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Ranking Author Ali Smith’s Best Books (A Bibliography Countdown)

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“What are Ali Smith’s Best Books?” We looked at all of Smith’s authored bibliography and ranked them against one another to answer that very question!

We took all of the books written by Ali Smith and looked at her Goodreads, Amazon, and LibraryThing scores, ranking them against one another to see which books came out on top. The books are ranked in our list below based on which titles have the highest overall score between all 3 review sites in comparison with all of the other books by the same author. The process isn’t super scientific and in reality, most books aren’t “better” than other books as much as they are just different. That being said, we do enjoy seeing where our favorites landed, and if you aren’t familiar with the author at all, the rankings can help you see what books might be best to start with.

The full ranking chart is also included below the countdown on the bottom of the page. We will update the article if/when a new book by Ali Smith is released. Although it probably won’t be immediate so the scores on each site have time to settle and aren’t overly influenced by the early, usually much more opinionated, users.

Happy Scrolling!



The Top Book’s Of Ali Smith



15 ) The Accidental

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 15
  • Amazon: 14
  • LibraryThing: 15

Filled with Ali Smith’s trademark wordplay and inventive storytelling, here is the dizzyingly entertaining, wickedly humorous story of a mysterious stranger whose sudden appearance during a family’s summer holiday transforms four variously unhappy people. Each of the Smarts—parents Eve and Michael, son Magnus, and the youngest, daughter Astrid—encounter Amber in his or her own solipsistic way, but somehow her presence allows them to see their lives (and their life together) in a new light. Smith’s narrative freedom and exhilarating facility with language propel the novel to its startling, wonderfully enigmatic conclusion.

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14 ) There But For The

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 14
  • Amazon: 13
  • LibraryThing: 11

“When a dinner-party guest named Miles locks himself in an upstairs room and refuses to come out, he sets off a media frenzy. He also sets in motion a mesmerizing puzzle of a novel, one that harnesses acrobatic verbal playfulness to a truly affecting story.

Miles communicates only by cryptic notes slipped under the door. We see him through the eyes of four people who barely know him, ranging from a precocious child to a confused elderly woman. But while the characters’ wit and wordplay soar, their story remains profoundly grounded. As it probes our paradoxical need for both separation and true connection, There but for the balances cleverness with compassion, the surreal with the deeply, movingly real, in a way that only Ali Smith can.”

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13 ) Hotel World

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 12
  • Amazon: 10
  • LibraryThing: 13

“Five people: four are living; three are strangers; two are sisters; one, a teenage hotel chambermaid, has fallen to her death in a dumbwaiter. But her spirit lingers in the world, straining to recall things she never knew. And one night all five women find themselves in the smooth plush environs of the Global Hotel, where the intersection of their very different fates make for this playful, defiant, and richly inventive novel.

Forget room service: this is a riotous elegy, a deadpan celebration of colliding worlds, and a spirited defense of love. Blending incisive wit with surprising compassion, Hotel World is a wonderfully invigorating, life-affirming book.”

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12 ) Shire

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 8
  • Amazon: 15
  • LibraryThing: 11

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11 ) Public Library and Other Stories

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 13
  • Amazon: 9
  • LibraryThing: 10

Why are books so very powerful? The stories in this collection are about what we do with books and what they do with us: how they travel with us and shock us, change us and challenge us, banish time while making us older, wiser and ageless all at once and how they remind us to pay attention to the world that we make. With this brilliantly inventive collection, Ali Smith joins the campaign to save our public libraries and celebrate their true place in our culture and history.

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10 ) How to Be Both

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 11
  • Amazon: 10
  • LibraryThing: 9

“Passionate, compassionate, vitally inventive and scrupulously playful, Ali Smith’s novels are like nothing else. A true original, she is a one-of-a-kind literary sensation. Her novels consistently attract serious acclaim and discussion—and have won her a dedicated readership who are drawn again and again to the warmth, humanity and humor of her voice.

How to be both is a novel all about art’s versatility. Borrowing from painting’s fresco technique to make an original literary double-take, it’s a fast-moving genre-bending conversation between forms, times, truths and fictions. There’s a Renaissance artist of the 1460s. There’s the child of a child of the 1960s. Two tales of love and injustice twist into a singular yarn where time gets timeless, structural gets playful, knowing gets mysterious, fictional gets real—and all life’s givens get given a second chance.”

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9 ) The First Person and Other Stories

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 10
  • Amazon: 2
  • LibraryThing: 14

“From the Whitbread Award-winning author of The Accidental and Hotel World comes this stunning collection of stories set in a world of everyday dislocation, where people nevertheless find connection, mystery, and love.

These tales are of ordinary but poignant beauty: at the pub, strangers regale each other with memories of Christmases past; lovers share tales over dinner about how they met, their former lovers, and each other; a woman even tells a story to her fourteen-year-old self.”

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8 ) Girl Meets Boy

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 7
  • Amazon: 10
  • LibraryThing: 8

From the astonishingly talented writer of The Accidental and Hotel World comes Ali Smith’s brilliant retelling of Ovid’s gender-bending myth of Iphis and Ianthe, as seen through the eyes of two Scottish sisters. Girl Meets Boy is about girls and boys, girls and girls, love and transformation, and the absurdity of consumerism, as well as a story of reversals and revelations that is as sharply witty as it is lyrical. Funny, fresh, poetic, and political, Girl Meets Boy is a myth of metamorphosis for a world made in Madison Avenue’s image, and the funniest addition to the Myths series from Canongate since Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad.

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7 ) The Whole Story and Other Stories

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 9
  • Amazon: 5
  • LibraryThing: 7

What happens when you run into Death in a busy train station? (You know he’s Death because when he smiles, your cell phone goes dead.) What if your lover falls in love with a tree? Should you be jealous? From the woman pursued by a band of bagpipers in full regalia to the artist who’s built a seven-foot boat out of secondhand copies of The Great Gatsby, Smith’s characters are offbeat, charming, sexy, and as wonderfully complex as life itself.

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6 ) Autumn

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 5
  • Amazon: 8
  • LibraryThing: 4

“Autumn. Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. Two old friends—Daniel, a centenarian, and Elisabeth, born in 1984—look to both the future and the past as the United Kingdom stands divided by a historic, once-in-a-generation summer. Love is won, love is lost. Hope is hand-in-hand with hopelessness. The seasons roll round, as ever.

A luminous meditation on the meaning of richness and harvest and worth, Autumn is the first installment of Ali Smith’s Seasonal quartet, and it casts an eye over our own time: Who are we? What are we made of? Shakespearean jeu d’esprit, Keatsian melancholy, the sheer bright energy of 1960s pop art. Wide-ranging in time-scale and light-footed through histories, Autumn is an unforgettable story about aging and time and love—and stories themselves.”

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4 ) Artful

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 3
  • Amazon: 6
  • LibraryThing: 3

Artful is a celebration of literature’s worth in and to the world—it is about the things art can do, the things art is made of, and the quicksilver nature of all artfulness. A magical hybrid that refuses to be tied down to either fiction or the essay form, Artful is narrated by a character who is haunted—literally—by a former lover, the writer of a series of lectures about art and literature. Ali Smith’s heady powers as a novelist and short story writer harmonize with her keen perceptions as a reader and critic to form a living thing that reminds us that life and art are never separate.

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4 ) Like

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 5
  • Amazon: 2
  • LibraryThing: 5

There’s Amy and there’s Ash. There’s ice and there’s fire. There’s England and there’s Scotland. Ali Smith evokes the twin spirits of time and place in an extraordinarily powerful first novel, which teases out the connections between people, the attractions, the ghostly repercussions. By turns funny, haunting and disconcertingly moving, LIKE soars across hidden borders between cultures, countries, families, friends and lovers. Subtle and complex, it confounds expectations about fiction and truths. ‘Ingenious, shimmering fiction, written with a poetic grace that subtly illuminates the tensions between hope and desire, between past and present’ Scotland on Sunday

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3 ) Free Love and Other Stories

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 4
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 5

A teenage girl finds unexpected sexual freedom on a trip to Amsterdam. A woman trapped at a dinner party comes up against an ugly obsession. The stories in Free Love are about desire, memory, sexual ambiguity and the imagination. In the harsh light of dislocation, the people in them still find connections, words blowing in the street, love in unexpected places. Ali Smith shows how things come together and how they break apart. She disconcerts and affirms with the lightest touch, to make us love and live differently.

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2 ) Other Stories and Other Stories

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 2
  • Amazon: 6
  • LibraryThing: 1

Other Stories and Other Stories is a stunning collection of short stories from Ali Smith. Individually lucid and luminous, these formally inventive and exquisite tales resonate subtly together. In examining the distances and connections between ourselves and others, and lightly and expertly inching us closer to the bone, storytelling itself has never seemed so necessary, so moving or so joyous.

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1 ) Winter

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 1
  • Amazon: 4
  • LibraryThing: 2

“Winter. Bleak. Frosty wind, earth as iron, water as stone, so the old song goes. And now Art’s mother is seeing things. Come to think of it, Art’s seeing things himself.

When four people, strangers and family, converge on a fifteen-bedroom house in Cornwall for Christmas, will there be enough room for everyone?

Winter. It makes things visible. Ali Smith’s shapeshifting Winter casts a warm, wise, merry and uncompromising eye over a post-truth era in a story rooted in history and memory and with a taproot deep in the evergreens, art and love.”

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Ali Smith’s Best Books



Ali Smith Review Website Bibliography Rankings

BookGoodreadsAmazonLibraryThingOveral Rank
Winter 142 1
Other Stories and Other Stories 261 2
Free Love and Other Stories 415 3
Artful 363 4
Like 525 4
Autumn 584 6
The Whole Story and Other Stories 957 7
Girl Meets Boy 7108 8
The First Person and Other Stories 10214 9
How to Be Both 11109 10
Public Library and Other Stories 13910 11
Shire 81511 12
Hotel World 121013 13
There But For The 141311 14
The Accidental 151415 15