The Greatest Books Since 1980


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 Invented Part by Rodrigo Fresán

    "A kaleidoscopic, open-hearted, shamelessly polymathic storyteller, the kind who brings a blast of oxygen into the room."--Jonathan Lethem An aging writer, disillusioned with the state of literary ...

    - Google
  2. 902 . Music and Silence by Rose Tremain

    Music and Silence is a novel written by the English author Rose Tremain. It is set in and around the court of Christian IV of Denmark in the years 1629 and 1630.

  3. 903 . Silver City by Maurice Leitch

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  4. 904 . The Hand That First Held Mine by Maggie O'Farrell

    Lexie Sinclair is plotting an extraordinary life for herself. Hedged in by her parents' genteel country life, she plans her escape to London. There, she takes up with Innes Kent, a magazine editor ...

    - Google
  5. 905 . Restless by William Boyd

    Restless, an espionage novel by William Boyd, was published in 2006 and won the Costa Prize for fiction. It is the story of a mother revealing to her daughter, in a series of written accounts, that...

  6. 906 . Saturday by Ian McEwan

    In his triumphant new novel, Ian McEwan, the bestselling author of Atonement, follows an ordinary man through a Saturday whose high promise gradually turns nightmarish. Henry Perowne–a neurosurgeon...

  7. 907 . Day by A. L. Kennedy

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  8. 908 . How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez

    How the García Girls Lost Their Accents is a 1991 novel written by Dominican-American poet, novelist, and essayist Julia Alvarez. Told in reverse chronological order and narrated from shifting pers...

  9. 909 . Landing Light by Don Paterson

  10. 910 . The Story Of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski

    The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: A Novel is the first book by American author David Wroblewski. It became a New York Times Best Seller on June 29, 2008, and Oprah Winfrey chose it for her book club on ...

  11. 911 . Theory of War by Joan Brady

  12. 912 . Outside Over There by Maurice Sendak

    With Papa off to sea and Mama despondent, Ida must go outside over there to rescue her baby sister from goblins who steal her to be a goblin's bride.

    - Google
  13. 913 . 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.

  14. 914 . Kruger's Alp by Christopher Hope

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  15. 915 . Samuel Pepys: The Unequalled Self by Claire Tomalin

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  16. 916 . 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
  17. 917 . 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...

  18. 918 . English Passengers by Matthew Kneale

  19. 919 . 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...

  20. 920 . 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. 921 . 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.

  22. 922 . Elegies by Douglas Dunn

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  23. 923 . 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...

  24. 924 . 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.

  25. 925 . Felicia's Journey by William Trevor

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  26. 926 . 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...

  27. 927 . Hopeful Monsters by Nicholas Mosley

  28. 928 . 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.

  29. 929 . 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.

  30. 930 . 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.

  31. 931 . 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
  32. 932 . Carter Beats The Devil by Glen David Gold

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

  33. 933 . 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...

  34. 934 . Swing Hammer Swing! by Jeff Torrington

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  35. 935 . Bad Behavior: Stories by Mary Gaitskill

    powerful stories about dislocation, longing, and desire which depict a disenchanted and rebellious urban fringe generation that is searching for human connection. • Now a classic: Bad Behavior made...

    - Google
  36. 936 . The Blazing World by Siri Hustvedt

    Named one of the New York Times Book Review’s 100 Notable Books of the Year ** Publishers Weekly’s Best Fiction Books of 2014 ** NPR Best Books of 2014 ** Kirkus Reviews Best Literary Fiction Books...

    - Google
  37. 937 . The Queen of the Tambourine by Jane Gardam

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  38. 938 . Twelve Bar Blues by Patrick Neate

    Twelve Bar Blues is a 2001 novel by Patrick Neate, and the winner of that year's Whitbread novel award.

  39. 939 . Blood Oranges by John Hawkes

  40. 940 . Leading the Cheers by Justin Cartwright

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  41. 941 . The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney

    The Tenderness of Wolves is a novel by Stef Penney, which was first published in 2006. It won the 2006 Costa Prize for 'Book of the Year'.

  42. 942 . Every Man for Himself by Beryl Bainbridge

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  43. 943 . Dangerous Laughter by Steven Millhauser

    Thirteen darkly comic stories, Dangerous Laughter is a mesmerizing journey that stretches the boundaries of the ordinary world.

    - Google
  44. 944 . The Spirit Level by Seamus Heaney

    The Spirit Level (1996) is a collection of poems written by Irish Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney. Featuring such poems as "Two Lorries", it won the Whitbread Prize for Literature.

  45. 945 . How Far Can You Go? by David Lodge

  46. 946 . Time's Arrow by Martin Amis

    Time's Arrow: or The Nature of the Offence (1991) is a novel by Martin Amis. It was shortlisted for the Booker Prize (1991).

  47. 947 . Plainsong by Kent Haruf

    Plainsong is a bestselling novel by Kent Haruf. Set in the fictional town of Holt, Colorado, it tells the interlocking stories of some of the inhabitants.

  48. 948 . Einstein's Dreams by Alan Lightman

    An imaginary re-creation of Einstein's discovery of the nature of time, this novel takes us through the young patent clerk's many dreams depicting compelling conceptions of time.

    - Google
  49. 949 . The Comforts of Madness by Paul Sayer

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  50. 950 . On the Bus with Rosa Parks by Rita Dove

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