Best fiction books of the decade
By Decade Book ListsSome books are flashes in the pan, read for entertainment and then left on a bus seat for the next lucky person to pick up and enjoy, forgotten by most after their season has passed. Others stick around, are read and re-read, are taught and discussed. Of course, hindsight can also distort the senses; the canon looms and obscures. Though the books on these lists need not be American in origin, I am looking for books that evoke some aspect of American life, actual or intellectual, in each decade—a global lens would require a much longer list. Rowling owned the s.
My Top 10 Books of the Decade
The 21 Best Novels of the 21st Century
It is impressively intersectional in its approach, talking about class and gender as well as reframing the conversation to be Britain-focused. The title alone is arresting, and can sort out those who judge a book by its cover from those willing to interrogate and investigate their own privilege. Sapiens has been highly praised by the gurus of Silicon Valley, and read by geeks whose culture usually centres on fantasy movies, computer games, etc — even though Harari himself is far from that world. His life seems austere and he avoids social media. Sapiens has widened the world view of millions of readers other whistorians cannot reach — and next month Harari may have three books simultaneously in the bestseller lists. Much as I loved this book I would never have guessed it would be a bestseller. There are puzzles you can try out on yourself, but there are also plenty of dense explanations of experimental design that few of us dare give when writing for a general audience.
There are decades of backlogs people insist you need to read, with hundreds of new books being added every year. For the picks, we used the Best Books of the Decade from Goodreads, through and through as they were at the time of writing, and our picks hovered around 4 stars, give or take a decimal point or two. The last guy to hop around up there was Eugene Cernan they made a documentary about him and that was back in Ready Player One is a perfect example of something good coming from video games. Couple that with gamers who are willing to kill to achieve money and fame and we have to wonder if Cline is more of a prophet than a storyteller. The setup sounds more like the start of an absurdist British novel, but make no mistake, this is Stephen King and King does suspense, not absurdity. One of the guys who did all three was Louis Zamperini.
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Actually, constructing a canon of any kind is a little weird at the moment, when so much of how we measure cultural value is in flux. Its supposed permanence became the subject of more recent battles, back in the 20th century, between those who defended it as the foundation of Western civilization and those who attacked it as exclusive or even racist. But what if you could start a canon from scratch? We thought it might be fun to speculate very prematurely on what a canon of the 21st century might look like right now. We asked each of them to name several books that belong among the most important works of fiction, memoir, poetry, and essays since and tallied the results.