Other best of lists

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Responding more or less to the Modern Library list

Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century
100 Great 20th Century English-language Works of Fiction by Women
Erica Jong’s article and list of women’s writing
Larry McCaffery’s”The 20th Century’s Greatest Hits: 100 English Language Books of Fiction” (a response to the Modern Library List, which is a huge improvement on that list, even if he cannot spell century and does not know the difference between principal/principle)
Richard Kostelanetz adds to McCaffery’s list
Harvard Book Store’s Top 100 Recommended Titles In Any Subject
Koen Book Distributors Presents YOUR Top 100 Books of the Past Century
The 150 Best English Language Novels of the 20th Century (consolidation of Harvard Bookstore’s Top 100 Recommended Titles, Modern Library’s 100 Best Novels, Koen Book Distributors’ Top 100 Books of the Past Century, and Library Journal’s 150 20th-century Most Influential Fiction)
Le Monde 200 best books list (in English)
Le Monde‘s Top 100 (in English)
Cien novelas del siglo XX (in Spanish)
The Best English-Language Fiction of the Twentieth Century A Composite List and Ranking (but not the same as the one above)
100 best comic novels by Michael Dirda of the Washington Post (though not all are novels)
Readers respond to Dirda’s list of comic novels
Firsts magazine combines the lists 1
Firsts magazine combines the lists 2
Firsts Magazine’s Top 15/100 omitted from experts’ list
Hungry Mind Review’s 100 Best 20th Century Books
100 Best American Novels, 1770–1985
List, List, O List! (response to above)
Books on the Modern Library list that have been banned
The National Review’s 100 Best Non-Fiction Books Of The Century
Os 100 melhores romances do século XX [The 100 Best Novels of the 20th Century] (in Portuguese)
Recommendations for the Top 100 Books of the Twentieth Century (compiled by the New Trier English Department)
100 Years, 100 Novels, One List (Dick Meyer of US National Public Radio)
Newsweek’s Top 100 Books: The Meta-List (from 10 top books lists (Modern Library, the New York Public Library, St. John’s College reading list, Oprah’s, and more))

Other best of lists – more or less 20th/21st century – general fiction/mixed but mainly fiction

For lists featuring women writers go to the Women writers page

120 best 20th/21st century novels
1000 novels Everyone Must Read
50 books that defined an era
What’s the best novel in the past 25 years? (British and Commonwealth writers)
Connolly’s 100 Key Books Of The Modern Movement 1880-1950
The Future Canon (Which novels-and novelists-from the past several years will be taught in 50 years’ time?)
100 Best Novels, in Translation, Since 1900
The Books of the Century
Time Magazine’s 100 best English-language novels since 1923
Carmen Callil and Colm Tóibín’s 200 best novels in English since 1950
Anthony Burgess’ 99 Novels: The Best in English Since 1939
#VOTE100BOOKS (books by women writers from the last 100 years that recognition and celebration)
The iVillage Fiction 100 for the millennium
World Canon? (suggested world canon from 1925-2009, from World Literature Forum)
The New Classics – 100 Best Reads from 1983 to 2008 (from Entertainment Weekly)
The 100 Greatest Novels (from This Recording magazine. Despite the title, they seem to be primarily 20th century)
Donald Barthelme’s Syllabus (recommended to his students at the University of Houston – here is the list in an easier to read format
Which book should every adult read before they die? (British librarians) (from Orange prize for fiction)
Boston Public Library 100 Most Influential Books of the Century
Top 100 books of all time (by sales – UK-based)
What makes a classic a classic?
James Wood’s Best Books Since 1945
The Best Books: The Top 100 Novels of All Time
100 Must-Read Books: The Essential Man’s Library
Top 10 Books of All Time
Michael Dirda’s Top Ten 20th Century Works of Fantasy
Penguin Classics’s “100 Classic Books You Must Read Before You Die”
Esquire’s”278 Books You Should Have Read By Now” by Harold Bloom (despite the title, all 20th century)
Esquire’s The 80 Books Every Man Should Read
The less sexist updating of the above
75 Books Every Woman Should Read: The Complete List (a response to the above)
Orange Prize for Fiction – 50 Essential Reads by Contemporary Authors
Their good books (editors select their favourites)
50 books you must read
LiveJournal’s 50 book challenge
50 Incredibly Tough Books for Extreme Readers
Robert McCrum’s favourite books of the twentieth century
Joan Didion’s Favorite Books of All Time
Books Alive’s “50 Books You Must Own”
Gabriel García Márquez masterpiece tops poll of world literature (Wasafiri‘s piece of writing that has most shaped world literature over the past 25 years, according to a survey of international writers)
Kevin Brockmeier’s 50 Favorite Books
The best 100 works of world literature, according to Russian writer Bykov
Daily Telegraph Top 50 Books Of All Time
100 novels everyone should read
William Gass’ Fifty Literary Pillars
The Angus & Robertson Top 100 List (another, different one)
David Bowie’s Top 100 Must Read Books
Top 40 Most Important Works in the World 1927 – present (from World Literature Today)
Granta’s 20 best British Young Novelists – first generation
Granta’s 20 best British Young Novelists – second generation
Best of Young British Novelists 2003: The list
Granta’s 20 best British Young Novelists
(what the TLS guessed – in advance – they might be)
The best of young British
Twenty players tipped (the guess in 2002 for what might happen in 2003 for Granta’s latest list)
Granta’s 20 best American Young Novelists (1996)
Granta’s 20 best American Young Novelists 2 (2007)
Granta’s list of the best young American novelists (2017)
TLS’ tongue-in-cheek response – novelists who first published age 40+
The greatest debuts
Philip Hensher discusses the 2013 list
Future Classics: 50 Literary Greats
My comments on the above article
Granta 123: Best of Young British Novelists 4
My comments on the above
John Galsworthy hot, James Joyce not (article on 1929 Guardian poll of novelists)
The 100 best reads from 1983 to 2008
The 50 Books Everyone Needs to Read, 1963-2013
Alberto Manguel’s 100 favourite books
Authors and celebrities recommend the books that they love but that have failed to gain the public attention they deserve
Spread the word: the Waterstone’s list of 30 books that deserve to be rediscovered
The Best Fiction of the Decade 2000-2009
Top 10 Contemporary Must Reads
New York Public Library’s Books of the Century
Jeff Noon’s top 10 fluid fiction books
Postcolonial Reading List
A literary celebration of Queen Elizabeth II’s record-breaking reign (books primarily from the British Commonwelath)
Corey’s “list of the 100 books most dear to me”
Alain Finkielkraut’s ideal library
The 50 Mini Modern Classics of Literature
Books for the Next Century (A Celebration of the Great Books of the 20th Century)
January Magazine’s Our Readable Century
Martin Seymour-Smith’s Finest Works of Fiction
25 Sexiest Novels Ever Written
Well-Stocked Bookcase (Book-of-the-Month Club)
Stewart O’Nan’s Top 100 novels list
From Zero to Well-Read in 100 Books
The 100 Favorite Novels of Librarians
Goodreads Top 100 Literary Novels of All Time
Big Green Bookshop favourite books of all time list
Greatest novel ever (despite the title, it’s actually the the 50 greatest English-language novels published since the era of Dickens and Eliot, according to the Commonplace Blog)
Most Influential Fiction of the 20th Century (from The Library Journal)
Reading Guide (from Context magazine – the Best Literary Review Sources; Overlooked Works of Fiction and Important Works of Fiction with a Reputation for Being Difficult)
“A Different Sort of Great-Books List: The 50 Twentieth-Century Works Most Cited in the Arts & Humanities Citation Index, 1976-1983”
Chip Howland’s Recommended Reading
100 Best Characters in Fiction Since 1900
The best novels of all times in the English language
Outstanding books for the College Bound – Literature and Language Arts (despite the title, it’s all 20th century)
Books that have been called the Ulysses of their own country
Novels that Men Read
Fifty of the Most Inspiring Authors in the World
30 Books Everyone Should Read Before Their 30th Birthday
61 essential postmodern reads: an annotated list
College Bound Reading List
Best Novels Of Our Time (1945-1983)
AB Bookman’s List of the 100 Best Novels in English After 1923
50 Amazing and Essential Novels to Enrich Your Library (the first two”novels” on the list are King Lear and Hamlet!)
Cross Country Checkup booklists (Canadian radio programme’s biannual list of what makes a good read)
Centenary Book Project – Top Ten Books of the 20th Century (by the Manchester (England) Caving Club!)
The best geek novels written in English since 1932
100 Great Novels by Living Authors
20 under 40 (best writers under age 40)
Are these Britain’s best 20 novelists under 40? (UK response to above)
20 more under 40 (a response to the New Yorker list)
A Speculative 20 Under 40, from 40 Years Ago (a response to the New Yorker list)
20 Writers to Watch – An Alternate List (a response to the New Yorker list)
Over Forty Writers Over Forty to Watch (a response to the New Yorker list)
Ward Six List of Ten Over 80 (a response to the New Yorker list)
Jeanette Winterson’s Top Ten (actually eleven)
The books that move men
50-best-books (from the Tales from The Reading Room blog)
50 Must Read Novels (from the Caribousmom blog)
100 Life-Changing Books
Pomona College Book List
The 50 Best Contemporary Novels Over 500 Pages
Reputations revisited
The 101 Best Graphic Novels
50 Best Of The Best Graphic Novels
Top 20 reread books (UK survey)
100 Books That Defined the Decade (i.e. 2010s)
The New Canon: The 21 Books from the 21st Century Every Man Should Read
50 best-loved authors (as chosen by British readers)
Your top 25 (a poll of Daily Telegraph readers)
Notable Nobels By Luis Panini (Luis Panini’s list of 130 writers who he thinks should win the Nobel Prize)
Ignácio de Loyola Brandão’s key books
Indie Bookstores Tell Us About Their Most Stolen Books

Postcolonial and Postimperial Authors
New Internationalist Ten Best Third World Novels

Cult fiction
50 best cult books

50 écrivains pour demain (the 50 writers who will be classics tomorrow, from Lire magazine – in French)
Les 100 romans qui ont le plus enthousiasmé « Le Monde » depuis 1944 [The 100 novels that have most excited Le Monde since 1944] (note the article linked does not give the list but you can see it here)
Les 10 livres préférés de 100 écrivains francophones [the ten favourite books of 100 French writers – in French]
Les 100 livres préférés des Français (in French)
Les cent livres du siècle (in French)
le XXe siècle est un grand livre (the 20th century in a hundred books – in French)
Premier bilan après l’apocalypse (Frédédric Beigbeder’s favourites (and the apocalypse is the digitisation of books) – in French)
Mes coups de coeur du XXe siècle… (From the Le lecteur de romans russes (but, unless you count Nabokov, no Russian books), in French

Die 100 Lieblingsbücher der Wiener [The 100 favourite books of the Viennese] (in German)
Die Romane des Jahrhunderts [The Novels of the Century] (from Suhrkamp – in German)
100 der besten Romane von den großen Erzählern des 20. Jahrhunderts [100 Best Novels of the Great Writers of the 20th Century] (from Suhrkamp – in German)
Das Kanonspiel – Ergebnisse (German language literary canon from online bookseller Buchhandlung Kultur-Wissenschaft.de – in German)

Os Melhores Romances E Novelas De 1900 À Actualidade [The Best Novels from 1900 to the Present Day] (in Portuguese)
100 Livros Essenciais da Literatura Mundial [The 100 Essential Books of World Literature] (in Portuguese) an English translation of this list
Os 50 autores mais influentes do século XX e o que aprendemos com eles [The 50 Most Influential Authors of the 20th Century and What We Learn From Them] (in Portuguese)
Tudo que você precisa ler sem um rato de biblioteca [Everything You Should Read without Being a Library Rat] (best world novels – in Portuguese)

As above but 21st century only

100 books that defined the noughties
Beyond the Modern Library: The 25 Greatest Novels of the 21st Century (so far) (2010 update)
The 100 best books of the 21st century (The Guardian newspaper)
Best Asian Books of the Decade?
From The Big Short to Normal People: the books that defined the decade
Books of the Decade
The 100 best books of the 21st century
Authors choose their favourite books of decade
The 20 best books of the decade
Best of the Decade, Debut Novels
The Best Book of the Century (for Now) (it was of course written in English and is not the best by a long way; they offer a 100 more best books, nearly all originally written in English)
The 21st Century’s 12 greatest novels
De 21 Beste Romans Van De 21ste Eeuw [The 21st best novels of the 21st century] (in Dutch)
De 21 Beste Romans Van De 21ste Eeuw [The 21st best novels of the 21st century] (the above but in list form – in Dutch)
Les meilleurs romans de la décennie 2010-2019 (in French)
Best of the Noughties: Our Favourite Reads from 2000-2009
The 20 Best Books of the Decade (2000-2009)
Top 10 Best Debut Novels of the Decade (2000-2009)
The Best Fiction of the Millennium (So Far): An Introduction (as of 2009)
50 Books You’ll Want to Read in 2010
50 Books You Might Want to Read in 2011
The best books of the ’00s (from the A.V. Club)
A Premature Attempt at the 21st Century Canon
The 20 Best Novels of the Decade (i.e. the 2010s but more than 20 as it adds also-rans)
The 10 Best Translated Novels
of the Decade
(i.e. the 2010s but more than 10 as it adds also-rans)
Best of the Millennium, Pros Versus Readers
Best Fiction of the Millennium (So Far): Honorable Mention
Best Fiction of the Millennium (So Far): The Longlist
Quel est le roman étranger de la décennie? (Best foreign book of the decade (up to 2009) – in French)
Las 50 mejores novelas del siglo XXI [the 50 best novels of the 21st century] (in Spanish)
Los 21 mejores libros del siglo XXI [the 21 best novels of the 21st century] (in Spanish – despite the title it gives a list of 100 novels)
21 libros para el XXI (in Spanish)

Other best of lists – more or less 20th/21st century – specific regions/ethnic groups

100 Greatest British Novels
Sunday Times Great Books of Our Time (actually 101 British and Irish works of the first half of the 20th century)
The best British and Irish novelists today (i.e. 2018)
Sacred Fire 100 Essential Black Books, Listed in Chronological Order (nearly all African-American)
Les 50 meilleurs livres de langue française de 1900 à aujourd’hui in French)
25 Books Every Latina Should Read
10 de la década Narradores notables de América Latina (2000-2009) (in Spanish)
500 libros imprescindibles, algunas películas y muchos autores (in Spanish)
Best 25 novels of 21st century (in Spanish)
The Best 100 Arabic Books (According to the Arab Writers
On Banipal’s ‘100 Best Arabic Novels’
The 50 Most Essential Works Of Jewish Fiction Of The Last 100 Years
The Great 100 Jewish Books (from the Yiddish Books Center Judges)
Las mejores novelas en castellano del XX [The best novels in Spanish of the 20th century] (in Spanish)
Cien años, cien librosde escritoras en español (in Spanish)
1989-2014: las 25 mejores novelas [1989-2014 The best 25 best novels] (in Spanish)
Las Cien Mejores Novelas En Español Durante El Siglo XX [The 100 Best Novels in Written Spanish during the 20th century] (in Spanish)
100 best novels written in Spanish in the past 25 years
Los mejores libros en español de los últimos 25 años (in Spanish)
100 libros básicos de la narrativa hispanoamericana (in Spanish – links to all ten parts are here)
Los diez libros más importantes (top ten list in Spanish, determined in votes; all Spanish or Latin American but most have been translated)
Estirpe de novelistas (Carlos Fuentes‘ canon of 20th and 21st century Spanish-language literature)
Las mejores 100 novelas de la lengua española de los últimos 25 años (in Spanish)
Los 25 secretos mejor guardados de América Latina (The 25 Best Guarded Secrets of Latin America – 25 Latin American novelists who are well-known in their own countries but not elsewhere) (in Spanish)
Ignacio Echevarria’s Essential Books in Spanish-Language Literature Since the 1950s scroll down)
Africa’s 100 Best Books of the 20th Century
100 Must-Read Books by Asian Authors
Guide to Oriental Classics
Marcel Reich-Ranicki’s canon of German [i.e. Austrian, German and Swiss]] literature for Der Spiegel (in German)
Erich Loests Gegenkanon [Erich Loest’s Counter-Canon] (response to above – in German)

Other best of lists – more or less 20th/21st century – genre/non-fiction/mixed but mainly non-fiction

The top 10 travel books of the century
100 Books for the Modern Person (Kenneth Funsten – Los Angeles Times)
The Hundred Most Influential Books Since the War (Times Literary Supplement)
Bevis Hillier – Key Books
The 100 Best Non-Fiction Books of the Century (National Review)
The Fifty BEST Books of the Century (from the Intercollegiate Studies Institute)
The Top 100 Sports Books of All Time
Christianity Today Magazine Books of the Century (fiction and non-fiction)
A Graphic Literature Library
50 Memorable Books from 50 Years of Books to Remember (from the New York Public Library)
The 86 Greatest Travel Books of All Time
The 100 Greatest Adventure Books of All Time
Red Reads (50 books that will change your life, according to the New Statesman)

Other best of lists – Great Books

The Master Works of Western Civilization (most from well before our period)
The Great Books
The Greatest Books of All Time
The 30 Best Selling Books of All Time
Great Books and Classics
Clifton Fadiman’s Lifetime Reading Plan
Philip Ward’s 500 Greatest Books
50 Greatest Books of All Time (according to the Canadian Globe and Mail)
Outline of Great Books (Sir J. A. Hammerton)
The Harvard Classics – The Shelf of Fiction
Joseph Brodsky’s List of 83 Books You Should Read to Have an Intelligent Conversation
Easton Press’s”The 100 Greatest Books Ever Written”
A S Byatt’s list of great novels
200 Books That Shaped 200 Years of Literature
Malaspina Original Great Books Core List
Great Books: Early Modern (Malaspina University, Canada)
Great Books: Recent Modern (Malaspina University, Canada)
100 Greatest Books of All Time Published by the Franklin Library
The One Hundred Greatest Novels Of All Time
50 Books to Read Before You Die (from Barnes & Noble)
Recommended Reading in Great Literature, Lake Forest Library, Lake Forest, Illinois
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee bookstore Select 100
Readable Classics
Världsbiblioteket (The World Library) (a Swedish list of the 100 best books in the world, made in 1991 by the Swedish literary magazine Tidningen Boken)
The Greatest Books (list generated from 107 “best of” book lists from a variety of great sources)
St. John’s College Great BooksList
A Select Bibliography of the World’s Great Literature (from California State University, Long Beach)
The list of 100 Novels That Shaped Our World
A Select Bibliography of the World’s Great Literature (from Princeton University)
Best Books List (from Montana State University)
Western Culture’s Top 50 Books (from World magazine)
Classics Revisited and More Classics Revisited by Kenneth Rexroth
The 100 Stories That Shaped the World
Liste der Weltliteratur des Müncher Komparatistik-Instituts (in German)
Zeit-Bibliothek der 100 Bücher (in German)
Paradigmen der Weltliteratur (in German)
10 kirjaa jotka muuttivat maailmaa [10 Books That Changed The World] (in Finnish)

Other best of lists – all periods

Literary Taste: How to Form it (Arnold Bennett’s books to read up to 1935)
The top 100 books of all time (as determined by a Norwegian book club)
Norwegian Book Club 100 Best (above list but with more details)
BBC poll for top 100 books (aka The Big Read)
200 Books That Shaped 200 Years of Literature
BBC’s”The Big Read – Next 100 Books”
The Best Books Ever (list by bookseller The Book Depository)
Big Read (Hungarian)
Big Read (Bulgaria)
Unsere Besten – Das grosse Lesen (in German)
Pour une Bibliothèque Idéale (in French – based on a survey by French author Raymond Queneau))
Unsere Besten – Das grosse Lesen (English version)
My Favourite Book (Australia, 2004)
The Novel 100: A Ranking of the Greatest Novels of All Time (from book by Daniel S. Burt)
The Literary 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential Novelists, Playwrights, and Poets of All Time (from book by Daniel S. Burt)
BBC poll top 21 as voted by the public
Books you can’t live without: the top 100 (World Book Day 2007)
Dr. Peter Boxall’s 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die
The BookCrossing Top 100+ Books of All Time (2006)
501 Must Read Books
110 best books: The perfect library
The Bigger Read (Works of Prose/Epic Poetry not written in English (in alphabetical order) – from PEN)
Marianne Moore’s list
50 Books to (Re-)Read at 50
50 Books To Read Before You Die (according to Complex magazine)
Biblioteca (poll of favourite books by Argentinian authors)
The 100 greatest novels of all time: The list (from The Observer)
One Hundred Best Books, by John Cowper Powys
Harper Lee tops librarians’ must-read list (conducted by Museum, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA))
Transfuge magazine’s best foreign literature
The top 100 books of all time (2002 survey of 100 well-known authors from 54 countries)
Loose Canon (Utne Reader’s readers’ 150 great works to set your imagination on fire)
Loose Canon Part 2 (Utne Reader’s readers’ 150 great works to set your imagination on fire)
Kate Atkinson’s Top 10
The 69 Greatest Fiction Travel Books of All Time
The 100 Greatest Novels
The 100 Greatest Writers of All Time
Somerset Maugham’s Ten Best Novels of the World
Borges’ Book Selections
Harvard Book Store staff’s favorite 100 books
Henry Miller’s”Ideal Library”
Lamont’s 100 Best Novels (100 best novels, compiled by William H F Lamont for the magazine Books Abroad, Vol. 21 No.1, Winter 1947)
Good Reading’s 100 Significant Books
The Top 10 Most Difficult Books
Malaysia’s Top Ten Books (and they are all obvious Anglo-American)
Best Love stories (as voted by readers of the Washington Post)
The 250 Most Cited Authors in the Arts & Humanities Citation Index, 1976-1983 (pdf)
The Most Iconic Books Set in 150 Countries Around the World (some of them are but many definitely are not)
The best novels of all times in the English language
For the Love of Books
Entertainment Weekly’s Top 100 Novels
Joe’s World top 10 novels list (by votes – there are 145)
Classic Fiction
100 Books That Shaped World History
The 100 Best Lesbian and Gay Novels
US Bestsellers by decade
Vollmann’s Favorite Books
OCLC Top 1000 (Top 1000 titles owned by OCLC member libraries – the intellectual works that have been judged to be worth owning by the”purchase vote” of libraries around the globe)
Read Your Way Around the World (New York Times)
Fiction subset from above list
The Library 100 (OCLC’s top 100 novels of all time)
Jürgen Brôcan’s 100 best books
Top 20 Love Novels
5000 Best Books of All Time (1 /5) (they’re not)
5000 Best Books of All Time (2 /5) (they’re not)
5000 Best Books of All Time (3 /5) (they’re not)
5000 Best Books of All Time (4 /5) (they’re not)
5000 Best Books of All Time (5 /5) (they’re not)
21 Books You Don’t Have to Read
What is Stephen Harper reading? (author Yann Martel sent Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper a book a week)
Les meilleurs romans écrits ou traduits en français, selon les lecteurs de Livresse (in French)
Liste der Werke im Buch der 1000 Bücher (in German)
Die besten 100 Bücher aus 100 Jahren (in German)
Quasi ein Empfohlener Literaturkanon [Recommended Literary Canon] (in German)
Die 100 ß Bücher der Welt (100 best books in the world – in German)
Cien escritores en español eligen 100 libros que cambiaron su vida (100 writers in Spanish choose the 100 books that changed their life – in Spanish)
El canon secreto de Martín de Riquer (co-author of Historia Universal de la Literatura – in Spanish)
Las joyas del milenio [The Gems of the Millennium] (in Spanish)

Other lists

The Penguin Checklist Project (a listing of all Penguin books)
Bill Clinton’s 21 Favorite Books
The most sought after out of print titles in America
Oprah’s Book Club selections (probably the most influential list here or anywhere else)
Oprah’s Picks – where are they now?
The Fictional 100 (The 100 Greatest Fictional Characters in World Literature and Legend)
100 Best Characters in Fiction Since 1900
Top 100 Sci-Fi Books
The 50 Best Sci-Fi Books of All Time
Want to Crack the Case? These Are The 101 Best Mystery Books of All Time
100 Best First Lines from Novels
Here Are The Biggest Fiction Bestsellers Of The Last 100 Years
The Invisible Library (A regularly updated catalogue of books that exist only within other books–a Borgesian invisible library)
100 Best Last Lines from Novels
The 100 greatest non-fiction books
All-TIME 100 Best Nonfiction Books
Top 100 Project Gutenberg downloads
The 100 Most Important Art Works of the Twentieth Century
100 Must-See Films of the 20th Century