Nathan Bransford, Author

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What Was Your Favorite Book Published in the Aughts?

Oh yes, it's the end of 2009, which means it's time for decade retrospectives and this blog is no exception.

Last week we named our favorite books published in 2009 - what about the decade? What was your favorite book published in the aughts?

Aside from books by my clients, I'm going to have to go with.... The Corrections. No, Atonement. No, Spin. No, The Book Thief. (I could go on for hours)

It was a pretty great decade for books. Can you pick your favorite?


sl said...

invisibile, paul auster

Arjun said...

fiction: Netherland
non-fiction: The World Without Us
self-serving: Squishy (but only because it was my first published book)

Hard to narrow down!

Carol Newman Cronin said...

Easy, mine! Oliver's Surprise: A Boy, A Schooner, and the Great Hurricane of 1938 (GemmaMedia, 2009).

Rachele Alpine said...

Okay, I couldn't decide between we'll go with the best three books!

The Bright Forever (Lee Martin)

The God of Animals (Aryn Kyle)

Prep (Curtis Sittenfeld)

I could read each of them over and over and over again!

reader said...

Hard to pick one, but for the book itself and the promise of future brilliance by the author, I'll say:

PREP by Curtis Sittenfeld

that writing was huge and impressive.

Brian said...

I know the point is to pick one, but I can't.
Fiction: "Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay" by Chabon, "The Road" by McCarthy, and "The Book of Lost Things" by Connolly
Nonfiction: "Gulag: A History" by Anne Applebaum, "In the Heart of the Sea" by Nathaniel Philbrick, and "Chronicles" by Bob Dylan

Anonymous said...

although this is probably more for yesterday's topic than today, I just read this & thought to share it since it transcends day/date topicisms. Or, whatever it's called.

How To Destroy the Book, by Cory Doctorow

link #1:
link #2:

Anonymous said...

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Michael Chabon

Bel Canto, Ann Patchett

The Fortress of Solitude, Jonathan Lethem

id said...

The Road, Cormac McCarthy

Michael Goodell said...

I'll go with two. Birds Without Wings, by Louis de Bernieres, and borrowing a page from Arjun, Zenith Rising, because it is mine.

Nathan Bransford said...

Oh wow, I thought KAVALIER AND CLAY was published in '99, but I see it was actually in '00. Add that to my list as well.

Kristi said...

Okay, I have about 30 pages left of The Book Thief and it's just blowing me away. It's such a beautiful, heart-breaking book that I might have to go with that as my pick - although I've learned not to bring it to work because when the receptionist called to tell me my next client was there, I was in the midst of sobbing. Best to save this book for a more solitary environment :)

Natalie Whipple said...

Ack, hard question!

The first that came to mind was The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie. I always love a book that can make me laugh and also cry.

Allison said...

Call Me By Your Name, Andre Aciman

Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami

Atonement, Ian McEwan

Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood

The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman

Phyllis said...

White Teeth by Zadie Smith.


Stephen Duncan said...

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. Period. That book is still with me.

Elaine 'still writing' Smith said...

Disperate choices I know:
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon,
Atonement by Ian McEwan
or The Host by Stephenie Meyer.

MG - I learned to Measles, too :)

Amber said...

The Road by Cormac McCarthy and Pobby and Dingan by Ben Rice

Elizabeth said...

The Book Thief, hands down. Nothing else even comes close. A work of lyrical, heartwrenching genius.

Jana said...

The King of Attolia by Megan Whelan Turner.

I also loved Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games.

Both YA, interestingly enough.

Ciara Blount said...

Definitely going with Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides. It's fascinating to see how many of my favorite books were published in the last nine years alone!

Jessica said...

Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead. That's probably my favorite. Or anything from Elizabeth Haydon's Symphony of Ages series...I think she started that in 2000 or 2001.

ElegantSnobbery said...

The Time Travelers Wife has been my favorite!

The Pollinatrix said...

Just a few that come to mind and aren't listed here yet:

The Abarat series by Clive Barker.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Ink said...

Strange Piece of Paradise, by Terri Jentz.

And for 1b through 1whatever...
The Fortress of Solitude, by Jonathan Lethem.
Bel Canto, Truth and Beauty, and Run, all by Ann Patchett.
Half of a Yellow Sun, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
Saturday, by Ian McEwan.
The Road, by Cormac McCarthy.
Shadow Country, by Peter Matthiessen.
Oh the Glory of it All, by Sean Wilsey.
The Way the Crow Flies, Anne-Marie MacDonald.
They Marched Into Sunlight, David Maraniss.

Probably missed a few, though.

Matilda McCloud said...

I just finished THE ROAD by Cormac McCarthy last night--kind of blew me away. So I guess that's my literary pick.


guilty pleasures:

PREP by Curtis Sittenfeld

THE DEVIL WORE PRADA by Lauren Weisberger

NANNY DIARIES by Emma Mclaughlin and Nicola Kraus




Children's books: SEAHORSES AND SEA DRAGONS by Mary Jo Rhodes (:



and many, many more...

D. G. Hudson said...

Dune: The Machine Crusade by Brian Herbert & Kevin Anderson 2004 and republished in 2009: A Moveable Feast, by E. Hemingway changed a bit from the 1964 version. Also, On Writing, by Stephen King, 2000.

There's a few others, but that's a sampling. It will be interesting to see what others say, as I usually pick up ideas for books from others' comments. Trying to think back a decade is tough.

Madison L. Edgar said...

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Housseini
My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
Twilight by duh... (I'm not ashamed!)

Jeanie W said...

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Thermocline said...

A Maiden's Grave by Jeffery Deaver. I love that I never know what the *#&@ is going to happen in one of his books.

Moira Young said...

Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton. (It's Pride and Prejudice, but with dragons.) :)

Erin said...

VERY difficult, but I also put a vote in for Atonement (at least in fiction).

Matt Sinclair said...

As others have said, it's difficult to pick just one. I'm vacillating between Michael Chabon's "Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay" and John Connolly's "The Book of Lost Things." I've read both multiple times. Hands to the fire: "The Book of Lost Things"

David Kubicek said...

I have read only a fraction of the books published this decade, but of those I have read:

Fiction - The Road, by Cormac McCarthy

Non-Fiction - True Compass, by Edward M. Kennedy (which I hadn't read at the time of your Best of 2009 Poll)

Heather said...

Fiction: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling
Nonfiction: A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers

This window was open for 10 minutes before I finally felt happy hitting "publish." There were a lot of great books published this decade.

Nicholas G said...

Well Night Watch by Terry Pratchett is my favourite favourite book, but I think that in terms of this decade's writing:
A Company of Liars by Karen Maitland,
A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka, and
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
all deserve recognition.

Anonymous said...

The Lovely Bones.

Haunting, beautiful and heartbreaking at times.

It's a shame the movie is not getting good reviews...but the book is a must read.

Sara said...


It sounds like I must read THE BOOK THIEF as well.

Anonymous said...

Anne Rice's Christ the Lord: The Road to Cana--A mind-blowing revelation to me.

The Road, Atonement, and A Thousand Splendid Suns rank up there.

Kristin Laughtin said...

It's difficult to choose a second place, but my first is SPIN by Robert Charles Wilson--which, yes, I did first learn about from your blog. That book had everything: well-developed characters, believable human relationships, cosmic (literally) drama, interesting science... My favorite kind of SF. It was amazing and quickly became one of those inspirational books that I look at and think "If I could ever write anything half that good..."

There were a lot of great books published this decade, though. It'd be very difficult for me to choose #2 and onward, because as soon as I did, I'd remember something else.

Karen said...

It's so hard to choose. I'll base my criteria on which book I absolutely could not go to sleep until I finished...Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

The Pea would like to put in a vote for Cha Cha Chimps by Julia Durango, illustrated by Eleanor Taylor

Anonymous said...

Mercy of Thin Air by Ronlyn Domangue
and gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson

Scott said...

Probably Pratchett's The Wee Free Men.

Sandra G. said...

The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill.

The title of this book in the US, Australia and New Zealand is Someone Knows My Name.

Anonymous said...

Nothing. I know that sounds really bad, but I haven't read any books written in the last decade that really impressed me. I can name several movies and TV shows, but I struggle to name books.

I should call it the depressing read decade, where the books are so depressing they make you want to slit your wrists.

Anonymous said...

I must post as anonymous in order to admit that it was, ahem,

I also loved The Time Travelers Wife and The Hunger Games.

wishy the writer said...

Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri. I just looked and I guess it was originally published in 1999, but received the Pulitzer in 2000, so I'm saying that it counts! If it doesn't count as a book in this decade, then I'll choose Lahiri's novel, The Namesake. Both books have stayed with me and I've returned to both of them again and again in this decade. I remember truly missing the characters when I finished The Namesake. I wanted to know all of them for real!

Ellen said...

BRIDGE OF SIGHS, Richard Russo

Professor Beej said...

I think mine would have to be "The White Boy Shuffle" by Paul Beatty.

It attacks everything, but never seems out of line. Hilarious and poignant, which is the best combination.

Bane of Anubis said...

Fiction: The Hunger Games
Non-fic: Freakonomics

Wonder how run-of-the-mill readers would align on this question.

Jared X said...

Very difficult to say, but JOHN HENRY DAYS, by Colson Whitehead springs to mind first.

LIFE OF PI, by Yann Martel and WHAT IS THE WHAT, by Dave Eggers also rank up there.

mlsfleming said...

In spite of all the great mysteries by my Big Three fave guys--Lescroart, Connolly, and Burke, gotta say You, Inc.,by the Beckwiths. It could be subtitled
You'd Be Surprised How Successful You'd Be if You Behaved Really Well.

Nathan said...

The BFG... wait, what decade are we in?

Fablehaven was really a great, refreshing read.

(Right up there with Vornholt's "The Troll King")

Kristina said...

Hard to choose, hard to choose.
Probably Life of Pi by Yann Martel, although I also loved The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time and the 7th Harry Potter.

Michelle said...

That's a no-brainer for me. The Time Traveler's Wife. The Book Thief would be my second choice.

My favorite nonfiction was Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.

Sissy said...

For anyone who reads this is a reeeeealllly hard choice. Wow. Harry Potter (any of them) is close to the top, as is Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult. Working in a school, that one has stayed with me.

Munk said...

I'll go out on a limb here and choose

"George's Secret Key to the Universe" by Stephen and Lucy Hawking.

My kids LOVE the book... Science wrapped around a fun plot.

Dara said...

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. I never get tired or reading that book :)

And I just found out it's going to be made into a movie. Super excited about it!

mkcbunny said...

#1: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.

But I think The Road had the most impact on my life. It sparked a year-long conversation with various friends. And I think that I learned more about writing from its sparseness than I did from any other book this past decade.

And I have to give an overall mention to all things Harry Potter. Goblet of Fire was my favorite, but any series that can make a 45-year-old woman stay up reading until dawn on a work night has to get "best of" nod.

Also, my favorite audio books were:
#1: The Terror, by Dan Simmons, because the narrator, Simon Vance, was fantastic in portraying dozens of characters and telling an engrossing tale. And I have to admit that when I tried to read the book in hardcover, I didn't finish it. Not so with the audio version.

#2: Anything read by Neil Gaiman—even stories I didn't love were entrancing because he is a great storyteller with a fantastic voice. I just bought another story collection just to have something of his on hand to listen to.

Sam Hranac said...

There were many I loved, but I most enjoyed the Monster Blood Tattoo series.

Stacy McKitrick said...

I'd have to say "Twilight". It was a book that stuck with me like no other (as did the rest of the series). It was also what inspired me to start writing my own novel, and for that I will be grateful.

Valerie said...

This is hard! There are so many that I have yet to read, (or finish) that I know should be on this list, like Atonement, Bel Canto, The Road, and The Book Thief. That said, here are some of my picks:

The Time Traveler's Wife
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time
The Hunger Games and Catching Fire
The Dead Father's Club
Shutter Island
The Lovely Bones
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (because this is the book where she changed her whole style and the kids grew up and the story became truly dark and it blew my mind that she could do that after the first four books)

Rick Daley said...

Winner, hands-down:
THE ROAD by Cormac McCarthy


Tere Kirkland said...

Fingersmith, Sarah Waters. I was surprised at how quickly I read this one. Engrossing and a very thrilling Victorian-noir read.

The Fortress of Solitude, Jonathan Lethem. Loved the characters and the style, to die for!

Atonement for style alone.

And The Hunger Games for the book I've reread the most since it came out.

Anonymous said...

Non Harry Potter Books:
(In no particular order)
The Historian (Elizabeth Kostova)
The Book Thief (Markus Zusak)
The Thirteenth Tale (Diane Setterfield)

Harry Potter Books in order:
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Order of Pheonix
(Not going to list author here, because anyone who doesn't know, really has know business reading a lit agent's blog...)

ryan field said...

First. Digging to America by Anne Tyler

Second. A Window Acros the River by Brian Morton.

Third. The Corrections

Eric Christopherson said...

Silent Joe by T. Jefferson Parker

Jade said...

Easy. THE BRIEF WONDROUS LIFE OF OSCAR MAO. It wins hands down. That book rocked my world three ways from Wednesday.

Closely followed by THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN by Mitch Albom and the English translation of Per Petterson's OUT STEALING HORSES.

Valerie Geary said...

Why do you make me choose?!!!! Since you picked "Atonement" and "The Book Thief" and quite a few people pointed out "The Road"... I'm going to say "What Is The What" by Dave Eggers and "Orxy and Crake" by Atwood. Now please stop asking me to rate my books... there are rumors of revolt coming from my bookshelves. :)

Trée said...

Robert Bolano's 2666

Marilyn Peake said...

Too many to name. Definitely loved THE ROAD by Cormac McCarthy.

Alyson Greene said...

There's no way I can choose between:
THE ROAD by Cormac McCarthy


THE BOOK THIEF by Marcus Zusak

HUNGER GAMES and HP and the HALF-BLOOD PRINCE are up there too

Cam Snow said...

Anything by Christopher Moore (in this order):
Bloodsucking Fiends
It's a dirty job
You suck
The Lust Lizard of Melancholy cove
Island of the sequined love nun
The stupidest angel
Practical demonkeeping
Coyotoe Blue

Whew! what a decade for my favorite author!

Bill Greer said...

The Ha-Ha by Dave King

Jabez said...

I don't think I can choose. But I will give a shout-out to the underappreciated Chris Adrian and his debut novel, GOB'S GRIEF.

onefinemess said...

Weird, I thought this was going to be a hard question, but librarything says I have only rated one book from the last decade at five stars. Lots of 4.5s, but only one five:

A Feast for Crows, George R.R. Martin

Thank God for my obsessively anal habit of rating almost everything I read.

Note that I may have read better and just not rated it in the same manner, but for now this just makes things easy!

Michael Pickett said...

With every comment that I read, my vote changes. There were too many good books published this decade. I hope that don't do that to us next decade. To spread the love, I'll cast my vote for the book on my list that has recieved the fewest votes so far:

"What is the What" by Dave Eggers.

(It's nothing personal Cormac, Ian, Markus, Khaled, Jefferey, and everyone else who didn't get my vote. You guys have enough already.)

Rhonda said...

In coming up with my answer I tried to think of which books have come back to my mind most often after reading them rather than which books I thought were most "significant." I will have to go with The Berrybender Narratives by Larry McMurtry and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

Karen said...

Sorry to be all popular instead of "artsy," but my favorite book of the decade was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

I've read some great novels over the last ten years, but nothing made me feel as much or gave me as much satisfaction as reading the final book of the Harry Potter series.

robin said...

Hm...PROTECTOR OF THE SMALL: KNIGHT, came out in 2002 -- and I love Tamora Pierce.

Of course, HP also finished off in the 'aughts', so even though #7 wasn't even close to my favorite, I'd have to mention the series, as a whole.

Nonfiction: Eckhart Tolle, A NEW EARTH

terryd said...

THE ROAD forced me to face my fears and write my own dystopian books.

Anonymous said...

My three favourites were:
The Hunger Games- Suzanne Collins
Catching Fire- Suzanne Collins
The Shifting Fog- Kate Morton (in UK and US it was called the House at Riverton)

Tricia said...

I came up with my list before reading the posts and several almost made me change mine.

These are the first two that popped into my mind.

Fiction:The Husband Dean Koontz
Nonfiction: Horned Snakes and Axle Grease Jerry and Donna Spangler

lora96 said...

Love Walked In, marisa de los santos

deb said...

Everything is Illuminated, Jonathan Safran Foer.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, also by Safran Foer

We Need to Talk About Kevin, Lionel Shriver

What is the What, Dave Eggers

(I could keep going...)

Mary said...

The Book Thief, one of my top ten books of all time.

I'm interested to see many mentions of the Hunger Games. I didn't consider it a favourite read because it made me SO uneasy. Hmm... perhaps that's the point. Brilliantly done. :)

Wendy said...

The Time Traveler's Wife, hands down. Closely followed by Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater.

DMBeucler said...

Absolute favorite would have to be Patrick Rothfuss's Name of the Wind.

Empty Refrigerator said...


Anne-Marie said...

Shutter ISland by Dennis Lehane and
Saturday by ian MacEwan.

Kate said...

The Road, McCarthy. But thanks for all the great recommendations!

Demosthenes said...

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon.

Robena Grant said...

The Road, by Cormack McCarthy

Then, in no particular order:
Someone Knows my Name, Lawrence Hill
The Shadow of the Wind, Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Help, Kathryn Stockett
Circle of Three, Patricia Gaffney
Big Stone Gap, Adriana Trigiani

Amy said...

Per Petterson's IN THE WAKE and OUT STEALING HORSES are favorites, as well as Linda Ollson's ASTRID & VERONIKA. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle was a good read, and I too loved The Book Thief.

Karen Schwabach said...

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Nicholas said...

Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clark. A work of genius.

Crystal Lee Patriarche said...

I would have to go with The Lovely Bones....which I just re-read since the movie is coming out.

Emily Cross said...

without a doubt it would have to be the book thief!

Tania said...

For me it is My Name Was Judas by C.K. Stead. It is beautiful and confronting and the language alone makes me want to cry. I highly
recommend it.

Gretchen said...

The Time Traveller's Wife
Paper Towns by John Green
Harry Potter - the entire series, but especially the last 2.

Vegas Linda Lou said...

Crystal Zevon's I'll Sleep When I'm Dead: The Dirty Life and Times of Warren Zevon. LOVED IT!!!

scott g.f.bailey said...

My Name is Red - Orhan Pamuk
Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
The Namesake - Jhumpa Lahiri

A Paperback Writer said...

The last 4 volumes of the Harry Potter series, the entire Inkheart series, and The Historian.

Jaime said...

I would have to say Twilight, because, like Stacy, it inspired me to write again, and I've just had the best year of my life doing so.

But I also loved The Lovely Bones.

Thanks for all the recommendations! Now I have Christmas present ideas for my husband! Totally selfless ones, of course . . . ;)

Marilyn Peake said...

More of my favorite books from the past decade, in addition to THE ROAD by Cormac McCarthy:

GILEAD by Marilynne Robinson

CLOUD ATLAS by David Mitchell

A DICTIONARY OF MAQIAO by Han Shaogong, translated by Julia Lovell

HOUSE OF LEAVES by Mark Z. Danielewski



BONESHAKER by Cherie Priest

THE HISTORIAN by Elizabeth Kostova


Anne Rainey said...

One?? I'm to pick one book?? Not possible. I can say that discovering Nalini Singh was pure delight! What a terrific author!

Madeleine said...

Here are a few books I loved that I know were published in this past decade. I don't have a very good list in my head because I'm hardly over a decade in age and have only been reading for seven years.

Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

Goodness! I'm surprised I can't think of anymore. Although I could name nearly every book on my book shelf. I think I must be tired.

Pam said...

"Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal" by Christopher Moore.

Kia said...

What!? No The Kite Runner yet? It was one of the few books that I actually had to put down to catch my breath after an overwhelming scene.

In addition, Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides which is so beautifully written, it makes me feel like a bit of a fraudster calling myself a writer.

And, of course, The Time Traveler's Wife.

PS. Yes, it's 2am in London and I'm sitting in my PJs, reading Nathan's blog. Grr.

David said...

Mystic River

Aimee said...

The Time Traveler's Wife was the best! And I love The Life of Pi by Yann Martel. That is definitely my favorite book of all time.

Leslie Garrett said...

Yes, yes. The Life of Pi by Yann Martel. Poetic and beautiful and impossible to put down.

mkcbunny said...

FYI: Harry Potter (the character and all things HP) was voted by Entertainment Weekly as #1 on their list of the 100 most entertaining things of the decade—among movies, TV, books, music, and all of pop culture. JK Rowling was also voted among the top 15 entertainers of the decade.

Diane Moody said...

DECEPTION by Randy Alcorn
WHEN CHARACTER WAS KING by Peggy Noonan (on Ronald Reagan)
THE GLASS HOUSE by Jeanette Walls
THE DEBT by Angie Hunt
IN AN INSTANT by Bob & Dee Woodruff

Roban said...

A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Book Thief were two of my absolute favorites. I love a good heart-wrencher....

Water for Elephants (I'm guessing it was in the '00 decade.)

Roban said...

... of course "Water..." was in the '00 decade. Harry Potter books were also favorites. What fun it was to stand in line at midnight to get my book as Dumbledores and Hagrids walked past in full HP regalia!

Alexa said...

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta and The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell and many hundreds more :)

Lynne said...


Rebekkah said...

I have to go with Tamar, by Mal Peet.

Lisa said...

The Book Thief. No other book ever got to me like that.

Kathleen said...

I liked Shutter Island, Hunger Games, and Atonement. I also felt pretty satisfied with the final HP book.

I read Twilight several times, and like a few other posters here, it jumpstarted my own writing. So I'll have to include that as well.

I'll definitely be checking out The Book Thief. Tried to read The Road twice, put it down. I'll try a third time.

Anita said...

These BEST BOOKS lists are like an early Christmas present to me. I'm always looking for great books to read and recommend.

Ali Katz said...

Oh, my God, it is NOT the end of the Aughts!!

Anansi Boys, Neil Gaiman

Lyn Miller-Lachmann said...

A shout out to Trée for being the first to choose a book originally published in a language besides English. And 2666 is near the top of my list, but I'd have to give my #1 spot to Roberto Bolaño's The Savage Detectives (which was first published in Spanish in 1998 but not translated into English until 2007). I also recommend the first of Bolaño's novels to be translated into English, By Night in Chile.

Anonymous said...

Just one? No way.
Top three:
Tobias Wolff’s Old School
Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Yann Martel’s Life of Pi

Oh, and one more:
Dave Eggers’ A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

Jeanette Walls’ The Glass Castle

Mira said...

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoninex, followed closely by Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

For non-Harry Potter books, it may not be the best book of the aughts, but one I enjoyed the most was Terry Pratchett's Going Postal. His best so far, imho.

Yamile said...

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince,
HP and the Deathly Hallows,
HP and the Order of the Phoenix.
The Road
The Book Thief
The Kite Runner (it's still with me, two years after I read it. Can't reread it but think about it all the time)
The Hunger Games

Vacuum Queen said...

OK, you will think I'm a weirdo, but hey...there's a market for me. I LOVED Kitchen Confidential by Tony Bourdain enough to think of it first. And gosh, after that, I ate up (get it? ha ha) A Cook's Tour. His writing is fantastic. It was early in the aughts, but still there. Also, Comfort Me with apples by Ruth Reichl was faboo. Before her, I never knew it was o.k. to tell stories as if you're gathered around a table. I never wanted her stories to end.

Pure fiction said...

What about The Road Home by Rose Tremain? A year-and-a-half after reading it, and dozens of books on, and it's still resonating away in my head.

Ellen B said...

Pastoralia, by George Saunders (creeping under the wire, published in 2000)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

The Third Angel, by Alice Hoffman.

An odd mixture, but then I'm an odd reader :)

Kia said...

> Aimee, Leslie Garrett

Yes! I totally forgot The Life of Pi. What a brilliant and unique book. I remember that it started off quite slow so I was a bit dubious about it but it swiftly becamse unputdownable.

Trish said...

Matthew Flinders' Cat by Bryce Courtney. (A prominent barrister is now on the streets where he sleeps on a bench outside the state library. Above him on the window sill rests a bronze statue of Matthew Flinders' cat.)

Shannon said...

I really enjoyed the Book Thief too, but nothing in the decade has blown me away like Margot Lanagan's Tender Morsels. I really loved that. It gets my vote.

Simon said...

Leaving aside the fact the decade still has a year to run, I'd say my favourites have included:

Lunar Park - Bret Easton Ellis
The Savage Detectives - Roberto Bolano
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - Junot Diaz

Ben Dutton said...

Can't pick one, so I'll pick six, with the least obvious first:

David Vann, Legend of a Suicide (Sukkwan Island may have the most shocking moment of any fiction published in the noughties)

Gwendoline Riley, Cold Water (For describing a milieu not seen in fiction and yet a life recognised by many)

Roberto Bolano, 2666 (The shockwaves of this novel will not be felt until well into the next decade)

Cormac McCarthy, The Road (May well be voted the book of the decade if you collate all the votes cast for it across print and online media)

Ian McEwan, Atonement (McEwan dominated British fiction in the 2000s, and of his novels, it is this one that will be remembered)

Philip Roth, Everyman. Or Exit Ghost. Or The Plot Against America. Or The Human Stain. Or Indignation. I'm a diehard Rothian, but one of them certainly.

G. Jackson said...

The Life of Pi, Yann Martel

and everything written by Bill Bryson

and I have to say, because it was an OBSESSION of so many women, Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Mardi Link said...

Mr. McCarthy's "The Road". I am still both devastated and inspired by that book.

Robin Miura said...

Another vote for The Lovely Bones.

But I also really liked Serena by Ron Rash.

Shelby said...

Fiction - The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

Non-Fiction - Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer.

Runner up - The Pat Conroy Cookbook. Seriously. It's the stories about the food. Unbelievably inspiring...and it's not realy about the food (at least for me). It's about life.

Claude Forthomme said...

I'd vote for A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini...

And what about Stieg Larsson's trilogy?

And what about Ormesson's My last Dream was for You? (yeah, that's in French actually - don't know whether it was ever translated and if so, under what title...I don't know why they can't keep to the original title when they translate would really help!)

Nita Lou Bryant said...

IN THE WOODS by Tana French.

Heather said...

So tough, but what pops into mind is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, thought about that one for a long time after.

great question!

Anita Saxena said...

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Claude Lambert said...

It is comforting to see that that there are good books that I have not read yet: I am delighted with the post!The surprise of the decade for me has been Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie, a Chinese author writing in French: the story is about surviving communist China's re-education by reading books. Beautiful. (it made a great movie too)

A very enjoyable book for other bookworms:
The Book Nobody Read: Chasing the Revolutions of Nicolaus Copernicus by Owen Gingerich

@Matilda: no you are not alone, I did like the abject turtle story by Verlyn Kilnenborg and The curious incident of the dog by Mark Haddon

Trace said...

Mystic River. Dennis Lehane. I'm loving The Given Day also.

jmartinlibrarian said...

I know this seems like the easy, cop out, but mine was The Road.

For me, the father's love eclipsed a dying world.

Anonymous said...


Book of Matches Media said...

The Graveyard Book by Gaiman

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

The Name of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

Nancy Beck said...

In His Majesty's Service, aka Temeraire, by Naomi Novik...and all the subsequent Temeraire books.

I'll admit the first few pages in the first book were a bit slow for me, but after that, I could hardly wait to read them! Worth all the gushing (and I hope Peter Jackson gets the film version going sometime soon!).

Nancy Beck said...

Whoops, just thought of another one: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. A lovely ending to the story.

And thanks to other posters for their faves; boy, have I missed out on a lot of good books!

althrasher said...

Roban, I was getting nervous reading before your comment--I couldn't believe I was alone in my love of WATER FOR ELEPHANTS. That's definitely one of my favorites.

I'd also like to throw out LIFE OF PI, HARRY POTTER, and LOOKING FOR ALASKA.

Nona said...

"Eat, Pray, Love"
"Roasting in Hell's Kitchen"
"Confessions of a Master Jewel Thief"

Great books; all memoirs; but I'm struck by the number of books on my Amazon "wish list" that I *haven't* read: almost 400. Netflix: 500 movies in queue. I hit the limit and started jotting down titles on little pieces of paper. Napster: 100's of 30 sec. snippets waiting to be bought.

For someone like me, a monthly subscription and unlimited access is the only way to go. Media companies could have a continuous revenue stream from people like me if they only gave us what we want for a reasonable price.

Kathleen said...

The Well of Lost Plots
by Jasper Fforde

Marla Warren said...

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, hands down.

Expectations could not have been higher for the seventh and final book in the series. J.K. Rowling not only met them, she exceeded them.

Reba said...

American Gods - Neil Gaiman

Such a tight story, and none of it disappointed me.

Michael M. Hughes said...

"The Amber Spyglass" (concluding book in Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy).

Bittersweet Fountain said...

I'm going to have to go with "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince". Why this one and not 7? Because when Snape killed Dumbledore my world was blown. I had been so convinced he was good and it seemed like the death blow to his goodness.

I'm also a product of my generation so I have to pick a Harry Potter book. But honorable mention to:

Anything written by Brandon Sanderson (because its all in this decade) and the Darkglass Mountain books by Sarah Douglass.

Disgruntled Bear said...

I've ordered four more books after reading the other posts. How have I not heard of the Hunger Games before now?

My faves:
Twilight series.
The Devil Wears Prada.
The Time Traveler's Wife.
His Majesty's Dragon.

Marlene Sanchez said...

Yes Nathan I would have to agree with you. ATONEMENT by Ian McEwan is one of the best novels published this decade!

abc said...


christina said...

My Sister's Keeper!!!!
I love this book. It made me cry! I love the surprise ending(it made me mad though!)

Linguista said...

For me it's Th1rteen R3asons Why by Jay Asher!

Lee Ann Sontheimer Murphy said...

Time Traveler's Wife, Audrey Niggenegger and Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen

Diana said...

Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist
Soon I will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman

and yes, i'm going with a graphic novel: Unknown Soldier by Joshua Dysart

so many little eye sight left...

catehart said...

I can't choose!
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (not ashamed either)
The Devil Wears Prada
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
The Drums of Autumn by Diana Gabaldon

Aven said...

I can't choose!!! So...I'll list authors (anything that came out by them in the aughts)
Diana Gabaldon
Jules Watson
Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Ashley said...

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

stacy said...

You guys can remember the best books you've read in the last DECADE?? I can barely remember what I read last week.

Danielle said...

I'm going to go ahead and be the one to say it--A Million Little Pieces!

James Frey has such powerful writing--his books deeply resonated with me. My Friend Leonard is high up on the list too.

Trish said...

I agree with Danielle, A Million Little Pieces is a fantastic book. I couldn’t put it down until I’d finished it. I haven't read My Friend Leonard yet, but you've just reminded me that I must. Thanks, Danielle.

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