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. 2001 . The Last Gentleman by Walker Percy

  2. 2002 . The Burden of Our Time by Hannah Arendt

  3. 2003 . The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

    The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a 2013 novel by British author Neil Gaiman. The work was first published on 18 June 2013 through William Morrow and Company and follows an unnamed man who return...

  4. 2004 . The Carhullan Army by Sarah Hall

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  5. 2005 . Mulligan Stew by Gilbert Sorrentino

    Widely regarded as Sorrentino's finest achievement, Mulligan Stew takes as its subject the comic possibilities of the modern literary imagination. As avant-garde novelist Antony Lamont struggles to...

    - Google
  6. 2006 . The Rosy Crucifixion by Henry Miller

    Henry Miller's Rosy Crucifixion, his second major trilogy, took more than 10 years for the author to complete. Beginning in 1949 with Sexus, a work so controversial all of Paris was abuzz with L'Af...

    - Google
  7. 2007 . Kaaterskill Falls by Allegra Goodman

    Kaaterskill Falls is a 1998 novel by Allegra Goodman, set in a small Catskill Mountains, New York, USA, community of predominantly Orthodox Jews during summers in the mid-1970s.

  8. 2008 . The Emperor's Babe by Bernardine Evaristo

  9. 2009 . Sudden Death by Alvaro Enrigue

    A 1599 Roman tennis match between the Italian painter Caravaggio and the Spanish poet Quevedo represents the way the world changed in their times, in a novel that goes from the execution of Anne Bo...

    - Google
  10. 2010 . Easy Travel to Other Planets by Ted Mooney

  11. 2011 . Amers by Saint-John Perse

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  12. 2012 . Gaston by André Franquin

    Gaston is a comic strip created in 1957 by the Belgian cartoonist André Franquin in the Franco-Belgian comics magazine Spirou. The series focuses on the every-day life of Gaston Lagaffe (whose surn...

    - Google
  13. 2013 . Tours of the Black Clock by Steve Erickson

    The course of a century is rewritten in this fabulously warped odyssey, named a best book of the year by the New York Times Tours of the Black Clock is a wild dream of the twentieth century as told...

    - Google
  14. 2014 . Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

    Flight Behavior is a 2012 novel by Barbara Kingsolver. It is her seventh novel, is a New York Times Bestseller, and was declared "Best book of the year" by the Washington Post and USA Today.

  15. 2015 . In Memoriam to Identity by Kathy Acker

    Kathy Acker's characteristically outrageous, lyrical, and hyperinventive novel concerns three characters who share an impulse toward self-immolation through doomed, obsessive romance. Teetering som...

    - Google
  16. 2016 . Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

    Practical Magic is a novel by Alice Hoffman which was made into a film of the same name. The novel was published by Vintage Books in 1996.

  17. 2017 . The Lost Leader by Mick Imlah

    Michael Ogilvie Imlah (26 September 1956 – 12 January 2009), better known as Mick Imlah, was a Scottish poet and editor.

  18. 2018 . The Position by Meg Wolitzer

    The Position: A Novel (ISBN 0-7432-6178-X) is a 2005 novel by Meg Wolitzer. It tells the story of a book titled Pleasuring: One Couple's Journey to Fulfillment and the effects it has on a family.

  19. 2019 . Hogg by Samuel Delany

    The classic and controversial novel made available again; Acclaimed winner of the William Whitehead Memorial Award for a lifetime's contribution to gay and lesbian literature, bestselling and award...

    - Google
  20. 2020 . Collected Poems of Frank O'Hara by Frank O'Hara

    Francis Russell O'Hara (March 27, 1926 – July 25, 1966) was an American poet who, along with John Ashbery, James Schuyler, Barbara Guest and Kenneth Koch, was a key member of the New York School of...

  21. 2021 . Fools of Fortune by William Trevor

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  22. 2022 . Kaspar and Other Plays by Peter Handke

  23. 2023 . Falling in Place by Ann Beattie

  24. 2024 . A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson

    A God in Ruins, the ninth novel by Kate Atkinson, was published in 2015. The main character, Teddy Todd is the younger brother of Ursula Todd, the protagonist in Atkinson's 2013 novel, Life After L...

  25. 2025 . The Bird of Night by Susan Hill

    The Bird of Night (ISBN 0241104092) is a novel by Susan Hill. It won the 1972 Whitbread Award, and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Susan Hill commented in 2006: A novel of mine was shortliste...

  26. 2026 . The Collected Poems of Langston Hughes by Langston Hughes

    Here, for the first time, is a complete collection of Langston Hughes's poetry - 860 poems that sound the heartbeat of black life in America during five turbulent decades, from the 1920s through th...

    - Google
  27. 2027 . CivilWarLand in Bad Decline by George Saunders

  28. 2028 . The Invented Part by Rodrigo Fresán

    "A kaleidoscopic, open-hearted, shamelessly polymathic storyteller, the kind who brings a blast of oxygen into the room."--Jonathan Lethem An aging writer, disillusioned with the state of literary ...

    - Google
  29. 2029 . Music and Silence by Rose Tremain

    Music and Silence is a novel written by the English author Rose Tremain. It is set in and around the court of Christian IV of Denmark in the years 1629 and 1630.

  30. 2030 . The Changeling by Joy Williams

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  31. 2031 . Silver City by Maurice Leitch

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  32. 2032 . Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man by James Weldon Johnson

    James Weldon Johnson's landmark novel is an emotionally gripping and poignant look into race relations. The protagonist, a half-white, half-black man of very light complexion, known only as an ex-c...

    - Google
  33. 2033 . The Hand That First Held Mine by Maggie O'Farrell

    Lexie Sinclair is plotting an extraordinary life for herself. Hedged in by her parents' genteel country life, she plans her escape to London. There, she takes up with Innes Kent, a magazine editor ...

    - Google
  34. 2034 . The Professional by W. C. Heinz

  35. 2035 . The Sacred and Profane Love Machine by Iris Murdoch

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  36. 2036 . The Palm-Wine Drinkard by Amos Tutola

    The Palm-Wine Drinkard (subtitled "and His Dead Palm-Wine Tapster in the Dead's Town") is often considered the seminal work of modern African literature. It was the first work of print literature a...

  37. 2037 . Black Tickets by Jayne Anne Phillips

    Jayne Anne Phillips (born July 1952) is an American novelist and short story writer, born in the small town of Buckhannon, West Virginia.

  38. 2038 . Restless by William Boyd

    Restless, an espionage novel by William Boyd, was published in 2006 and won the Costa Prize for fiction. It is the story of a mother revealing to her daughter, in a series of written accounts, that...

  39. 2039 . Saturday by Ian McEwan

    In his triumphant new novel, Ian McEwan, the bestselling author of Atonement, follows an ordinary man through a Saturday whose high promise gradually turns nightmarish. Henry Perowne–a neurosurgeon...

  40. 2040 . The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf

    Using an ocean voyage as the setting, this novel shows people's lack of understanding of each other.

    - Google
  41. 2041 . A Sorrow Beyond Dreams by Peter Handke

    Peter Handke (born 6 December 1942, in Griffen, Austria) is an avant-garde Austrian novelist and playwright.

  42. 2042 . Day by A. L. Kennedy

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  43. 2043 . The Diary of Anais Nin, 1931-1934 by Anaïs Nin

    Anaïs Nin (Spanish: [anaˈis ˈnin]; born Angela Anaïs Juana Antolina Rosa Edelmira Nin y Culmell; February 21, 1903 – January 14, 1977) was an author born to Cuban parents in France, where she was a...

    - Google
  44. 2044 . How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez

    How the García Girls Lost Their Accents is a 1991 novel written by Dominican-American poet, novelist, and essayist Julia Alvarez. Told in reverse chronological order and narrated from shifting pers...

  45. 2045 . The Pearl by John Steinbeck

    “There it lay, the great pearl, perfect as the moon.” One of Steinbeck’s most taught works, The Pearl is the story of the Mexican diver Kino, whose discovery of a magnificent pearl from the Gulf be...

    - Google
  46. 2046 . Best Science Fiction Stories of H. G. Wells by H. G. Wells

    Eighteen supernatural tales deal with such phenomena as an invisible man, a crystal egg from Mars, a blood-sucking orchid

    - Google
  47. 2047 . Landing Light by Don Paterson

  48. 2048 . The Story Of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski

    The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: A Novel is the first book by American author David Wroblewski. It became a New York Times Best Seller on June 29, 2008, and Oprah Winfrey chose it for her book club on ...

  49. 2049 . Theory of War by Joan Brady

  50. 2050 . Outside Over There by Maurice Sendak

    With Papa off to sea and Mama despondent, Ida must go outside over there to rescue her baby sister from goblins who steal her to be a goblin's bride.

    - Google