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. 751 . Complete Stories by Dorothy Parker

    As this complete collection of her short stories demonstrates, Dorothy Parker's talents extended far beyond brash one-liners and clever rhymes. Her stories not only bring to life the urban milieu t...

    - Google
  2. 752 . Mr Bridge by Evan S. Connell

    Evan S. Connell's Mr Bridge is a moving and darkly funny portrayal of a man who is outwardly successful but internally stunted by existential doubts, repressed sexual yearnings and deep-seated prej...

    - Google
  3. 753 . The Princess Bride: An Illustrated Edition of S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure by William Goldman

    Here William Goldman’s beloved story of Buttercup, Westley, and their fellow adventurers finally receives a beautiful illustrated treatment. A tale of true love and high adventure, pirates, princes...

    - Google
  4. 754 . Collected Stories by Raymond Chandler

    A complete collection of short fiction by the creator of Philip Marlowe includes stories such as "Blackmailers Don't Shoot," "The Pencil," and "English Summer."

    - Google
  5. 755 . The First Man by Albert Camus

    Camus tells the story of Jacques Cormery, a boy who lived a life much like his own. Camus summons up the sights, sounds and textures of a childhood circumscribed by poverty and a father's death yet...

    - Google
  6. 756 . Demian by Hermann Hesse

    Demian: The Story of Emil Sinclair's Youth is a Bildungsroman by Hermann Hesse, first published in 1919; a prologue was added in 1960. Demian was first published under the pseudonym "Emil Sinclair"...

  7. 757 . Mortal y rosa by Francisco Umbral

  8. 758 . Last Evenings with Teresa by Juan Marse

  9. 759 . Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter by Mario Vargas Llosa

    'A comic novel on the grand scale written with tremendous confidence and verve. Mario, 18-year-old law student and radio news-editor, falls scandalously for his Aunt Julia, the 32-year-old divorced...

    - Google
  10. 760 . Bohemian Lights by Ramón del Valle-Inclán

    Bohemian Lights, or Luces de Bohemia in the original Spanish, is a play written by Ramón del Valle-Inclán, published in 1924.[1] The central character is Max Estrella, a struggling poet afflicted b...

  11. 761 . The Shadow Line by Joseph Conrad

    The Shadow-Line is a short novel based at sea by Joseph Conrad; it is one of his later works, being written from February to December 1915. It was first published in 1916 as a serial in New York's ...

  12. 762 . Spain, Take This Chalice from Me by César Vallejo

    A major new bilingual edition of the Peruvian poet's work Cesar Vallejo is one of the best-known Latin American poets of the twentieth century. Challenging, intense, and difficult to translate, Val...

    - Google
  13. 763 . Three plays: The hostage, Crusts, The humiliation of the father by Paul Claudel

    Paul Claudel (French: [pɔl klɔdɛl]; 6 August 1868 – 23 February 1955) was a French poet, dramatist and diplomat, and the younger brother of the sculptor Camille Claudel. He was most famous for his ...

    - Google
  14. 764 . The Diary of a Country Priest by Georges Bernanos

    Recounts the life of a young French country priest who grows to understand his provincial parish while learning spiritual humility himself.

    - Google
  15. 765 . Ellen Foster by Kaye Gibbons

    Winner of the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction and of the Ernest Hemingway Foundation's Citation for Fiction. An eleven-year-old heroine tells her unforgett...

    - Google
  16. 766 . Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

    Sing, Unburied, Sing is a 2017 novel by Jesmyn Ward. It is about a family's dynamics in the fictional town of Bois Sauvage, Mississippi. The novel received overwhelmingly positive reviews, and was ...

  17. 767 . Brick Lane by Monica Ali

    Nazneen finds herself married off to a man twice her age and moved to London, where she meets a younger man involved in radical politics and begins to wonder if she has a say in her own destiny.

    - Google
  18. 768 . War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk

    These two classic works capture the tide of world events even as they unfold the compelling tale of a single American family drawn into the very center of the war's maelstrom. The multimillion-copy...

    - Google
  19. 769 . The Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O'Connor

    The Violent Bear It Away is a novel published in 1960 by American author Flannery O'Connor. It is the second and final novel that she published. The first chapter of the novel was published as the ...

  20. 770 . Centennial by James A. Michener

    Written to commemorate the Bicentennial in 1976, James A. Michener’s magnificent saga of the West is an enthralling celebration of the frontier. Brimming with the glory of America’s past, the story...

    - Google
  21. 771 . The Mandarins by Simone de Beauvoir

    The Mandarins (French: Les Mandarins) is a 1954 roman à clef by Simone de Beauvoir, for which she won the Prix Goncourt, awarded to the best and most imaginative prose work of the year, in 1954. Th...

  22. 772 . The Bells of Basel by Louis Aragon

  23. 773 . The Parable of the Blind by Gert Hofmann

    Der Blindensturz (1985) (translated as The Parable of the Blind) is the title of short novel in ten chapters by German writer Gert Hofmann. Inspired by Parabel der Blinden (1568), a painting by Ne...

  24. 774 . Nada by Carmen Laforet

    Nada, which means "nothing" in Spanish, is the first novel of Spanish author Carmen Laforet, published in 1945.

  25. 775 . Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto

    Kitchen (キッチン)is a novel written by Japanese author Banana Yoshimoto (吉本ばなな)in 1988 and translated into English in 1993 by Megan Backus. Although one may notice a certain Western influence in Yosh...

  26. 776 . Cigarettes by Harry Mathews

    Cigarettes is a novel about the rich and powerful, tracing their complicated relationships from the 1930s to the 1960s, from New York City to Upper New York State. Though nothing is as simple as it...

    - Google
  27. 777 . Waterland by Graham Swift

    Waterland is a 1983 novel by British author Graham Swift. It won the Guardian Fiction Prize and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. (Swift won this prize in 1996 with his novel Last Orders). It i...

  28. 778 . Billy Liar by Keith Waterhouse

    Billy Liar is a 1959 novel by Keith Waterhouse, which was later adapted into a play, a film, a musical and a TV series. The work has inspired and featured in a number of popular songs. The semi-co...

  29. 779 . A Dry White Season by Andre Brink

    A Dry White Season (Afrikaans: ’n Droë wit seisoen) is a 1979 novel by Afrikaner novelist André Brink. The title quotes a line from the struggle poem For Don M. - Banned by Mongane Wally Serote. Th...

  30. 780 . The History of the Siege of Lisbon by José Saramago

    The History of the Siege of Lisbon (Portuguese: História do Cerco de Lisboa) is a novel by Portuguese author José Saramago, first published in 1989. It tells the story of a proofreader and the sto...

  31. 781 . Miramar by Naguib Mahfouz

    Miramar is a novel authored by Naguib Mahfouz, an Egyptian Nobel Prize-winning author. It was written in 1967 and translated into English in 1978.

  32. 782 . The Afternoon of a Writer by Peter Handke

    A writer, fearful of losing his abilities and hence his connection with the world, takes an afternoon walk and has several encounters that reaffirm his confidence

    - Google
  33. 783 . The Hive by Camilo José Cela

    The Hive (Spanish: La Colmena) (also translated as The Beehive) is a novel written by the Spanish author Camilo José Cela, first published in 1950.

  34. 784 . W, or the Memory of Childhood by Georges Perec

    W, or the Memory of Childhood (French: W ou le souvenir d'enfance), is a semi-autobiographical work of fiction by Georges Perec, published in 1975. Perec's novel consists of alternating chapters of...

  35. 785 . The Enormous Room by E. E. Cummings

    The Enormous Room (The Green-Eyed Stores) is a 1922 autobiographical novel by the poet and novelist E. E. Cummings about his temporary imprisonment in France during World War I. Cummings served as...

  36. 786 . The Bell by Iris Murdoch

    The Bell is a novel by Iris Murdoch. Published in 1958, it was her fourth novel. It is set in a lay religious community situated next to an enclosed order of Benedictine nuns in Gloucestershire.

  37. 787 . Couples, Passersby by Botho Strauß

    Couples, Passersby (German: Paare, Passanten) is a 1981 short story collection by the German writer Botho Strauß. It consists of narrative vignettes and aphoristic sequences divided into six sectio...

  38. 788 . Willard and His Bowling Trophies: A Perverse Mystery by Richard Brautigan

    Willard and His Bowling Trophies: A Perverse Mystery is a novel by Richard Brautigan written in 1975. The story takes place in San Francisco, California in the early 1970s. The title character is ...

  39. 789 . The Late-night News by Petros Markaris

    Costas Haritos, a CID chief in central Athens, is uncomfortably married, aggressive and pessimistic, and only manages to relax when he is at home reading his English dictionaries. A veteran of the ...

    - Google
  40. 790 . Reasons to Live by Amy Hempel

    Hempel's now-classic collection of short fiction is peopled by complex characters who have discovered that their safety nets are not dependable and who must now learn to balance on the threads of w...

    - Google
  41. 791 . Hallucinating Foucault by Patricia Duncker

    A captivating first novel of love and madness, Hallucinating Foucault tells of a devoted reader's quest to find and liberate Paul Michel, enfant terrible of French Letters, who is schizophrenic and...

    - Google
  42. 792 . Forever a Stranger by Hella S. Haasse

    Hella S. Haasse, one of Holland's most popular contemporary authors, was born in the Dutch East Indies in 1918. The influence of her early years in this region, where she left behind unforgettable ...

    - Google
  43. 793 . Fall On Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald

    The Piper family is steeped in secrets, lies, and unspoken truths. At the eye of the storm is one secret that threatens to shake their lives -- even destroy them. Set on stormy Cape Breton Island o...

    - Google
  44. 794 . The Blind Owl by Ṣādiq Hidāyat

    The Blind Owl (1936; Persian: بوف کور‎, Boof-e koor, listen ) is Sadegh Hedayat's magnum opus and a major literary work of 20th century Iran. Written in Persian, it tells the story of an unnamed pe...

  45. 795 . Giles Goat-Boy by John Barth

    Giles Goat-Boy (1966) is the fourth novel by American writer John Barth. It is metafictional comic novel in which the universe is portrayed as a university campus in an elaborate allegory of both ...

  46. 796 . The Diviners by Margaret Laurence

    The Diviners is a novel by Margaret Laurence. Published by McClelland & Stewart in 1974, it was Laurence's final novel, and is considered one of the classics of Canadian literature. The novel won ...

  47. 797 . The Swarm by Frank Schatzing

    Whales begin sinking ships. Toxic, eyeless crabs poison Long Island's water supply. The North Sea shelf collapses, killing thousands in Europe. Around the world, countries are beginning to feel the...

    - Google
  48. 798 . Z by Vassilis Vassilikos

    Based on a 1963 political assassination in Salonika, the novel reflects the torments of modern Greece

    - Google
  49. 799 . Viper’s Tangle by François Mauriac

    The masterpiece of one of the twentieth century’s greatest Catholic writers, Vipers’ Tangle tells the story of Monsieur Louis, an embittered aging lawyer who has spread his misery to his entire est...

    - Google
  50. 800 . Pereira Maintains by Antonio Tabucchi

    Pereira Maintains (Italian: Sostiene Pereira) is a 1994 novel by the Italian writer Antonio Tabucchi. It is also known as Pereira Declares and Declares Pereira. Its story follows Pereira, a journal...