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. 201 . The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

    "I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, then all at once." Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her fina...

    - Google
  2. 202 . 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

    1Q84 (いちきゅうはちよん Ichi-Kyū-Hachi-Yon) is a dystopian novel written by Japanese writer Haruki Murakami, first published in three volumes in Japan in 2009–10. It covers a fictionalized year of 1984 in ...

  3. 203 . The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

    Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2014 Aged thirteen, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and a reckless, largely absent father, survives an accident that otherwise tears his life apart. Al...

    - Google
  4. 204 . Time and Again by Jack Finney

    When advertising artist Si Morley is recruited to join a covert government operation exploring the possibility of time travel, he jumps at the chance to leave his twentieth-century existence and st...

    - Google
  5. 205 . The Passion by Jeanette Winterson

    Jeanette Winterson’s novels have established her as one of the most important young writers in world literature. The Passion is perhaps her most highly acclaimed work, a modern classic that confirm...

    - Google
  6. 206 . What Is the What by Dave Eggers

    What Is the What is the story of Valentino Achak Deng, a refugee in war-ravaged southern Sudan who flees from his village in the mid-1980s and becomes one of the so-called Lost Boys. Valentino’s tr...

    - Google
  7. 207 . The Plot Against America by Philip Roth

    The Plot Against America is a novel by Philip Roth published in 2004. It is an alternate history in which Franklin Delano Roosevelt is defeated in the presidential election of 1940 by Charles Lindb...

  8. 208 . Sula by Toni Morrison

    Two girls who grow up to become women. Two friends who become something worse than enemies. In this brilliantly imagined novel, Toni Morrison tells the story of Nel Wright and Sula Peace, who meet ...

    - Google
  9. 209 . Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner

    Angle of Repose tells the story of Lyman Ward, a retired professor of history and author of books about the Western frontier, who returns to his ancestral home of Grass Valley, California, in the S...

  10. 210 . The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

    A profound, startling, and beautifully crafted debut novel, The Sympathizer is the story of a man of two minds, someone whose political beliefs clash with his individual loyalties.

    - Google
  11. 211 . My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk

    My Name Is Red (Benim Adım Kırmızı) is a Turkish novel by Nobel laureate author Orhan Pamuk. The English translation won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 2003,. The French version w...

  12. 212 . Of Love and Shadows by Isabel Allende

    This profoundly moving tale of love, bravery, and tragedy by New York Times bestselling author Isabel Allende brings to life a country ruled with an iron fist—and the men and women who dare to chal...

    - Google
  13. 213 . Woman at Point Zero by Nawal El Saadawi

    As Firdaus sits in a grimy prison cell awaiting the relief that death will bring, she looks back at her life and what brought her to this point, from childhood cruelty to being forced into a marria...

    - Google
  14. 214 . Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

    What if you could live again and again, until you got it right? On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first brea...

    - Google
  15. 215 . Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume

    Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret. is a 1970 book by Judy Blume, typically categorized as a young adult novel, about a preteen girl in sixth grade who grew up with no religion. Margaret's mother...

  16. 216 . A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James

    A Brief History of Seven Killings is the third novel by Jamaican author Marlon James. It was published by Riverhead Books. The novel spans several decades and explores the attempted assassination ...

  17. 217 . The Famished Road by Ben Okri

    The Famished Road is the Booker Prize-winning novel written by Nigerian author Ben Okri. The novel, published in 1991, follows Azaro, an abiku or spirit child, living in an unnamed most likely Nige...

  18. 218 . Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K Rowling

    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the fourth instalment in the Harry Potter series written by J. K. Rowling, published on July 8, 2000. The book attracted additional attention because of a pre...

  19. 219 . Dog Soldiers by Robert Stone

    Dog Soldiers' is a 1974 novel by American novelist Robert Stone. The story revolves around journalist John Converse, Merchant Marine sailor Ray Hicks, Converse's wife Marge, and their involvement i...

  20. 220 . The Transit of Venus by Shirley Hazzard

    The Transit of Venus tells the story of two orphan sisters, Caroline and Grace Bell, as they leave Australia to start a new life in post-war England. What happens to these young women — seduction a...

  21. 221 . Written on the Body by Jeanette Winterson

    A combined love story and philosophical meditation on the body as a physical phenomenon thrusts the reader into the life of a married woman and her erotic relationship with an unidentified lover wh...

    - Google
  22. 222 . July's People by Nadine Gordimer

    For years, it has been what is called a ‘deteriorating situation'. Now all over South Africa the cities are battlegrounds. The members of the Smales family - liberal whites - are rescued from the t...

    - Google
  23. 223 . Flaubert's Parrot by Julian Barnes

    A kind of detective story, relating a cranky amateur scholar's search for the truth about Gustave Flaubert, and the obsession of this detective whose life seems to oddly mirror those of Flaubert's ...

    - Google
  24. 224 . My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

    A modern masterpiece from one of Italy’s most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense, and generous-hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila. Ferrante’s inimitable style le...

    - Google
  25. 225 . The Radiant Way by Margaret Drabble

  26. 226 . The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman

    His Dark Materials is a trilogy of fantasy novels by Philip Pullman comprising Northern Lights (1995, published as The Golden Compass in North America), The Subtle Knife (1997) and The Amber Spygla...

  27. 227 . Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

    Oryx and Crake is a 2003 novel by Canadian author Margaret Atwood. She has described the novel as speculative fiction and adventure romance, rather than pure science fiction, because it does not de...

  28. 228 . Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

    Fingersmith is a 2002 Victorian-inspired crime fiction novel by Sarah Waters.

  29. 229 . Sophie's World: A Novel About the History of Philosophy by Jostein Gaarder

    One day Sophie comes home from school to find two questions in her mail: "Who are you?" and "Where does the world come from?" Before she knows it she is enrolled in a correspondence course with a m...

    - Google
  30. 230 . The Marriage Of Cadmus And Harmony by Roberto Calasso

    THE MARRIAGE OF CADMUS AND HARMONY is a book without any modern parallel. Forming an active link in a chain that reaches back through Ovid's METAMORPHOSES directly to Homer, Roberto Calasso's re-ex...

    - Google
  31. 231 . Omeros by Derek Walcott

    A poem in five books, of circular narrative design, titled with the Greek name for Homer, which simultaneously charts two currents of history: the visible history charted in events -- the tribal lo...

    - Google
  32. 232 . Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine

    A provocative meditation on race, Claudia Rankine's long-awaited follow up to her groundbreaking book Don't Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric. Claudia Rankine's bold new book recounts mounting ra...

    - Google
  33. 233 . Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K Rowling

    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is the seventh and final of the Harry Potter novels written by British author J. K. Rowling.

  34. 234 . The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is a 2003 novel by British writer Mark Haddon. It won the 2003 Whitbread Book of the Year and the 2004 Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First B...

  35. 235 . Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre

    Vernon God Little is the Booker Prize winning debut novel of Australian-born author DBC Pierre, the pseudonym used by Peter Warren Finlay. The title character is a fifteen-year-old boy who lives...

  36. 236 . The Gathering by Anne Enright

    The Gathering is the fourth novel by Irish author Anne Enright. It won the 2007 Man Booker Prize. The novel traces the narrator's inner journey, setting out to derive meaning from past and prese...

  37. 237 . G. by John Berger

    G. is a 1972 novel by John Berger. The novel's setting is pre-First World War Europe, and its protagonist, named "G.", is a Don Juan or Casanova-like lover of women who gradually comes to political...

  38. 238 . How Late It Was, How Late by James Kelman

    How late it was, how late is a 1994 stream of consciousness novel written by Scottish writer James Kelman. The Glasgow-centred work is written in a working class Scottish dialect, and follows Sammy...

  39. 239 . The Old Devils by Kingsley Amis

    The Old Devils is a novel by Kingsley Amis, first published in 1986. The novel won the Booker Prize. Alun Weaver, a notable but obnoxious author, returns to his native Wales with his wife Rhianno...

  40. 240 . Mao II by Don DeLillo

    A reclusive novelist named Bill Gray toils endlessly on a novel he can't finish. After publishing two celebrated novels he is stuck perpetually editing and rewriting his much anticipated new work, ...

  41. 241 . In a Free State by V. S. Naipaul

    In a Free State is a short story by V. S. Naipaul. It was published in 1971 as one of three short stories within a book of the same name, but is by far the longest. Surrounding them is the narrator...

  42. 242 . The Sea by John Banville

    The Sea (2005) is the eighteenth novel by Irish author John Banville. The story is told by Max Morden, a self-aware, retired art historian attempting to reconcile himself to the deaths of those ...

  43. 243 . The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem

    The Fortress of Solitude is a 2003 semi-autobiographical novel by Jonathan Lethem set in Brooklyn and spanning the 1970s, '80s, and '90s. It follows two teenage friends, Dylan Ebdus and Mingus Rude...

  44. 244 . A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

    After 103 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and with four million copies of The Kite Runner shipped, Khaled Hosseini returns with a beautiful, riveting, and haunting novel that confirms h...

    - Google
  45. 245 . Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie

    During the Chinese Cultural Revolution, two boys are sent to the country for reeducation, where their lives take an unexpected turn when they meet the beautiful daughter of a local tailor and stumb...

    - Google
  46. 246 . The Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel

    The Clan of the Cave Bear is a historical fiction novel by Jean M. Auel about prehistoric times set somewhat before the extinction of the Neanderthal race after 600,000 years as a species, and at l...

  47. 247 . Wittgenstein's Mistress by David Markson

    "Wittgenstein's Mistress" is a novel unlike anything David Markson -- or anyone else -- has ever written before. It is the story of a woman who is convinced -- and, astonishingly, will ultimately c...

    - Google
  48. 248 . Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J. K Rowling

    Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, released on 16 July 2005, is the sixth of seven novels from British author J. K. Rowling's popular Harry Potter series. Set during Harry Potter's sixth year ...

  49. 249 . The Pillars Of The Earth by Ken Follett

    The Pillars of the Earth tells the story of Philip, prior of Kingsbridge, a devout and resourceful monk driven to build the greatest Gothic cathedral the world has known...of Tom, the mason who bec...

  50. 250 . Pastoralia by George Saunders

    If Americans in the future were to try to send us a message about where our culture is heading, they might simply point to the fiction of George Saunders. Living in a world that's both indelibly or...