Living Legends: 40 Contemporary Books Everyone Should Read

There are enough classics and 20th-century greats to keep us bookworms busy for the rest of time, but that doesn't mean there aren't contemporary books worth adding to our giant stack of to-reads. In fact, some of the most life-altering books also happen to be recent releases. Since it can be overwhelming to sift through the whole genre, and we couldn't read all of them if we tried, we're highlighting books published in the 21st century that everyone should read in their lifetime. And they're not written in old English, which makes them a little more accessible (and, arguably, fun).

From under-the-radar page-turners to Pulitzer Prize–winning masterpieces, these living legends will definitely be considered required reading for generations to come. Read on for the best contemporary fiction books of the past two decades and add the most enticing to your own library