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. 651 . The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

    At Westish College, a small school on the shore of Lake Michigan, baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for big league stardom. But when a routine throw goes disastrously off course, the ...

    - Google
  2. 652 . Watt by Samuel Beckett

    Written in Roussillon during World War Two, while Samuel Beckett was hiding from the Gestapo, Watt was first published in 1953. Beckett acknowledged that this comic novel unlike any other 'has its ...

    - Google
  3. 653 . The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

    The timeless story of backwoods Florida and the tender relationship of a young boy and his tame fawn continues to delight and enthrall readers.

  4. 654 . The Crucible by Arthur Miller

    A haunting examination of groupthink and mass hysteria in a rural community "I believe that the reader will discover here the essential nature of one of the strangest and most awful chapters in hum...

    - Google
  5. 655 . Giants in the Earth by Ole Edvart Rolvaag

    The classic story of a Norwegian pioneer family's struggles with the land and the elements of the Dakota Territory as they try to make a new life in America.

    - Google
  6. 656 . Riders of the Purple Sage by Zane Grey

    The classic Zane Grey that established the modern western tradition.

    - Google
  7. 657 . Collected Poems by Arthur Rimbaud

    'The poet makes himself a seer by a long, prodigious, and rational disordering of all the senses. . .' Rimbaud was sixteen when he made this famous declaration. By 1886, then thirty-two and an expl...

    - Google
  8. 658 . Mating by Norman Rush

    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...

  9. 659 . Independence Day by Richard Ford

    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...

  10. 660 . The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton

    The Outsiders is a coming-of-age novel by S. E. Hinton, first published in 1967 by Viking Press. Hinton was 15 when she started writing the novel, but did most of the work when she was 16 and a jun...

  11. 661 . The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

    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...

  12. 662 . Old Filth by Jane Gardam

    Sir Edward Feathers has had a brilliant career, from his early days as a lawyer in Southeast Asia, where he earned the nickname Old Filth (FILTH being an acronym for Failed In London Try Hong Kong)...

    - Google
  13. 663 . The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

    In Marion Zimmer Bradley's masterpiece, we see the tumult and adventures of Camelot's court through the eyes of the women who bolstered the king's rise and schemed for his fall. From their childhoo...

    - Google
  14. 664 . Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill

    Dept. of Speculation is a portrait of a marriage. It is also a beguiling rumination on the mysteries of intimacy, trust, faith, knowledge, and the condition of universal shipwreck that unites us al...

    - Google
  15. 665 . Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

    Claire Randall is leading a double life. She has a husband in one century, and a lover in another... In 1945, Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husba...

    - Google
  16. 666 . Mumbo Jumbo by Ishmael Reed

    Mumbo Jumbo is a 1972 novel by African-American author Ishmael Reed. Set in 1920s New York City, the novel takes its plot from the struggles of "The Wallflower Order," an international conspiracy d...

  17. 667 . The Horse's Mouth by Joyce Cary

    Joyce Cary wrote two trilogies, or 'triptychs' as he later called them, and both are Faber Finds. The first comprises Herself Surprised (1941), To Be a Pilgrim (1942) and The Horse's Mouth (1944). ...

    - Google
  18. 668 . Never Mind by Edward St Aubyn

    In the deep south of France, Patrick Melrose has the run of his parents' house and magical garden, and the company of his vivid imagination. Yet his tyrannical father rules this world with consider...

    - Google
  19. 669 . At Last by Edward St Aubyn

    A New York Times Notable Book of 2012 One of The Telegraph's Best Fiction Books 2011 One of Esquire's Best Books of 2012 One of TIME's Top 10 Fiction Books of 2012 Here, from the writer described b...

    - Google
  20. 670 . Some Hope by Edward St Aubyn

    Some Hope, the third installment in Edward St. Aubyn's wonderful, wry, and profound Patrick Melrose Cycle, is centered on a dinner party, attended by the illustrious and profane elite of British so...

    - Google
  21. 671 . Bad News by Edward St Aubyn

    THE SECOND PATRICK MELROSE NOVEL. Twenty-two years old and in the grip of a massive addiction, Patrick Melrose is forced to fly to New York to collect his father’s ashes. Over the course of a weeke...

    - Google
  22. 672 . Collected Works of Edna St. Vincent Millay by Edna St. Vincent Millay

    This is a pre-1923 historical reproduction that was curated for quality. Quality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the di...

    - Google
  23. 673 . The Slaves of Solitude by Patrick Hamilton

    A welcome reissue of one of Patrick Hamilton's best, with an introduction by Doris Lessing. The Slaves of Solitude is set in a wartime boarding house in a small town on the Thames. The Rosamund Tea...

    - Google
  24. 674 . Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday

    In New York, Alice, a young editor, begins an affair with Ezra Blazer, a world-famous, much older writer. At Heathrow airport, Amar, an Iraqi-American economist en route to Kurdistan, finds himself...

    - Google
  25. 675 . Forbidden Colours by Yukio Mishima

    Irresistible to women, the beautiful, young Yuichi embarks on a loveless marriage while he enters a homosexual underworld during postwar Japan.

    - Google
  26. 676 . Mortals by Norman Rush

    It is at once a political adventure, a social comedy, and a passionate triangle. It is set in the 1990s in Botswana—the African country Rush has indelibly made his own fictional territory. Mortals ...

    - Google
  27. 677 . Family Sayings by Natalia Ginzburg

    Family Sayings (Original title Lessico famigliare) is a novel by the Italian author Natalia Ginzburg, first published in 1963. It is a semi-biographical description of aspects of the daily life of ...

  28. 678 . Legends of The Fall by Jim Harrison

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  29. 679 . The Lottery and Other Stories by Shirley Jackson

    The Lottery, one of the most terrifying stories written in this century, created a sensation when it was first published in The New Yorker. "Power and haunting," and "nights of unrest" were typical...

    - Google
  30. 680 . Collected Stories by William Somerset Maugham

    Thirty-one short stories which provide a rich view of Maugham's prolific talent, wide-ranging vision, and engaging style.

    - Google
  31. 681 . American Genius: A Comedy by Lynne Tillman

    Lynne Tillman’s previous novels have won her both popular approval and critical praise from such literary heavyweights as Edmund White and Colm Tóibín. With American Genius, her first novel since 1...

    - Google
  32. 682 . Saint Joan by George Bernard Shaw

    Saint Joan is a play by George Bernard Shaw, based on the life and trial of Joan of Arc. Published not long after the canonization of Joan of Arc by the Roman Catholic Church, the play dramatises b...

  33. 683 . Cannery Row by John Steinbeck

    Unburdened by the material necessities of the more fortunate, the denizens of Cannery Row discover rewards unknown in more traditional society. Henry the painter sorts through junk lots for pieces ...

    - Google
  34. 684 . Gaudy Night by Dorothy L Sayers

    Back at Oxford for her reunion, Harriet Vane, Lord Peter’s beloved, finds herself in mortal danger Since she graduated from Oxford’s Shrewsbury College, Harriet Vane has found fame by writing novel...

    - Google
  35. 685 . The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans

    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
  36. 686 . One Hundred and One Poems by Paul Verlaine by Paul Verlaine

    French poet Paul Verlaine, a major representative of the Symbolist Movement during the latter half of the nineteenth century, was one of the most gifted and prolific poets of his time. Norman Shapi...

    - Google
  37. 687 . Goodbye, Columbus by Philip Roth

    Goodbye, Columbus (1959) is the title of the first book published by the American novelist Philip Roth, a collection of six stories. In addition to its title novella, set in New Jersey, Goodbye,...

  38. 688 . A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams

    The Pulitzer Prize and Drama Critics Circle Award winning play—reissued with an introduction by Arthur Miller (Death of a Salesman and The Crucible), and Williams' essay "The World I Live In." It i...

    - Google
  39. 689 . From Here to Eternity by James Jones

    Diamond Head, Hawaii, 1941. Pvt. Robert E. Lee Prewitt is a champion welterweight and a fine bugler. But when he refuses to join the company's boxing team, he gets "the treatment" that may break hi...

  40. 690 . Last Orders by Graham Swift

    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...

  41. 691 . The Confessions of Nat Turner by William Styron

    The novel is based on an extant document, the "confession" of Turner to the white lawyer Thomas Gray. In the historical confessions, Turner claims to have been divinely inspired, charged with a mis...

  42. 692 . Suttree by Cormac McCarthy

    Suttree is a semi-autobiographical novel by Cormac McCarthy, published in 1979.

  43. 693 . The Emigrants by Winfried Georg Sebald

    Four narratives weave history and fiction together as refugees from the Holocaust remember their experiences.

    - Google
  44. 694 . Going After Cacciato by Tim O'Brien

    This complex novel is set during the Vietnam War and is told from the point of view of the protagonist, Paul Berlin. The story traces the events that ensue after Cacciato, a member of Berlin's squa...

  45. 695 . Preparation for the Next Life by Atticus Lish

    Zou Lei is an illegal immigrant who works at a Chinese restaurant in Queens in search of a better life in the 'Land of the Brave'. Brad Skinner has recently arrived in New York following a tour in ...

    - Google
  46. 696 . The Great Fire by Shirley Hazzard

    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...

  47. 697 . Poems of Eugenio Montale by Eugenio Montale

    Eugenio Montale (1896-1981) is acknowledged as one of the great poets of the twentieth century and received many honours, including the Nobel Prize in 1975. His lyrical, mysterious poems abound in ...

    - Google
  48. 698 . The Sound of the Mountain by Yasunari Kawabata

    The Sound of the Mountain (Yama no Oto) is a novel by Japanese writer Yasunari Kawabata, serialized between 1949 and 1954. Its translation into English by Edward G. Seidensticker was first publishe...

  49. 699 . Poems by Paul Celan

    One of the greatest poets to ever write in German and among the most indispensable writers of the twentieth century in any language, Paul Celan's poems "embody a conviction that the truth of what h...

  50. 700 . A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes

    Set in the last century, this novel tells the story of a family of English children who, on being sent by their parents back to England from Jamaica, fall into the hands of pirates. As this voyage ...