The 50 Best Books from the Past 50 Years According to Southern Living

Many lists online often include many classics. And while we love classics, they take up space that can go to other great novels. That is why we will be looking at Southern Living’s 50 best books from the past 50 years. Find out which novels made their list!

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The 50 Best Books from the Past 50 Years According to Southern Living

50 years is a lot of ground to cover and choosing only 50 seems like a crime. That is why Southern Living decided to choose the biggest names for this list. And it came out well for the most part. You can see the full list below!

The 50 Best Books from the Past 50 Years According to Southern Living

  • A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
  • Tenth of December: Stories by George Saunders
  • All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  • Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
  • Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
  • Beloved by Toni Morrison
  • Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
  • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
  • A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
  • A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
  • The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
  • The Shipping News by Annie Proulx
  • Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward
  • Dear Life: Stories by Alice Munro
  • A Lesson Before Dying by Ernest J. Gaines
  • Amsterdam by Ian McEwan
  • Birds of America by Lorrie Moore
  • Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
  • The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton
  • Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
  • Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  • Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • March by Geraldine Brooks
  • The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
  • The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
  • Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
  • A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James
  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • Shadow Country by Peter Matthiessen
  • The Good Lord Bird by James McBride
  • The Hours by Michael Cunningham
  • The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
  • The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
  • The Round House by Louise Erdrich
  • The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  • Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner
  • The Sellout by Paul Beatty
  • The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields
  • The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
  • White Noise by Don DeLillo
  • White Teeth by Zadie Smith
  • Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver
  • The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami
  • My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
  • The Friend by Sigrid Nunez

Great Novels to Read

Some of my favorite books on this list include Beloved by Toni Morrison, The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier, and Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri. All of these novels are well written and have plots or themes that have resonated with millions of people.

A novel that I enjoyed that made the list iss The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. But I don’t know if it is the 50 best novels of the past 50 years. The Secret History by Tartt is a much better book in my opinion. The plot is great, but the novel does drag on at times.


That is all for Southern Living’s 50 best books from the past 50 years. What did you think of their picks? What novels should have been included? Let us know in the comments below!

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