The Greatest "Family, Political" Books of All Time

Click to learn how this list is calculated.

This list represents a comprehensive and trusted collection of the greatest books. Developed through a specialized algorithm, it brings together 315 'best of' book lists to form a definitive guide to the world's most acclaimed books. For those interested in how these books are chosen, additional details can be found on the rankings page.

Filter by: Genres Dates Countries
Follow on:



The "Family" category of books encompasses stories that revolve around the dynamics, relationships, and experiences of families. These books explore the complexities of familial bonds, including love, loyalty, conflict, and forgiveness. They may focus on different types of families, such as nuclear families, blended families, or extended families, and may cover a range of themes, from coming-of-age tales to domestic dramas. Overall, the "Family" category offers a rich and diverse collection of books that delve into the joys and challenges of family life.


The "Political" category of books encompasses works that explore the theory, practice, and history of government and politics. These books may cover topics such as political ideologies, political systems, political institutions, political movements, and political leaders. They may also examine the relationship between politics and other areas of society, such as economics, culture, and international relations. Political books can be both informative and thought-provoking, offering readers insights into the complexities of the political world and the challenges of governing in a democratic society.

Add additional genre filters


Date Range


Reading Statistics

Click the button below to see how many of these books you've read!


If you're interested in downloading this list as a CSV file for use in a spreadsheet application, you can easily do so by clicking the button below. Please note that to ensure a manageable file size and faster download, the CSV will include details for only the first 500 books.

Bookstore Logo

Discover our new bookstore! You can now buy books and support this site as well as local bookstores. We've partnered with to bring you a great selection. Every sale supports local bookstores around the world.

  1. 1. White Teeth by Zadie Smith

    This novel follows the lives of two friends, a working-class Englishman and a Bangladeshi Muslim, living in London. The story explores the complex relationships between people of different races, cultures, and generations in modern Britain, with themes of identity, immigration, and the cultural and social changes that have shaped the country. The narrative is enriched by the characters' personal histories and the historical events that have shaped their lives.

    The 186th Greatest Book of All Time
  2. 2. The Plot Against America by Philip Roth

    This novel presents an alternate history where aviator-hero and rabid isolationist Charles Lindbergh is elected President in 1940, leading the United States towards fascism and anti-Semitism. The story is narrated through the perspective of a working-class Jewish family in Newark, New Jersey, experiencing the political shift and its terrifying consequences. The narrative explores themes of prejudice, fear, patriotism, and family bonds under the shadow of a fascist regime.

    The 797th Greatest Book of All Time
  3. 3. The Book of Daniel by E. L. Doctorow

    "The Book of Daniel" is a semi-fictional novel that explores the lives of the Isaacson family, specifically focusing on the children, Daniel and Susan, after their parents, accused of being Communists, are executed. The narrative is a combination of historical fiction and a political commentary, providing a deep exploration of the Red Scare in the United States during the Cold War era. The novel is a critical examination of social, political, and familial dynamics in a time of national fear and paranoia.

    The 1020th Greatest Book of All Time
  4. 4. Mother by Maxim Gorky

    This novel centers around a working-class Russian woman who becomes involved in revolutionary activities after witnessing the struggles and injustices faced by her son and his comrades. Despite her initial fear and hesitation, she evolves into a dedicated activist, smuggling illegal literature and participating in strikes. The narrative provides a powerful exploration of the personal and societal transformations brought about by political activism, set against the backdrop of pre-revolutionary Russia.

    The 1442nd Greatest Book of All Time
  5. 5. On Beauty by Zadie Smith

    This novel is a contemporary, multicultural exploration of family life, love, and identity. It follows the lives of two mixed-race families, the Belseys and the Kipps, who are linked by their shared professions in academia and a complex web of marital and extramarital relationships. The story is set against the backdrop of Wellington, a fictional New England town, and explores themes of race, class, and cultural clash. It also delves into the world of academia, examining the politics and conflicts that arise in that environment.

    The 1661st Greatest Book of All Time
  6. 6. Paradise of the Blind by Dương Thu Hương

    "Paradise of the Blind" is a poignant tale of a young Vietnamese woman's journey through life amidst the socio-political upheavals of her country. The narrative follows her struggle to reconcile her familial duties with her own personal aspirations, as she navigates through the complexities of her relationships with her mother and aunt. The book provides a critical examination of the Communist regime in Vietnam, its impact on the traditional Vietnamese family structure, and the cultural and societal changes it brought about.

    The 1910th Greatest Book of All Time
  7. 7. Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli

    "Lost Children Archive" by Valeria Luiselli is a novel that follows a family on a road trip from New York to Arizona. The parents are documentarians and are working on separate projects, while the children are preoccupied with their own interests. As they travel, the family becomes increasingly aware of the migrant crisis and the children's obsession with finding lost things takes on a new meaning. The novel explores themes of family, identity, and the power of storytelling.

    The 2613th Greatest Book of All Time
  8. 8. Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie

    "Home Fire" is a contemporary reimagining of Sophocles' Antigone set against the backdrop of modern-day London and Syria. The novel explores the lives of five characters caught in a complex web of love, loyalty, and sacrifice. The story revolves around two British-Pakistani families, each struggling with their own dilemmas related to identity, radicalism, and loyalty. One family is headed by a powerful politician who disowns his jihadist son, while the other consists of three orphaned siblings whose lives are turned upside down when their brother is accused of joining ISIS. The novel explores the consequences of their actions, questioning the extent to which one can go for love and loyalty.

    The 3640th Greatest Book of All Time
  9. 9. Ancestral Voices by Etienne van Heerden

    "Ancestral Voices" is a haunting novel set in South Africa during the apartheid era. The story follows a young boy who grows up in a small rural town, navigating a complex web of familial relationships and secrets. As he matures, he becomes increasingly aware of the racial and social injustices that surround him. The book explores themes of identity, heritage, and the harsh realities of life under apartheid, all weaved together with a deep sense of the mystical and the supernatural.

    The 4266th Greatest Book of All Time
  10. 10. The Book Of The Courtier by Baldassare Castiglione

    This Renaissance classic is a seminal work on etiquette and courtly manners, presenting an idealized vision of the perfect gentleman and lady at the courts of Italy. Through a series of dialogues set over four evenings, the book explores the attributes of a well-rounded courtier, emphasizing skills such as martial arts, physical grace, and intellectual pursuits, alongside the importance of moral virtue and the art of conversation. The text also delves into the complex interplay of love, the role of women in court, and the philosophical underpinnings of what it means to live a noble life, ultimately providing a guide to the refined behavior expected in aristocratic circles of the time.

    The 4510th Greatest Book of All Time
  11. 11. The Emperor Of Ocean Park by Stephen L. Carter

    "The Emperor of Ocean Park" is a gripping novel that combines elements of mystery, legal drama, and family saga. Set in the affluent world of African-American elites in New England, the story follows Talcott Garland, a law professor and former Supreme Court nominee, as he investigates the mysterious death of his father, a prominent conservative judge. As Talcott delves deeper into his father's past, he uncovers a web of secrets, political intrigue, and corruption that threatens to unravel his own life and reputation. With its intricate plot and richly drawn characters, the book explores themes of power, loyalty, and the complexities of race and identity in America.

    The 5355th Greatest Book of All Time
  12. 12. A Spare Life by Lidija Dimkovksa

    "A Spare Life" is a poignant and thought-provoking novel that explores the lives of conjoined twin sisters, Zlata and Srebra, as they navigate the complexities of their shared existence in war-torn Macedonia. Told through the eyes of Zlata, the narrative delves into themes of identity, freedom, and the pursuit of individuality, as the sisters grapple with their physical and emotional bonds. With lyrical prose and a powerful portrayal of sisterly love, this novel offers a unique and compelling perspective on the human experience.

    The 6381st Greatest Book of All Time
  13. 13. The Other Americans by Laila Lalami

    "The Other Americans" by Laila Lalami is a compelling and intricate novel that explores the interconnected lives of a diverse group of characters living in a small California town. When a Moroccan immigrant is killed in a hit-and-run accident, the incident sets off a chain of events that uncover hidden secrets, racial tensions, and the complexities of identity in America. Through multiple perspectives, Lalami skillfully delves into themes of love, loss, and the search for belonging, ultimately painting a vivid portrait of contemporary American life.

    The 7702nd Greatest Book of All Time
  14. 14. Homeland Elegies by Ayad Akhtar

    "Homeland Elegies" is a novel by Ayad Akhtar that blurs the lines between fiction and memoir. The book follows the story of a Pakistani-American playwright named Ayad Akhtar who is struggling to reconcile his identity as a Muslim-American in a post-9/11 world. Through a series of interconnected stories, Akhtar explores themes of family, politics, and identity, while also examining the American Dream and the challenges faced by immigrants in the United States. The novel is a powerful and poignant exploration of what it means to be an American today.

    The 9078th Greatest Book of All Time
  15. 15. Homeland by Fernando Aramburu

    The novel explores the profound impact of the Basque conflict on two families in a small village in northern Spain. Through the intertwined lives of these families, the story delves into themes of friendship, betrayal, and the long-lasting scars of political violence. As the characters navigate their personal and collective histories, they grapple with the complexities of forgiveness, memory, and the quest for peace in a fractured community. The narrative captures the emotional and psychological toll of living in a society marked by division and strife.

    The 9574th Greatest Book of All Time
  16. 16. Shadow Country by Peter Matthiessen

    Shadow Country is a historical novel that explores the life of outlaw and entrepreneur Edgar J. Watson, a notorious figure in the late 19th and early 20th century American South. The narrative delves deep into Watson's complex character, his violent deeds, and the mystery surrounding his death, providing a panoramic view of the lawless frontier life in Florida's Everglades. The story is told from multiple perspectives, each revealing a different aspect of Watson's life and the era he lived in, making it a compelling study of human nature and the American frontier.

    The 10950th Greatest Book of All Time
  17. 17. Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue

    This novel explores the lives of two families in New York City during the 2008 financial crisis. One family is a wealthy couple who live a luxurious lifestyle due to their Wall Street connections, while the other family is a pair of Cameroonian immigrants who are trying to make ends meet. As the financial crisis hits, both families face challenges that test their relationships, their dreams, and their understanding of the American Dream.

    The 10950th Greatest Book of All Time

Reading Statistics

Click the button below to see how many of these books you've read!


If you're interested in downloading this list as a CSV file for use in a spreadsheet application, you can easily do so by clicking the button below. Please note that to ensure a manageable file size and faster download, the CSV will include details for only the first 500 books.