Best Novels of the 20th Century

Take a blast to the past with these great reads from the 20th Century!

Compiled by:
Beatriz G.
Being There

Jerzy Kosinski

The story of Chauncey Gardiner - Chance, an enigmatic but distinguished man who emerges from nowhere to become an heir to the throne of a Wall Street tycoon, a presidential policy adviser, and a media icon. Truly 'a man without qualities,' Chance's straightforward responses to popular concerns are heralded as visionary, though no one is sure what he's really saying, and the blanks in his past prove impossible to find. Being There is a brilliantly satiric look at the unreality of American media culture that is, if anything, more trenchant now than ever.

The Best of the Best American Poetry, 1988-1997

Harold Bloom, editor David Lehman
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Series: The Best American Poetry

Are you a poetry fan? If so, then check out these seventy-five poems selected specifically from the last ten years of the series: The best American poetry.

Collected Essays

James Baldwin
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Series: Library of America

Novelist, essayist, and public intellectual, James Baldwin was one of the most brilliant and provocative literary figures of the postwar era, and one of the greatest African-American writers of this century. Here are some of the complete texts of his early landmark collections, published writings, and even uncollected items.

The Complete Poems

Anne Sexton
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From the joy and anguish of her own experience, Sexton fashioned poems that told truths about the inner lives of men and women. This book comprises Sexton's ten volumes of verse, including the Pulitzer Prize-winner Live or Die, as well as seven poems form her last years.

The Green Mile: The Complete Serial Novel

Stephen King

Welcome to Cold Mountain Penitentiary, home to the Depression-worn men of E Block. Convicted killers all, each awaits his turn to walk the Green Mile. Prison Guard Paul Edgecombe has seen his share of oddities in his years working the Mile, but he's never seen anyone like John Coffey, a man with the body of a giant and the mind of a child, condemned for a crime terrifying in its violence and shocking in its depravity. In this place of ultimate retribution, Edgecombe is about to discover the terrible, wondrous truth about Coffey, a truth that will challenge his most cherished beliefs ... and yours.


Nora Roberts

A woman art historian and an art thief join forces to find a stolen 15th century statue of the Dark Lady, one of Michelangelo's mistresses. Love blooms between Dr. Miranda Jones, a six-foot redhead, and Ryan Boldari, a handsome Irish-Italian, but can she trust him? 

Message in a Bottle

Nicholas Sparks

From the author of The Notebook, Sparks is back with another hard-hitting romance novel. Alone and disillusioned about relationships, Theresa Osborne stumbles across a love letter while jogging on the beach. Even though she wasn't the intended recipient, Theresa is so moved by the letter that she's determined to find its author. Follow Theresa on her journey of love, full of confusion, miracles, and second chances. 

Never Again Good-bye

Terri Blackstock
Series: Second Chances

Wes Grayson finds himself attracted to a woman for the first time since his wife died, but he and Laney get off to a rocky start when he learns she is the biological mother of his adopted daughter Amy and fears she will try to steal the child away from him.

Niccolò Rising

Dorothy Dunnett
Series: House of Niccolò

With the bravura storytelling and pungent authenticity of detail she brought to her acclaimed Lymond Chronicles, Dorothy Dunnett, grand dame of the historical novel, presents The House of Niccolò series. The time is the 15th century, when intrepid merchants became the new knighthood of Europe. Among them, none is bolder or more cunning than Nicholas Vander Poele of Bruges.

Secret Song

Catherine Coutler
Series: Medieval/Song

Fast-paced, funny, light-hearted, and charmingly romantic, the final novel in the Song trilogy, Secret Song, will leave readers totally delighted.


Dean R. Koontz

After stumbling upon a mysterious rag doll on his doorstep, Tommy Phan finds himself hunted in his own home, as the doll begins to grow into a monster that is determined to kill him.

To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee

To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior - to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. This regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal, though Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Grab a drink, get comfy, and read- or reread- this classic from modern American literature.


Sandra Brown

On a ranch in Texas, a deaf widow is caught between two men, one a killer bent on revenge, the other a mysterious drifter who has been hired as a ranch hand. He might protect her, or betray her.

When Christ and his Saints Slept

Sharon Kay Penman

As church bells tolled for the death of England's King Henry I, his barons faced the unwelcome prospect of being ruled by a woman: Henry's beautiful daughter Maude, Countess of Anjou. But before Maude could claim her throne, her cousin Stephen seized it. In their long and bitter struggle, all of England bled and burned. Sharon Kay Penman's magnificent fifth novel summons to life a spectacular medieval tragedy whose unfolding breaks the heart even as it prepares the way for splendors to come.

Wounds of Passion: a Writing Life

Bell Hooks
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Wounds of Passion is a memoir about writing, love, and sexuality. With her customary boldness and insight, Bell Hooks critically reflects on the impact of birth control and the women's movement on our lives. She explores the way her sexuality is influenced by her radical political consciousness.