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. 101 . Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky

    Suite française is the title of a planned sequence of five novels by Irène Némirovsky, a French writer of Ukrainian Jewish origin. In July 1942, having just completed the first two of the series, N...

  2. 102 . Waiting for the Barbarians by J M Coetzee

    For decades the Magistrate has been a loyal servant of the Empire, running the affairs of a tiny frontier settlement and ignoring the impending war with the barbarians. When interrogation experts a...

  3. 103 . The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty by Eudora Welty

    Stories are as good in themselves and as influential on the aspirations of others as any since Hemingway's. The breadth of Welty's offering is finally most visible not in the variety of types--farc...

  4. 104 . London Fields by Martin Amis

    London Fields is Amis's murder story for the end of the millennium. The murderee is Nicola Six, a "black hole" of sex and self-loathing intent on orchestrating her own extinction. The murderer may ...

    - Google
  5. 105 . The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

    The White Tiger is the debut novel by Indian author Aravind Adiga. It was first published in 2008 and won the Man Booker Prize for the same year. The novel studies the contrast between India's rise...

  6. 106 . The Shining by Stephen King

    The Shining is a 1977 horror novel by American author Stephen King. The title was inspired by the John Lennon song "Instant Karma!", which contained the line "We all shine on…". It was King's third...

  7. 107 . The Human Stain by Philip Roth

    The Human Stain is set in 1990s America, the time of the culture wars, political correctness and the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal. The story is told by Nathan Zuckerman, a writer who lives ...

  8. 108 . Nights At The Circus by Angela Carter

    Is Sophie Fevvers, toast of Europe's capitals, part swan...or all fake? Courted by the Prince of Wales and painted by Toulouse-Lautrec, she is an aerialiste extraordinaire and star of Colonel Kearn...

    - Google
  9. 109 . Underworld by Don DeLillo

    Underworld is a postmodern novel written in 1997 by Don DeLillo. It was nominated for the National Book Award, is one of his better-known novels, and was a best-seller.

  10. 110 . The Hour of the Star by Clarice Lispector

    In a haunting psychological tale of despair and freedom, Macabea is ugly, underfed, sickly, and unloved yet she fascinates Rodrigo because she is unaware of how unhappy she should be

    - Google
  11. 111 . American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

    In American Psycho, Bret Easton Ellis imaginatively explores the incomprehensible depths of madness and captures the insanity of violence in our time or any other. Patrick Bateman moves among the y...

    - Google
  12. 112 . The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields

    It is the fictional autobiography about the life of Daisy Goodwill Flett, a seemingly ordinary woman whose life is marked by death and loss from the beginning, when her mother dies during childbirt...

  13. 113 . The Giver by Lois Lowry

    The Giver is a 1993 soft science fiction novel by Lois Lowry. It is set in a future society which is at first presented as a utopian society and gradually appears more and more dystopian; therefore...

  14. 114 . Jazz by Toni Morrison

    In the winter of 1926, when everybody everywhere sees nothing but good things ahead, Joe Trace, middle-aged door-to-door salesman of Cleopatra beauty products, shoots his teenage lover to death. At...

  15. 115 . The Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut

    Breakfast of Champions, or Goodbye Blue Monday is a 1973 novel by the American author Kurt Vonnegut. Set in the fictional town of Midland City, it is the story of "two lonesome, skinny, fairly old ...

  16. 116 . Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

    One of The New York Times's Ten Best Books of the Year Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction An NPR "Great Reads" Book, a Chicago Tribune Best Book, a Washington Post Notable...

    - Google
  17. 117 . Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks

    While staying as the guest of a factory owner in pre-First World War France, Stephen Wraysford embarks on a passionate affair with Isabelle, the wife of his host. The affair changes them both for e...

    - Google
  18. 118 . The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

    The Blind Assassin is an award winning, bestselling novel by the Canadian author Margaret Atwood. It was first published by McClelland and Stewart in 2000. Set in Canada, it is narrated from the pr...

  19. 119 . Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

    Who are you? What have we done to each other? These are the questions Nick Dunne finds himself asking on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The pol...

    - Google
  20. 120 . The Wasp Factory: A Novel by Iain Banks

    The polarizing literary debut by Scottish author Ian Banks, The Wasp Factory is the bizarre, imaginative, disturbing, and darkly comic look into the mind of a child psychopath. Meet Frank Cauldhame...

    - Google
  21. 121 . Perfume by Patrick Suskind

    Survivor, genius, perfumer, killer: this is Jean-Baptiste Grenouille. He is abandoned on the filthy streets as a child, but grows up to discover he has an extraordinary gift: a sense of smell more ...

    - Google
  22. 122 . The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

    Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies established this young writer as one the most brilliant of her generation. Her stories are one of the very few debut works -- and only a handful of collectio...

    - Google
  23. 123 . Home by Marilynne Robinson

    Home is a novel written by the Pulitzer Prize-winning American author Marilynne Robinson. Published in 2008, it is Robinson's third novel, preceded by Housekeeping in 1980 and Gilead in 2004.

  24. 124 . The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

    The Kite Runner is a novel by the author Khaled Hosseini. Published in 2003 by Riverhead Books, it is Hosseini's first novel, and was adapted into a film of the same name in 2007.

  25. 125 . Jesus' Son by Denis Johnson

    Collection of short stories from Denis Johnson

  26. 126 . The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

    In a future North America, where the rulers of Panem maintain control through an annual televised survival competition pitting young people from each of the twelve districts against one another, si...

    - Google
  27. 127 . A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

    The kingdom of the royal Stark family faces its ultimate challenge in the onset of a generation-long winter, the poisonous plots of the rival Lannisters, the emergence of the Neverborn demons, and ...

    - Google
  28. 128 . A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley

    Larry Cook is an aging farmer who decides to incorporate his farm, handing complete and joint ownership to his three daughters, Ginny, Rose, and Caroline. When the youngest daughter objects, she is...

  29. 129 . Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey

    It tells the story of Oscar Hopkins, the Cornish son of a Plymouth Brethren minister who becomes an Anglican priest, and Lucinda Leplastrier, a young Australian heiress who buys a glass factory. Th...

  30. 130 . Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

    A literary sensation and runaway bestseller, this brilliant debut novel tells with seamless authenticity and exquisite lyricism the true confessions of one of Japan's most celebrated geisha. Speaki...

    - Google
  31. 131 . The Hours by Michael Cunningham

    The Hours is a 1998 novel written by Michael Cunningham. It won the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the 1999 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, and was later made into an Oscar-winning 2002 movie of ...

  32. 132 . The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai

    Set in the 1980s, the book tells the story of Jemubhai Popatlal Patel, a judge living out a disenchanted retirement in Kalimpong, a hill station in the Himalayan foothills, and his relationship wit...

  33. 133 . Blindness by José Saramago

    Blindness is a novel by Portuguese author José Saramago. Blindness is the story of an unexplained mass epidemic of blindness afflicting nearly everyone in an unnamed city, and the social breakdo...

  34. 134 . Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk: A Novel by Ben Fountain

    A ferocious firefight with Iraqi insurgents at "the battle of Al-Ansakar Canal"—three minutes and forty-three seconds of intense warfare caught on tape by an embedded Fox News crew—has transformed ...

    - Google
  35. 135 . Small Island by Andrea Levy

    Hortense Joseph arrives in London from Jamaica in 1948 with her life in her suitcase, her heart broken, her resolve intact. Her husband, Gilbert Joseph, returns from the war expecting to be receive...

  36. 136 . Oranges are not the only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson

    Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is a novel by Jeanette Winterson published in 1985, which she subsequently adapted into a BBC television drama. It is a bildungsroman about a lesbian girl who grows u...

  37. 137 . Life & Times of Michael K by J M Coetzee

    Life & Times of Michael K is a 1983 novel by South African-born author J. M. Coetzee, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature for the year 2003. The book itself won the Booker Prize for 1983. The n...

  38. 138 . World's End by T. C. Boyle

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  39. 139 . Amongst Women by John McGahern

    Amongst Women is a novel by the Irish author John McGahern (1934-2006). The novel tells the story of Michael Moran, a bitter, ageing Irish Republican Army (IRA) veteran, and his tyranny over his wi...

  40. 140 . Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding

    Bridget Jones's Diary is a 1996 novel by Helen Fielding. Written in the form of a personal diary, the novel chronicles a year in the life of Bridget Jones, a thirty-something single working woman l...

  41. 141 . The Siege of Krishnapur by J. G. Farrell

    The Siege of Krishnapur is a novel by the author J. G. Farrell, published in 1973. Inspired by events such as the sieges of Cawnpore and Lucknow, the book details the siege of a fictional Indian t...

  42. 142 . The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster

    The New York Trilogy is a series of novels by Paul Auster. Originally published sequentially as City of Glass (1985), Ghosts (1986) and The Locked Room (1986), it has since been collected into a si...

  43. 143 . The Optimist's Daughter by Eudora Welty

    The Optimist's Daughter is a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction winning 1972 short novel by Eudora Welty. It concerns a woman named Laurel, who travels to New Orleans to take care of her father, Judge McKe...

  44. 144 . Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carré

    Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy is a spy novel by John le Carré, first published in 1974. It is the first volume of a three-book series informally known as The Karla Trilogy, followed by The Honourabl...

  45. 145 . Blood and Guts in High School by Kathy Acker

    Janey Smith keeps a journal of her dreams and experiences as she is rejected by her father, kidnapped by thieves, and sold into prostitution

    - Google
  46. 146 . Correction by Thomas Bernhard

    Correction is a novel by Thomas Bernhard, originally published in German in 1975, and first published in English translation in 1979 by Alfred A. Knopf. It is a remarkable work, formally innovative...

  47. 147 . The Feast of the Goat: A Novel by Mario Vargas Llosa

    Haunted all her life by feelings of terror and emptiness, forty-nine-year-old Urania Cabral returns to her native Dominican Republic - and finds herself reliving the events of l961, when the capita...

    - Google
  48. 148 . Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

    Lonesome Dove, written by Larry McMurtry, is a Pulitzer Prize-winning western novel and the first published book of the Lonesome Dove series. The story focuses on the relationship of several retire...

  49. 149 . Cathedral by Raymond Carver

    Cathedral is a collection of short stories by American writer Raymond Carver published in 1984.

  50. 150 . Birds of America by Lorrie Moore

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