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The Sunday Times 100 21st-Century Novels to Love

A book’s total score is based on multiple factors, including the number of people who have voted for it and how highly those voters ranked the book.

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sunday times best books of 21st century

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sunday times best books of 21st century

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sunday times best books of 21st century

A composite image of some of the books of the century

The 100 best books of the 21st century

Dazzling debut novels, searing polemics, the history of humanity and trailblazing memoirs ... Read our pick of the best books since 2000

  • Read an interview with the author of our No 1 book
  • Read Ali Smith on Autumn
  • Read David Mitchell on Cloud Atlas

I Feel Bad About My Neck

By nora ephron (2006).

Perhaps better known for her screenwriting ( Silkwood , When Harry Met Sally , Heartburn ), Ephron’s brand of smart theatrical humour is on best display in her essays. Confiding and self-deprecating, she has a way of always managing to sound like your best friend – even when writing about her apartment on New York’s Upper West Side. This wildly enjoyable collection includes her droll observations about ageing, vanity – and a scorching appraisal of Bill Clinton. Read the review

Broken Glass

By alain mabanckou (2005), translated by helen stevenson (2009).

The Congolese writer says he was “trying to break the French language” with Broken Glass – a black comedy told by a disgraced teacher without much in the way of full stops or paragraph breaks. As Mabanckou’s unreliable narrator munches his “bicycle chicken” and drinks his red wine, it becomes clear he has the history of Congo-Brazzaville and the whole of French literature in his sights. Read the review

Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara in the 2011 film adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

By stieg larsson (2005), translated by steven t murray (2008).

Radical journalist Mikael Blomkvist forms an unlikely alliance with troubled young hacker Lisbeth Salander as they follow a trail of murder and malfeasance connected with one of Sweden’s most powerful families in the first novel of the bestselling Millennium trilogy. The high-level intrigue beguiled millions of readers, brought “Scandi noir” to prominence and inspired innumerable copycats. Read the review

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

By jk rowling (2000).

A generation grew up on Rowling’s all-conquering magical fantasies, but countless adults have also been enthralled by her immersive world. Book four, the first of the doorstoppers, marks the point where the series really takes off. The Triwizard Tournament provides pace and tension, and Rowling makes her boy wizard look death in the eye for the first time. Read the review

A Little Life

By hanya yanagihara (2015).

This operatically harrowing American gay melodrama became an unlikely bestseller, and one of the most divisive novels of the century so far. One man’s life is blighted by abuse and its aftermath, but also illuminated by love and friendship. Some readers wept all night, some condemned it as titillating and exploitative, but no one could deny its power. Read the review

Chronicles: Volume One

By bob dylan (2004).

Dylan’s reticence about his personal life is a central part of the singer-songwriter’s brand, so the gaps and omissions in this memoir come as no surprise. The result is both sharp and dreamy, sliding in and out of different phases of Dylan’s career but rooted in his earliest days as a Woody Guthrie wannabe in New York City. Fans are still waiting for volume two. Read the review

Bob Dylan in New York, 1963.

The Tipping Point

By malcolm gladwell (2000).

The New Yorker staff writer examines phenomena from shoe sales to crime rates through the lens of epidemiology, reaching his own tipping point, when he became a rock-star intellectual and unleashed a wave of quirky studies of contemporary society. Two decades on, Gladwell is often accused of oversimplification and cherry picking, but his idiosyncratic bestsellers have helped shape 21st-century culture. Read the review

by Nicola Barker (2007)

British fiction’s most anarchic author is as prolific as she is playful, but this freewheeling, visionary epic set around the Thames Gateway is her magnum opus. Barker brings her customary linguistic invention and wild humour to a tale about history’s hold on the present, as contemporary Ashford is haunted by the spirit of a medieval jester. Read the review

The Siege by Helen Dunmore

by Helen Dunmore (2001)

The Levin family battle against starvation in this novel set during the German siege of Leningrad. Anna digs tank traps and dodges patrols as she scavenges for wood, but the hand of history is hard to escape. Read the review

Light by M John Harrison

by M John Harrison (2002)

One of the most underrated prose writers demonstrates the literary firepower of science fiction at its best. Three narrative strands – spanning far-future space opera, contemporary unease and virtual-reality pastiche – are braided together for a breathtaking metaphysical voyage in pursuit of the mystery at the heart of reality. Read the review

by Jenny Erpenbeck (2008), translated by Susan Bernofsky (2010)

A grand house by a lake in the east of Germany is both the setting and main character of Erpenbeck’s third novel. The turbulent waves of 20th-century history crash over it as the house is sold by a Jewish family fleeing the Third Reich, requisitioned by the Russian army, reclaimed by exiles returning from Siberia, and sold again. Read the review

by Lorna Sage (2000)

A Whitbread prizewinning memoir, full of perfectly chosen phrases, that is one of the best accounts of family dysfunction ever written. Sage grew up with her grandparents, who hated each other: he was a drunken philandering vicar; his wife, having found his diaries, blackmailed him and lived in another part of the house. The author gets unwittingly pregnant at 16, yet the story has a happy ending. Read the review

Noughts & Crosses

By malorie blackman (2001).

Set in an alternative Britain, this groundbreaking piece of young adult fiction sees black people, called the Crosses, hold all the power and influence, while the noughts – white people – are marginalised and segregated. The former children’s laureate’s series is a crucial work for explaining racism to young readers.


By patricia lockwood (2017).

This may not be the only account of living in a religious household in the American midwest (in her youth, the author joined a group called God’s Gang, where they spoke in tongues), but it is surely the funniest. The author started out as the “poet laureate of Twitter”; her language is brilliant, and she has a completely original mind. Read the review

A telling description of modern power … Yanis Varoufakis.

Adults in the Room

By yanis varoufakis (2017).

This memoir by the leather-jacketed economist of the six months he spent as Greece’s finance minister in 2015 at a time of economic and political crisis has been described as “one of the best political memoirs ever written”. He comes up against the IMF, the European institutions, Wall Street, billionaires and media owners and is told how the system works – as a result, his book is a telling description of modern power. Read the review

The God Delusion

By richard dawkins (2006).

A key text in the days when the “New Atheism” was much talked about, The God Delusion is a hard-hitting attack on religion, full of Dawkins’s confidence that faith produces fanatics and all arguments for God are ridiculous. What the evolutionary biologist lacks in philosophical sophistication, he makes up for in passion, and the book sold in huge numbers. Read the review

The Cost of Living

By deborah levy (2018).

Dazzling memoir … Deborah Levy.

“Chaos is supposed to be what we most fear but I have come to believe it might be what we most want ... ” The second part of Levy’s “living memoir”, in which she leaves her marriage, is a fascinating companion piece to her deep yet playful novels. Feminism, mythology and the daily grind come together for a book that combines emotion and intellect to dazzling effect. Read the review

Tell Me How It Ends

By valeria luiselli (2016), translated by luiselli with lizzie davis (2017).

As the hysteria over immigration to the US began to build in 2015, the Mexican novelist volunteered to work as an interpreter in New York’s federal immigration court. In this powerful series of essays she tells the poignant stories of the children she met, situating them in the wider context of the troubled relationship between the Americas. Read the review

by Neil Gaiman (2002)

From the Sandman comics to his fantasy epic American Gods to Twitter, Gaiman towers over the world of books. But this perfectly achieved children’s novella, in which a plucky young girl enters a parallel world where her “Other Mother” is a spooky copy of her real-life mum, with buttons for eyes, might be his finest hour: a properly scary modern myth which cuts right to the heart of childhood fears and desires. Read the review

by Jim Crace (2013)

Crace is fascinated by the moment when one era gives way to another. Here, it is the enclosure of the commons, a fulcrum of English history, that drives his story of dispossession and displacement. Set in a village without a name, the narrative dramatises what it’s like to see the world you know come to an end, in a severance of the connection between people and land that has deep relevance for our time of climate crisis and forced migration. Read the review

Amy Adams in Arrival, the 2015 film based on a short story by Ted Chiang.

Stories of Your Life and Others

By ted chiang (2002).

Melancholic and transcendent, Chiang’s eight, high-concept sci-fi stories exploring the nature of language, maths, religion and physics racked up numerous awards and a wider audience when ‘Story of Your Life’ was adapted into the 2016 film Arrival . Read the review

The Spirit Level

By richard wilkinson and kate pickett (2009).

An eye-opening study, based on overwhelming evidence, which revealed that among rich countries, the “more equal societies almost always do better” for all. Growth matters less than inequality, the authors argued: whether the issue is life expectancy, infant mortality, crime rates, obesity, literacy or recycling, the Scandinavian countries, say, will always win out over, say, the UK. Read the review

NK Jemisin explores urgent questions of power in The Fifth Season.

The Fifth Season

By nk jemisin (2015).

Jemisin became the first African American author to win the best novel category at the Hugo awards for her first book in the Broken Earth trilogy. In her intricate and richly imagined far future universe, the world is ending, ripped apart by relentless earthquakes and volcanoes. Against this apocalyptic backdrop she explores urgent questions of power and enslavement through the eyes of three women. “As this genre finally acknowledges that the dreams of the marginalised matter and that all of us have a future,” she said in her acceptance speech, “so will go the world. (Soon, I hope.)”

Signs Preceding the End of the World

By yuri herrera (2009), translated by lisa dillman (2015).

Makina sets off from her village in Mexico with a package from a local gangster and a message for her brother, who has been gone for three years. The story of her crossing to the US examines the blurring of boundaries, the commingling of languages and the blending of identities that complicate the idea of an eventual return. Read the review

Thinking, Fast and Slow

By daniel kahneman (2011).

The Nobel laureate’s unexpected bestseller, on the minutiae of decision-making, divides the brain into two. System One makes judgments quickly, intuitively and automatically, as when a batsman decides whether to cut or pull. System Two is slow, calculated and deliberate, like long division. But psychologist Kahneman argues that, although System Two thinks it is in control, many of our decisions are really made by System One. Read the review

Spoor, the film adaptation of  Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead.

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead

By olga tokarczuk (2009), translated by antonia lloyd-jones (2018).

In this existential eco-thriller, a William Blake-obsessed eccentric investigates the murders of men and animals in a remote Polish village. More accessible and focused than Flights , the novel that won Tokarczuk the Man International Booker prize, it is no less profound in its examination of how atavistic male impulses, emboldened by the new rightwing politics of Europe, are endangering people, communities and nature itself. Read the review

Days Without End

By sebastian barry (2016).

In this savagely beautiful novel set during the Indian wars and American civil war, a young Irish boy flees famine-struck Sligo for Missouri. There he finds lifelong companionship with another emigrant, and they join the army on its brutal journey west, laying waste to Indian settlements. Viscerally focused and intense, yet imbued with the grandeur of the landscape, the book explores love, gender and survival with a rare, luminous power. Read the review

Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick

Nothing to Envy

By barbara demick (2009).

Los Angeles Times journalist Barbara Demick interviewed around 100 North Korean defectors for this propulsive work of narrative non-fiction, but she focuses on just six, all from the north-eastern city of Chongjin – closed to foreigners and less media-ready than Pyongyang. North Korea is revealed to be rife with poverty, corruption and violence but populated by resilient people with a remarkable ability to see past the propaganda all around them. Read the review

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism

By shoshana zuboff (2019).

An agenda-setting book that is devastating about the extent to which big tech sets out to manipulate us for profit. Not simply another expression of the “techlash”, Zuboff’s ambitious study identifies a new form of capitalism, one involving the monitoring and shaping of our behaviour, often without our knowledge, with profound implications for democracy. “Once we searched Google, but now Google searches us.” Read the review

Jimmy Corrigan- tThe Smartest Kid on Earth

Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth

By chris ware (2000).

At the time when Ware won the Guardian first book award, no graphic novel had previously won a generalist literary prize. Emotional and artistic complexity are perfectly poised in this account of a listless 36-year-old office dogsbody who is thrown into an existential crisis by an encounter with his estranged dad. Read the review

Judi Dench, left, and Cate Blanchett in the 2006 film adaptation of Notes on a Scandal.

Notes on a Scandal

By zoë heller (2003).

Sheba, a middle-aged teacher at a London comprehensive, begins an affair with her 15-year-old student - but we hear about it from a fellow teacher, the needy Barbara, whose obsessive nature drives the narrative. With shades of Patricia Highsmith, this teasing investigation into sex, class and loneliness is a dark marvel. Read the review

The Infatuations

By javier marías (2011), translated by margaret jull costa (2013).

The Spanish master examines chance, love and death in the story of an apparently random killing that gradually reveals hidden depths. Marías constructs an elegant murder mystery from his trademark labyrinthine sentences, but this investigation is in pursuit of much meatier questions than whodunnit. Read the review

Rachel Weisz and Ralph Fiennes in the 2005 film adaptation of  The Constant Gardener.

The Constant Gardener

By john le carré (2001).

The master of the cold war thriller turned his attention to the new world order in this chilling investigation into the corruption powering big pharma in Africa. Based on the case of a rogue antibiotics trial that killed and maimed children in Nigeria in the 1990s, it has all the dash and authority of his earlier novels while precisely and presciently anatomising the dangers of a rampant neo-imperialist capitalism. Read the review

The Silence of the Girls

By pat barker (2018).

If the western literary canon is founded on Homer, then it is founded on women’s silence. Barker’s extraordinary intervention, in which she replays the events of the Iliad from the point of view of the enslaved Trojan women, chimed with both the #MeToo movement and a wider drive to foreground suppressed voices. In a world still at war, it has chilling contemporary resonance. Read the review

Seven Brief Lessons on Physics

By carlo rovelli (2014).

A theoretical physicist opens a window on to the great questions of the universe with this 96-page overview of modern physics. Rovelli’s keen insight and striking metaphors make this the best introduction to subjects including relativity, quantum mechanics, cosmology, elementary particles and entropy outside of a course in advanced physics. Read the review

Ben Affleck in the 2014 film adaptation of Gone Girl.

by Gillian Flynn (2012)

The deliciously dark US crime thriller that launched a thousand imitators and took the concept of the unreliable narrator to new heights. A woman disappears: we think we know whodunit, but we’re wrong. Flynn’s stylishly written portrait of a toxic marriage set against a backdrop of social and economic insecurity combines psychological depth with sheer unputdownable flair. Read the review

by Stephen King (2000)

Written after a near-fatal accident, this combination of memoir and masterclass by fiction’s most successful modern storyteller showcases the blunt, casual brilliance of King at his best. As well as being genuinely useful, it’s a fascinating chronicle of literary persistence, and of a lifelong love affair with language and narrative. Read the review

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

By rebecca skloot (2010).

Henrietta Lacks was a black American who died in agony of cancer in a “coloured” hospital ward in 1951. Her cells, taken without her knowledge during a biopsy, went on to change medical history, being used around the world to develop countless drugs. Skloot skilfully tells the extraordinary scientific story, but in this book the voices of the Lacks children are crucial – they have struggled desperately even as billions have been made from their mother’s “HeLa” cells. Read the review

Benedict Cumberbatch in the TV adaptation of Edward St Aubyn’s Patrick Melrose novels.

Mother’s Milk

By edward st aubyn (2006).

The fourth of the autobiographical Patrick Melrose novels finds the wealthy protagonist – whose flight from atrocious memories of child abuse into drug abuse was the focus of the first books – beginning to grope after redemption. Elegant wit and subtle psychology lift grim subject matter into seductive brilliance. Read the review

This House of Grief

By helen garner (2014).

A man drives his three sons into a deep pond and swims out, leaving them to drown. But was it an accident? This 2005 tragedy caught the attention of one of Australia’s greatest living writers. Garner puts herself centre stage in an account of Robert Farquharson’s trial that combines forensic detail and rich humanity. Read the review

A mesmerising tapestry of the River Dart’s mutterings … Alice Oswald.

by Alice Oswald (2002)

This book-length poem is a mesmerising tapestry of “the river’s mutterings”, based on three years of recording conversations with people who live and work on the River Dart in Devon. From swimmers to sewage workers, boatbuilders to bailiffs, salmon fishers to ferryman, the voices are varied and vividly brought to life. Read the review

The Beauty of the Husband

By anne carson (2002).

One of Canada’s most celebrated poets examines love and desire in a collection that describes itself as “a fictional essay in 39 tangos”. Carson charts the course of a doomed marriage in loose-limbed lines that follow the switchbacks of thought and feeling from first meeting through multiple infidelities to arrive at eventual divorce.

by Tony Judt (2005)

This grand survey of Europe since 1945 begins with the devastation left behind by the second world war and offers a panoramic narrative of the cold war from its beginnings to the collapse of the Soviet bloc – a part of which Judt witnessed firsthand in Czechoslovakia’s velvet revolution. A very complex story is told with page-turning urgency and what may now be read as nostalgic faith in “the European idea”. Read the review

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

By michael chabon (2000).

A love story to the golden age of comics in New York, Chabon’s Pulitzer-winner features two Jewish cousins, one smuggled out of occupied Prague, who create an anti-fascist comic book superhero called The Escapist. Their own adventures are as exciting and highly coloured as the ones they write and draw in this generous, open-hearted, deeply lovable rollercoaster of a book. Read the review

Robert Macfarlane’s Underland (Hamish Hamilton).

by Robert Macfarlane (2019)

A beautifully written and profound book, which takes the form of a series of (often hair-raising and claustrophobic) voyages underground – from the fjords of the Arctic to the Parisian catacombs. Trips below the surface inspire reflections on “deep” geological time and raise urgent questions about the human impact on planet Earth. Read the review

The Omnivore’s Dilemma

By michael pollan (2006).

An entertaining and highly influential book from the writer best known for his advice: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” The author follows four meals on their journey from field to plate – including one from McDonald’s and a locally sourced organic feast. Pollan is a skilled, amusing storyteller and The Omnivore’s Dilemma changed both food writing and the way we see food. Read the review

Mary Beard, whose slim manifesto Women & Power became an instant feminist classic.

Women & Power

By mary beard (2017).

Based on Beard’s lectures on women’s voices and how they have been silenced, Women and Power was an enormous publishing success in the “ #MeToo ”’ year 2017. An exploration of misogyny, the origins of “gendered speech” in the classical era and the problems the male world has with strong women, this slim manifesto became an instant feminist classic. Read the review

True History of the Kelly Gang

By peter carey (2000).

Carey’s second Booker winner is an irresistible tour de force of literary ventriloquism: the supposed autobiography of 19th-century Australian outlaw and “wild colonial boy” Ned Kelly, inspired by a fragment of Kelly’s own prose and written as a glorious rush of semi-punctuated vernacular storytelling. Mythic and tender by turns, these are tall tales from a lost frontier. Read the review

Small Island

By andrea levy (2004).

Pitted against a backdrop of prejudice, this London-set novel is told by four protagonists – Hortense and Gilbert, Jamaican migrants, and a stereotypically English couple, Queenie and Bernard. These varied perspectives, illuminated by love and loyalty, combine to create a thoughtful mosaic depicting the complex beginnings of Britain’s multicultural society. Read the review

The 2015 film adaptation of Brooklyn.

by Colm Tóibín (2009)

Tóibín’s sixth novel is set in the 1950s, when more than 400,000 people left Ireland, and considers the emotional and existential impact of emigration on one young woman. Eilis makes a life for herself in New York, but is drawn back by the possibilities of the life she has lost at home. A universal story of love, endurance and missed chances, made radiant through Tóibín’s measured prose and tender understatement. Read the review

Oryx and Crake

By margaret atwood (2003).

In the first book in her dystopian MaddAddam trilogy, the Booker winner speculates about the havoc science can wreak on the world. The big warning here – don’t trust corporations to run the planet – is blaring louder and louder as the century progresses. Read the review

Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?

By jeanette winterson (2011).

The title is the question Winterson’s adoptive mother asked as she threw her daughter out, aged 16, for having a girlfriend. The autobiographical story behind Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit , and the trials of Winterson’s later life, is urgent, wise and moving. Read the review

Night Watch

By terry pratchett (2002).

Pratchett’s mighty Discworld series is a high point in modern fiction: a parody of fantasy literature that deepened and darkened over the decades to create incisive satires of our own world. The 29th book, focusing on unlikely heroes, displays all his fierce intelligence, anger and wild humour, in a story that’s moral, humane – and hilarious. Read the review

The 2008 film adaptation of Persepolis.

by Marjane Satrapi (2000-2003), translated by Mattias Ripa (2003-2004)

Satrapi’s autobiographical graphic novel follows her coming-of-age in the lead up to and during the Iranian revolution. In this riotous memoir, Satrapi focuses on one young life to reveal a hidden history.

Human Chain

By seamus heaney (2010).

The Nobel laureate tends to the fragments of memory and loss with moving precision in his final poetry collection. A book of elegies and echoes, these poems are infused with a haunting sense of pathos, with a line often left hanging to suspend the reader in longing and regret. Read the review

Levels of Life

By julian barnes (2013).

The British novelist combines fiction and non-fiction to form a searing essay on grief and love for his late wife, the literary agent Pat Kavanagh. Barnes divides the book into three parts with disparate themes – 19th-century ballooning, photography and marriage. Their convergence is wonderfully achieved. Read the review

Hope in the Dark

By rebecca solnit (2004).

Writing against “the tremendous despair at the height of the Bush administration’s powers and the outset of the war in Iraq”, the US thinker finds optimism in political activism and its ability to change the world. The book ranges widely from the fall of the Berlin wall to the Zapatista uprising in Mexico, to the invention of Viagra. Read the review

Claudia Rankine confronts the history of racism in the US.

Citizen: An American Lyric

By claudia rankine (2014).

From the slow emergency response in the black suburbs destroyed by hurricane Katrina to a mother trying to move her daughter away from a black passenger on a plane, the poet’s award-winning prose work confronts the history of racism in the US and asks: regardless of their actual status, who truly gets to be a citizen? Read the review

by Michael Lewis (2010)

The author of The Big Short has made a career out of rendering the most opaque subject matter entertaining and comprehensible: Moneyball tells the story of how geeks outsmarted jocks to revolutionise baseball using maths. But you do not need to know or care about the sport, because – as with all Lewis’s best writing – it’s all about how the story is told. Read the review

James McAvoy in the film adaptation of Atonement.

by Ian McEwan (2001)

There are echoes of DH Lawrence and EM Forster in McEwan’s finely tuned dissection of memory and guilt. The fates of three young people are altered by a young girl’s lie at the close of a sweltering day on a country estate in 1935. Lifelong remorse, the horror of war and devastating twists are to follow in an elegant, deeply felt meditation on the power of love and art. Read the review

The Year of Magical Thinking

By joan didion (2005).

With cold, clear, precise prose, Didion gives an account of the year her husband, the writer John Gregory Dunne, collapsed from a fatal heart attack in their home. Her devastating examination of grief and widowhood changed the nature of writing about bereavement. Read the review

White Teeth

By zadie smith (2000).

Set around the unlikely bond between two wartime friends, Smith’s debut brilliantly captures Britain’s multicultural spirit, and offers a compelling insight into immigrant family life.

The Line of Beauty

By alan hollinghurst (2004).

Oxford graduate Nick Guest has the questionable good fortune of moving into the grand west London home of a rising Tory MP. Thatcher-era degeneracy is lavishly displayed as Nick falls in love with the son of a supermarket magnate, and the novel records how Aids began to poison gay life in London. In peerless prose, Hollinghurst captures something close to the spirit of an age. Read the review

The Green Road

By anne enright (2015).

A reunion dominates the Irish novelist’s family drama, but the individual stories of the five members of the Madigan clan – the matriarch, Rosaleen, and her children, Dan, Emmet, Constance and Hanna, who escape and are bound to return – are beautifully held in balance. When the Madigans do finally come together halfway through the book, Enright masterfully reminds us of the weight of history and family. Read the review

Martin Amis recalls his ‘velvet-suited, snakeskin-booted’ youth.

by Martin Amis (2000)

Known for the firecracker phrases and broad satires of his fiction, Amis presented a much warmer face in his memoir. His life is haunted by the disappearance of his cousin Lucy, who is revealed 20 years later to have been murdered by Fred West. But Amis also has much fun recollecting his “velvet-suited, snakeskin-booted” youth, and paints a moving portrait of his father’s comic gusto as old age reduces him to a kind of “anti-Kingsley”. Read the review

The Hare with Amber Eyes

By edmund de waal (2010).

In this exquisite family memoir, the ceramicist explains how he came to inherit a collection of 264 netsuke – small Japanese ornaments – from his great-uncle. The unlikely survival of the netsuke entails De Waal telling a story that moves from Paris to Austria under the Nazis to Japan, and he beautifully conjures a sense of place. The book doubles as a set of profound reflections on objects and what they mean to us. Read the review

Outline by Rachel Cusk

Outline by Rachel

Cusk (2014).

This startling work of autofiction, which signalled a new direction for Cusk, follows an author teaching a creative writing course over one hot summer in Athens. She leads storytelling exercises. She meets other writers for dinner. She hears from other people about relationships, ambition, solitude, intimacy and “the disgust that exists indelibly between men and women”. The end result is sublime. Read the review

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

by Alison Bechdel (2006)

The American cartoonist’s darkly humorous memoir tells the story of how her closeted gay father killed himself a few months after she came out as a lesbian. This pioneering work, which later became a musical, helped shape the modern genre of “graphic memoir”, combining detailed and beautiful panels with remarkable emotional depth. Read the review

The Emperor of All Maladies

By siddhartha mukherjee (2010).

“Normal cells are identically normal; malignant cells become unhappily malignant in unique ways.” In adapting the opening lines of Anna Karenina , Mukherjee sets out the breathtaking ambition of his study of cancer: not only to share the knowledge of a practising oncologist but to take his readers on a literary and historical journey. Read the review

The Argonauts

By maggie nelson (2015).

An electrifying memoir that captured a moment in thinking about gender, and also changed the world of books. The story, told in fragments, is of Nelson’s pregnancy, which unfolds at the same time as her partner, the artist Harry Dodge, is beginning testosterone injections: “the summer of our changing bodies”. Strikingly honest, originally written, with a galaxy of intellectual reference points, it is essentially a love story; one that seems to make a new way of living possible. Read the review

The Underground Railroad

By colson whitehead (2016).

A thrilling, genre-bending tale of escape from slavery in the American deep south, this Pulitzer prize-winner combines extraordinary prose and uncomfortable truths. Two slaves flee their masters using the underground railroad, the network of abolitionists who helped slaves out of the south, wonderfully reimagined by Whitehead as a steampunk vision of a literal train. Read the review

Uncomfortable truths … Colson Whitehead.

A Death in the Family

By karl ove knausgaard (2009), translated by don bartlett (2012).

The first instalment of Knausgaard’s relentlessly self-examining six-volume series My Struggle revolves around the life and death of his alcoholic father. Whether or not you regard him as the Proust of memoir, his compulsive honesty created a new benchmark for autofiction. Read the review

by Carol Ann Duffy (2005)

A moving, book-length poem from the UK’s first female poet laureate, Rapture won the TS Eliot prize in 2005. From falling in love to betrayal and separation, Duffy reimagines romance with refreshing originality. Read the review

Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage

By alice munro (2001).

Canada’s observant and humane short story writer, who won the Nobel in 2013, is at her best in this collection. A housekeeper’s fate is changed by the pranks of her employer’s teenager daughter; an incorrigible flirt gracefully accepts his wife’s new romance in her care home. No character acts as at first expected in Munro’s stories, which are attuned to the tiniest shifts in perception. Read the review

Capital in the Twenty First Century

By thomas piketty (2013), translated by arthur goldhammer (2014).

The beautifully written product of 15 years of research, Capital made its author an intellectual star – the modern Marx – and opened readers’ eyes to how neoliberalism produces vastly increased inequalities. Full of data, theories and historical analysis, its message is clear, and prophetic: unless governments increase tax, the new and grotesque wealth levels of the rich will encourage political instability. Read the review

Sally Rooney focuses on the uncertainty of millennial life.

Normal People

By sally rooney (2018).

Rooney’s second novel, a love story between two clever and damaged young people coming of age in contemporary Ireland, confirmed her status as a literary superstar. Her focus is on the dislocation and uncertainty of millennial life, but her elegant prose has universal appeal. Read the review

A Visit from The Goon Squad

By jennifer egan (2011).

Inspired by both Proust and The Sopranos , Egan’s Pulitzer-winning comedy follows several characters in and around the US music industry, but is really a book about memory and kinship, time and narrative, continuity and disconnection. Read the review

The Noonday Demon

By andrew solomon (2001).

Emerging from Solomon’s own painful experience, this “anatomy” of depression examines its many faces – plus its science, sociology and treatment. The book’s combination of honesty, scholarly rigour and poetry made it a benchmark in literary memoir and understanding of mental health. Read the review

Tenth of December

By george saunders (2013).

This warm yet biting collection of short stories by the Booker-winning American author will restore your faith in humanity. No matter how weird the setting – a futuristic prison lab, a middle-class home where human lawn ornaments are employed as a status symbol – in these surreal satires of post-crash life Saunders reminds us of the meaning we find in small moments. Read the review

Chart-topping history of humanity … Yuval Noah Harari.

by Yuval Noah Harari (2011), translated by Harari with John Purcell and Haim Watzman (2014)

In his Olympian history of humanity, Harari documents the numerous revolutions Homo sapiens has undergone over the last 70,000 years: from new leaps in cognitive reasoning to agriculture, science and industry, the era of information and the possibilities of biotechnology. Harari’s scope may be too wide for some, but this engaging work topped the charts and made millions marvel. Read the review

Life After Life

By kate atkinson (2013).

Atkinson examines family, history and the power of fiction as she tells the story of a woman born in 1910 – and then tells it again, and again, and again. Ursula Todd’s multiple lives see her strangled at birth, drowned on a Cornish beach, trapped in an awful marriage and visiting Adolf Hitler at Berchtesgaden. But this dizzying fictional construction is grounded by such emotional intelligence that her heroine’s struggles always feel painfully, joyously real. Read the review

A stage adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night‑Time

By mark haddon (2003).

Fifteen-year-old Christopher John Francis Boone becomes absorbed in the mystery of a dog’s demise, meticulously investigating through diagrams, timetables, maps and maths problems. Haddon’s fascinating portrayal of an unconventional mind was a crossover hit with both adults and children and was adapted into a very successful stage play. Read the review

The Shock Doctrine

By naomi klein (2007).

In this urgent examination of free-market fundamentalism, Klein argues – with accompanying reportage – that the social breakdowns witnessed during decades of neoliberal economic policies are not accidental, but in fact integral to the functioning of the free market, which relies on disaster and human suffering to function. Read the review

Viggo Mortensen and Kodi Smit-McPhee in The Road, based on Cormac McCarthy’s novel.

by Cormac McCarthy (2006)

A father and his young son, “each the other’s world entire”, trawl across the ruins of post-apocalyptic America in this terrifying but tender story told with biblical conviction. The slide into savagery as civilisation collapses is harrowing material, but McCarthy’s metaphysical efforts to imagine a cold dark universe where the light of humanity is winking out are what make the novel such a powerful ecological warning. Read the review

The Corrections

By jonathan franzen (2001).

The members of one ordinarily unhappy American family struggle to adjust to the shifting axes of their worlds over the final decades of the 20th century. Franzen’s move into realism reaped huge literary rewards: exploring both domestic and national conflict, this family saga is clever, funny and outrageously readable. Read the review

The Sixth Extinction

By elizabeth kolbert (2014).

The science journalist examines with clarity and memorable detail the current crisis of plant and animal loss caused by human civilisation (over the past half billion years, there have been five mass extinctions on Earth; we are causing another). Kolbert considers both ecosystems – the Great Barrier Reef, the Amazon rainforest – and the lives of some extinct and soon-to-be extinct creatures including the Sumatran rhino and “the most beautiful bird in the world”, the black-faced honeycreeper of Maui. Read the review

Sensuous love story … Sarah Waters.


By sarah waters (2002).

Moving from the underworld dens of Victorian London to the boudoirs of country house gothic, and hingeing on the seduction of an heiress, Waters’s third novel is a drippingly atmospheric thriller, a smart study of innocence and experience, and a sensuous lesbian love story – with a plot twist to make the reader gasp. Read the review

Nickel and Dimed

By barbara ehrenreich (2001).

In this modern classic of reportage, Ehrenreich chronicled her attempts to live on the minimum wage in three American states. Working first as a waitress, then a cleaner and a nursing home aide, she still struggled to survive, and the stories of her co-workers are shocking. The US economy as she experienced it is full of routine humiliation, with demands as high as the rewards are low. Two decades on, this still reads like urgent news. Read the review

The Plot Against America

By philip roth (2004).

What if aviator Charles Lindbergh, who once called Hitler “a great man”, had won the US presidency in a landslide victory and signed a treaty with Nazi Germany? Paranoid yet plausible, Roth’s alternative-world novel is only more relevant in the age of Trump. Read the review

My Brilliant Friend

By elena ferrante (2011), translated by ann goldstein (2012).

Powerfully intimate and unashamedly domestic, the first in Ferrante’s Neapolitan series established her as a literary sensation. This and the three novels that followed documented the ways misogyny and violence could determine lives, as well as the history of Italy in the late 20th century.

Half of a Yellow Sun

By chimamanda ngozi adichie (2006).

When Nigerian author Adichie was growing up, the Biafran war “hovered over everything”. Her sweeping, evocative novel, which won the Orange prize, charts the political and personal struggles of those caught up in the conflict and explores the brutal legacy of colonialism in Africa. Read the review

Cloud Atlas

Cloud Atlas

David mitchell (2004).

The epic that made Mitchell’s name is a Russian doll of a book, nesting stories within stories and spanning centuries and genres with aplomb. From a 19th-century seafarer to a tale from beyond the end of civilisation, via 1970s nuclear intrigue and the testimony of a future clone, these dizzying narratives are delicately interlinked, highlighting the echoes and recurrences of the vast human symphony. Read the review

by Ali Smith (2016)

Smith began writing her Seasonal Quartet, a still-ongoing experiment in quickfire publishing, against the background of the EU referendum. The resulting “first Brexit novel” isn’t just a snapshot of a newly divided Britain, but a dazzling exploration into love and art, time and dreams, life and death, all done with her customary invention and wit. Read the review

A meditation on what it means to be a black American today … Ta-Nehisi Coates.

Between the World and Me

By ta-nehisi coates (2015).

Coates’s impassioned meditation on what it means to be a black American today made him one of the country’s most important intellectuals and writers. Having grown up the son of a former Black Panther on the violent streets of Baltimore, he has a voice that is challenging but also poetic. Between the World and Me takes the form of a letter to his teenage son, and ranges from the daily reality of racial injustice and police violence to the history of slavery and the civil war: white people, he writes, will never remember “the scale of theft that enriched them”. Read the review

The Amber Spyglass

By philip pullman (2000).

Children’s fiction came of age when the final part of Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy became the first book for younger readers to win the Whitbread book of the year award. Pullman has brought imaginative fire and storytelling bravado to the weightiest of subjects: religion, free will, totalitarian structures and the human drive to learn, rebel and grow. Here Asriel’s struggle against the Authority reaches its climax, Lyra and Will journey to the Land of the Dead, and Mary investigates the mysterious elementary particles that lend their name to his current trilogy: The Book of Dust. The Hollywood-fuelled commercial success achieved by JK Rowling may have eluded Pullman so far, but his sophisticated reworking of Paradise Lost helped adult readers throw off any embarrassment at enjoying fiction written for children – and publishing has never looked back. Read the review

by WG Sebald (2001), translated by Anthea Bell (2001)

Sebald died in a car crash in 2001, but his genre-defying mix of fact and fiction, keen sense of the moral weight of history and interleaving of inner and outer journeys have had a huge influence on the contemporary literary landscape. His final work, the typically allusive life story of one man, charts the Jewish disapora and lost 20th century with heartbreaking power. Read the review

From left:  Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield in the 2010 film adaptation of Never Let Me Go.

Never Let Me Go

By kazuo ishiguro (2005).

From his 1989 Booker winner The Remains of the Day to 2015’s The Buried Giant , Nobel laureate Ishiguro writes profound, puzzling allegories about history, nationalism and the individual’s place in a world that is always beyond our understanding. His sixth novel, a love triangle set among human clones in an alternative 1990s England, brings exquisite understatement to its exploration of mortality, loss and what it means to be human. Read the review

Secondhand Time

By svetlana alexievich (2013), translated by bela shayevich (2016).

The Belarusian Nobel laureate recorded thousands of hours of testimony from ordinary people to create this oral history of the Soviet Union and its end. Writers, waiters, doctors, soldiers, former Kremlin apparatchiks, gulag survivors: all are given space to tell their stories, share their anger and betrayal, and voice their worries about the transition to capitalism. An unforgettable book, which is both an act of catharsis and a profound demonstration of empathy.

by Marilynne Robinson (2004)

Robinson’s meditative, deeply philosophical novel is told through letters written by elderly preacher John Ames in the 1950s to his young son who, when he finally reaches an adulthood his father won’t see, will at least have this posthumous one-sided conversation: “While you read this, I am imperishable, somehow more alive than I have ever been.” This is a book about legacy, a record of a pocket of America that will never return, a reminder of the heartbreaking, ephemeral beauty that can be found in everyday life. As Ames concludes, to his son and himself: “There are a thousand thousand reasons to live this life, every one of them sufficient.” Read the review

Hilary Mantel captures ‘a sense of history listening and talking to itself’.

by Hilary Mantel (2009)

Mantel had been publishing for a quarter century before the project that made her a phenomenon, set to be concluded with the third part of the trilogy, The Mirror and the Light , next March. To read her story of the rise of Thomas Cromwell at the Tudor court, detailing the making of a new England and the self-creation of a new kind of man, is to step into the stream of her irresistibly authoritative present tense and find oneself looking out from behind her hero’s eyes. The surface details are sensuously, vividly immediate, the language as fresh as new paint; but her exploration of power, fate and fortune is also deeply considered and constantly in dialogue with our own era, as we are shaped and created by the past. In this book we have, as she intended, “a sense of history listening and talking to itself”. Read the review

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The 100 best books of the 21st century by The Guardian

Dazzling debut novels, searing polemics, the history of humanity and trailblazing memoirs ... Read our pick of the best books since 2000

1. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

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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...

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2. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

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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...

3. Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets by Svetlana Alexievich

Image of Secondhand Time: The Last of the Soviets

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The magnum opus and latest work from Svetlana Alexievich, the 2015 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature—a symphonic oral history about the disintegration of the Sovie...

4. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Image of Never Let Me Go

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...

5. Austerlitz by W. G. Sebald

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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. The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman

Image of The Amber Spyglass

His Dark Materials is a trilogy of fantasy novels by Philip Pullman comprising Northern Lights (1995, published as The Golden Compass in North America), The Subtle Knife (1997) and The Amber Spygla...

7. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Image of Between the World and Me

Between the World and Me is a 2015 book written by Ta-Nehisi Coates and published by Spiegel & Grau. It is written as a letter to the author's teenaged son about the feelings, symbolism, and realit...

8. Autumn by Ali Smith

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Autumn is a 2016 novel by Scottish author Ali Smith, first published by Hamish Hamilton. It is projected to be the first of four seasonal ‘state of the nation’ works. Written rapidly after the Unit...

9. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

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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 ...

10. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

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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...

11. My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

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A modern masterpiece from one of Italy’s most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense, and generous-hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila. Ferrante’s inimitable style le...

12. The Plot Against America by Philip Roth

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The Plot Against America is a novel by Philip Roth published in 2004. It is an alternate history in which Franklin Delano Roosevelt is defeated in the presidential election of 1940 by Charles Lindb...

13. Nickel And Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich

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Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America is a book written by Barbara Ehrenreich. Written from the perspective of the undercover journalist, it sets out to investigate the impact of the 199...

14. Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

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Fingersmith is a 2002 Victorian-inspired crime fiction novel by Sarah Waters.

15. The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert

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A major book about the future of the world, blending intellectual and natural history and field reporting into a powerful account of the mass extinction unfolding before our eyes Over the last half...

16. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen

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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...

17. The Road by Cormac McCarthy

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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...

18. The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism by Naomi Klein

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The bestselling author of No Logo shows how the global "free market" has exploited crises and shock for three decades, from Chile to Iraq In her groundbreaking reporting over the past few years, Na...

19. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

Image of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is a 2003 novel by British writer Mark Haddon. It won the 2003 Whitbread Book of the Year and the 2004 Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First B...

20. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

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What if you could live again and again, until you got it right? On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first brea...

21. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

Image of Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (Hebrew: קיצור תולדות האנושות‎, [Ḳitsur toldot ha-enoshut]) is a book by Yuval Noah Harari, first published in Hebrew in Israel in 2011 and in English in 2014....

22. Tenth of December by George Saunders

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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,...

23. The Noonday Demon by Andrew Solomon

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The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression is a 2001 memoir written by Andrew Solomon. It examines the personal, cultural, and scientific aspects of depression through Solomon's published interviews...

24. A Visit From The Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

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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...

25. Normal People by Sally Rooney

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Normal People is the second novel by Irish author Sally Rooney.

26. Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty

Image of Capital in the Twenty-First Century

Capital in the Twenty-First Century is a 2013 book by French economist Thomas Piketty. It focuses on wealth and income inequality in Europe and the United States since the 18th century. It was init...

27. Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage by Alice Munro

Image of Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage

As always, Alice Munro surprises us. While the nine stories in this new collection could not be written by anyone else, they are subtly different. The title story, for example, ranges from small-to...

28. Rapture by Carol Ann Duffy

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Carol Ann Duffy, CBE, FRSL (born 23 December 1955 in Glasgow) is a British poet and playwright. She is Professor of Contemporary Poetry at the Manchester Metropolitan University, and was appointed ...

29. A Death in the Family by Karl Ove Knausgaard

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The first instalment of Knausgaard’s relentlessly self-examining six-volume series My Struggle revolves around the life and death of his alcoholic father. Whether or not you regard him as the Prous...

30. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

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The Underground Railroad, published in 2016, is the sixth novel by American author Colson Whitehead. The alternate history novel tells the story of Cora and Caesar, two slaves in the southeaster...

31. The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson

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An intrepid voyage out to the frontiers of the latest thinking about love, language, and family Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts is a genre-bending memoir, a work of "autotheory" offering fresh, fierc...

32. The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Image of The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer

An assessment of cancer addresses both the courageous battles against the disease and the misperceptions and hubris that have compromised modern understandings, providing coverage of such topics as...

33. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel

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Fun Home (subtitled A Family Tragicomic) is a graphic memoir by Alison Bechdel, author of the comic strip Dykes to Watch Out For. It chronicles the author's childhood and youth in rural Pennsylvani...

34. Outline by Rachel Cusk

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A luminous, powerful novel that establishes Rachel Cusk as one of the finest writers in the English language A man and a woman are seated next to each other on a plane. They get to talking—about th...

35. The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Family's Century of Art and Loss by Edmund de Waal

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The Ephrussis were a grand banking family, as rich and respected as the Rothschilds, who “burned like a comet” in nineteenth-century Paris and Vienna society. Yet by the end of World War II, almost...

36. Experience by Martin Amis

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37. The Green Road by Anne Enright

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The Green Road is a 2015 novel by Irish author Anne Enright. It is the sixth novel by Enright and concerns the lives of the Madigan family - four children and their mother Rosaleen. A critical succ...

38. The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst

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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...

39. White Teeth by Zadie Smith

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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...

40. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

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The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion, is an account of the year following the death of the author's husband John Gregory Dunne (1932–2003). Published by Knopf in October 2005, the book was ...

41. Atonement by Ian McEwan

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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...

42. Moneyball by Michael M. Lewis

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Explains how Billy Beene, the general manager of the Oakland Athletics, is using a new kind of thinking to build a successful and winning baseball team without spending enormous sums of money.

43. Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine

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A provocative meditation on race, Claudia Rankine's long-awaited follow up to her groundbreaking book Don't Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric. Claudia Rankine's bold new book recounts mounting ra...

44. Hope in the Dark by Rebecca Solnit

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Throwing out the crippling assumptions with which many activists proceed, award-winning author Solnit proposes a new vision of how change happens.

45. Levels of Life by Julian Barnes

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Part history, part fiction, part memoir, Levels of Life is a powerfully personal and unforgettable book, and an immediate classic on the subject of grief. Levels of Life opens in the nineteenth cen...

46. Human Chain by Seamus Heaney

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Human Chain (2010) is the twelfth and final poetry collection by Seamus Heaney, who received the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature. It won the Forward Poetry Prize Best Collection 2010 award, the Iris...

47. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

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48. Night Watch by Terry Pratchett

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Night Watch is a fantasy novel by British writer Terry Pratchett, the 29th book in his Discworld series, published in 2002. The protagonist of the novel is Sir Samuel Vimes, commander of the Ankh-M...

49. Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson

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A New York Times bestseller: The “magnificent” memoir by one of the bravest and most original writers of our time—“A tour de force of literature and love” (Vogue). Jeanette Winterson’s bold and rev...

50. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

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Oryx and Crake is a 2003 novel by Canadian author Margaret Atwood. She has described the novel as speculative fiction and adventure romance, rather than pure science fiction, because it does not de...

51. Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín

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52. Small Island by Andrea Levy

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Hortense Joseph arrives in London from Jamaica in 1948 with her life in her suitcase, her heart broken, her resolve intact. Her husband, Gilbert Joseph, returns from the war expecting to be receive...

53. True History of the Kelly Gang by Peter Carey

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True History of the Kelly Gang is a historical novel by Australian writer Peter Carey. It was first published in Brisbane by the University of Queensland Press in 2000. It won the 2001 Man Booker P...

54. Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard

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An updated edition of the Sunday Times Bestseller Britain's best-known classicist Mary Beard, is also a committed and vocal feminist. With wry wit, she revisits the gender agenda and shows how hist...

55. The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan

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One of the New York Times Book Review's Ten Best Books of the Year Winner of the James Beard Award Author of #1 New York Times Bestsellers In Defense of Food and Food Rules Today, buffeted by one f...

56. Underland by Robert Macfarlane

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From the best-selling, award-winning author of Landmarks and The Old Ways, a haunting voyage into the planet’s past and future. Hailed as "the great nature writer of this generation" (Wall Street J...

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

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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...

58. Postwar by Tony Judt

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Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945 is a 2005 book by historian Tony Judt, the Director of New York University's Erich Maria Remarque Institute. The book examines the history of Europe from the...

59. The Beauty Of The Husband by Anne Carson

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Since Glass and God, which was her first full-length collection published in Britain and which was nominated for the 1998 Forward Prize, Anne Carson has published a book a year to extraordinary cri...

60. Dart by Alice Oswald

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61. This House of Grief by Helen Garner

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This House of Grief is a 2014 non-fiction work by Helen Garner. Subtitled "The story of a murder trial", its subject matter is the murder conviction of a man accused of driving his car into a dam r...

62. Mother's Milk by Edward St Aubyn

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First published in 2006, Mother’s Milk is the fourth novel in the critically acclaimed Patrick Melrose series. It was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize that year and won the 2007 Prix Femina Étr...

63. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

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Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine...

64. On Writing by Stephen King

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On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft is an autobiography and writing guide by Stephen King, published during 2000. It is a book about the prolific author's experiences as a writer. Although he discuss...

65. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

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Who are you? What have we done to each other? These are the questions Nick Dunne finds himself asking on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The pol...

66. Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli

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Seven Brief Lessons on Physics (Italian: Sette brevi lezioni di fisica) is a short book by the Italian physicist Carlo Rovelli. Originally published in Italian in 2014, the book has been translated...

67. The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

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The Silence of the Girls is a 2018 novel by English novelist Pat Barker. It recounts the events of the Iliad, chiefly from the point of view of Briseis.

68. The Constant Gardener by John le Carré

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The Constant Gardener is a 2001 novel by British author John le Carré. The novel tells the story of Justin Quayle, a British diplomat whose activist wife is murdered. Believing there is something b...

69. The Infatuations by Javier Marías

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The Infatuations (Spanish: Los enamoramientos) is a National Novel Prize-winning novel by Javier Marías, published in 2011. The translation into English by Margaret Jull Costa was published by Hami...

70. Notes on a Scandal by Zoë Heller

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Notes on a Scandal (What Was She Thinking? Notes on a Scandal in the U.S.) is a 2003 novel by Zoë Heller. It is about a female teacher at a London comprehensive school who begins an affair with an...

71. Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth by Chris Ware

Image of Jimmy Corrigan, the Smartest Kid on Earth

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...

72. The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff

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The challenges to humanity posed by the digital future, the first detailed examination of the unprecedented form of power called "surveillance capitalism," and the quest by powerful corporations to...

73. Nothing to Envy by Barbara Demick

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Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea is a 2009 part-novelization of interviews with refugees from Chongjin, North Korea, written by Los Angeles Times journalist Barbara Demick. In 2010, t...

74. Days Without End by Sebastian Barry

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Days Without End is the seventh novel by Sebastian Barry and is set during the Indian Wars and American Civil War.

75. Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk

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Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead (Polish: Prowadź swój pług przez kości umarłych) is a 2009 novel by Olga Tokarczuk. Originally published in Polish by Wydawnictwo Literackie, it was later...

76. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

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Thinking, Fast and Slow is a best-selling book published in 2011 by Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences laureate Daniel Kahneman. It was the 2012 winner of the National Academies Communicatio...

77. Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera

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Signs Preceding the End of the World is one of the most arresting novels to be published in Spanish in the last ten years. Yuri Herrera does not simply write about the border between Mexico and the...

78. The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin

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The Fifth Season is a 2015 science fantasy novel by N. K. Jemisin. It was awarded the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2016. It is the first volume in the Broken Earth series and is followed by The Obe...

79. The Spirit Level by Richard Wilkinson

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The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better is a book by Richard G. Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, published in 2009 by Allen Lane. The book is published in the US by Bloomsbury...

80. Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang

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Stories of Your Life and Others is a collection of short stories by American writer Ted Chiang originally published in 2002 by Tor Books. It collects Chiang's first eight stories. All of the storie...

81. Harvest by Jim Crace

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Harvest is a novel by Jim Crace. Crace has stated that Harvest would be his final novel.Harvest was shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize, shortlisted for the inaugural Goldsmiths Prize, short...

82. Coraline by Neil Gaiman

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Coraline is a dark fantasy children's novella by British author Neil Gaiman, published in 2002 by Bloomsbury and Harper Collins. It was awarded the 2003 Hugo Award for Best Novella, the 2003 Nebula...

83. Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions by Valeria Luiselli

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Part treatise, part memoir, part call to action, Tell Me How It Ends inspires not through a stiff stance of authority, but with the curiosity and humility Luiselli has long since established.

84. The Cost of Living by Deborah Levy

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From the twice-Man Booker Prize-shortlisted author of Hot Milk and Swimming Home : Dazzling, essential, entirely unlike anything else -- a memoir on modern womanhood, rejecting oppressive social ex...

85. The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins

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The God Delusion is a 2006 bestselling non-fiction book by British biologist Richard Dawkins, professorial fellow of New College, Oxford, and inaugural holder of the Charles Simonyi Chair for the P...

86. Adults in the Room by Yanis Varoufakis

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'One of the greatest political memoirs of all time' (Guardian) -- The Sunday Times Number 1 Bestseller What happens when you take on the establishment? In this blistering, personal account, world-f...

87. Priestdaddy: A Memoir by Patricia Lockwood

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Affectionate and very funny . . . wonderfully grounded and authentic. This book proves Lockwood to be a formidably gifted writer who can do pretty much anything she pleases.” – The New York Times B...

88. Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

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Sephy Hadley and Callum McGregor are two young people in love. But Sephy is a Cross, daughter of a government minister, and Callum is a Nought. In their world, Crosses and Noughts cannot be friends...

89. Bad Blood by Lorna Sage

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Bad Blood is a 2000 work blending collective biography and memoir by the Welsh literary critic and novelist Lorna Sage.

90. Visitation by Jenny Erpenbeck

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A bestseller in Germany, Visitation has established Jenny Erpenbeck as one of Europe’s most significant contemporary authors. A house on the forested bank of a Brandenburg lake outside Berlin (once...

91. Light by M. John Harrison

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The stories of three people--modern-day Michael Kearney who plays a part in a discovery that will make interstellar travel possible; Seria Mau Genlicher, a spaceship pilot modified to interact dire...

92. The Siege by Helen Dunmore

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The Siege is a historical novel by the English writer Helen Dunmore. It is set in Leningrad just before and during the Siege of Leningrad by German forces in World War II.

93. Darkmans by Nicola Barker

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Darkmans is a novel by Nicola Barker written in 2007. The 838 page book takes place in Ashford, in Kent and focuses on a father-son pair named Daniel and Kane Beede. The book was a finalist for the...

94. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

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Gladwell defines a tipping point as a sociological term: "the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point." The book seeks to explain and describe the "mysterious" sociological change...

95. Chronicles: Volume One by Bob Dylan

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Chronicles, Volume One is the first part of Bob Dylan's planned 3-volume memoir. Published on October 5, 2004 by Simon & Schuster, the 304-page volume covers selected points from Dylan's long caree...

96. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

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A Little Life is a 2015 novel by American novelist Hanya Yanagihara. The novel was written over the course of eighteen months. Despite the length and difficult subject matter it became a bestseller.

97. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K Rowling

Image of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is the fourth instalment in the Harry Potter series written by J. K. Rowling, published on July 8, 2000. The book attracted additional attention because of a pre...

98. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

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Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering on the island owned and inhabited by the powerful Vanger clan. Her body was never found, yet her uncle is convinced it was murder...

99. Broken Glass by Alain Mabanckou

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"A man sits in a bar, ruminating on his own failures and conversing with an ensemble of memorable characters that pass in and out of the same space. It’s archetypal stuff, but Mabanckou transforms ...

100. I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron

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I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman is a 2006 book written by Nora Ephron. On September 10, 2006 it was listed at #1 on The New York Times Non-Fiction Best Seller list. In...

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Ranked: The 50 best books of the past 100 years

On the 100th anniversary of ulysses, our jury of authors and critics picked the finest novels published since joyce’s classic — and readers picked the 51st.

James Joyce’s Ulysses changed the way we think about novels

T he publication of Ulysses in 1922 marked a new era for the novel, writes Laura Hackett. Joyce’s masterpiece inspired countless other books, so on its centenary, we asked a panel of 16 writers and critics — including novelists Sebastian Faulks, Colm Tóibín, Diana Evans and David Nicholls — to choose their favourite novels written in English that were published after Ulysses .

Our process was simple but fair. Each member of the panel wrote a list of their 20 favourite novels, and we totted up the votes. The resulting selection is, we think, a comprehensive introduction to the very best writing in English of the past 100 years. Four of our panel — Anne Enright, Johanna Thomas-Corr, Diana Evans and Peter Kemp — will discuss

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sunday times best books of 21st century

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All the lovers in the night, all this could be different, an immense world, ancestor trouble, anna: the biography, bitter orange tree, the book of goose, butts: a backstory, calling for a blanket dance, the candy house, carrie soto is back, chef's kiss, civil rights queen, constructing a nervous system, cover story, the crane wife, the daughter of doctor moreau, dirtbag, massachusetts, ducks: two years in the oil sands, easy beauty, eating to extinction, the emergency, the employees, the escape artist, everything i need i get from you, the extraordinary life of an ordinary man, the family outing, fellowship point, fiona and jane, the furrows, getting lost, half american, the hero of this book, his name is george floyd, honey & spice, how far the light reaches, the hurting kind, i came all this way to meet you, i'm glad my mom died, if an egyptian cannot speak english, if i survive you, index, a history of the, the invisible kingdom, learning to talk, lesser known monsters of the 21st century, liberation day, life between the tides, the light we carry, lost & found, lucy by the sea, the man who could move clouds, maps of our spectacular bodies, the marriage portrait, mouth to mouth, the naked don't fear the water, night of the living rez, nightcrawling, now is not the time to panic, nuclear family, olga dies dreaming, our missing hearts, the rabbit hutch, the revolutionary: samuel adams, scattered all over the earth, the school for good mothers, shrines of gaiety, signal fires, siren queen, south to america, strangers to ourselves, ted kennedy: a life, this time tomorrow, time is a mother, tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, the trayvon generation, under the skin, when we were sisters, woman without shame, the world keeps ending, and the world goes on, young mungo.

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The 10 Best Books Through Time

Each fall, the editors of the Times Book Review select the best fiction and nonfiction titles of the year. Our editors read, nominate, discuss, and debate the merits of each year’s books, working together to land upon our list. The practice of editors sharing their picks of the year dates nearly back to the beginning of the Book Review in October 1896. But over the years, that list has taken many different names and forms. Now, we call this list the “Ten Best Books” and have done so since 2004. We hope you’ll enjoy, and perhaps find inspiration in, the Best Books of years past.

THE BEE STING , by Paul Murray | CHAIN-GANG ALL-STARS , by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah | EASTBOUND , by Maylis de Kerangal | THE FRAUD , by Zadie Smith | NORTH WOODS , by Daniel Mason

THE BEST MINDS , by Jonathan Rosen | Bottoms Up and the Devil Laughs , by Kerry Howley | FIRE WEATHER , by John Vaillant | MASTER SLAVE HUSBAND WIFE , by Ilyon Woo | SOME PEOPLE NEED KILLING , by Patricia Evangelista

THE CANDY HOUSE , by Jennifer Egan | CHECKOUT 19 , by Claire-Louise Bennett | DEMON COPPERHEAD , by Barbara Kingsolver | THE FURROWS , by Namwali Serpell | TRUST , b y Hernan Diaz

AN IMMENSE WORLD , by Ed Yong | STAY TRUE , by Hua Hsu | STRANGERS TO OURSELVES , by Rachel Aviv | UNDER THE SKIN , by Linda Villarosa | WE DON’T KNOW OURSELVES , by Fintan O’Toole

HOW BEAUTIFUL WE WERE , by Imbolo Mbue | INTIMACIES , by Katie Kitamura | THE LOVE SONGS OF W.E.B. DUBOIS , by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers | NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT THIS, by Patricia Lockwood | WHEN WE CEASE TO UNDERSTAND THE WORLD By Benjamín Labatut; translated by Adrian Nathan West

THE COPENHAGEN TRILOGY: Childhood; Youth; Dependency , by Tove Ditlevsen; translated by Tiina Nunnally and Michael Favala Goldman | HOW THE WORD IS PASSED: A Reckoning With the History of Slavery Across America , by Clint Smith | INVISIBLE CHILD: Poverty, Survival and Hope in an American City , by Andrea Elliott | ON JUNETEENTH , by Annette Gordon-Reed | RED COMET: The Short Life and Blazing Art of Sylvia Plath , by Heather Clark

A CHILDREN’S BIBLE, by Lydia Millet | DEACON KING KONG By James McBride | HAMNET, by Maggie O’Farrell | HOMELAND ELEGIES, by Ayad Akhtar | THE VANISHING HALF, by Brit Bennett

HIDDEN VALLEY ROAD, by Robert Kolker | A PROMISED LAND, by Barack Obama | SHAKESPEARE IN A DIVIDED AMERICA, by James Shapiro | UNCANNY VALLEY, by Rachel Anna Wiener | WAR , by Margaret MacMillan

DISAPPEARING EARTH, by Julia Phillips | THE TOPEKA SCHOOL, by Ben Lerner | EXHALATION, by Ted Chiang | LOST CHILDREN ARCHIVE, by Valeria Luiselli | NIGHT BOAT TO TANGIER, by Kevin Barry

SAY NOTHING, by Patrick Radden Keefe | THE CLUB, by Leo Damrosch | THE YELLOW HOUSE, by Sarah M. Broom | NO VISIBLE BRUISES, by Rachel Louise Snyder | MIDNIGHT IN CHERNOBYL , by Adam Higginbotham

ASYMMETRY, by Lisa Halliday | THE GREAT BELIEVERS, by Rebecca Makkai | THE PERFECT NANNY, by Leila Slimani; translated by Sam Taylor | THERE THERE, by Tommy Orange | WASHINGTON BLACK, by Esi Edugyan

AMERICAN PRISON: A Reporter’s Undercover Journey Into the Business of Punishment, by Shane Bauer | EDUCATED: A Memoir, by Tara Westover | FREDERICK DOUGLASS: Prophet of Freedom, by David W. Blight | HOW TO CHANGE YOUR MIND: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence , by Michael Pollan | SMALL FRY: A Memoir, by Lisa Brennan-Jobs

AUTUMN , by Ali Smith | EXIT WEST, by Mohsin Hamid | PACHINKO, by Min Jin Lee | THE POWER, by Naomi Alderman | SING, UNBURIED, SING, by Jesmyn Ward

THE EVOLUTION OF BEAUTY: How Darwin’s Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World — and Us , by Richard O. Prum | GRANT, by Ron Chernow | LOCKING UP OUR OWN: Crime and Punishment in Black America, by James Forman Jr. | PRAIRIE FIRES: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder, by Caroline Fraser | PRIESTDADDY, by Patricia Lockwood

THE ASSOCIATION OF SMALL BOMBS, by Karan Mahajan | THE NORTH WATER, by Ian McGuire | THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD, by Colson Whitehead | THE VEGETARIAN, by Han Kang; translated by Deborah Smith | WAR AND TURPENTINE, by Stefan Hertmans; translated by David McKay

AT THE EXISTENTIALIST CAFÉ: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails, by Sarah Bakewell | DARK MONEY: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Righ t, by Jane Mayer | EVICTED: Poverty and Profit in the American City , by Matthew Desmond | IN THE DARKROOM, by Susan Faludi | THE RETURN: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between, by Hisham Matar

THE DOOR, by Magda Szabo; translated by Len Rix | A MANUAL FOR CLEANING WOMEN: Selected Stories, by Lucia Berlin; edited by Stephen Emerson | OUTLINE , by Rachel Cusk | THE SELLOUT , by Paul Beatty | T HE STORY OF THE LOST CHILD: Book 4, The Neapolitan Novels: “Maturity, Old Age ,” by Elena Ferrante; translated by Ann Goldstein

BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME , by Ta-Nehisi Coates | EMPIRE OF COTTON: A Global History, by Sven Beckert | H IS FOR HAWK, by Helen Macdonald | THE INVENTION OF NATURE: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World, by Andrea Wulf | ONE OF US: The Story of Anders Breivik and the Massacre in Norway , by Asne Seierstad; translated by Sarah Death

ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE, by Anthony Doerr | DEPT. OF SPECULATION, by Jenny Offill | EUPHORIA, by Lily King | FAMILY LIFE, by Akhil Sharma | REDEPLOYMENT, by Phil Klay.

CAN’T WE TALK ABOUT SOMETHING MORE PLEASANT?, by Roz Chast | ON IMMUNITY: An Inoculation, by Eula Biss | PENELOPE FITZGERALD: A Life, by Hermione Lee | THE SIXTH EXTINCTION: An Unnatural History , by Elizabeth Kolbert | THIRTEEN DAYS IN SEPTEMBER: Carter, Begin, and Sadat at Camp David, by Lawrence Wright

AMERICANAH, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie | THE FLAMETHROWERS, by Rachel Kushner | THE GOLDFINCH, by Donna Tartt | LIFE AFTER LIFE, by Kate Atkinson | TENTH OF DECEMBER: Stories , by George Saunders

AFTER THE MUSIC STOPPED: The Financial Crisis, the Response, and the Work Ahead , by Alan S. Blinder | DAYS OF FIRE: Bush and Cheney in the White House, by Peter Baker | FIVE DAYS AT MEMORIAL: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital, by Sheri Fink | THE SLEEPWALKERS: How Europe Went to War in 1914, by Christopher Clark. | WAVE, by Sonali Deraniyagala

BRING UP THE BODIES, by Hilary Mantel | BUILDING STORIES, by Chris Ware | A HOLOGRAM FOR THE KING, by Dave Eggers | NW, by Zadie Smith | THE YELLOW BIRDS, by Kevin Powers

BEHIND THE BEAUTIFUL FOREVERS: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity, by Katherine Boo | FAR FROM THE TREE: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity , by Andrew Solomon | THE PASSAGE OF POWER: The Years of Lyndon Johnson , by Robert A. Caro | THE PATRIARCH: The Remarkable Life and Turbulent Times of Joseph P. Kennedy, by David Nasaw | WHY DOES THE WORLD EXIST? An Existential Detective Story , by Jim Holt

THE ART OF FIELDING , by Chad Harbach | 11/22/63 , by Stephen King | SWAMPLANDIA!, by Karen Russell | TEN THOUSAND SAINTS, by Eleanor Henderson | THE TIGER’S WIFE , by Téa Obreht

ARGUABLY: Essays , by Christopher Hitchens | THE BOY IN THE MOON: A Father’s Journey to Understand His Extraordinary Son, by Ian Brown | MALCOLM X: A Life of Reinvention, by Manning Marable | THINKING, FAST AND SLOW, by Daniel Kahneman | A WORLD ON FIRE:Britain’s Crucial Role in the American Civil War, by Amanda Foreman

sunday times best books of 21st century

FREEDOM, by Jonathan Franzen | THE NEW YORKER STORIES, by Ann Beattie | ROOM, by Emma Donoghue | SELECTED STORIES, by William Trevor | A VISIT FROM THE GOON SQUAD, by Jennifer Egan

APOLLO’S ANGELS: A History of Ballet, by Jennifer Homans | CLEOPATRA: A Life, by Stacy Schiff | THE EMPEROR OF ALL MALADIES: A Biography of Cancer, by Siddhartha Mukherjee | FINISHING THE HAT: Collected Lyrics (1954-1981) With Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, ­Grudges, Whines and Anecdotes, by Stephen Sondheim | THE WARMTH OF OTHER SUNS: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration , by Isabel Wilkerson

BOTH WAYS IS THE ONLY WAY I WANT IT , by Maile Meloy | CHRONIC CITY , by Jonathan Lethem | A GATE AT THE STAIRS , by Lorrie Moore | HALF BROKE HORSES: A True-Life Novel , by Jeannette Walls | A SHORT HISTORY OF WOMEN, by Kate Walbert

THE AGE OF WONDER: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science, by Richard Holmes | THE GOOD SOLDIERS , by David Finkel | LIT: A Memoir, by Mary Karr | LORDS OF FINANCE: The Bankers Who Broke the World , by Liaquat Ahamed | RAYMOND CARVER: A Writer’s Life, by Carol Sklenicka

DANGEROUS LAUGHTER: Thirteen Stories, by Steven Millhauser | A MERCY, by Toni Morrison | NETHERLAND, by Joseph O’Neill | 2666, by Roberto Bolaño.; translated by Natasha Wimmer | UNACCUSTOMED EARTH, by Jhumpa Lahiri

THE DARK SIDE: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals By Jane Mayer. THE FOREVER WAR By Dexter Filkins. NOTHING TO BE FRIGHTENED OF By Julian Barnes. THIS REPUBLIC OF SUFFERING:Death and the American Civil War By Drew Gilpin Faust. THE WORLD IS WHAT IT IS: The Authorized Biography of V. S. Naipaul By Patrick French.

MAN GONE DOWN By Michael Thomas. OUT STEALING HORSES By Per Petterson. Translated by Anne Born. THE SAVAGE DETECTIVES By Roberto Bolaño. Translated by Natasha Wimmer. THEN WE CAME TO THE END By Joshua Ferris. TREE OF SMOKE By Denis Johnson.

IMPERIAL LIFE IN THE EMERALD CITY: Inside Iraq’s Green Zone, by Rajiv Chandrasekaran | LITTLE HEATHENS: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression, by Mildred Armstrong Kalish | THE NINE: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court, by Jeffrey Toobin | THE ORDEAL OF ELIZABETH MARSH: A Woman in World History, by Linda Colley | THE REST IS NOISE: Listening to the Twentieth Century, by Alex Ross


FALLING THROUGH THE EARTH: A Memoir , by Danielle Trussoni | THE LOOMING TOWER: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11, by Lawrence Wright | MAYFLOWER: A Story of Courage, Community, and War, by Nathaniel Philbrick | THE OMNIVORE’S DILEMMA: A Natural History of Four Meals , by Michael Pollan | THE PLACES IN BETWEEN , by Rory Stewart

KAFKA ON THE SHORE, b y Haruki Murakami | ON BEAUTY , by Zadie Smith | PREP , by Curtis Sittenfeld | SATURDAY , by Ian McEwan | VERONICA, b y Mary Gaitskill

THE ASSASSINS’ GATE: America in Iraq, b y George Packer | DE KOONING:An American Master , by Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan | THE LOST PAINTING , by Jonathan Harr | POSTWAR: A History of Europe Since 1945 , by Tony Judt | THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING , by Joan Didion

GILEAD , by Marilynne Robinson | THE MASTER , by Colm Toibin | THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA , by Philip Roth | RUNAWAY , by Alice Munro | SNOW , by Orhan Pamuk | WAR TRASH , by Ha Jin

ALEXANDER HAMILTON , by Ron Chernow | CHRONICLES: Volume One , by Bob Dylan | WASHINGTON’S CROSSING , by David Hackett Fischer | WILL IN THE WORLD: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare , by Stephen Greenblatt

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