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. 701 . The Van by Roddy Doyle

    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
  2. 702 . Sóngoro cosongo by Nicolás Guillén

    Sóngoro cosongo is a book of poetry by the Cuban writer Nicolás Guillén . Published after The reasons for the son , it established him as a great poet. It was published in 1931. It belongs to mu...

  3. 703 . The Black Prince by Iris Murdoch

    Bradley Pearson, an unsuccessful novelist in his late fifties, has finally left his dull office job as an Inspector of Taxes. Bradley hopes to retire to the country, but predatory friends and relat...

    - Google
  4. 704 . Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver

    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
  5. 705 . The Collected Poems of William Carlos Williams: 1909-1939 by William Carlos Williams

    Gathers, chronologically, all the major poems of Williams' career.

    - Google
  6. 706 . Days Without End by Sebastian Barry

    Days Without End is the seventh novel by Sebastian Barry and is set during the Indian Wars and American Civil War.

  7. 707 . The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

    Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering on the island owned and inhabited by the powerful Vanger clan. Her body was never found, yet her uncle is convinced it was murder...

    - Google
  8. 708 . Eye Of The Needle by Ken Follett

    One enemy spy knows the secret to the Allies' greatest deception, a brilliant aristocrat and ruthless assassin -- code name: "The Needle" -- who holds the key to ultimate Nazi victory. Only one per...

    - Google
  9. 709 . Betrayed by Rita Hayworth by Manuel Puig

    Manuel Puig's celebrated first novel is a startling anatomy of a small town in thrall to its own petty lusts, betrayals, scandals, thefts, and gossip -- but most of all, to the movies. Centering ar...

    - Google
  10. 710 . La siesta de M. Andesmas by Marguerite Duras

    Monsieur Andesmas, sesenta y ocho años, compra una casa para su hija Valérie. Quiere construir una terraza que domine sobre la llanura, un pueblo, el Mediterráneo. Espera al contratista, que se ha ...

    - Google
  11. 711 . Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Simon Armitage

  12. 712 . The Collected Works of Paul Valéry by Paul Valéry

    Ambroise-Paul-Toussaint-Jules Valéry (French: [pɔl valeʁi]; 30 October 1871 – 20 July 1945) was a French poet, essayist, and philosopher. In addition to his poetry and fiction (drama and dialogues)...

    - Google
  13. 713 . Lunch Poems by Frank O'Hara

    Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Frank O'Hara's Lunch Poems Lunch Poems, first published in 1964 by City Lights Books as number nineteen in the Pocket Poets series, is widely considered to be Fran...

    - Google
  14. 714 . The Hamlet by William Faulkner

    The Hamlet, the first novel of Faulkner's Snopes trilogy, is both an ironic take on classical tragedy and a mordant commentary on the grand pretensions of the antebellum South and the depths of its...

    - Google
  15. 715 . The Complete Poetry of César Vallejo by César Vallejo

    César Abraham Vallejo Mendoza (March 16, 1892 – April 15, 1938) was a Peruvian poet, writer, playwright, and journalist. Although he published only three books of poetry during his lifetime, he is ...

  16. 716 . Conversation in the Cathedral by Mario Vargas Llosa

    A frightening and impressive portrait of evil by one of Latin America's leading contemporary novelists.

    - Google
  17. 717 . Sabbath's Theater by Philip Roth

    Mickey Sabbath is an unproductive, out-of-work, former puppeteer with a strong affinity for whores, adultery, and the casual sexual encounter. Sabbath takes great pleasure in his status as the (pro...

  18. 718 . Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

    Homegoing is the debut historical fiction novel by Yaa Gyasi, published in 2016. Each chapter in the novel follows a different descendant of an Asante woman named Maame, starting with her two daugh...

  19. 719 . The Wanderer by Henri Alain-Fournier

    Le Grand Meaulnes is the only novel by French author Alain-Fournier. Fifteen-year-old François Seurel narrates the story of his relationship with seventeen-year-old Augustin Meaulnes as Meaulnes se...

    - Wiki
  20. 720 . Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh

    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
  21. 721 . Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage by Alice Munro

    As always, Alice Munro surprises us. While the nine stories in this new collection could not be written by anyone else, they are subtly different. The title story, for example, ranges from small-to...

    - Google
  22. 722 . The Beauty Of The Husband by Anne Carson

    Since Glass and God, which was her first full-length collection published in Britain and which was nominated for the 1998 Forward Prize, Anne Carson has published a book a year to extraordinary cri...

    - Google
  23. 723 . Zazie in the Metro by Raymond Queneau

    Impish, foul-mouthed Zazie arrives in Paris from the country to stay with Gabriel, her female-impersonator uncle. All she really wants to do is ride the metro, but finding it shut because of a stri...

    - Google
  24. 724 . Sandman by Neil Gaiman

  25. 725 . Elizabeth Costello by J M Coetzee

    Elizabeth Costello is a 2003 novel by South African-born Nobel Laureate J. M. Coetzee. In this novel, Elizabeth Costello, a celebrated aging Australian writer, travels around the world and gives...

  26. 726 . The Children of Men by P. D. James

    The Children of Men begins in England in 2021, in a world where all human males have become sterile and no child will be born again. The final generation has turned twenty-five, and civilization is...

    - Google
  27. 727 . Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer

    Kane and Abel is a 1979 novel by British author Jeffrey Archer. The title and story is a play on the Biblical brothers, Cain and Abel. Released in the United Kingdom in 1979 and in the United State...

  28. 728 . Poems of Pablo Neruda by Pablo Neruda

    Neruda's Spanish text is presented with in face translations in this comprehensive collection of his works

    - Google
  29. 729 . Los lanzallamas by Roberto Arlt

    Los Lanzallamas is an Argentine novel, written by Roberto Arlt. It was first published in 1931.

  30. 730 . The Last Books of Hector Viel Temperley by Hector Viel Temperley


    . In his final two books, Hector Viel Temperley sought to create a complete world, a surreal realm of profound spirituality that would be attained through intensely physical experience. In "Crawl,"...

    - Google
  31. 731 . Manhattan Transfer by John Dos Passos

    Considered by many to be John Dos Passos's greatest work, Manhattan Transfer is an "expressionistic picture of New York" (New York Times) in the 1920s that reveals the lives of wealthy power broker...

    - Google
  32. 732 . Calligrammes by Guillaume Apollinaire

    Calligrammes, subtitled Poems of Peace and War 1913-1916, is a collection of poems by Guillaume Apollinaire which was first published in 1918 (see 1918 in poetry). Calligrammes is noted for how the...

    - Google
  33. 733 . Unless by Carol Shields

    Unless, first published by Fourth Estate, an imprint of Harper Collins in 2002, is the final novel by Canadian writer Carol Shields. Semi-autobiographical, it was the capstone to Shields's writing ...

  34. 734 . American Tabloid by James Ellroy

    American Tabloid is a 1995 novel by James Ellroy. The novel chronicles three rogue American law enforcement officers from November 22, 1958 through November 22, 1963. Each becomes involved in a web...

  35. 735 . Residence on Earth by Pablo Neruda

    Residence on Earth (Spanish: Residencia En La Tierra) is book of poetry by Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. Residence on Earth came out in three volumes, in 1933, 1935, and 1947. Neruda wrote the book ov...

  36. 736 . Trilce by César Vallejo

    César Vallejo was born in Peru in 1892. In 1921 he spent three months in prison where he wrote some of the poems in Trilce. In 1923 he left for Paris, where he co-founded a cell of the Peruvian Com...

    - Google
  37. 737 . The Poems of Jaime Gil de Biedma
 by Jaime Gil de Biedma


    Jaime Gil de Biedma y Alba (Nov. 13, 1929-Jan. 8, 1990) was a Spanish post-Civil War poet. He was born in Nava de la Asunción[1] on November 13, 1929. He stopped writing poetry some ten years be...

  38. 738 . Juan De Mairena by Antonio Machado

  39. 739 . The Hardy Boys by Franklin W. Dixon

    The Hardy Boys, Frank and Joe Hardy, are fictional characters who appear in various mystery series for children and teens. The characters were created by Edward Stratemeyer, the founder of the S...

  40. 740 . The Manticore by Robertson Davies

    In the second book of the Deptford Trilogy, following Fifth Business, David Staunton, a successful man haunted by his relationship with his larger-than-life father, uses therapy to come to terms wi...

    - Google
  41. 741 . Lad: a Dog by Albert Payson Terhune

    Lad: A Dog is a 1919 American novel written by Albert Payson Terhune and published by E. P. Dutton. Composed of twelve short stories first published in magazines, the novel is based on the life of ...

  42. 742 . Nero Wolfe by Rex Stout

    Nero Wolfe is a fictional character, an armchair detective created in 1934 by the American mystery writer Rex Stout. Wolfe's confidential assistant Archie Goodwin narrates the cases of the detectiv...

  43. 743 . The Progress of Love by Alice Munro

    The Progress of Love is a book of short stories by Alice Munro, published by McClelland and Stewart in 1986. It won the 1986 Governor General's Award for English Fiction, her third win of that award.

  44. 744 . World of Wonders by Robertson Davies

    Magnus Eisengrim, the illustrious magician star of a movie being filmed in Switzerland, spends his free time relating the sad story of his life to his director and producer, a cameraman, a mysterio...

    - Google
  45. 745 . Death on Credit by Louis-Ferdinand Céline

    In Death on Credit, Ferdinand, Céline's alter ego, is a doctor in Paris, treating the poor who seldom pay him but take every advantage of his availability. The action is not continuous but goes bac...

  46. 746 . Mrs. Bridge by Evan S. Connell

    In Mrs. Bridge, Evan S. Connell, a consummate storyteller, artfully crafts a portrait using the finest of details in everyday events and confrontations. With a surgeon’s skill, Connell cuts away th...

    - Google
  47. 747 . The Poetry of Derek Walcott 1948-2013 by Derek Walcott

    A collection spanning the range of the writer's career includes his first published poem, his celebrated verses on violence in Africa, his mature work from "The Star-Apple Kingdom," and his late ma...

    - Google
  48. 748 . Kolyma Tales by Varlan Shalanov

    It is estimated that some three million people died in the Soviet forced-labour camps of Kolyma, in the northeastern area of Siberia. Shalamov himself spent seventeen years there, and in these stor...

    - Google
  49. 749 . The Complete Poems by Philip Larkin

    This entirely new edition brings together all of Philip Larkin’s poems. In addition to those that appear in Collected Poems (1988) and Early Poems and Juvenilia (2005), some unpublished pieces from...

    - Google
  50. 750 . We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

    Merricat Blackwood lives on the family estate with her sister Constance and her uncle Julian. Not long ago there were seven Blackwoods � until a fatal dose of arsenic found its way into the sugar b...

    - Google