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. 301 . The March by E. L. Doctorow

    Doctorow's new novel is set towards the end of the American Civil War and follows General Sherman's epic march with sixty thousand Union troops through Georgia and the Carolinas, one of the major m...

  2. 302 . Improvement by Joan Silber

    'Improvement is a major work of literature.' - Nick Hornby, The Believer Reyna knows her relationship with Boyd isn't perfect, yet as she visits him throughout his three-month stint in prison, thei...

    - Google
  3. 303 . Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie

    Haroun and the Sea of Stories is a 1990 children's book by Salman Rushdie. It was Rushdie's first novel after The Satanic Verses. It is a phantasmagorical story set in a city so old and ruinous tha...

  4. 304 . In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez

    In the Time of the Butterflies is a historical novel by Julia Alvarez, relating an account of the Mirabal sisters during the time of the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic. The book is...

  5. 305 . Flicker by Theodore Roszak

    Jonathan Gates finds himself on an unwitting quest to discover the secret life of a forgotten director of silent movies, only to discover that the truth behind the director's strange films may be m...

    - Google
  6. 306 . Northern Lights by Philip Pullman

    Mattie Gokey has a word for everything. She collects words, stores them up as a way of fending off the hard truths of her life, the truths that she can't write down in stories. The fresh pain of he...

  7. 307 . The Early Stories by John Updike

    This grand collection of 103 stories gathers together almost all the short fiction that Updike published between 1953 and 1975, beginning with "Ace in the Hole" and ending with "Love Song for a Moo...

  8. 308 . Forever: A Novel by Pete Hamill

    This widely acclaimed bestseller is the magical, epic tale of an extraordinary man who arrives in New York in 1740 and remains ... forever. Through the eyes of Cormac O'Connor - granted immortality...

    - Google
  9. 309 . Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

    Lily is the daughter of a humble farmer, and to her family she is just another expensive mouth to feed. Then the local matchmaker delivers startling news: if Lily's feet are bound properly, they wi...

    - Google
  10. 310 . Persepolis Two by Marjane Satrapi

    The great-granddaughter of Iran's last emperor and the daughter of ardent Marxists continues her description of growing up in Tehran, a country plagued by political upheaval and vast contradictions...

    - Google
  11. 311 . Baudolino by Umberto Eco

    It is April 1204, and Constantinople, the splendid capital of the Byzantine Empire, is being sacked and burned by the knights of the Fourth Crusade. Amid the carnage and confusion, one Baudolino sa...

    - Google
  12. 312 . Affliction by Russell Banks

  13. 313 . Leaving the Atocha Station by Ben Lerner

    Adam Gordon is a brilliant, if highly unreliable, young American poet on a prestigious fellowship in Madrid, struggling to establish his sense of self and his relationship to art. What is actual wh...

    - Google
  14. 314 . Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells

    When Siddalee Walker, oldest daughter of Vivi Abbott Walker, Ya-Ya extraordinaire, is interviewed in the New York Times about a hit play she's directed, her mother gets described as a "tap-dancing ...

    - Google
  15. 315 . Tenth of December by George Saunders

    Tenth of December is a collection of short stories by American author George Saunders. It includes stories published in various magazines between 1995 and 2009. The book was published on January 8,...

  16. 316 . Mason & Dixon by Thomas Pynchon

    A Time magazine and New York Times Best Book of the Year Charles Mason (1728–1786) and Jeremiah Dixon (1733–1779) were the British surveyors best remembered for running the boundary between Pennsyl...

    - Google
  17. 317 . Girl in Hyacinth Blue by Susan Vreeland

    A Dutch painting of a young girl survives three and a half centuries through loss, flood, anonymity, theft, secrecy, even the Holocaust. This is the story of its owners whose lives are influenced b...

    - Google
  18. 318 . Wise Children by Angela Carter

    Wise Children follows the fortunes of the Chance twins, Dora and Nora, taking in the story of their show business family — the Hazards — over the past century. Born illegitimately, spurned by their...

  19. 319 . American Gods by Neil Gaiman

    The storm was coming….Shadow spent three years in prison, keeping his head down, doing his time. All he wanted was to get back to the loving arms of his wife and to stay out of trouble for the rest...

    - Google
  20. 320 . The Black Book by Orhan Pamuk

    The Black Book is Orhan Pamuk's tour de force, a stunning tapestry of Middle Eastern and Islamic culture which confirmed his reputation as a writer of international stature. Richly atmospheric and ...

    - Google
  21. 321 . The Story of Tracy Beaker by Jacqueline Wilson

    Introducing Tracy Beaker, 10-year-old girl-wonder and the daughter of a famous Hollywood actress . . . sort of. Tracy Beaker’s not exactly sure what her mother does, because Tracy has been in foste...

    - Google
  22. 322 . Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie

    Home Fire (2017) is the seventh novel by Kamila Shamsie. It reimagines Sophocles's play Antigone unfolding among British Muslims. The novel follows the Pasha family: twin siblings Aneeka and Parvai...

  23. 323 . Astonishing the Gods by Ben Okri

    Astonishing the Gods is a novel by Nigerian writer Ben Okri.On November 5, 2019, the BBC News listed Astonishing the Gods on its list of the 100 most influential novels.In an interview with The Gua...

  24. 324 . City of Bohane by Kevin Barry

    City of Bohane is the debut novel by Ireland's Kevin Barry. The book is set in the year 2053, in a world with minimal technology. It received largely positive reviews and won the 2013 Internation...

  25. 325 . Édes Anna by Dezső Kosztolányi

    Anna Edes is a dark and deeply moving naturalistic novel, a classic work of twentieth-century Hungarian literature. A skillful portrayal of the cruelty and emptiness of bourgeois life, it was first...

    - Google
  26. 326 . The Years with Laura Diaz by Carlos Fuentes

    Like Fuentes's masterpiece THE DEATH OF ARTEMIO CRUZ, the action in this new novel begins in the state of Veracruz and moves to Mexico City. Now the principal figure Fuentes's first female protagon...

    - Google
  27. 327 . The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

    'Some things are just sitting there, minding their own business, waiting to be discovered. Like America. And other things are probably better off left alone' Nine-year-old Bruno has a lot of things...

    - Google
  28. 328 . Habibi by Craig Thompson

    Habibi is a graphic novel by Craig Thompson published by Pantheon in September 2011. The 672-page book is set in a fictional Islamic fairy tale landscape and depicts the relationship between Dodola...

  29. 329 . The Half Brother: A Novel by Lars Saabye Christensen

    At the end of World War II, twenty-year-old Vera is brutally raped by an unknown assailant. From that rape is born a boy named Fred, a misfit who later becomes a talented boxer. Vera’s young son, B...

    - Google
  30. 330 . The Rings of Saturn by W. G. Sebald

    Shortlisted for the 1998 Los Angeles Times Book Award in Fiction: "Stunning and strange . . . Sebald has done what every writer dreams of doing. . . . The book is like a dream you want to last fore...

    - Google
  31. 331 . Operation Shylock by Philip Roth

    Operation Shylock: A Confession is novelist Philip Roth's 19th book and was published in 1993. The novel follows narrator "Philip Roth" on a journey to Israel where he attends the trial of accused ...

  32. 332 . Identity: A Novel by Milan Kundera

    There are situations in which we fail for a moment to recognize the person we are with, in which the identity of the other is erased while we simultaneously doubt our own. This also happens with co...

    - Google
  33. 333 . The Sorrow Of War by Bao Ninh

    Kien’s job is to search the Jungle of Screaming Souls for corpses. He knows the area well – this was where, in the dry season of 1969, his battalion was obliterated by American napalm and helicopte...

    - Google
  34. 334 . Golden Child by Claire Adam

    A new novel from Sarah Jessica Parker's imprint, SJP for Hogarth: a deeply affecting debut novel set in Trinidad, following the lives of a family as they navigate impossible choices about scarcity,...

    - Google
  35. 335 . Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

    Twelve-year-old Artemis is a millionaire, a genius-and above all, a criminal mastermind. But Artemis doesn't know what he's taken on when he kidnaps a fairy, Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Uni...

    - Google
  36. 336 . Dissolution: A Shardlake Novel by C. J. Sansom

    The 1st instalment in the wildly popular Matthew Shardlake mystery series, now available from Vintage Canada. It is 1537, a time of revolution that sees the greatest changes in England since 1066. ...

    - Google
  37. 337 . Somersault by Kenzaburō Ōe

    Ten years after recanting their teachings and abandoning their zealous and violent congregation, two men known only as the Patron and Guide of Humankind seek to overcome a radical faction while lea...

    - Google
  38. 338 . American War by Omar El Akkad

    American War is the first novel by Canadian-Egyptian journalist Omar El Akkad. It is set in a near-future United States of America, ravaged by climate change, in which a second Civil War has broken...

  39. 339 . Cloudstreet by Tim Winton

    Cloudstreet is a 1991 novel by Australian writer Tim Winton. It chronicles the lives of two working-class families, the Pickles and the Lambs, who come to live together in a large house called Clou...

  40. 340 . Soul Mountain by Xingjian Gao

    A Chinese man goes on a journey of self discovery in the distant regions of contemplating the disparaging effects of the Cultural Revolution.

    - Google
  41. 341 . The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson

    Happy Birthday, Gruffalo! A new, limited edition of The Gruffalo, the nation's favourite picture book. Fifteen years after it was first published, the award-winning story of a clever little mouse o...

    - Google
  42. 342 . Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz

    After the death of the uncle who had been his guardian, fourteen-year-old Alex Rider is coerced to continue his uncle's dangerous work for Britain's intelligence agency, MI6.

    - Google
  43. 343 . The Royal Physician's Visit: A Novel by Per Olov Enquist

    An international sensation, The Royal Physician's Visit magnificently recasts the dramatic era of Danish history when Johann Friedrich Struensee -- court physician to mad young King Christian -- st...

    - Google
  44. 344 . The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak

    The Forty Rules of Love is a novel written by Turkish author Elif Shafak, The book was published in March 2009. It is about Maulana Jalal-Ud-Din, known as Rumi and his spiritual teacher Shams Tabri...

  45. 345 . A Patchwork Planet by Anne Tyler

    A Patchwork Planet is a novel by Anne Tyler. Published in 1998, it tells the story of Barnaby Gaitlin, anti-hero and failure who suffers from more than the usual quota of misfortune. The book is no...

  46. 346 . Sold by Patricia McCormick

    Lakshmi is a thirteen-year-old girl who lives with her family in a small hut on a mountain in Nepal. Though she is desperately poor, her life is full of simple pleasures, like playing hopscotch wit...

    - Google
  47. 347 . Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez

    Anita de la Torre never questioned her freedom living in the Dominican Republic. But by her 12th birthday in 1960, most of her relatives have emigrated to the United States, her Tío Toni has disapp...

    - Google
  48. 348 . Erasure by Percival Everett

    Percival Everett's Erasure is a blistering satire about race and writing Thelonious "Monk" Ellison's writing career has bottomed out: his latest manuscript has been rejected by seventeen publishers...

    - Google
  49. 349 . All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews

    Elf and Yoli are sisters. While on the surface Elfrieda's life is enviable (she's a world-renowned pianist, glamorous, wealthy, and happily married) and Yolandi's a mess (she's divorced and broke, ...

    - Google
  50. 350 . Zone One by Colson Whitehead

    From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Underground Railroad A pandemic has devastated the planet, sorting humanity into two types: the uninfected and the infected, the living and the ...

    - Google