The Best Books of the Century

This century is far from over, but our editors have cast their votes for the most unforgettable books of the past 15 years. These are the books we believe will stand the test of time as both unforgettable stories and outstanding audiobooks.

Best Fiction, 2000

White Teeth

by Zadie Smith

Best Nonfiction, 2000

The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference

by Malcolm Gladwell

Best Fiction, 2001

Life of Pi

by Yann Martel

Best Nonfiction, 2001

Seabiscuit: An American Legend

by Laura Hillenbrand

Best Fiction, 2002


by Jeffrey Eugenides

Best Nonfiction, 2002

Salt: A World History

by Mark Kurlansky

Best Fiction, 2003

The Kite Runner

by Khaled Hosseini

Best Nonfiction, 2003

The Devil in the White City

by Erik Larson

Best Fiction, 2004

Cloud Atlas

by David Mitchell

Best Nonfiction, 2004

Arc of Justice: A Saga of Race, Civil Rights, and Murder in the Jazz Age

by Kevin Boyle

Best Fiction, 2005

The Book Thief

by Markus Zusak

Best Nonfiction, 2005

Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln

by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Best Fiction, 2006

The Road

by Cormac McCarthy

Best Nonfiction, 2006

The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals

by Michael Pollan

Best Fiction, 2007

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

by Junot Diaz

Best Nonfiction, 2007

Einstein: His Life and Universe

by Walter Isaacson

Best Fiction, 2008

Olive Kitteridge

by Elizabeth Strout

Best Nonfiction, 2008

Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II

by Douglas A. Blackmon

Best Fiction, 2009

The Help

by Kathryn Stockett

Best Nonfiction, 2009

Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

by Christopher McDougall

Best Fiction, 2010

Fall of Giants: The Century Trilogy, Book 1

by Ken Follett

Best Nonfiction, 2010

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

by Rebecca Skloot

Best Fiction, 2011

11-22-63: A Novel

by Stephen King

Best Nonfiction, 2011

Steve Jobs

by Walter Isaacson

Best Fiction, 2012

Beautiful Ruins

by Jess Walter

Best Nonfiction, 2012

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking

by Susan Cain

Best Fiction, 2013

The Goldfinch

by Donna Tartt

Best Nonfiction, 2013

Lean In

by Sheryl Sandberg

Best Fiction, 2014

All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel

by Anthony Doerr

Best Nonfiction, 2014

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

by Malala Yousafzai

The Best of 2015

Call us indecisive, but with the year little more than halfway over, we just couldn't pick two definitive winners yet. While the best may still be yet to come, here are some of the books we think have the potential to stand the test of time. For more, check out our list of the Best of 2015 (So Far).

Retrospective: Trends & Hits

They may not have made it onto the main list, but these books deserve recognition in their own right. From best sellers to cultural phenomenons, these are just a handful of the books that have in some way defined the past 15 years in literature.

See the list.