The Greatest Books Since 1990


How is this list generated?


This list is generated from 128 "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. 1 . Atonement by Ian McEwan

    Atonement is a 2001 novel by British author Ian McEwan. It tells the story of protagonist Briony Tallis's crime and how it changes her life, as well as those of her sister Cecilia and her lover Rob...

  2. 2 . White Teeth by Zadie Smith

    This may be the first novel ever written that truly feels at home in our borderless, globalized, intermarried, post-colonial age, populated by "children with first and last names on a direct collis...

    - Time
  3. 3 . The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen

    The Corrections is a 2001 novel by American author Jonathan Franzen. It revolves around the troubles of an elderly Midwestern couple and their three adult children, tracing their lives from the mid...

  4. 4 . The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

    The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007) is a best-selling novel written by Dominican-American author Junot Díaz. Although a work of fiction, the novel is set in New Jersey where Díaz was raised...

  5. 5 . Austerlitz by W. G. Sebald

    Austerlitz, the internationally acclaimed masterpiece by "one of the most gripping writers imaginable" (The New York Review of Books), is the story of a man?s search for the answer to his life?s ce...

  6. 6 . 2666 by Roberto Bolaño

    2666 (2004) is the last novel written by Chilean-born novelist Roberto Bolaño. Depicting the unsolved and ongoing serial murders of Ciudad Juárez (Santa Teresa in the novel), the Eastern Front in W...

  7. 7 . The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

    The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle (ねじまき鳥クロニクル, Nejimaki-dori Kuronikuru?) is a novel by Haruki Murakami. The first published translation was by Alfred Birnbaum. The American translation and its British ad...

  8. 8 . Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone by J. K Rowling

    Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is the first novel in the Harry Potter series written by J. K. Rowling and featuring Harry Potter, a young wizard. It describes how Harry discovers he is a ...

  9. 9 . American Pastoral by Philip Roth

    American Pastoral is a Philip Roth novel concerning Seymour "Swede" Levov, a Jewish-American businessman and former high school athlete from Newark, New Jersey. Levov's happy and conventional upper...

  10. 10 . Rabbit at Rest by John Updike

    In John Updike's fourth and final novel about ex-basketball player Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom, the hero has acquired heart trouble, a Florida condo, and a second grandchild. His son, Nelson, is behavi...

  11. 11 . The Road by Cormac McCarthy

    The Road is a 2006 novel by American writer Cormac McCarthy. It is a post-apocalyptic tale of a journey taken by a father and his young son over a period of several months, across a landscape blast...

  12. 12 . The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon

    The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is a 2000 novel by American author Michael Chabon that won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2001. The novel follows the lives of the title characters, a C...

  13. 13 . Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

    Middlesex is a novel by Jeffrey Eugenides. It was published in 2002 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2003. The narrator and protagonist, Calliope Stephanides (later called "Cal"), an in...

  14. 14 . Disgrace by J M Coetzee

    Disgrace is a 1999 novel by South African-born author J. M. Coetzee, winner of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature; the book itself won the Booker Prize in 1999, the year in which it was published. ...

  15. 15 . The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx

    The story centers on Quoyle, a newspaper worker from upstate New York whose father had emigrated from Newfoundland. Shortly after the suicide of his parents, Quoyle's unfaithful and abusive wife Pe...

  16. 16 . Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

    The novel describes the life of Kathy H., a young woman of 31, focusing at first on her childhood at an unusual boarding school and eventually her adult life. The story takes place in a dystopian B...

  17. 17 . The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

    Winner of the 2011 Man Booker Prize By an acclaimed writer at the height of his powers, The Sense of an Ending extends a streak of extraordinary books that began with the best-selling Arthur & Geor...

    - Google
  18. 18 . The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst

    The Line of Beauty is a 2004 Booker Prize-winning novel by Alan Hollinghurst. Set in the United Kingdom in the early to mid-1980s, the story surrounds the post-Oxford life of the young gay prota...

  19. 19 . Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

    Cloud Atlas (published in the United States as Cloud Atlas: A Novel) is a 2004 novel, the third book by British author David Mitchell. It won the British Book Awards Literary Fiction Award and the ...

  20. 20 . Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

    Wolf Hall (2009) is a Man Booker Prize-winning novel by English author Hilary Mantel, published by Fourth Estate. Set in the 1520s, it is about Thomas Cromwell's rise to power in the Tudor court of...

  21. 21 . Selected Stories of Alice Munro by Alice Munro

    Selected Stories is a volume of short stories by Alice Munro, published by McClelland and Stewart in 1996. It collects stories previously published in her eight previous books.

  22. 22 . Possession by A. S. Byatt

    Part historical as well as contemporary fiction, the title Possession refers to issues of ownership and independence between lovers, the practice of collecting historically significant cultural art...

  23. 23 . The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

    The Poisonwood Bible (1998) by Barbara Kingsolver is a bestselling novel about a missionary family, the Prices, who in 1959 move from Georgia to the fictional village of Kilanga in the Belgian Cong...

  24. 24 . Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

    Gilead is a novel written by Marilynne Robinson and published in 2004. It won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, as well as the National Book Critics Circle Award. The novel is the fictional auto...

  25. 25 . The Secret History by Donna Tartt

    The Secret History, the first novel by Mississippi-born writer Donna Tartt, was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1992. A 75,000 print order was made for the first edition (as opposed to the usual 10...

  26. 26 . The Known World by Edward P. Jones

    The Known World is a 2003 historical novel by Edward P. Jones. It was his first novel and second book. Set in antebellum Virginia, it examines issues regarding the ownership of black slaves by free...

  27. 27 . The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy

    The God of Small Things is a politically charged novel by Indian author Arundhati Roy. It is a story about the childhood experiences of a pair of fraternal twins who become victims of circumstance....

  28. 28 . All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy

    All the Pretty Horses is a novel by U.S. author Cormac McCarthy published in 1992. Its romanticism (in contrast to the bleakness of McCarthy's earlier work) brought the writer much public attention...

  29. 29 . Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

    The lengthy and complex work takes place in a semi-parodic future version of North America. The novel touches on the topics of tennis, substance addiction and recovery programs, depression, child a...

  30. 30 . Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

    Half of a Yellow Sun is a novel that was written by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. It was first published in 2006 by Knopf/Anchor and tells the story of two sisters Olanna and Kainene du...

  31. 31 . A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth

    A Suitable Boy is a novel by Vikram Seth, released in 1994. At 1349 pages (1488 pages softcover) and 591,552 words, the book is one of the longest novels ever published in a single volume in the En...

  32. 32 . Regeneration by Pat Barker

    The first book of the Regeneration Trilogy and a Booker Prize nominee In 1917 Siegfried Sasson, noted poet and decorated war hero, publicly refused to continue serving as a British officer in World...

    - Google
  33. 33 . The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje

    The English Patient is a 1992 novel by Sri Lankan-Canadian novelist Michael Ondaatje. The story deals with the gradually revealed histories of a critically burned English man, his Canadian nurse, a...

  34. 34 . 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
  35. 35 . 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...

  36. 36 . 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...

  37. 37 . 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
  38. 38 . 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...

  39. 39 . 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...

  40. 40 . 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...

  41. 41 . 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...

  42. 42 . Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier

    Cold Mountain is a 1997 historical fiction novel by Charles Frazier. It tells the story of W. P. Inman, a wounded deserter from the Confederate army near the end of the American Civil War who walks...

  43. 43 . The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño

    New Year's Eve, 1975: Arturo Belano and Ulises Lima, founders of the visceral realist movement in poetry, leave Mexico City in a borrowed white Impala. Their quest: to track down the obscure, vanis...

    - Google
  44. 44 . A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

    With a compassionate realism and narrative sweep that recall the work of Charles Dickens, this magnificent novel captures all the cruelty and corruption, dignity and heroism, of India. The time is ...

    - Google
  45. 45 . Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth by Chris Ware

    Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth is a widely-acclaimed graphic novel by Chris Ware, published in 2000. The story was previously serialized in the pages of Ware's comic book Acme Novelty L...

  46. 46 . 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...

  47. 47 . 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...

  48. 48 . 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 ...

  49. 49 . 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.

  50. 50 . 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