Stories filled with wonder and the haunting beauty of his culture have helped make Rudolfo Anaya the father of Chicano literature in English, and his tales fairly shimmer with the lyric richness of...

    - Google
  9. 609 . The Moor's Last Sigh by Salman Rushdie

    The Moor's Last Sigh is a 1995 novel by Salman Rushdie. Set in the Indian city of Bombay (or "Mumbai") and Cochin (or "Kochi"), it is the first major work that Rushdie produced after the The Satani...

  10. 610 . Endgame by Samuel Beckett

    Endgame, by Samuel Beckett, is a one-act play with four characters, written in a style associated with the Theatre of the Absurd. It was originally written in French (entitled Fin de partie); as wa...

  11. 611 . Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

    Child hero Ender Wiggin must fight a desperate battle against a deadly alien race if mankind is to survive.

    - Google
  12. 612 . The Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante

    The Neapolitan Novels is a 4-part series by the Italian novelist Elena Ferrante, translated by Ann Goldstein and published by Europa Editions (New York). It includes the following novels: My Brilli...

  13. 613 . How Should a Person Be? by Sheila Heti

    The protagonist of Sheila Heti’s thorny novel is a young divorced woman, living in Toronto, who is a heap of contradictions. She has a Jungian analyst yet works at a beauty salon. She’s writing a p...

  14. 614 . The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro

    The Unconsoled (1995) is a novel by Kazuo Ishiguro, winner of the Cheltenham Prize. It is about Ryder, a famous pianist who arrives in a central European city to perform a concert. However, he appe...

  15. 615 . Tell Me a Riddle by Tillie Olsen

  16. 616 . Three Lives by Gertrude Stein

    American writer Gertrude Stein was definitely decades ahead of her time. Injecting experimental and avant-garde elements into her work, she described her method as "literary cubism" -- an understan...

    - Google
  17. 617 . The Fall by Albert Camus

    The Fall (French: La Chute) is a philosophical novel written by Albert Camus. First published in 1956, it is his last complete work of fiction. Set in Amsterdam, The Fall consists of a series of dr...

  18. 618 . Bartleby & Co by Enrique Vila-Matas

    A marvelous novel by one of Spain's most important contemporary authors, in which a clerk in a Barcelona office takes us on a romping tour of world literature.

    - Google
  19. 619 . Professor Unrat by Heinrich Mann

    Professor Unrat (1905, trans. by Ernest Boyd as Small Town Tyrant), which translates as "Professor Garbage," is one of the most important works of Heinrich Mann and has achieved notoriety through f...

    - Google
  20. 620 . The German Lesson by Siegfried Lenz

    While in an institution for delinquent boys, Siggi Jepsen writes about his life in wartime Germany and his relationship with a painter of international reputation who was betrayed by his father.

    - Google
  21. 621 . The Discovery of Heaven by Harry Mulisch

    In a philosophical novel, two friends--a cynical, cerebral, blueblood obsessed by the future, and a hedonistic astronomer haunted by the past--are caught up in an angelic emissary's plan to clone o...

    - Google
  22. 622 . A Tale of Love and Darkness by Amos Oz

    Winner of the National Jewish Book Award International Bestseller "[An] ingenious work that circles around the rise of a state, the tragic destiny of a mother, a boy’s creation of a new self." — Th...

    - Google
  23. 623 . A Fable by William Faulkner

    A Fable is a novel written in 1954 by the American author William Faulkner, which won him both the Pulitzer prize and the National Book Award in 1955. Despite these recognitions, however, the novel...

  24. 624 . Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

    This stunning and elegiac novel by the author of the internationally acclaimed Wind-Up Bird Chronicle has sold over 4 million copies in Japan and is now available to American audiences for the firs...

    - Google
  25. 625 . The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett

    On a world supported on the back of a giant turtle (sex unknown), a gleeful, explosive, wickedly eccentric expedition sets out. There's an avaricious but inept wizard, a naive tourist whose luggage...

    - Google
  26. 626 . The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 by Sue Townsend

    The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3⁄4 is the first book in Sue Townsend's brilliantly funny Adrian Mole series. Friday January 2nd I felt rotten today. It's my mother's fault for singing 'My ...

    - Google
  27. 627 . The Royal Game by Stefan Zweig

    On a cruise ship bound for Buenos Aires, an electifying encounter takes place between the reigning world chess champion and an unknown passenger. The stranger’s diffident manner masks his extraordi...

    - Google
  28. 628 . Auto Da Fé by Elias Canetti

    Auto Da Fé is the story of Peter Kien, a distinguished, reclusive sinologist living in Germany between the wars. With masterly precision, Canetti reveals Kien's character, displaying the flawed per...

    - Google
  29. 629 . I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

    The 1934 journal of seventeen-year-old Cassandra Mortmain reveals her perspective on six stormy months in the eccentric and poverty-stricken life of her family in a ruined Suffolk castle, ending wi...

    - Google
  30. 630 . The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

    The Underground Railroad, published in 2016, is the sixth novel by American author Colson Whitehead. The alternate history novel tells the story of Cora and Caesar, two slaves in the southeaster...

  31. 631 . Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor

    The story of one African-American family fighting to stay together and strong in the face of brutal racist attacks, illness, poverty, and betrayal in the Deep South of the 1930s.

    - Google
  32. 632 . Fifth Business by Robertson Davies

    This novel is the first in The Deptford Trilogy. Ramsay is a man twice born, a man who has returned from the hell of the battle-grave at Passchendaele in World War I decorated with the Victoria Cro...

    - Google
  33. 633 . The Making of Americans by Gertrude Stein

    "Essential for all literature collections . . . Several of Stein's titles returned to print in 1995, but none more important than The Making of Americans." Library Journal

    - Google
  34. 634 . Belle du Seigneur by Albert Cohen

    Belle du Seigneur has been called a hilarious mock-epic, an inventive satire of middle-class manners and ambition, a great comic achievement, Joycean, Proustian in its best moments. Its classic sta...

    - Google
  35. 635 . LaBrava by Elmore Leonard

    LaBrava, the 1983 novel by author Elmore Leonard, follows the story of Joe LaBrava, former Secret Service agent. This novel won the Edgar Award for Best Mystery Novel.

  36. 636 . Under Satan's Sun by Georges Bernanos

    This new translation marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of Georges Bernanos's first novel, Under Satan's Sun, a powerful account of intense spiritual struggle that reflects the author's deeply-fel...

    - Google
  37. 637 . A Ghost at Noon by Alberto Moravia

  38. 638 . Nightwood by Djuna Barnes

    The fiery and enigmatic masterpiece—one of the greatest novels of the Modernist era.

    - Google
  39. 639 . The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell, Peter Miles

    This novel tells the story of a group of working men who are joined one day by Owen, a journeyman-prophet with a vision of a just society. Owen's spirited attacks on the greed and dishonesty of the...

    - Google
  40. 640 . The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum by Heinrich Böll

    The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum, Or: How Violence Develops and Where It Can Lead was written by Heinrich Boll, one of Germany's most prolific postwar writers. Although Boll insisted that his char...

    - Google
  41. 641 . The Opposing Shore by Julien Gracq

    Aldo, a young aristocrat of Orsenna, becomes aware of the delicate balance that preserves the peace between Orsenna and Farghestan, who have, technically, been at war for three hundred years

    - Google
  42. 642 . The Ravishing of Lol Stein by Marguerite Duras

    The Ravishing of Lol Stein is a haunting early novel by the author of The Lover. Lol Stein is a beautiful young woman, securely married, settled in a comfortable life—and a voyeur. Returning with h...

    - Google
  43. 643 . The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien

    The Third Policeman is a novel by Irish author Brian O'Nolan, writing under the pseudonym Flann O'Brien. It was written between 1939 and 1940, but after it initially failed to find a publisher, the...

  44. 644 . The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

    Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl, prays every day for beauty. Mocked by other children for the dark skin, curly hair, and brown eyes that set her apart, she yearns for normalcy, for the blond h...

    - Google
  45. 645 . In Watermelon Sugar by Richard Brautigan

    n Watermelon Sugar is a novel written by Richard Brautigan and published in 1968. It is a tale of a commune organized around a central gathering house which is named "iDEATH". In this environment, ...

    - Google
  46. 646 . Hadrian the Seventh by Frederick Rolfe

    One day George Arthur Rose, hack writer and minor priest, discovers that he has been picked to be Pope. He is hardly surprised and not in the least daunted. "The previous English pontiff was Hadria...

    - Google
  47. 647 . The Heat of the Day by Elizabeth Bowen

    Set in war-time London, this book is probably the nearest thing to a novel of suspense that Elizabeth Bowen has written. All the elements of a thriller are here, but what Bowen makes of them is an ...

    - Google
  48. 648 . Gentlemen Prefer Blondes: The Illuminating Diary of a Professional Lady by Anita Loos

    The incomparable adventures of Lorelei Lee, a little girl from Little Rock who takes the world by storm. Anita Loos first published the diaries of the ultimate gold-digging blonde in the flapper da...

    - Google
  49. 649 . The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin

    Centuries ago, the moon Anarres was settled by utopian anarchists who left the Earthlike planet Urras in search of a better world, a new beginning. Now a brilliant physicist, Shevek, determines to ...

    - Google
  50. 650 . Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco

    Bored with their work, three Milanese editors cook up "the Plan," a hoax that connects the medieval Knights Templar with other occult groups from ancient to modern times. This produces a map indica...

    - Google