Literary Gems of the 21st Century: The 100 Must-Read Books

Best Books of The 21st Century

Best Books of The 21st Century

Embark on a journey through the recent literary landscape with our extensive collection of the 100 best books of the 21st century. From fiction and memoirs to essays and narrative nonfiction, these works reflect the evolving challenges and joys of the 21st century. Whether you’re in search of comfort, a deeper understanding of the modern world, or inspiration, these selections promise to be your guide through the fascinating terrain of contemporary literature.

  1. “I Feel Bad About My Neck” by Nora Ephron (2006): Ephron’s charming collection of essays offers a witty and poignant exploration of aging and womanhood.
  2. “Broken Glass” by Alain Mabanckou (2005), translated by Helen Stevenson (2009): This novel breaks conventional storytelling with a humorous narrative by a disgraced Congolese teacher.
  3. “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson (2005), translated by Steven T Murray (2008): This mystery introduces the world to “Scandi noir,” weaving a complex tale filled with family secrets.
  4. “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” by JK Rowling (2000): The fourth book in the Harry Potter series delves into themes of competition, adolescence, and mortality.
  5. “A Little Life” by Hanya Yanagihara (2015): A profoundly emotional novel that explores the lifelong impacts of trauma through the lives of four friends in New York City.
  6. “Chronicles: Volume One” by Bob Dylan (2004): Dylan’s autobiographical work provides a lyrical and introspective look into his early career.
  7. “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell (2000): Gladwell examines the moment a simple idea becomes a trend and how small actions can spark significant change.
  8. “Darkmans” by Nicola Barker (2007): Set in Ashford, Kent, this novel is a sprawling, imaginative narrative about history’s imprint on the present day.
  9. “The Siege” by Helen Dunmore (2001): This novel offers a gripping portrayal of a family’s struggle during the siege of Leningrad.
  10. “Light” by M John Harrison (2002): A brilliant blend of science fiction and metaphysical inquiry, exploring the very nature of reality.

… And here are the remaining 90 works that complete this extensive anthology:

“Visitation” by Jenny Erpenbeck (2008)
“Bad Blood” by Lorna Sage (2000)
“Priestdaddy” by Patricia Lockwood (2017)
“Adults in the Room” by Yanis Varoufakis (2017)
“The God Delusion” by Richard Dawkins (2006)
“The Cost of Living” by Deborah Levy (2018)
“Tell Me How It Ends” by Valeria Luiselli (2016)
“Coraline” by Neil Gaiman (2002)
“Harvest” by Jim Crace (2013)
“Stories of Your Life and Others” by Ted Chiang (2002)
“The Spirit Level” by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett (2009)
“The Fifth Season” by NK Jemisin (2015)
“Signs Preceding the End of the World” by Yuri Herrera (2009)
“Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman (2011)
“Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead” by Olga Tokarczuk (2009)
“Days Without End” by Sebastian Barry (2016)
“Nothing to Envy” by Barbara Demick (2009)
“The Age of Surveillance Capitalism” by Shoshana Zuboff (2019)
“Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth” by Chris Ware (2000)
“Notes on a Scandal” by Zoë Heller (2003)
“The Infatuations” by Javier Marías (2011)
“The Constant Gardener” by John le Carré (2001)
“The Silence of the Girls” by Pat Barker (2018)
“Seven Brief Lessons on Physics” by Carlo Rovelli (2014)
“Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn (2012)
“On Writing” by Stephen King (2000)
“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot (2010)
“Mother’s Milk” by Edward St Aubyn (2006)
“This House of Grief” by Helen Garner (2014)
“Dart” by Alice Oswald (2002)
“The Beauty of the Husband” by Anne Carson (2002)
“Postwar” by Tony Judt (2005)
“The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay” by Michael Chabon (2000)
“Underland” by Robert Macfarlane (2019)
“The Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan (2006)
“Women & Power” by Mary Beard (2017)
“True History of the Kelly Gang” by Peter Carey (2000)
“Small Island” by Andrea Levy (2004)
“Brooklyn” by Colm Tóibín (2009)
“Oryx and Crake” by Margaret Atwood (2003)
“Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?” by Jeanette Winterson (2011)
“Night Watch” by Terry Pratchett (2002)
“Persepolis” by Marjane Satrapi (2000-2003)
“Human Chain” by Seamus Heaney (2010)
“Levels of Life” by Julian Barnes (2013)
“Hope in the Dark” by Rebecca Solnit (2004)
“Citizen: An American Lyric” by Claudia Rankine (2014)
“Moneyball” by Michael Lewis (2010)
“Atonement” by Ian McEwan (2001)
“The Year of Magical Thinking” by Joan Didion (2005)
“White Teeth” by Zadie Smith (2000)
“The Line of Beauty” by Alan Hollinghurst (2004)
“The Green Road” by Anne Enright (2015)
“Experience” by Martin Amis (2000)
“The Hare with Amber Eyes” by Edmund de Waal (2010)
“Outline” by Rachel Cusk (2014)
“Fun Home” by Alison Bechdel (2006)
“The Emperor of All Maladies” by Siddhartha Mukherjee (2010)
“The Argonauts” by Maggie Nelson (2015)
“The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead (2016)
“A Death in the Family” by Karl Ove Knausgaard (2009)
“Rapture” by Carol Ann Duffy (2005)
“Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage” by Alice Munro (2001)
“Capital in the Twenty First Century” by Thomas Piketty (2013)
“Normal People” by Sally Rooney (2018)
“A Visit from The Goon Squad” by Jennifer Egan (2011)
“The Noonday Demon” by Andrew Solomon (2001)
“Tenth of December” by George Saunders (2013)
“Sapiens” by Yuval Noah Harari (2011)
“Life After Life” by Kate Atkinson (2013)
“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” by Mark Haddon (2003)
“The Shock Doctrine” by Naomi Klein (2007)
“The Road” by Cormac McCarthy (2006)
“The Corrections” by Jonathan Franzen (2001)
“The Sixth Extinction” by Elizabeth Kolbert (2014)
“Fingersmith” by Sarah Waters (2002)
“Nickel and Dimed” by Barbara Ehrenreich (2001)
“The Plot Against America” by Philip Roth (2004)
“My Brilliant Friend” by Elena Ferrante (2011)
“Half of a Yellow Sun” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2006)
“Cloud Atlas” by David Mitchell (2004)
“Autumn” by Ali Smith (2016)
“Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates (2015)
“The Amber Spyglass” by Philip Pullman (2000)
“Austerlitz” by WG Sebald (2001)
“Never Let Me Go” by Kazuo Ishiguro (2005)
“Secondhand Time” by Svetlana Alexievich (2013)
“Gilead” by Marilynne Robinson (2004)
“Wolf Hall” by Hilary Mantel (2009)

These literary works, spanning various genres and themes, reflect the intricate challenges and joys of the 21st century. They provide a reflection of our times, offering comfort, enlightenment, and profound understanding of ourselves and the world around us. Whether delving into political landscapes, navigating personal struggles, or simply enjoying the beauty of existence, each book promises a worthwhile journey. Immerse yourself in these stories, let them enrich, challenge, and inspire you, and discover why they are celebrated as the best books of the 21st century.