This selection of books was issued by the Hungry Mind Review as an alternative to the Modern Library's selection of "100 Best Novels published in the English Language Since 1900." Although the Modern Library List was criticized for including 6 books by nonwhite writers, only nine books by women, and very few books published after 1960, it initiated a lively national discussion. The HMR list reflects, the editors believe, a far more realistic race and gender balance, and includes a good number of contemporary books. This list is limited to books written by Americans and includes books of nonfiction and collections of short fiction.


Adams, Henry The Education of Henry Adams. 1918
Agee, James & Walker Evans Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. 1941
Allison, Dorothy Bastard Out of Carolina. 1992
Anaya, Rudolfo Bless Me Ultima. 1972
Anderson, Sherwood Winesburg, Ohio. 1919
Angelou, Maya I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. 1970
Anzaldua, Gloria Borderlands/ La Frontera: The New Mestiza. 1987
Baldwin, James Go Tell it On the Mountain. 1953
Baldwin, James The Price of The Ticket: Collected Nonfiction. 1985
Ball, Edward Slaves in the Family. 1998
Bellow, Saul Herzog. 1964
Bowles, Paul The Sheltering Sky. 1948
Burroughs, William Naked Lunch. 1959
Capote, Truman In Cold Blood. 1966
Carver, Raymond Cathedral. 1983
Cather, Willa O Pioneers! 1913
Cather, Willa Death Comes for the Archbishop. 1927
Cheever, John Collected Stories. 1978
Cisneros, Sandra House on Mango Street. 1984
DeLillo, Don White Noise. 1985
Didion, Joan Slouching Towards Bethlehem. 1968
Deloria Jr., Vine Custer Died for Your Sins. 1983
Dos Passos, John U.S.A. 1930
Dreiser, Theodore
DuBois, W.E.B.
Ellison, Ralph
An American Tragedy. 1925
The Souls of Black Folks. 1903
Invisible Man. 1952
Erdrich, Louise Love Medicine. 1984
Faulkner, William The Sound and the Fury. 1926
Faulkner, William As I Lay Dying. 1930
Faulkner, William Go Down, Moses. 1940
Fitzgerald, F. Scott The Great Gatsby. 1925
Fisher, M.F.K. The Art of Eating. 1954
Goldman, Francisco The Ordinary Seaman. 1997
Haley, Alex Roots. 1976
Heller, Joseph Catch-22. 1961
Hemingway, Ernest The Sun Also Rises. 1926
Hemingway, Ernest  The Short Stories. 1928 
Herr, Michael Dispatches. 1984
Himes, Chester My Life of Absurdity: The Autobiography. 1976
Hogan, Linda Mean Spirit. 1990
hooks, bell Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism. 1982
Hurston, Zora Neale Their Eyes Were Watching God. 1937
James, Henry The Wings of the Dove. 1902
Jones, LeRoi Blues People: Negro Music in White America. 1963
Kerouac, Jack On the Road. 1957
Kesey, Ken One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. 1962
Kincaid, Jamaica Annie John. 1983
Kingston, Maxine Hong Woman Warrior. 1976
Kosinski, Jerzy The Painted Bird. 1976
Lee, Harper To Kill a Mockingbird. 1960
Lee, Li-Young The Winged Seed. 1995
Lewis, Sinclair Babbitt. 1922
McCarthy, Cormac The Crossing. 1994
McCullers, Carson The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. 1940
Mailer, Norman The Naked and the Dead. 1948
Malamud, Bernard The Magic Barrel. 1958 
Malcolm Y & Alex Haley The Autobiography of Malcolm X. 1965
May, Rollo Love and Will. 1969
Merton, Thomas The Seven Storey Mountain. 1948
Miller, Henry Tropic of Cancer. 1934 
Momaday, N. Scott House Made of Dawn. 1968
Morris, Wright Field of Vision. 1956
Morrison, Toni Sula. 1973
Morrison, Toni Song of Solomon. 1977
Morrison, Toni Beloved. 1987
Morrison, Toni Jazz. 1992
Nabokov, Vladimir Lolita. 1958
Neihardt, John G. Black Elk Speaks. 1932
O'Connor, Flannery A Good Man Is Hard to Find. 1955
Olson, Charles Call Me Ishmael. 1947
Olson, Tillie Tell Me a Riddle. 1961
Okada, Jon No-No Boy. 1977
Paley, Grace Collected Stories. 1994
Percy, Walker The Moviegoer. 1961
Porter, Kaherine Anne Flowering Judas and Other Stories. 1930
Pynchon, Thomas Gravity's Rainbow. 1973
Rich, Adrienne On Lies, Secrets and Silence. 1979
Roth, Philip Portnoy's Complaint. 1969
Salinger, J. D.  The Catcher in the Rye. 1951
Sarton, May At Seventy. 1984
Silko, Leslie Marmon Ceremony. 1977
Singer, Isaac B. The Collected Stories of Isaac Bashevis Singer. 1982
Stein, Gertrude The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas. 1933
Steinbeck, John The Grapes of Wrath. 1937
Styron, William Sophie's Choice. 1979
Thurber, James A Thurber Carnival. 1945
Toomer, Jean Cane. 1923
Twain, Mark Letters From the Earth. 1962 
Updike, John Rabbit, Run. 1960
Vidal, Gore The United States: Essays, 1952-1992. 1993
Vonnegut, Kurt Slaughterhouse Five. 1969
Walker, Alice The Color Purple. 1982
Warren, Robert Penn All the King's Men. 1946
West, Nathaneal The Day of the Locust. 1939
Wideman, John Edgar Philadelphia Fire. 1990
Williams, William Carlos In the American Grain. 1925
Wilson, Edmund To the Finland Station. 1940
Wolfe, Thomas You Can't Go Home Again. 1941
Wright, Richad Native Son. 1940
Yamauchi, Wakako Songs My Mother Taught Me. 1994