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Ranking Author Sylvia Plath’s Best Books (A Bibliography Countdown)

Sylvia Plath Bibliography Rankings

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

We took all of the books written by Sylvia Plath as well as the collections of her work released posthumously 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 Sylvia Plath



13 ) Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams: Short Stories, Prose, and Diary Excerpts (1977)

Review Website Ranks:

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

Renowned for her poetry, Sylvia Plath was also a brilliant writer of prose. This collection of short stories, essays, and diary excerpts highlights her fierce concentration on craft, the vitality of her intelligence, and the yearnings of her imagination. Featuring an introduction by Plath’s husband, the late British poet Ted Hughes, these writings also reflect themes and images she would fully realize in her poetry. Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreamstruly showcases the talent and genius of Sylvia Plath.

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13 ) The It-Doesn’t-Matter Suit (1996)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 14
  • Amazon: 10
  • LibraryThing: 13

In the eponymous The It-Doesn’t-Matter Suit, little Max Nix is on a quest to find the perfect suit he can go ice-fishing, cow-milking and town-walking in.

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12 ) Mrs. Cherry’s Kitchen (2001)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 4
  • Amazon: 14
  • LibraryThing: 14

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11 ) The Bell Jar: A novel (1963)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 12
  • Amazon: 8
  • LibraryThing: 10

The Bell Jar chronicles the crack-up of Esther Greenwood: brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under — maybe for the last time. Sylvia Plath masterfully draws the reader into Esther’s breakdown with such intensity that Esther’s insanity becomes completely real and even rational, as probable and accessible an experience as going to the movies. Such deep penetration into the dark and harrowing corners of the psyche is an extraordinary accomplishment and has made The Bell Jar a haunting American classic.

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10 ) Collected Children’s Stories (2001)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 6
  • Amazon: 12
  • LibraryThing: 9

Collected Children’s Stories

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9 ) Crossing the Water (1971)

Review Website Ranks:

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

Fifty-six intense invocations of life reflect the poet’s powerful command of her art

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8 ) The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume 1, edited by Peter K. Steinberg and Karen V. Kukil (2017)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 1
  • Amazon: 10
  • LibraryThing: 12

One of the most beloved poets of the modern age, Sylvia Plath continues to inspire and fascinate the literary world. While her renown as one of the twentieth century’s most influential poets is beyond dispute, Plath was also one of its most captivating correspondents. The Letters of Sylvia Plath is the breathtaking compendium of this prolific writer’s correspondence with more than 120 people, including family, friends, contemporaries, and colleagues.

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6 ) Winter Trees (1971)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 11
  • Amazon: 5
  • LibraryThing: 4

Poetry about hope, loneliness, and despair captures the author’s thoughts on life

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6 ) The Colossus and Other Poems (1960)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 9
  • Amazon: 5
  • LibraryThing: 6

With this startling, exhilarating book of poems, which was first published in 1960, Sylvia Plath burst into literature with spectacular force. In such classics as “The Beekeeper’s Daughter,” “The Disquieting Muses,” “I Want, I Want,” and “Full Fathom Five,” she writes about sows and skeletons, fathers and suicides, about the noisy imperatives of life and the chilly hunger for death. Graceful in their craftsmanship, wonderfully original in their imagery, and presenting layer after layer of meaning, the forty poems in The Colossus are early artifacts of genius that still possess the power to move, delight, and shock.

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5 ) Letters Home: Correspondence 1950–1963 (1975)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 7
  • Amazon: 2
  • LibraryThing: 7

Sylvia Plath’s correspondence, addressed chiefly to her mother, from her time at Smith College in the early 1950s up to her suicide in London in February 1963. In addition to her capacity for domestic and writerly happiness, these letters also hint at her potential for deep despair.

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4 ) The Collected Poems (1981)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 7
  • Amazon: 2
  • LibraryThing: 2

A new edition of Sylvia Plath’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Collected Poems, edited and with an introduction by Ted Hughes

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2 ) The Bed Book (1976)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 5
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 3

Describes various beds that are much more interesting than beds for sleeping, such as a jet-propelled bed, snack bed, pocket-size bed, and bounceable bed.

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2 ) The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, edited by Karen V. Kukil (2000)

Review Website Ranks:

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

Sylvia Plath’s journals were originally published in 1982 in a heavily abridged version authorized by Plath’s husband, Ted Hughes. This new edition is an exact and complete transcription of the diaries Plath kept during the last twelve years of her life. Sixty percent of the book is material that has never before been made public, more fully revealing the intensity of the poet’s personal and literary struggles, and providing fresh insight into both her frequent desperation and the bravery with which she faced down her demons.

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1 ) Ariel: The Restored Edition (2004)

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 2
  • Amazon: 5
  • LibraryThing: 1

When Sylvia Plath died, she not only left behind a prolific life but also her unpublished literary masterpiece, Ariel. When her husband, Ted Hughes, first brought this collection to life, it garnered worldwide acclaim, though it wasn’t the draft Sylvia had wanted her readers to see. This facsimile edition restores, for the first time, Plath’s original manuscript—including handwritten notes—and her own selection and arrangement of poems. This edition also includes in facsimile the complete working drafts of her poem “Ariel,” which provide a rare glimpse into the creative process of a beloved writer. This publication introduces a truer version of Plath’s works, and will no doubt alter her legacy forever.

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Sylvia Plath’s Best Books



Sylvia Plath Review Website Bibliography Rankings

BookGoodreadsAmazonLibraryThingOveral Rank
Ariel: The Restored Edition 251 1
The Bed Book 513 2
The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, edited by Karen V. Kukil 225 2
The Collected Poems 722 4
Letters Home: Correspondence 1950–1963 727 5
Winter Trees 1154 6
The Colossus and Other Poems 956 6
The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume 1, edited by Peter K. Steinberg and Karen V. Kukil 11012 8
Crossing the Water 1087 9
Collected Children’s Stories 6129 10
The Bell Jar: A novel 12810 11
Mrs. Cherry’s Kitchen 41414 12
Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams: Short Stories, Prose, and Diary Excerpts 131311 13
The It-Doesn’t-Matter Suit 141013 13

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