The Greatest Books Since 1970

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. 901 . The Collected Stories by Grace Paley

    Here are all of Grace Paley's classic stories collected in one volume. Her quirky, boisterous characters and rich use of language have won her readers' hearts and secured her place as one of Americ...

    - Google
  2. 902 . The Barracks Thief by Tobias Wolff

    The Barracks Thief is a novella by Tobias Wolff, first published in 1984. The story concerns paratroopers in training during the time of the Vietnam war.

  3. 903 . Dart by Alice Oswald

  4. 904 . The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin

    The Fifth Season is a 2015 science fantasy novel by N. K. Jemisin. It was awarded the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2016. It is the first volume in the Broken Earth series and is followed by The Obe...

  5. 905 . Libra by Don DeLillo

    Libra (1988) is a novel written by Don DeLillo. It focuses on the life of Lee Harvey Oswald and offers a speculative account of the events that shaped the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

  6. 906 . Roots by Alex Haley

  7. 907 . Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin

    Winter's Tale is a 1983 novel by author Mark Helprin. It takes place in a mythical New York City near the turn of the 20th century, markedly different from the world we live in.

  8. 908 . City of Salt by Abdelrahman Munif

    Banned in Saudia Arabia, this is a blistering look at Arab and American hypocrisy following the discovery of oil in a poor oasis community.

  9. 909 . The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak

    Populated with vibrant characters, The Bastard of Istanbul is the story of two families, one Turkish and one Armenian American, and their struggle to forge their unique identities against the backd...

    - Google
  10. 910 . The Heather Blazing by Colm Toibin

    Eamon Redmond is a judge in Ireland’s high court, a completely legal creature who is just beginning to discover how painfully unconnected he is from other human beings. With effortless fluency, Col...

    - Google
  11. 911 . An Accidental Man by Iris Murdoch

    A scintillating novel of fate, accidents, and moral dilemmas Set in the time of the Vietnam War, this story concerns the plight of a young American, happily installed in a perfect job in England, e...

    - Google
  12. 912 . Cities of the Red Night: A Novel by William S. Burroughs

    Clem Snide, a private detective, has to solve a case of ritual murder. In the Gobi Desert 100,000 years ago, a red virus has erupted. And in the 18th century, gay pirates have set up their own repu...

    - Google
  13. 913 . My Life and My Life in the Nineties by Lyn Hejinian

    Lyn Hejinian is among the most prominent of contemporary American poets. Her poem My Life has garnered accolades and fans inside and outside academia. First published in 1980, and revised in 1987 a...

    - Google
  14. 914 . The Bottle Factory Outing by Beryl Bainbridge

    The Bottle Factory Outing is a 1974 novel written by Beryl Bainbridge, it was shortlisted for the Booker Prize that year and won the Guardian Fiction Prize. It is also listed as one of the 100 grea...

  15. 915 . The Rachel Papers by Martin Amis

    Charles Highway, a precociously intelligent and highly sexed teenager, is determined to sleep with an older woman before he turns twenty. Rachel fits the bill perfectly and Charles plans his seduct...

    - Google
  16. 916 . Sweet Days of Discipline by Fleur Jaeggy

    The story of a fourteen-year-old girl living in a bording school in postwar Switzerland.

    - Google
  17. 917 . I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem by Maryse Condé

    This wild and entertaining novel expands on the true story of the West Indian slave Tituba, who was accused of witchcraft in Salem, Massachusetts, arrested in 1692, and forgotten in jail until the ...

    - Google
  18. 918 . The Periodic Table by Primo Levi

    The stories have various themes: the experiences of life in Nazi concentration camps, legacies from the profession of chemistry, tales both true and with his own fantasy, creating a vision of the s...

  19. 919 . The Loser by Thomas Bernhard

    Thomas Bernhard (1931-1989) has been hailed by Gabriel Josipovici as 'Austria's finest postwar writer' and by George Steiner as 'one of the masters of contemporary European fiction.' Faber Finds is...

    - Google
  20. 920 . Distant Star by Roberto Bolaño

    The star in this hair-raising novel is Alberto Ruiz-Tagle, an Air Force pilot who exploits the 1973 coup in Chile to launch his own version of the New Chilean Poetry, a multimedia enterprise that s...

    - Google
  21. 921 . L.A. Confidential by James Ellroy

    Los Angeles in the 1950s: from its fabulous mansions to its sizzling nightclubs, it is a sprawling center of corruption and dangerous passions. Now a horrific mass murder invades the bleak cityscap...

  22. 922 . VALIS by Philip K. Dick

    “Dick is one of the ten best American writers of the twentieth century, which is saying a lot. Dick was a kind of Kafka steeped in LSD and rage.”—Roberto Bolaño What is VALIS? This question is at t...

    - Google
  23. 923 . Falconer by John Cheever

    It tells the story of Ezekiel Farragut, a university professor and drug addict who is serving time in Falconer State Prison for the murder of his brother. Farragut struggles to retain his humanity ...

  24. 924 . Early Novels and Stories by James Baldwin

    A collection of stories penned by one of the greatest African-American writers of the postwar era includes such works as Go Tell It on the Mountain, Giovanni's Room, Another Country, and Going to M...

    - Google
  25. 925 . The Stories of Vladimir Nabokov by Vladimir Nabokov

    From the writer who shocked and delighted the world with his novels Lolita, Pale Fire, and Ada, or Ardor, and so many others, comes a magnificent collection of stories. Written between the 1920s an...

    - Google
  26. 926 . The Hearts and Lives of Men: A Novel by Fay Weldon

    It’s 1960s London, and the sexual revolution is in full swing in Fay Weldon’s enduring story of lust, marriage, family, art, avarice, ambition, betrayal, and true love Clifford Wexford and Helen La...

    - Google
  27. 927 . Water Music by T. C. Boyle

    Set in 1795, "Water Music" is the rambunctious account of two men's wild adventures through the gutters of London and the Scottish Highlands to their unlikely meeting in darkest Africa.

    - Google
  28. 928 . The Green Knight by Iris Murdoch

    Full of suspense, humor, and symbolism, this magnificently crafted and magical novel replays biblical and medieval themes in contemporary London. An attempt by the sharp, feral, and uncommonly inte...

    - Google
  29. 929 . The Remorseful Day by Colin Dexter

    For a year, the murder of Mrs. Yvonne Harrison at her home in Oxfordshire had baffled the Thames Valley CID. The manner of her death--her naked handcuffed body left lying in bed--matched her reputa...

    - Google
  30. 930 . I Wish Someone Were Waiting for Me Somewhere by Anna Gavalda

    Collects eleven short stories about individuals longing to connect with others.

    - Google
  31. 931 . Autumn by Ali Smith

    Autumn is a 2016 novel by Scottish author Ali Smith, first published by Hamish Hamilton. It is projected to be the first of four seasonal ‘state of the nation’ works. Written rapidly after the Unit...

  32. 932 . Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon

    Chabon’s extraordinary story of one turbulent weekend in the life of a struggling writer, a satire of the permanent adolescence of the creative class A wildly successful first novel made Grady Trip...

    - Google
  33. 933 . House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

    A family relocates to a small house on Ash Tree Lane and discovers that the inside of their new home seems to be without boundaries.

    - Google
  34. 934 . The Green Road by Anne Enright

    The Green Road is a 2015 novel by Irish author Anne Enright. It is the sixth novel by Enright and concerns the lives of the Madigan family - four children and their mother Rosaleen. A critical succ...

  35. 935 . Levels of Life by Julian Barnes

    Part history, part fiction, part memoir, Levels of Life is a powerfully personal and unforgettable book, and an immediate classic on the subject of grief. Levels of Life opens in the nineteenth cen...

    - Google
  36. 936 . The Notebook: The Proof ; The Third Lie : Three Novels by Agota Kristof

    These three internationally acclaimed novels have confirmed Agota Kristof's reputation as one of the most provocative exponents of new-wave European fiction. With all the stark simplicity of a frac...

    - Google
  37. 937 . Human Chain by Seamus Heaney

    Human Chain (2010) is the twelfth and final poetry collection by Seamus Heaney, who received the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature. It won the Forward Poetry Prize Best Collection 2010 award, the Iris...

  38. 938 . Night Watch by Terry Pratchett

    Night Watch is a fantasy novel by British writer Terry Pratchett, the 29th book in his Discworld series, published in 2002. The protagonist of the novel is Sir Samuel Vimes, commander of the Ankh-M...

  39. 939 . On Beauty by Zadie Smith

    On Beauty is a 2005 novel by British author Zadie Smith. It takes its title from an essay by Elaine Scarry (On Beauty and Being Just). The story follows the lives of a mixed-race British/American f...

  40. 940 . Books of Blood by Clive Barker

    Five stories deal with an ax murderer, a race with death, a telekinetic killer, a terrifying demon, and a murderous ape.

    - Google
  41. 941 . Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

    Fates and Furies is a 2015 novel by American author Lauren Groff. It is Groff's third novel and fourth book. The book takes place in New York and examines how the different people in a relationship...

  42. 942 . Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel

    Station Eleven is a 2014 novel by Emily St. John Mandel. It is Mandel's fourth novel. The novel takes place in the Great Lakes region after a fictional swine flu pandemic, known as the "Georgia Flu...

  43. 943 . The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

    The Silence of the Girls is a 2018 novel by English novelist Pat Barker. It recounts the events of the Iliad, chiefly from the point of view of Briseis.

  44. 944 . Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk

    Haunted is a novel made up of stories: twenty-three of the most horrifying, hilarious, mind-blowing, stomach-churning tales you'll ever encounter. They are told by the people who have all answered ...

    - Google
  45. 945 . Going Native by Stephen Wright

    This extraordinary work that was met with both critical and popular acclaim in hardcover reads like a frightening, resonant nineties version of Jack Kerouac'sOn The Road. Author Stephen Wright ...

  46. 946 . The Constant Gardener by John le Carré

    The Constant Gardener is a 2001 novel by British author John le Carré. The novel tells the story of Justin Quayle, a British diplomat whose activist wife is murdered. Believing there is something b...

  47. 947 . The Stories of Ray Bradbury by Ray Bradbury

    A volume of 100 top-selected stories by the iconic writer includes Martian tales, pieces inspired by life in Mexico and offbeat reminiscences of a childhood in Green Town, Illinois. By the National...

    - Google
  48. 948 . The Infatuations by Javier Marías

    The Infatuations (Spanish: Los enamoramientos) is a National Novel Prize-winning novel by Javier Marías, published in 2011. The translation into English by Margaret Jull Costa was published by Hami...

  49. 949 . Notes on a Scandal by Zoë Heller

    Notes on a Scandal (What Was She Thinking? Notes on a Scandal in the U.S.) is a 2003 novel by Zoë Heller. It is about a female teacher at a London comprehensive school who begins an affair with an...

  50. 950 . Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

    Exit West is a 2017 novel by Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid. It is Hamid's fourth novel. The main themes of the novel are emigration and refugee problems.The novel is about a young couple, Saeed and...