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. 2051 . Rivers and Mountains by John Ashbery

  2. 2052 . Behind of the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson

    Behind the Scenes at the Museum is the first novel of Kate Atkinson. The book covers the experiences of Ruby Lennox from a middle-class English family.

  3. 2053 . The Children of Dynmouth by William Trevor

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  4. 2054 . Kruger's Alp by Christopher Hope

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  5. 2055 . The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac

    The Dharma Bums is a 1958 novel by Beat Generation author Jack Kerouac. The semi-fictional accounts in the novel are based upon events that occurred years after the events of On the Road. The main ...

  6. 2056 . Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self by Claire Tomalin

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  7. 2057 . Picture Palace by Paul Theroux

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  8. 2058 . Wild at Heart: The Story of Sailor and Lula by Barry Gifford

    Despite her mother's disapproval, Lula Pace Fortune joins her boyfriend, Sailor Ripley, when he finishes serving his prison sentence for murder

    - Google
  9. 2059 . Searching for Caleb by Anne Tyler

    Searching for Caleb is Anne Tyler's sixth novel. It was originally published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1975.

  10. 2060 . The Box Man by Kobo Abé

    Kōbō Abe (安部公房, Abe Kōbō?), pseudonym of Kimifusa Abe (Abe Kimifusa, March 7, 1924 – January 22, 1993) was a Japanese writer, playwright, photographer and inventor.

  11. 2061 . Thank You and Other Poems by Kenneth Koch

  12. 2062 . Joy in the Morning by P. G. Wodehouse

    “To dive into a Wodehouse novel is to swim in some of the most elegantly turned phrases in the English language.”—Ben Schott Follow the adventures of Bertie Wooster and his gentleman’s gentleman, J...

    - Google
  13. 2063 . The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber

    The Book of Strange New Things is a 2014 science fiction novel by Dutch-born author Michel Faber. The work was first published in the United States on October 28, 2014 and concerns an English pasto...

  14. 2064 . Injury Time by Beryl Bainbridge

    Injury Time is a novel by English author Beryl Bainbridge and first published in 1977 by Duckworth. It won the 1977 Whitbread Book of the Year Award.

  15. 2065 . English Passengers by Matthew Kneale

  16. 2066 . The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

    The Time Traveler's Wife, published in 2003, is the debut novel of American author Audrey Niffenegger. It is a love story about a man with a genetic disorder that causes him to time travel unpredic...

  17. 2067 . Home to Harlem by Claude McKay

    With sensual, often brutal accuracy, Claude McKay traces the parallel paths of two very different young men struggling to find their way through the suspicion and prejudice of American society. At ...

    - Google
  18. 2068 . Cheri by Colette

    Cheri and The Last Of Cheri involve a tragic/comic love affair. Colette (1873-1954) is the pseudonym for Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette. She is best known in English speaking countries for her novel Gig...

    - Google
  19. 2069 . Poems: Selected and New, 1950-1974 by Adrienne Rich

    Adrienne Cecile Rich is an American poet, essayist and feminist. She has been called "one of the most widely read and influential poets of the second half of the [20th] century."

  20. 2070 . Savages: A Novel by Don Winslow

    Running a lucrative marijuana operation in Laguna Beach, environmentalist Ben and mercenary Chon confront an adversary in the Mexican Baja cartel who kidnaps their playmate and confidante Ophelia, ...

    - Google
  21. 2071 . Last Exit to Brooklyn by Hubert Selby

    The decadence and violence of the urban streets is graphically portrayed in a novel set in a New York slum

    - Google
  22. 2072 . Young Shoulders by John Wain

    Young Shoulders is a 1982 novel by John Wain. It portrays incompatibility in a marital relationship and how such a flawed marriage affects the children born out of it.

  23. 2073 . Elegies by Douglas Dunn

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  24. 2074 . The Terror by Dan Simmons

    The Terror is the name of a 2007 novel by American author Dan Simmons. The novel is a fictionalized account of Franklin's lost expedition of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror under Captain Sir John Frankli...

  25. 2075 . The Complete Stories by Zora Neale Hurston

    This landmark gathering of Zora Neale Hurston's short fiction—most of which appeared only in literary magazines during her lifetime—reveals the evolution of one of the most important African Americ...

    - Google
  26. 2076 . The Lime Twig by John Hawkes

    The Lime Twig is a 1961 novella by American writer John Hawkes.

  27. 2077 . The Natural by Bernard Malamud

    Introduction by Kevin Baker The Natural, Bernard Malamud’s first novel, published in 1952, is also the first—and some would say still the best—novel ever written about baseball. In it Malamud, usua...

    - Google
  28. 2078 . A Fan's Notes by Frederick Exley

    A Fan's Notes is a novel by Frederick Exley, first published in 1968. Subtitled "A Fictional Memoir" and categorized as fiction, the book is somewhat autobiographical. In a brief "Note to the reade...

  29. 2079 . Poor Things by Alasdair Gray

    Poor Things is a novel by Scottish writer Alasdair Gray, published in 1992. It won the Whitbread Novel Award in 1992 and the Guardian Fiction Prize for 1992.

  30. 2080 . Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss

    Written using a vocabulary of only 50 words, Dr. Seuss' second best selling book of all time is brought joyously to life in this colourful board book. Featuring lots of fabulous flaps and silly sti...

    - Google
  31. 2081 . Collected Stories of Peter Taylor by Peter Taylor

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  32. 2082 . Felicia's Journey by William Trevor

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  33. 2083 . City of Glass by Paul Auster

    The first story, City of Glass, features a detective-fiction writer become private investigator who descends into madness as he becomes embroiled in a case. It explores layers of identity and reali...

  34. 2084 . The History of Mr. Polly by H. G. Wells

    The History of Mr. Polly is a 1910 comic novel by H. G. Wells. The novel's principal conflict is Mr. Polly's struggle with life, told "in the full-blooded Dickens tradition." This moral struggle is...

    - Google
  35. 2085 . Seven Gothic Tales by Karen Blixen

  36. 2086 . Hopeful Monsters by Nicholas Mosley

  37. 2087 . Airships by Barry Hannah

    Now considered a contemporary classic, Airships was honored by Esquire magazine with the Arnold Gingrich Short Fiction Award. The twenty stories in this collection are a fresh, exuberant celebratio...

    - Google
  38. 2088 . The Complete Poems of Marianne Moore by Marianne Moore

    Marianne Moore (November 15, 1887 – February 5, 1972) was a Modernist American poet and writer noted for her irony and wit.

  39. 2089 . The Chymical Wedding by Lindsay Clarke

    The Chymical Wedding is a 1989 novel by Lindsay Clarke about the intertwined lives of six people in two different eras. The book includes themes of alchemy, the occult, fate, passion, and obsession.

  40. 2090 . The Collected Poems of Audre Lorde by Audre Lorde

    Audre Geraldine Lorde (February 18, 1934 - November 17, 1992) was a Caribbean-American writer, poet and activist.

  41. 2091 . Quarantine by Jim Crace

    Quarantine is a novel by Jim Crace. It was the winner of the 1997 Whitbread Novel Award, and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction the same year.

  42. 2092 . The Destiny Waltz by Gerda Charles

  43. 2093 . Building Stories by Chris Ware

    Presents an illustrated tale, told in various books and folded sheets, about the residents in a three-story Chicago apartment building, including a lonely single woman, a couple who are growing to ...

    - Google
  44. 2094 . Carter Beats The Devil by Glen David Gold

    Carter Beats The Devil is a historical mystery thriller novel by Glen David Gold

  45. 2095 . Pushcart Prize Anthology by Pushcart Prize

    The Pushcart Prize is a prestigious American literary prize by Pushcart Press that honors the best "poetry, short fiction, essays or literary whatnot" published in the small presses over the previo...

  46. 2096 . Nog by Rudy Wurlitzer

    Nog is a psychedelic novel by Rudolph Wurlitzer published in 1969. Written in an experimental style, the novel is described by Atlantic Monthly as being effective at replicating "the slight and con...

  47. 2097 . African Stories by Doris Lessing

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  48. 2098 . Will You Please be Quiet, Please? by Raymond Carver

    Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?, published in 1976, was the first short-story collection by American writer Raymond Carver. This minimalist collection revolves around themes of segregation and di...

  49. 2099 . The Beginning of Spring by Penelope Fitzgerald

    The Beginning of Spring is a novel by British author Penelope Fitzgerald. Set in Moscow in 1913, it tells the story of a Moscow-born son of a British emigre manufacturer whose Britain-born wife has...

  50. 2100 . Swing Hammer Swing! by Jeff Torrington

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