Best Book List of 20th Century

Posted on Feb 27, 2018

Best Book List of 20th Century

Matthew Sun

Feb. 27, 2018


Great books with great stories always intrigue me. I am constantly in search of great books as my best companions for pastime. There are some apps available to recommend books based on readers interests or provide some 'biased' recommendation from expert. I want to find a book list that is more neutral.

I found out a list of over 7,000 best books of 20th century on website goodreads. The book rankings are based upon the votes by readers. In addition, it also includes an awards list that a specific book received in the past century.

Data Field Overview

Due to the broad definition of best books for 20th century, and how it is generated by the normal reader votes, some of the important features as a guiding reference is missing, such as genre. The other important missing data is price, which is of dynamic nature, and cannot be scrapped due to the limitations of web scrapy application capabilities. The following is the final fields of data that can be gathered after proper format and data cleaning.

  • ranking

  • year of publishing

  • book title

  • author

  • book pages

  • book description

  • average ratings

  • awards

Trend Analysis

The following two graphs visualize the top book list in each decade. It is surprising to realize the top-ranked books were distributed in a exponential growth pattern per decade.

The exception is the year 2000, as it is a book list for one year, instead of one decade.

However, in each decade, the top-ranked books were evenly distributed per year.

The top book distribution per year for each decade can be interactively viewed by choosing the different decade.

Book Search

Over 7000 books can be searched by book title, book author or any awards that a specific book has been rewarded during the past century. The search results will be presented according to the display order specified in 'Order book list by" selection. The missing genre information for the book can be compensated by the shortened version of book description.


This application provides a best recommendation book list of over 7000 books in 20th century for the interested readers, based on ranking, score, author, title and awards. However, the dataset does not contain the genre category which is important for the readers. The other important missing piece is price. This will be the future improvement if time allows.


During the web scraping process, I was puzzled by the limitations of web scrapy application. It cannot retrieve dynamic information that was deemed important for this project. After some research and investigation, I found out selenium can be used on top of web scrapy framework. This way, I can take advantage of both the speed of web scrapy and dynamic feature of selenium. I will use selenium together with web scrapy for the future web scraping project.

About Author

Matthew SUN

Matthew Sun has over 13 years of software development and analytics experiences in telecommunication and supply chain industry, using data analytics to help streamline and transform the business. He is always curious about new technology and believes in...
View all posts by Matthew SUN >

Related Articles

Leave a Comment

No comments found.

View Posts by Categories

Our Recent Popular Posts

View Posts by Tags

#python #trainwithnycdsa 2019 2020 Revenue 3-points agriculture air quality airbnb airline alcohol Alex Baransky algorithm alumni Alumni Interview Alumni Reviews Alumni Spotlight alumni story Alumnus ames dataset ames housing dataset apartment rent API Application artist aws bank loans beautiful soup Best Bootcamp Best Data Science 2019 Best Data Science Bootcamp Best Data Science Bootcamp 2020 Best Ranked Big Data Book Launch Book-Signing bootcamp Bootcamp Alumni Bootcamp Prep boston safety Bundles cake recipe California Cancer Research capstone car price Career Career Day citibike classic cars classpass clustering Coding Course Demo Course Report covid 19 credit credit card crime frequency crops D3.js data data analysis Data Analyst data analytics data for tripadvisor reviews data science Data Science Academy Data Science Bootcamp Data science jobs Data Science Reviews Data Scientist Data Scientist Jobs data visualization database Deep Learning Demo Day Discount disney dplyr drug data e-commerce economy employee employee burnout employer networking environment feature engineering Finance Financial Data Science fitness studio Flask flight delay gbm Get Hired ggplot2 googleVis H20 Hadoop hallmark holiday movie happiness healthcare frauds higgs boson Hiring hiring partner events Hiring Partners hotels housing housing data housing predictions housing price hy-vee Income Industry Experts Injuries Instructor Blog Instructor Interview insurance italki Job Job Placement Jobs Jon Krohn JP Morgan Chase Kaggle Kickstarter las vegas airport lasso regression Lead Data Scienctist Lead Data Scientist leaflet league linear regression Logistic Regression machine learning Maps market matplotlib Medical Research Meet the team meetup methal health miami beach movie music Napoli NBA netflix Networking neural network Neural networks New Courses NHL nlp NYC NYC Data Science nyc data science academy NYC Open Data nyc property NYCDSA NYCDSA Alumni Online Online Bootcamp Online Training Open Data painter pandas Part-time performance phoenix pollutants Portfolio Development precision measurement prediction Prework Programming public safety PwC python Python Data Analysis python machine learning python scrapy python web scraping python webscraping Python Workshop R R Data Analysis R language R Programming R Shiny r studio R Visualization R Workshop R-bloggers random forest Ranking recommendation recommendation system regression Remote remote data science bootcamp Scrapy scrapy visualization seaborn seafood type Selenium sentiment analysis sentiment classification Shiny Shiny Dashboard Spark Special Special Summer Sports statistics streaming Student Interview Student Showcase SVM Switchup Tableau teachers team team performance TensorFlow Testimonial tf-idf Top Data Science Bootcamp Top manufacturing companies Transfers tweets twitter videos visualization wallstreet wallstreetbets web scraping Weekend Course What to expect whiskey whiskeyadvocate wildfire word cloud word2vec XGBoost yelp youtube trending ZORI