The 21st Century’s Greatest Novels

Book lists are humbling things. Here’s a list of the 21st Century’s Greatest Novels, taken from the BBC’s Culture page. This list was compiled by a critics poll comprising several dozen book critics from The New York Times, Time magazine, Newsday, Bookslut, The Millions, Booklist, Kirkus Reviews and many others. I’ve read three of these, Middlesex, Atonement and The Corrections. Of course, I’m still working on the best from the 20th Century! How about you?

  1. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (2007), by Junot Diaz
    The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
  2. The Known World (2003), by Edward P. Jones
    The Known World
  3. Wolf Hall (2009), by Hilary Mantel
    Wolf Hall
  4. Gilead (2004), by Marilynne Robinson
    Gilead
  5. The Corrections (2001), by Jonathan Franzen
    The Corrections
  6. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (2000), by Michael Chabon
    The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier...
  7. A Visit from the Goon Squad (2010), by Jennifer Egan
    A Visit from the Goon Squad
  8. Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (2012), by Ben Fountain
    Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk
  9. Atonement (2001), by Ian McEwan
    Atonement
  10. Half of a Yellow Sun (2006), by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    Half of a Yellow Sun
  11. White Teeth (2000), by Zadie Smith
    White Teeth
  12. Middlesex (2002), by Jeffrey Eugenides
    Middlesex

Thanks for visiting and thanks to Fran for posting this list! Be sure to check out the above BBC link to learn more about each of these books.

As for me, I just finished reading The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck. A review of this 20th Century classic coming soon…

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One thought on “The 21st Century’s Greatest Novels

  1. Brief note: Wolf Hall is only present in the list because the BBC are currently in mid-series with the thing, and they are publicizing it mercilessly; presumably because no-one willingly tunes in. A tired old theme and an annoying mish-mash of medieval-speak and modern language: historical fiction at its worst. Oh, God – you didn’t write it, did you?

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