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Ranking Author Ann Patchett’s Best Books (A Bibliography Countdown)

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

We took all of the books written by Ann Patchett 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 Ann Patchett



11 ) Taft

 Taft Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 11
  • Amazon: 11
  • LibraryThing: 11

John Nickel is a black ex-jazz musician who only wants to be a good father. But when his son is taken away from him, he’s left with nothing but the Memphis bar he manages. Then he hires Fay, a young white waitress, who has a volatile brother named Carl in tow. Nickel finds himself consumed with the idea of Taft — Fay and Carl’s dead father — and begins to reconstruct the life of a man he never met. But his sympathies for these lost souls soon take him down a twisting path into the lives of strangers…

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10 ) The Magician’s Assistant

 The Magician's Assistant Review Website Ranks:

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

Sabine– twenty years a magician’s assistant to her handsome, charming husband– is suddenly a widow. In the wake of his death, she finds he has left a final trick; a false identity and a family allegedly lost in a tragic accident but now revealed as very much alive and well. Named as heirs in his will, they enter Sabine’s life and set her on an adventure of unraveling his secrets, from sunny Los Angeles to the windswept plains of Nebraska, that will work its own sort of magic on her.

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8 ) What Now?

 What Now? Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 8
  • Amazon: 7
  • LibraryThing: 9

Based on her lauded commencement address at Sarah Lawrence College, this stirring essay by bestselling author Ann Patchett offers hope and inspiration for anyone at a crossroads, whether graduating, changing careers, or transitioning from one life stage to another. With wit and candor, Patchett tells her own story of attending college, graduating, and struggling with the inevitable question, What now? From student to line cook to teacher to waitress and eventually to award-winning author, Patchett’s own life has taken many twists and turns that make her exploration genuine and resonant. As Patchett writes, “‘What now?’ represents our excitement and our future, the very vitality of life.” She highlights the possibilities the unknown offers and reminds us that there is as much joy in the journey as there is in reaching the destination.

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8 ) Run

 Run Review Website Ranks:

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

Set over a period of twenty-four hours, Run shows us how worlds of privilege and poverty can coexist only blocks apart from each other, and how family can include people you’ve never even met. Since their mother’s death, Tip and Teddy Doyle have been raised by their loving, possessive, and ambitious father. As the former mayor of Boston, Bernard Doyle wants to see his sons in politics, a dream the boys have never shared. But when an argument in a blinding New England snowstorm inadvertently causes an accident that involves a stranger and her child, all Bernard Doyle cares about is his ability to keep his children—all his children—safe.

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7 ) Commonwealth

 Commonwealth Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 6
  • Amazon: 10
  • LibraryThing: 5

Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny’s mother, Beverly—thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families. Spanning five decades, Commonwealth explores how this chance encounter reverberates through the lives of the four parents and six children involved. Spending summers together in Virginia, the Keating and Cousins children forge a lasting bond that is based on a shared disillusionment with their parents and the strange and genuine affection that grows up between them. When, in her twenties, Franny begins an affair with the legendary author Leon Posen and tells him about her family, the story of her siblings is no longer hers to control. Their childhood becomes the basis for his wildly successful book, ultimately forcing them to come to terms with their losses, their guilt, and the deeply loyal connection they feel for one another. Told with equal measures of humor and heartbreak, Commonwealth is a meditation on inspiration, interpretation, and the ownership of stories. It is a brilliant and tender tale of the far-reaching ties of love and responsibility that bind us together.

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5 ) State of Wonder

 State of Wonder Review Website Ranks:

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

As Dr. Marina Singh embarks upon an uncertain odyssey into the insect-infested Amazon, she will be forced to surrender herself to the lush but forbidding world that awaits within the jungle. Charged with finding her former mentor Dr. Annick Swenson, a researcher who has disappeared while working on a valuable new drug, she will have to confront her own memories of tragedy and sacrifice as she journeys into the unforgiving heart of darkness.

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5 ) The Patron Saint of Liars

 The Patron Saint of Liars Review Website Ranks:

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

Since her first publication in 1992, celebrated novelist Ann Patchett has crafted a number of elegant novels, garnering accolades and awards along the way. Now comes a reissue of the best-selling debut novel that launched her remarkable career. St. Elizabeth’s, a home for unwed mothers in Habit, Kentucky, usually harbors its residents for only a little while. Not so Rose Clinton, a beautiful, mysterious woman who comes to the home pregnant but not unwed, and stays. She plans to give up her child, thinking she cannot be the mother it needs. But when Cecilia is born, Rose makes a place for herself and her daughter amid St. Elizabeth’s extended family of nuns and an ever-changing collection of pregnant teenage girls.

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3 ) Bel Canto

 Bel Canto Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 4
  • Amazon: 4
  • LibraryThing: 3

In an unnamed South American country, a world-renowned soprano sings at a birthday party in honor of a visiting Japanese industrial titan. Alas, in the opening sequence, a ragtag band of 18 terrorists enters the vice-presidential mansion through the air conditioning ducts. Their quarry is the president, who has unfortunately stayed home to watch a favorite soap opera. And thus, from the beginning, things go awry. Among the hostages are Russian, Italian, and French diplomatic types. Swiss Red Cross negotiator oachim Messner comes and goes, wrangling over terms and demands. Days stretch into weeks, the weeks into months. Joined by no common language except music, the 58 international hostages and their captors forge unexpected bonds. Time stands still, priorities rearrange themselves. Ultimately, of course, something has to give. Hearing opera sung live for the first time, a young priest reflects: Never had he thought, never once, that such a woman existed, one who stood so close to God that God’s own voice poured from her. How far she must have gone inside herself to call up that voice. It was as if the voice came from the center part of the earth and by the sheer effort and diligence of her will she had pulled it up through the dirt and rock and through the floorboards of the house, up into her feet, where it pulled through her, reaching, lifting, warmed by her, and then out of the white lily of her throat and straight to God in heaven.

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3 ) Truth and Beauty: A Friendship

 Truth and Beauty: A Friendship Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 3
  • Amazon: 4
  • LibraryThing: 4

Ann Patchett and the late Lucy Grealy met in college in 1981, and, after enrolling in the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, began a friendship that would be as defining to both of their lives as their work. In Grealy’s critically acclaimed memoir Autobiography of a Face, she wrote about losing part of her jaw to childhood cancer, years of chemotherapy and radiation, and endless reconstructive surgeries. In Truth and Beauty, the story isn’t Lucy’s life or Ann’s life but the parts of their lives they shared. This is a portrait of unwavering commitment that spans twenty years, from the long winters of the Midwest to surgical wards to book parties in New York. Through love, fame, drugs, and despair, this is what it means to be part of two lives that are intertwined–and what happens when one is left behind.

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2 ) This is the Story of a Happy Marriage

 This is the Story of a Happy Marriage Review Website Ranks:

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

Blending literature and memoir, Ann Patchett, author of State of Wonder, Run, and Bel Canto, examines her deepest commitments — to writing, family, friends, dogs, books, and her husband — creating a resonant portrait of a life in This is the Story of a Happy Marriage. This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage takes us into the very real world of Ann Patchett’s life. Stretching from her childhood to the present day, from a disastrous early marriage to a later happy one, it covers a multitude of topics, including relationships with family and friends, and charts the hard work and joy of writing, and the unexpected thrill of opening a bookstore. As she shares stories of the people, places, ideals, and art to which she has remained indelibly committed, Ann Patchett brings into focus the large experiences and small moments that have shaped her as a daughter, wife, and writer.

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1 ) The Getaway Car: A Practical Memoir About Writing and Life

 The Getaway Car: A Practical Memoir About Writing and Life Review Website Ranks:

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

“The journey from the head to the hand is perilous and lined with bodies. It is the road on which nearly everyone who wants to write—and many of the people who do write—get lost.” So writes Ann Patchett in “The Getaway Car”, a wry, wisdom-packed memoir of her life as a writer. Here, for the first time, one of America’s most celebrated authors (“State of Wonder”, “Bel Canto”, “Truth and Beauty”), talks at length about her literary career—the highs and the lows—and shares advice on the craft and art of writing. In this fascinating look at the development of a novelist, we meet Patchett’s mentors (Allan Gurganas, Grace Paley, Russell Banks), see where she made wrong turns (poetry), and learn how she gets the pages written (an unromantic process of pure hard work). Woven through engaging anecdotes from Patchett’s life are lessons about writing that offer an inside peek into the storytelling process and provide a blueprint for anyone wanting to give writing a serious try. The bestselling author gives pointers on everything from finding ideas to constructing a plot to combating writer’s block. More than that, she conveys the joys and rewards of a life spent reading and writing.

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Ann Patchett’s Best Books



Ann Patchett Review Website Bibliography Rankings

BookGoodreadsAmazonLibraryThingOverall Rank
The Getaway Car: A Practical Memoir About Writing and Life 111 1
This is the Story of a Happy Marriage 212 2
Bel Canto 443 3
Truth and Beauty: A Friendship 344 3
State of Wonder 575 5
The Patron Saint of Liars 737 5
Commonwealth 6105 7
What Now? 879 8
Run 10410 8
The Magician’s Assistant 998 10
Taft 111111 11