200+ Novels

The 200+ Best Novels I Have Read.

  1. In Search of Lost Time, Marcel Proust
  2. To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf
  3. Absalom, Absalom! William Faulkner
  4. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
  5. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
  6. Housekeeping, Marilynne Robinson
  7. Middlemarch, George Eliot
  8. Beloved, Toni Morrison
  9. Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf
  10. The Passion According to G.H., Clarice Lispector
  11. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
  12. Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace
  13. Moby-Dick, Herman Melville
  14. My Brilliant Friend, Elena Ferrante
  15. The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen
  16. Crime and Punishment, Fyodor Dostoevsky
  17. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
  18. Pale Fire, Vladimir Nabokov
  19. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
  20. Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert
  21. Memoirs of Hadrian, Marguerite Yourcenar
  22. The Rings of Saturn, W.G. Sebald
  23. My Struggle, Book 1, Karl Ove Knausgaard
  24. My Struggle, Book 5, Karl Ove Knausgaard
  25. My Struggle, Book 2, Karl Ove Knausgaard
  26. The Days of Abandonment, Elena Ferrante
  27. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
  28. Spring Snow, Yukio Mishima
  29. Independent People, Halldór Laxness
  30. The Forsyte Saga, John Galsworthy
  31. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
  32. The Man Who Loved Children, Christina Stead
  33. The Sheltering Sky, Paul Bowles
  34. The Big Rock Candy Mountain, Wallace Stegner
  35. Ada, or Ardor, Vladimir Nabokov
  36. Crossing to Safety, Wallace Stegner
  37. The Brothers Karamazov, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  38. The Color Purple, Alice Walker
  39. The Waves, Virginia Woolf
  40. The Story of the Lost Child, Elena Ferrante
  41. Light in August, William Faulkner
  42. The Idiot, Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  43. Howards End, E.M. Forster
  44. Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston
  45. Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino
  46. Resurrection, Leo Tolstoy
  47. Go Tell It on a Mountain, James Baldwin
  48. The Friendly Persuasion, Jessamyn West
  49. East of Eden, John Steinbeck
  50. My Ántonia, Willa Cather
  51. The Kreutzer Sonata, Leo Tolstoy
  52. The Portrait of a Lady, Henry James
  53. The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck
  54. The Shipping News, Annie Proulx
  55. Between the Acts, Virginia Woolf
  56. Alexis, Marguerite Yourcenar
  57. The Story of a New Name, Elena Ferrante
  58. The Leopard, Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
  59. The Blue Flower, Penelope Fitzgerald
  60. A Heart So White, Javier Marías
  61. Água Viva, Clarice Lispector
  62. Franny and Zooey, J.D. Salinger
  63. Freedom, Jonathan Franzen
  64. Fathers and Sons, Ivan Turgenev
  65. Evidence of Things Unseen, Marianne Wiggins
  66. Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell
  67. Cane, Jean Toomer
  68. Out Stealing Horses, Per Petterson
  69. O Pioneers! Willa Cather
  70. 1984, George Orwell
  71. I, Claudius, Robert Graves
  72. Lila, Marilynne Robinson
  73. Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  74. The Museum of Innocence, Orhan Pamuk
  75. Gilead, Marilynne Robinson
  76. Orlando, Virginia Woolf
  77. Offshore, Penelope Fitzgerald
  78. Moon Tiger, Penelope Lively
  79. May We Be Forgiven, A.M. Homes
  80. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce
  81. A Mercy, Toni Morrison
  82. The Charterhouse of Parma, Stendhal
  83. Giovanni’s Room, James Baldwin
  84. The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway
  85. Confessions of a Mask, Mishima Yukio
  86. Wives and Daughters, Elizabeth Gaskell
  87. Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
  88. Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie
  89. The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje
  90. 2666, Roberto Bolaño
  91. Sula, Toni Morrison
  92. My Struggle, Book 4, Karl Ove Knausgaard
  93. All the King’s Men, Robert Penn Warren
  94. The Stone Diaries, Carol Shields
  95. The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde
  96. On Love, Alain de Botton
  97. Snow Country, Kawabata Yasunari
  98. The Road, Cormac McCarthy
  99. The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne
  100. This Side of Paradise, F. Scott Fitzgerald
  101. Cousin Bette, Honoré de Balzac
  102. Emma, Jane Austen
  103. The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers
  104. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver
  105. Home, Marilynne Robinson
  106. Tinkers, Paul Harding
  107. Coup de Grâce, Marguerite Yourcenar
  108. Native Son, Richard Wright
  109. Atonement, Ian McEwan
  110. Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen
  111. The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath
  112. The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood
  113. The Power and the Glory, Graham Greene
  114. Bleak House, Charles Dickens
  115. Ethan Frome, Edith Wharton
  116. The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton
  117. Sophie’s Choice, William Styron
  118. The Virgin Suicides, Jeffrey Eugenides
  119. A Room with a View, E.M. Forster
  120. A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
  121. If on a winter’s night a traveler, Italo Calvino
  122. The Awakening, Kate Chopin
  123. Appointment in Samarra, John O’Hara
  124. As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner
  125. The Makioka Sisters, Tanizaki Jun’ichiro
  126. Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides
  127. Angle of Repose, Wallace Stegner
  128. For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway
  129. Henderson the Rain King, Saul Bellow
  130. The Chaneysville Incident, David Bradley
  131. Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing, May Sarton
  132. The Heart of the Matter, Graham Greene
  133. Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders
  134. The Orphan Master’s Son, Adam Johnson
  135. Written on the Body, Jeanette Winterson
  136. Transparent Things, Vladimir Nabokov
  137. Mating, Norman Rush
  138. Austerlitz, W.G. Sebald
  139. Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, Elena Ferrante
  140. The Wallcreeper, Nell Zink
  141. The Namesake, Jhumpa Lahiri
  142. Bright Lights, Big City, Jay McInerney
  143. A Visit from the Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan
  144. All the Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy
  145. Near to the Wild Heart, Clarice Lispector
  146. Saturday, Ian McEwan
  147. My Name Is Red, Orhan Pamuk
  148. The Marriage Plot, Jeffrey Eugenides
  149. The Patrick Melrose Novels, Edward St. Aubyn
  150. Light Years, James Salter
  151. To Siberia, Per Petterson
  152. One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Márquez
  153. The Way We Live Now, Anthony Trollope
  154. Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro
  155. The Black Sheep, Honoré de Balzac
  156. Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut
  157. On Beauty, Zadie Smith
  158. Cloudsplitter, Russell Banks
  159. Troubling Love, Elena Ferrante
  160. Hunger, Knut Hamsun
  161. Candide, Voltaire
  162. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera
  163. What Is the What, Dave Eggers
  164. The Joke, Milan Kundera
  165. The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro
  166. Silence, Endo Shusaku
  167. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Díaz
  168. The House of Mirth, Edith Wharton
  169. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, David Mitchell
  170. Absurdistan, Gary Shteyngart
  171. Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
  172. The End of the Story, Lydia Davis
  173. The Art of Fielding, Chad Harbach
  174. The Sportswriter, Richard Ford
  175. Super Sad True Love Story, Gary Shteyngart
  176. Jazz, Toni Morrison
  177. The Beautiful and Damned, F. Scott Fitzgerald
  178. The Master and Margarita, Mikhail Bulgakov
  179. Mansfield Park, Jane Austen
  180. Jacob’s Room, Virginia Woolf
  181. Le Père Goriot, Honoré de Balzac
  182. Loving, Henry Green
  183. Fates and Furies, Lauren Groff
  184. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Murakami Haruki
  185. The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt
  186. Comedy in a Minor Key, Hans Keilson
  187. Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel
  188. Bring Up the Bodies, Hilary Mantel
  189. The Diary of a Mad Old Man, Tanizaki Jun’ichiro
  190. The Voyage Out, Virginia Woolf
  191. Eugénie Grandet, Honoré de Balzac
  192. Adam Bede, George Eliot
  193. A Little Life, Hanya Yanagihara
  194. A Sentimental Education, Gustave Flaubert
  195. Herzog, Saul Bellow
  196. The Association of Small Bombs, Kahan Mahajan
  197. The Lost Daughter, Elena Ferrante
  198. Summer, Edith Wharton
  199. Out, Natsuo Kirino
  200. The Street, Ann Petry
  201. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
  202. Thousand Cranes, Yasunari Kawabata
  203. The Russian Debutante’s Handbook, Gary Shteyngart
  204. The Mill on the Floss, George Eliot
  205. Mislaid, Nell Zink
  206. 10:04, Ben Lerner
  207. Life & Times of Michael K, J.M. Coetzee
  208. The Sellout, Paul Beatty
  209. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
  210. The Name of the Rose, Umberto Eco
  211. Bear, Marian Engel
  212. The Afterlives, Thomas Pierce
  213. Ways to Disappear, Idra Novey
  214. The Housekeeper and the Professor, Yoko Ogawa
  215. We Need to Talk about Kevin, Lionel Shriver
  216. The Talented Mr. Ripley, Patricia Highsmith
  217. The Death of the Heart, Elizabeth Bowen
  218. King, Queen, Knave, Vladimir Nabokov
  219. Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez
  220. The Church of Solitude, Grazia Deledda
  221. Some Prefer Nettles, Junichiro Tanizaki
  222. Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe
  223. Small Island, Andrea Levy
  224. The Perfect Nanny, Leïla Slimani
  225. Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel
  226. Bastard Out of Carolina, Dorothy Allison
  227. More Die of Heartbreak, Saul Bellow
  228. Exit West, Mohsin Hamid
  229. The Course of Love, Alain de Botton

List updated: 3 July 2018

12 thoughts on “200+ Novels

    1. I have read many of these and applaud your choices! But I am surprised that there is no William Golding amongst them – Freefall is astonishing , as is Darkness Visible. Have you tried any of Golding?

  1. i’m happy to see the road, freedom, and what is the what in your list alongside, of course, many of the great classics.

    and although I’ve only read a quarter or so of these, i peruse this list, and immediate novels i think of that aren’t here are les miserables and dickens (though i’ve never read him so i shouldn’t be talking). considerations off the beaten path from my reading experience would also include brothers by yu hua (appreciated rather than liked for this one) and the deptford trilogy by robertson davies…

    Silence has been on my bookshelf for *ages* from a used bookstore in carrboro— you know the place— and i’m inspired to begin it now. i don’t know that i cared much for madame bovary, though– let me know why you liked or appreciated it.

  2. This list… All of my favorites are on here. Wharton and Fitzgerald and Morrison and Franzen and DFW and….my god it’s good to know there are other people out there who love these books.

  3. I just discovered this blog and you and I seem to have a lot of shared interests in literature. You’ve encouraged me to read Absalom, Absalom again, the first time I read it was a monumentally overwhelming, shattering experience. There are few who can move me like Faulkner. Have you ever read Don DeLillo’s Underworld? I think you should give it a shot, it’s incredible. Anyway, I look forward to checking out a lot of the books on your lists as I’m sure I’ll find some new favourites!

  4. I tried reading ” Midnight Children” by Salman Rushdie but it bored me after a few pages. Its like stretching an extremely flexible elastic. However, these other options seem fascinating.

  5. Great list – we have very similar tastes and preferences. You list three authors in your top 25 that I hadn’t heard of – Elena Ferrante, Clarice Lispector and Karl Ove Knausgaard – so thanks for the recommendation, I’ll add them to my (very long) reading list!
    I’m surprised at some that didn’t make it into your top 200. Can I recommend: Joyce’s “Ulysses” (#1 in my list and regularly cited as one of the greatest ever; some tough passages later in the book, but it’s not as hard as many suggest, and it’s genuinely rewarding if you research each chapter – including the corresponding section of The Odyssey – before you read it); #3 Cervantes’ “Don Quixote” (the grandfather of modern fiction, hugely entertaining and ultimately deeply moving, plus brilliant metafiction 100s of years ahead of its time); #11 “Catcher in the Rye” (much more highly regarded in the rest of the world than in the US!); #17 Dickens’ “David Copperfield” (arguably his best); #18 Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man” (almost unknown outside the US, which is a great shame); #20 “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”; #24 Huxley’s “Brave New World”; #25 Kafka’s “The Trial”.

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