The Greatest Books Since 1990


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. 251 . Morvern Callar by Alan Warner

    Morvern Callar was the debut novel by Scottish author Alan Warner, first published in 1995. Narrated in the female first person, it tells the story of Morvern, who wakes up near Christmas to find h...

  2. 252 . The Successor by Ismail Kadare

    On Dec. 13, 1981 Mehmet Shehu, a man who was number two in the Albanian government, was killed. Was it murder or suicide? Many different politicians in the country might stand to gain from this dea...

    - Google
  3. 253 . The Butcher Boy by Patrick McCabe

    The Butcher Boy is a 1992 novel by Patrick McCabe. Set in a small town in Ireland in the early 1960s, it tells the story of Francis "Francie" Brady, a schoolboy who retreats into a violent fantasy ...

  4. 254 . Celestial Harmonies by Peter Esterhazy

    The Esterházys, one of Europe's most prominent aristocratic families, are closely linked to the rise and fall of the Hapsburg Empire. Princes, counts, commanders, diplomats, bishops, and patrons of...

    - Google
  5. 255 . The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

    The Elegance of the Hedgehog (French: L'Élégance du hérisson) is a novel by the French novelist and philosophy teacher Muriel Barbery. The book follows events in the life of a concierge, Renée Mich...

  6. 256 . Memories of Rain by Sunetra Gupta

    Memories of Rain is an English-language book written by Sunetra Gupta. This was Gupta's debut novel and was first published in 1992. The book was awarded Sahitya Akademi Award in 1996.

  7. 257 . Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho

    Veronika Decides to Die (Portuguese: Veronika Decide Se Matar) is a novel by Paulo Coelho. It tells the story of 24-year-old Slovenian Veronika, who appears to have everything in life going for her...

  8. 258 . On Love by Alain de Botton

    Alain de Botton, FRSL (; born 20 December 1969) is a Swiss-born British philosopher and author. His books discuss various contemporary subjects and themes, emphasizing philosophy's relevance to eve...

  9. 259 . Arcadia by Jim Crace

    Victor, an eighty-year-old multimillionaire, surveys his empire from the remoteness of his cloud-capped penthouse. Expensively insulated from the outside world, he nonetheless finds that memories o...

    - Google
  10. 260 . Nowhere Man by Aleksandar Hemon

    Nowhere Man is a novel by Aleksandar Hemon, published in 2002 and named after the Beatles song "Nowhere Man". The novel (subtitled The Pronek Fantasies) centers around the character of Jozef Pronek...

  11. 261 . The Life of Insects by Victor Pelevin

    Set in a crumbling Soviet Black Sea resort, The Life of Insects with its motley cast of characters who exist simultaneously as human beings (racketeers, mystics, drug addicts and prostitutes) and a...

    - Google
  12. 262 . The Twins by Tessa De Loo

    The Twins (Dutch: De Tweeling) is a 1993 novel by Tessa de Loo about the sisters Lotte and Anna, who are separated at the age of six when their father dies. The story is set during World War II.

  13. 263 . Cain by José Saramago

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  14. 264 . The End of the Story by Lydia Davis

    The End of the Story is an energetic, candid, and funny novel about an enduring obsession and a woman's attempt to control it by the telling of the story of it. With ruthless honesty, artful analys...

    - Google
  15. 265 . Carry Me Down by M.J. Hyland

    Carry Me Down (2006) is the second novel of British writer M. J. Hyland. It was awarded the Hawthornden Prize and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Carry me down is the story of a young boy wh...

  16. 266 . Lady Number Thirteen by José Carlos Somoza

    The novel on which the film Musa is based, a film directed by Jaume Balagueró, an overwhelming intrigue where the real and the imaginary come together in a perfect and disturbing world. A unemploye...

    - Google
  17. 267 . Kieron Smith, Boy by James Kelman

    Rejected by his brother and largely ignored by his parents, Kieron Smith finds comfort - and endless stories - in the home of his much-loved grandparents. But when his family move to a new housing ...

    - Google
  18. 268 . Typical: Stories by Padgett Powell

    Twenty-three surreal fictions—stories, character assassinations, and mini-travelogues—from one of the most heralded writers of the American South There are many things that repulse “Dr. Ordinary.” ...

    - Google
  19. 269 . I'm Not Scared by Niccolò Ammaniti

    The hottest summer of the twentieth century. A tiny community of five houses enclosed by wheat fields. While the adults shelter indoors, six children venture out on their bikes across the scorched,...

    - Google
  20. 270 . Family Life by Akhil Sharma

    Finally joining their father in America, Ajay and Birju enjoy their new, extraordinary life until tragedy strikes, leaving one brother incapacitated and the other practically orphaned in this stran...

    - Google
  21. 271 . What Belongs to You by Garth Greenwell

    Garth Greenwell's What Belongs to You appeared in early 2016, and is a short first novel by a young writer; still, it was not easily surpassed by anything that appeared later in the year....It is n...

    - Google
  22. 272 . Winter's Bone by Daniel Woodrell

  23. 273 . Honored Guest by Joy Williams

    With her singular brand of gorgeous dark humor, Joy Williams explores the various ways–comic, tragic, and unnerving—we seek to accommodate diminishment and loss. A masseuse breaks her rich client's...

    - Google
  24. 274 . Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link

    An engaging and funny second collection by an original voice.

    - Google
  25. 275 . Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson

    Out Stealing Horses (Ut og stjæle hester) is a 2003 novel by Per Petterson. It was translated into English in 2005 by Anne Born, published in the UK that year, and in the US in 2007. Among other aw...

  26. 276 . The Intuitionist: A Novel by Colson Whitehead

    Colson Whitehead's The Intuitionist wowed critics and readers everywhere and marked the debut of an important American writer. This marvellously inventive, genre-bending, noir-inflected novel, set ...

    - Google
  27. 277 . The Ghost Road by Pat Barker

    The Ghost Road is a novel by Pat Barker, first published in 1995 and winner of the Booker Prize. It is the third volume of a trilogy that follows the fortunes of shell-shocked British army officers...

  28. 278 . Remainder by Tom McCarthy

    A man is severely injured in a mysterious accident, receives an outrageous sum in legal compensation, and has no idea what to do with it. Then, one night, an ordinary sight sets off a series of biz...

    - Google
  29. 279 . Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

    Lincoln in the Bardo is a 2017 experimental novel by American writer George Saunders. It is Saunders's first full-length novel and was the New York Times hardcover fiction bestseller for the week o...

  30. 280 . The Alienist by Caleb Carr

    The year is 1896, the place, New York City. On a cold March night New York Times reporter John Schuyler Moore is summoned to the East River by his friend and former Harvard classmate Dr. Laszlo Kre...

    - Google
  31. 281 . Talk Before Sleep by Elizabeth Berg

    What do women talk about when they know they don't have forever? They talk about what they have always talked about, only they go deeper and more honest: with outrageous humor they try to mitigate ...

    - Google
  32. 282 . Tree of Smoke by Denis Johnson

    Tree of Smoke is about a man named Skip Sands who joins the CIA in 1965, and begins working in Vietnam during the American involvement there. The time frame of the novel is from 1963 to 1970, with ...

  33. 283 . The Last Samurai by Helen DeWitt

    Sibylla, an American-at-Oxford turned loose on London, finds herself trapped as a single mother after a misguided one-night stand. High-minded principles of child-rearing work disastrously well. J....

    - Google
  34. 284 . Netherland by Joseph O'Neill

    Netherland (2008) is a critically acclaimed novel by Joseph O'Neill. It concerns the life of a Dutchman living in New York in the wake of the September 11 attacks who takes up cricket and starts pl...

  35. 285 . Bring Up the Bodies: A Novel by Hilary Mantel

    Winner of the 2012 Man Booker Prize Winner of the 2012 Costa Book of the Year Award The sequel to Hilary Mantel's 2009 Man Booker Prize winner and New York Times bestseller, Wolf Hall delves into t...

    - Google
  36. 286 . The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

    The Nickel Boys is a 2019 novel by American novelist and writer Colson Whitehead.

  37. 287 . The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters

    The Little Stranger is a 2009 gothic novel written by Sarah Waters. It is a ghost story set in a dilapidated mansion in Warwickshire, England in the 1940s. Departing from her earlier themes of lesb...

  38. 288 . The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

    The Lovely Bones is a 2002 novel by Alice Sebold. It is the story of a teenage girl who, after being brutally raped and murdered, watches from heaven as her family and friends go on with their live...

  39. 289 . Collected Poems of Ted Hughes by Ted Hughes

    Edward James Hughes was an English poet and children's writer, known as Ted Hughes. Critics routinely rank him as one of the best poets of his generation. Hughes was British Poet Laureate from 1984...

  40. 290 . Europe Central by William T. Vollmann

    Europe Central takes place in central Europe in the 20th century, examines a vast array of characters, ranging from generals to martyrs, officers to poets, traitors to artists and musicians. It dea...

  41. 291 . The Martian by Andy Weir

    The Martian is a 2011 science fiction novel written by Andy Weir. It was his debut novel under his own name. It was originally self-published in 2011; Crown Publishing purchased the rights and re-r...

  42. 292 . Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

    Jurassic Park is a 1990 science fiction novel written by Michael Crichton, divided into seven sections (iterations). A cautionary tale about genetic engineering, it presents the collapse of an amus...

  43. 293 . Fifty Shades of Grey: by E L James

    When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is star...

    - Google
  44. 294 . The Help by Kathryn Stockett

    The Help is a 2009 novel by American author Kathryn Stockett. The story is about African-American maids working in white households in Jackson, Mississippi, during the early 1960s. A USA Today arti...

    - Google
  45. 295 . Short Friday: And Other Stories by Isaac Bashevis Singer

    Isaac Bashevis Singer (Yiddish: יצחק באַשעװיס זינגער; November 21, 1902 – July 24, 1991) was a Polish-born Jewish-American author. The Polish form of his birth name was Izaak Zynger and he used his...

    - Google
  46. 296 . Open Secrets: Stories by Alice Munro

    WINNER OF THE NOBEL PRIZE® IN LITERATURE 2013 In these eight tales, Munro evokes the devastating power of old love suddenly recollected. She tells of vanished schoolgirls and indentured frontier br...

    - Google
  47. 297 . The Seance and Other Stories by Isaac Bashevis Singer

    Translated by from Yiddish by Roger H. Klein and others.

    - Google
  48. 298 . The Richard Trilogy by Paul Horgan

  49. 299 . Women in Their Beds by Gina Berriault

    This remarkable collection received the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the Rea Award for the Short Story, a gold medal from the Commonwealth Club of Califor...

  50. 300 . Milkman by Anna Burns

    Milkman is a novel written by Anna Burns. It won the 2018 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, the first time a Northern Irish writer has been awarded the prize. It also won the 2018 National Book Critics...