Type to search

Authors Best Best Books Bibliography By First Name Bibliography By Last Name Essays Fiction & Literature First Name: A-B Last Name: M-N Literature Nonfiction

Ranking Author Alice Munro’s Best Books (A Bibliography Countdown)

Share

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

We took all of the books written by Alice Munro and looked at their 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.

Happy Scrolling!



The Top Book’s Of Alice Munro



19 ) Too Much Happiness

 Too Much Happiness Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 17
  • Amazon: 18
  • LibraryThing: 17

“With clarity and ease, Alice Munro once again renders complex, difficult events and emotions into stories about the unpredictable ways in which men and women accommodate and often transcend what happens in their lives.

In the first story a young wife and mother, suffering from the unbearable pain of losing her three children, gains solace from a most surprising source. In another, a young woman, in the aftermath of an unusual and humiliating seduction, reacts in a clever if less-than-admirable fashion. Other tales uncover the “deep-holes” in a marriage, the unsuspected cruelty of children, and, in the long title story, the yearnings of a nineteenth-century female mathematician.”

Purchase / Learn More



18 ) The View from Castle Rock

 The View from Castle Rock Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 19
  • Amazon: 12
  • LibraryThing: 18

A powerful new collection from one of our most beloved, admired, and honored writers. In stories that are more personal than any that she’s written before, Alice Munro pieces her family’s history into gloriously imagined fiction. A young boy is taken to Edinburgh’s Castle Rock, where his father assures him that on a clear day he can see America, and he catches a glimpse of his father’s dream. In stories that follow, as the dream becomes a reality, two sisters-in-law experience very different kinds of passion on the long voyage to the New World; a baby is lost and magically reappears on a journey from an Illinois homestead to the Canadian border. Other stories take place in more familiar Munro territory, the towns and countryside around Lake Huron, where the past shows through the present like the traces of a glacier on the landscape and strong emotions stir just beneath the surface of ordinary comings and goings. First love flowers under the apple tree, while a stronger emotion presents itself in the barn. A girl hired as summer help, and uneasy about her “place” in the fancy resort world she’s come to, is transformed by her employer’s perceptive parting gift. A father whose early expectations of success at fox farming have been dashed finds strange comfort in a routine night job at an iron foundry. A clever girl escapes to college and marriage. Evocative, gripping, sexy, unexpected—these stories reflect a depth and richness of experience. The View from Castle Rock is a brilliant achievement from one of the finest writers of our time.

Purchase / Learn More



17 ) Dear Life

 Dear Life Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 18
  • Amazon: 14
  • LibraryThing: 16

Suffused with Munro’s clarity of vision and her unparalleled gift for storytelling, these tales about departures and beginnings, accidents and dangers, and outgoings and homecomings both imagined and real, paint a radiant, indelible portrait of how strange, perilous, and extraordinary ordinary life can be. Alice Munro’s peerless ability to give us the essence of a life in often brief but always spacious and timeless stories is once again everywhere apparent in this brilliant new collection. In story after story, she illumines the moment a life is forever altered by a chance encounter or an action not taken, or by a simple twist of fate that turns a person out of his or her accustomed path and into a new way of being or thinking. A poet, finding herself in alien territory at her first literary party, is rescued by a seasoned newspaper columnist, and is soon hurtling across the continent, young child in tow, toward a hoped-for but completely unplanned meeting. A young soldier, returning to his fiancée from the Second World War, steps off the train before his stop and onto the farm of another woman, beginning a life on the move. A wealthy young woman having an affair with the married lawyer hired by her father to handle his estate comes up with a surprising way to deal with the blackmailer who finds them out. While most of these stories take place in Munro’s home territory – the small Canadian towns around Lake Huron – the characters sometimes venture to the cities, and the book ends with four pieces set in the area where she grew up, and in the time of her own childhood: stories “autobiographical in feeling, though not, sometimes, entirely so in fact.” A girl who can’t sleep imagines night after wakeful night that she kills her beloved younger sister. A mother snatches up her child and runs for dear life when a crazy woman comes into her yard. Suffused with Munro’s clarity of vision and her unparalleled gift for storytelling, these tales about departures and beginnings, accidents and dangers, and outgoings and homecomings both imagined and real, paint a radiant, indelible portrait of how strange, perilous, and extraordinary ordinary life can be.

Purchase / Learn More



16 ) Lives of Girls and Women

 Lives of Girls and Women Review Website Ranks:

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

Del Jordan lives out at the end of the Flats Road on her father’s fox farm, where her most frequent companions are an eccentric bachelor family friend and her rough younger brother. When she begins spending more time in town, she is surrounded by women-her mother, an agnostic, opinionted woman who sells encyclopedias to local farmers; her mother’s boarder, the lusty Fern Dogherty; and her best friend, Naomi, with whom she shares the frustrations and unbridled glee of adolescence.

Purchase / Learn More



15 ) The Love of a Good Woman

 The Love of a Good Woman Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 12
  • Amazon: 8
  • LibraryThing: 15

In this collection, Alice Munro takes mainly the lives of women, and brings their hidden desires bubbling to the surface. The love of a good woman is not as pure and virtuous as it seems – as in her title story it can be needy and murderous.

Purchase / Learn More



14 ) No Love Lost

 No Love Lost Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 13
  • Amazon: 19
  • LibraryThing: 2

Alice Munro is universally acknowledged as the finest short fiction writer in English. Bringing together ten incomparable stories from six different collections, No Love Lost confirms her pre-eminent status. Focusing on the many paths of falling in love, each of these stories of ordinary people reveals new truths about people as real – and as extraordinary – as ourselves. In selecting this unique gathering of stories, Jane Urquhart noted the brilliance of Munro’s fiction, suggesting that Munro’s genius guides us “through love’s labyrinth, insisting all the while that we keep our eyes wide open to its complicated foliage, its shadows, its piercing blasts of light.” Contents: Bardon Bus (from The Moons of Jupiter) Carried Away (from Open Secrets) Mischief (from Who Do You Think You Are?) The Love of a Good Woman (from The Love of a Good Woman) Simon’s Luck (from Who Do You Think You Are?), Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage (from Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage) The Bear Came Over the Mountain (from Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage) The Albanian Virgin (from Open Secrets) Meneseteung (from Friend of My Youth) The Children Stay (from The Love of a Good Woman) Selected and with an afterword by Jane Urquhart.

Purchase / Learn More



13 ) New Selected Stories

 New Selected Stories Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 11
  • Amazon: 17
  • LibraryThing: 5

Spanning her last five collections and bringing together her finest work from the past fifteen years, this new selection of Alice Munro’s stories infuses everyday lives with a wealth of nuance and insight. Written with emotion and empathy, beautifully observed and remarkably crafted, these stories are nothing short of perfection. This is a masterclass in the genre, from an author who deservedly lays claim to being one of the ‘major fiction writers of our time’.

Purchase / Learn More



12 ) The Moons of Jupiter

 The Moons of Jupiter Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 16
  • Amazon: 3
  • LibraryThing: 13

In these piercingly lovely and endlessly surprising stories by one of the most acclaimed current practitioners of the art of fiction, many things happen: there are betrayals and reconciliations, love affairs consummated and mourned. But the true events in The Moons Of Jupiter are the ways in which the characters are transformed over time, coming to view their past selves with an anger, regret, and infinite compassion that communicate themselves to us with electrifying force.

Purchase / Learn More



11 ) Open Secrets

 Open Secrets Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 9
  • Amazon: 14
  • LibraryThing: 8

In these eight tales, Munro evokes the devastating power of old love suddenly recollected. She tells of vanished schoolgirls and indentured frontier brides and an eccentric recluse who, in the course of one surpassingly odd dinner party, inadvertently lands herself a wealthy suitor from exotic Australia. And Munro shows us how one woman’s romantic tale of capture and escape in the high Balkans may end up inspiring another woman who is fleeing a husband and lover in present-day Canada.

Purchase / Learn More



10 ) Runaway

 Runaway Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 15
  • Amazon: 3
  • LibraryThing: 11

This acclaimed, bestselling collection also contains the celebrated stories that inspired the Pedro Almodóvar film Julieta. Runaway is a book of extraordinary stories about love and its infinite betrayals and surprises, from the title story about a young woman who, though she thinks she wants to, is incapable of leaving her husband, to three stories about a woman named Juliet and the emotions that complicate the luster of her intimate relationships. In Munro’s hands, the people she writes about–women of all ages and circumstances, and their friends, lovers, parents, and children–become as vivid as our own neighbors. It is her miraculous gift to make these stories as real and unforgettable as our own.

Purchase / Learn More



9 ) Lying Under the Apple Tree

 Lying Under the Apple Tree Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 8
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 19

Spanning her last five collections and bringing together her finest work from the past fifteen years, this new selection of Alice Munro’s stories infuses everyday lives with a wealth of nuance and insight. Beautifully observed and remarkably crafted, written with emotion and empathy, these stories are nothing short of perfection. A masterclass in the genre, from an author who deservedly lays claim to being one of the major fiction writers of our time.

Purchase / Learn More



8 ) Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage

 Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage Review Website Ranks:

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

In the her tenth collection (the title story of which is the basis for the new film Hateship Loveship), Alice Munro achieves new heights, creating narratives that loop and swerve like memory, and conjuring up characters as thorny and contradictory as people we know ourselves. A tough-minded housekeeper jettisons the habits of a lifetime because of a teenager’s practical joke. A college student visiting her brassy, unconventional aunt stumbles on an astonishing secret and its meaning in her own life. An incorrigible philanderer responds with unexpected grace to his wife’s nursing-home romance. Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage is Munro at her best, tirelessly observant, serenely free of illusion, deeply and gloriously humane.

Purchase / Learn More



7 ) Something I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You

 Something I've Been Meaning to Tell You Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 6
  • Amazon: 12
  • LibraryThing: 3

In the thirteen stories in her remarkable second collection, Alice Munro demonstrates the precise observation, straightforward prose style, and masterful technique that led no less a critic than John Updike to compare her to Chekhov. The sisters, mothers and daughters, aunts, grandmothers, and friends in these stories shimmer with hope and love, anger and reconciliation, as they contend with their histories and their present, and what they can see of the future.

Purchase / Learn More



5 ) The Progress of Love

 The Progress of Love Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 2
  • Amazon: 6
  • LibraryThing: 12

A divorced woman returns to her childhood home where she confronts the memory of her parents’ confounding yet deep bond. The accidental near-drowning of a child exposes the fragility of the trust between children and parents. A young man, remembering a terrifying childhood incident, wrestles with the responsibility he has always felt for his younger brother. In these and other stories Alice Munro proves once again a sensitive and compassionate chronicler of our times. Drawing us into the most intimate corners of ordinary lives, she reveals much about ourselves, our choices, and our experiences of love.

Purchase / Learn More



5 ) Family Furnishings: Selected Stories 1995-2014

 Family Furnishings: Selected Stories 1995-2014 Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 4
  • Amazon: 6
  • LibraryThing: 10

“Family Furnishings brings us twenty-four of Alice Munro’s most accomplished, most powerfully affecting stories, many of them set in the territory she has so brilliantly made her own: the small towns and flatlands of southwestern Ontario. Subtly honed with her hallmark precision, grace, and compassion, these stories illuminate the quotidian yet extraordinary particularity in the lives of men and women, parents and children, friends and lovers as they discover sex, fall in love, part, quarrel, suffer defeat, set off into the unknown, or find a way to be in the world.

Peopled with characters as real to us as we are to ourselves, Munro’s stories encompass the fullness of human experience—from the wild exhilaration of first love, in “Passion,” to the lengths a once-straying husband will go to make his wife happy as her memory fades, in “The Bear Came Over the Mountain.” Other stories suggest the punishing consequences of leaving home (“Runaway”) or leaving a marriage (“The Children Stay”). The part romantic love plays in one’s existence is explored in “Too Much Happiness,” based on the life of the noted nineteenth-century mathematician, Sophia Kovalevsky. And in stories that Munro has described as “closer to the truth than usual”—“Dear Life,” “Working for a Living,” and “Home” among them—we glimpse the author’s own life.”

Purchase / Learn More



4 ) Dance of the Happy Shades

 Dance of the Happy Shades Review Website Ranks:

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

Alice Munro’s territory is the farms and semi-rural towns of south-western Ontario. In these dazzling stories she deals with the self-discovery of adolescence, the joys and pains of love and the despair and guilt of those caught in a narrow existence. And in sensitively exploring the lives of ordinary men and women, she makes us aware of the universal nature of their fears, sorrows and aspirations.

Purchase / Learn More



2 ) Friend of My Youth

 Friend of My Youth Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 3
  • Amazon: 3
  • LibraryThing: 7

A woman haunted by dreams of her dead mother. An adulterous couple stepping over the line where the initial excitement ends and the pain begins. A widow visiting a Scottish village in search of her husband’s past – and instead discovering unsettling truths about a total stranger. The ten stories in this collection not only astonish and delight but also convey the unspoken mysteries at the heart of all human experience.

Purchase / Learn More



2 ) Selected Stories

 Selected Stories Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 1
  • Amazon: 8
  • LibraryThing: 4

Spanning almost thirty years and settings that range from big cities to small towns and farmsteads of rural Canada, this magnificent collection brings together twenty-eight stories by a writer of unparalleled wit, generosity, and emotional power. In her Selected Stories, Alice Munro makes lives that seem small unfold until they are revealed to be as spacious as prairies and locates the moments of love and betrayal, desire and forgiveness, that change those lives forever. To read these stories–about a traveling salesman and his children on an impromptu journey; an abandoned woman choosing between seduction and solitude–is to succumb to the spell of a writer who enchants her readers utterly even as she restores them to their truest selves.

Purchase / Learn More



1 ) Vintage Munro

 Vintage Munro Review Website Ranks:

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

Vintage Readers are a perfect introduction to some of the greatest modern writers presented in attractive, accessible paperback editions. “In Munro’s hands, as in Chekhov’s, a short story is more than big enough to hold the world—and to astonish us again and again.” —Chicago Tribune In an unbroken procession of brilliant, revelatory short stories, Alice Munro has unfolded the wordless secrets that lie at the heart of all human experience. She has won three Governor General’s Literary Awards in her native Canada, as well as the National Book Critics Circle Award. Vintage Munro includes stories from throughout her career: The title stories from her collections The Moons of Jupiter; The Progress of Love; Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage; “Differently,” from Selected Stories, and “Carried Away,” from Open Secrets.

Purchase / Learn More



Alice Munro’s Best Books



Alice Munro Review Website Bibliography Rankings

BookGoodreadsAmazonLibraryThingOveral Rank
Vintage Munro 611 1
Friend of My Youth 337 2
Selected Stories 184 2
Dance of the Happy Shades 585 4
The Progress of Love 2612 5
Family Furnishings: Selected Stories 1995-2014 4610 5
Something I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You 6123 7
Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage 1088 8
Lying Under the Apple Tree 8119 9
Runaway 15311 10
Open Secrets 9148 11
The Moons of Jupiter 16313 12
New Selected Stories 11175 13
No Love Lost 13192 14
The Love of a Good Woman 12815 15
Lives of Girls and Women 141413 16
Dear Life 181416 17
The View from Castle Rock 191218 18
Too Much Happiness 171817 19