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. 251 . The Lover by Marguerite Duras

    An international best-seller with more than one million copies in print and a winner of France's Prix Goncourt, The Lover has been acclaimed by critics all over the world since its first publicatio...

    - Google
  2. 252 . The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

    The Joy Luck Club (1989) is a best-selling novel written by Amy Tan. It focuses on the game and four Chinese American immigrant families who start a club known as "the Joy Luck Club," playing the C...

  3. 253 . Three Sisters by Anton Chekhov

    Three Sisters (Russian: Три сeстры, translit. Tri sestry) is a play by the Russian author and playwright Anton Chekhov, perhaps partially inspired by the situation of the three Brontë sisters.[1] I...

  4. 254 . Man's Fate by Andre Malraux

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  5. 255 . The Godfather by Mario Puzo

    The Godfather is a crime novel written by American author Mario Puzo, originally published in 1969 by G. P. Putnam's Sons. It details the story of a fictitious Sicilian Mafia family based in New Yo...

  6. 256 . Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges

    Labyrinths (1962) is an English-language collection of short stories and essays by Jorge Luis Borges.

  7. 257 . One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    The only English translation authorized by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn First published in the Soviet journal Novy Mir in 1962, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich stands as a classic of contemporary ...

    - Google
  8. 258 . Foundation by Isaac Asimov

    Foundation is the first book in Isaac Asimov's Foundation Trilogy (later expanded into The Foundation Series). Foundation is a collection of five short stories, which were first published together ...

  9. 259 . Way of All Flesh by Samuel Butler

    'The Way of All Flesh' 'exploded like a bomb' in Edwardian England. Based on Samuel Butler's own life and published posthumously, it indicts Victorian bourgeois values as personified in five genera...

  10. 260 . The Old Wives' Tale by Arnold Bennett

    It deals with the lives of two very different sisters, Constance and Sophia Baines, following their stories from their youth, working in their mother's draper's shop, into old age. It is generally ...

  11. 261 . Ferdydurke by Witold Gombrowicz

    Ferdydurke is a novel by the Polish writer Witold Gombrowicz, published in 1937. Gombrowicz himself wrote of his novel that it is not "... a satire on some social class, nor a nihilistic attack ...

  12. 262 . A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

    Jennifer Egan's spellbinding novel circles the lives of Bennie Salazar, an ageing former punk rocker and record executive, and Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. Although Benni...

    - Google
  13. 263 . Wings of the Dove by Henry James

    One of the masterpieces of James' final period, this novel tells the story of Milly Theale, an American heiress stricken with a serious disease, and her impact on the people around her. Some of the...

  14. 264 . The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

    The Book Thief is a best-selling novel by Markus Zusak published in 2005. It was a 2007 Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book. As of September 2009 it has been on the New York Times Children's Best Se...

  15. 265 . The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter

    The Tale of Peter Rabbit is a British children's book written and illustrated by Beatrix Potter that follows mischievous and disobedient young Peter Rabbit as he is chased about the garden of Mr. M...

    - Google
  16. 266 . The Tartar Steppe by Dino Buzzati

    Often Likened to Kafka's The Castle, this great Italian novel, first published in 1945, is both a scathing criticism of military life and a meditation on the human thirst for glory. It tells of you...

  17. 267 . Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison

    Bastard Out of Carolina was the first novel published by author Dorothy Allison. The book, which is semi-autobiographical in nature, is set in Allison's hometown of Greenville, South Carolina. Narr...

  18. 268 . NW: A Novel by Zadie Smith

    New York Times Ten Best Books of 2012 “A boldly Joycean appropriation, fortunately not so difficult of entry as its great model… Like Zadie Smith’s much-acclaimed predecessor White Teeth (2000), NW...

    - Google
  19. 269 . Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin

    Set in the 1950s Paris of American expatriates, liaisons, and violence, a young man finds himself caught between desire and conventional morality. With a sharp, probing imagination, James Baldwin's...

    - Google
  20. 270 . Gypsy Ballads by Federico García Lorca

    The publication in 1928 of Romancero gitano (written 1921–27; Gypsy Ballads), a poetry sequence inspired by the traditional Spanish romance, or ballad, catapulted Lorca into the national spotlight.

  21. 271 . A Bend in the River by V. S. Naipaul

    In the "brilliant novel" ("The New York Times) V.S. Naipaul takes us deeply into the life of one man--an Indian who, uprooted by the bloody tides of Third World history, has come to live in an isol...

  22. 272 . Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson

    Set on the fictional San Piedro Island in the northern Puget Sound region of the state of Washington coast in 1954, the plot revolves around a murder case in which Kabuo Miyamoto, a Japanese Americ...

  23. 273 . The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien

    The Things They Carried is a collection of related stories by Tim O'Brien, about a platoon of American soldiers in the Vietnam War, originally published in hardcover by Houghton Mifflin, 1990. Whil...

  24. 274 . Neuromancer by William Gibson

    The novel tells the story of a washed-up computer hacker hired by a mysterious employer to work on the ultimate hack. Gibson explores artificial intelligence, virtual reality, genetic engineering, ...

  25. 275 . The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

    The Thorn Birds is a 1977 best-selling novel by Colleen McCullough, an Australian author. In 1983 it was adapted as a television mini-series that, during its television run March 27-30, became t...

  26. 276 . Collected Poems of T.S. Eliot by T. S. Eliot

    Thomas Stearns Eliot was an American poet, playwright, and literary critic, arguably the most important English-language poet of the 20th century.

  27. 277 . Life of Pi by Yann Martel

    Life of Pi is a fantasy adventure novel written by Canadian author Yann Martel. In the story, the protagonist Piscine "Pi" Molitor Patel, an Indian boy from Pondicherry, explores issues of spiritua...

  28. 278 . Watchmen by Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons

    Watchmen is a graphic novel—a book-length comic book with ambitions above its station—starring a ragbag of bizarre, damaged, retired superheroes: the paunchy, melancholic Nite Owl; the raving dooms...

    - Time
  29. 279 . Anniversaries by Uwe Johnson

    A translation of the first two volumes of Uwe Johnson's Jahrestage.

    - Google
  30. 280 . Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich

    Love Medicine is Louise Erdrich’s first novel, published in 1984. Each chapter is narrated by a different character. These narratives are very conversational, as if the narrators were telling a st...

  31. 281 . Poems of W. H. Auden by W. H. Auden

    Wystan Hugh Auden[1] (/ˈwɪstən ˈhjuː ˈɔːdən/;[2] 21 February 1907 – 29 September 1973), who published as W. H. Auden, was an Anglo-American poet,[3][4] born in England, later an American citizen, a...

  32. 282 . Ragtime by E. L. Doctorow

    Ragtime is a 1975 novel by E. L. Doctorow. This work of historical fiction is mostly set in New York City from about 1900 until the United States entry into World War I in 1917. A unique adaptation...

  33. 283 . His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

    The story involves fantasy elements such as witches and armoured polar bears, and alludes to a broad range of ideas from fields such as physics, philosophy, theology and spirituality. It follows th...

  34. 284 . The Radetzky March by Joseph Roth

    The Radetzky March, Joseph Roth's classic saga of the privileged von Trotta family, encompasses the entire social fabric of the Austro-Hungarian Empire just before World War I. The author's greates...

    - Google
  35. 285 . Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson

    Before Raymond Carver, John Cheever, and Richard Ford, there was Sherwood Anderson, who, with Winesburg, Ohio, charted a new direction in American fiction — evoking with lyrical simplicity quiet mo...

  36. 286 . Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernières

    It is 1941 and Captain Antonio Corelli, a young Italian officer, is posted to the Greek island of Cephallonia as part of the occupying forces. At first he is ostracised by the locals, but as a cons...

    - Amazon
  37. 287 . Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? is a science fiction novel by Philip K. Dick first published in 1968. The main plot follows Rick Deckard, a bounty hunter of androids, while the secondary plot ...

  38. 288 . The Moon and the Bonfires by Cesare Pavese

    An orphan rescued from death by a farm family returns to Italy from America after World War II with money in his pockets, but wealth cannot protect him from the harsh realities of life. Original.

    - Google
  39. 289 . We by Yevgeny Zamyatin

    Translated by Natasha Randall Foreword by Bruce Sterling Written in 1921, We is set in the One State, where all live for the collective good and individual freedom does not exist. The novel takes t...

    - Google
  40. 290 . The Unnamable by Samuel Beckett

    The Unnamable is a 1953 novel by Samuel Beckett. It is the third and final entry in Beckett's "Trilogy" of novels, which begins with Molloy followed by Malone Dies. It was originally published in F...

  41. 291 . Sophie's Choice by William Styron

    It concerns a young American Southerner, an aspiring writer, who befriends the Jewish Nathan Landau and his beautiful lover Sophie, a Polish (but non-Jewish) survivor of the Nazi concentration camp...

  42. 292 . The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West

    The Day of the Locust is a 1939 novel by American author Nathanael West, set in Hollywood, California during the Great Depression, depicting the alienation and desperation of a disparate group of i...

  43. 293 . The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton

    The Custom of the Country is a 1913 novel by Edith Wharton. It tells the story of Undine Spragg, a Midwestern girl who attempts to ascend in New York City society.

  44. 294 . The Stories of Raymond Carver by Raymond Carver

    Raymond Clevie Carver, Jr. (May 25, 1938 – August 2, 1988) was an American short story writer and poet. Carver was a notable writer of the late 20th century and a contributor to the revitalization ...

    - Google
  45. 295 . Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

    Cat's Cradle explores issues of science, technology, and religion, satirizing the arms race and many other targets along the way. After turning down his original thesis, the University of Chicago, ...

  46. 296 . The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver

    Clear-eyed and spirited, Taylor Greer grew up poor in rural Kentucky with the goals of avoiding pregnancy and getting away. But when she heads west with high hopes and a barely functional car, she ...

    - Google
  47. 297 . Carry On, Jeeves by P. G. Wodehouse

    A classic collection of Jeeves and Wooster stories from P.G. Wodehouse, the great comic writer of the 20th century In his new role as valet to Bertie Wooster, Jeeves's first duty is to create a mir...

    - Google
  48. 298 . Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie

    The character of the chief protagonist of The Satanic Verses is based on Indian film star Amitabh Bachchan and a bit of Rama Rao. The title refers to what are known as the satanic verses, a group o...

  49. 299 . The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekhov

  50. 300 . The Razor's Edge by W. Somerset Maugham

    Larry Darrell is a young American in search of the absolute. The progress of his spiritual odyssey involves him with some of Maugham's most brilliant characters - his fiancée Isabel whose choice be...

    - Google