What Was Your Favorite Book Published in the Aughts?

by | Dec 16, 2009 | Books | 170 comments

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?


  1. sl

    invisibile, paul auster

  2. Arjun

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

    Hard to narrow down!

  3. Carol Newman Cronin

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

  4. Rachele Alpine

    Okay, I couldn't decide between two…so 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!

  5. reader

    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.

  6. Brian

    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

  7. Anonymous

    The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Michael Chabon

    Bel Canto, Ann Patchett

    The Fortress of Solitude, Jonathan Lethem

  8. id

    The Road, Cormac McCarthy

  9. Michael Goodell

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

  10. Nathan Bransford

    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.

  11. Kristi

    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 🙂

  12. Natalie Whipple

    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.

  13. Allison

    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

  14. Phyllis

    White Teeth by Zadie Smith.


  15. Stephen Duncan

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

  16. Elaine 'still writing' Smith

    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 🙂

  17. Amber

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

  18. Elizabeth

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

  19. Jana

    The King of Attolia by Megan Whelan Turner.

    I also loved Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games.

    Both YA, interestingly enough.

  20. Ciara Blount

    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!

  21. Jessica

    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.

  22. ElegantSnobbery

    The Time Travelers Wife has been my favorite!

  23. The Pollinatrix

    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.

  24. Ink

    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.

  25. Matilda McCloud

    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



    THE HIGHEST TIDE by Jim Lynch

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



    and many, many more…

  26. D. G. Hudson

    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.

  27. Madison L. Edgar

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

  28. Jeanie W

    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

  29. Thermocline

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

  30. Moira Young

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

  31. Erin

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

  32. Matt Sinclair

    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"

  33. David Kubicek

    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)

  34. Heather

    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.

  35. Nicholas G

    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.

  36. Anonymous

    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.

  37. Sara

    THE TIME TRAVELER'S WIFE hands down.

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

  38. Anonymous

    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.

  39. Kristin Laughtin

    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.

  40. Karen

    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

  41. Anonymous

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

  42. Scott

    Probably Pratchett's The Wee Free Men.

  43. Sandra G.

    The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill.

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

  44. Anonymous

    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.

  45. Anonymous

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

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

  46. wishy the writer

    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!

  47. Ellen

    BRIDGE OF SIGHS, Richard Russo

  48. Professor Beej

    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.

  49. Bane of Anubis

    Fiction: The Hunger Games
    Non-fic: Freakonomics

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

  50. Jared X

    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.

  51. mlsfleming

    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.

  52. Nathan

    The BFG… wait, what decade are we in?

    Fablehaven was really a great, refreshing read.

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

  53. Kristina

    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.

  54. Michelle

    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.

  55. Sissy

    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.

  56. Munk

    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.

  57. Dara

    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!

  58. mkcbunny

    #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.

  59. Sam Hranac

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

  60. Stacy McKitrick

    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.

  61. Valerie

    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)

  62. Rick Daley

    Winner, hands-down:
    THE ROAD by Cormac McCarthy

    WORLD WITHOUT END by Ken Follett

  63. Tere Kirkland

    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.

  64. Anonymous

    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…)

  65. ryan field

    First. Digging to America by Anne Tyler

    Second. A Window Acros the River by Brian Morton.

    Third. The Corrections

  66. Jade

    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.

  67. Valerie Geary

    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. 🙂

  68. Trée

    Robert Bolano's 2666

  69. Marilyn Peake

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

  70. Alyson Greene

    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

  71. Cam Snow

    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!

  72. Jabez

    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.

  73. onefinemess

    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!

  74. Michael Pickett

    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.)

  75. Rhonda

    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.

  76. Karen

    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.

  77. robin

    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

  78. terryd

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

  79. Anonymous

    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)

  80. Tricia

    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

  81. lora96

    Love Walked In, marisa de los santos

  82. deb

    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…)

  83. Mary

    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. 🙂

  84. Wendy

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

  85. DMBeucler

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

  86. Anne-Marie

    Shutter ISland by Dennis Lehane and
    Saturday by ian MacEwan.

  87. Kate

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

  88. Demosthenes

    The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon.

  89. Robena Grant

    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

  90. Amy

    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.

  91. Karen Schwabach

    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

  92. Nicholas

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

  93. Crystal Lee Patriarche

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

  94. Emily Cross

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

  95. Tania

    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.

  96. Gretchen

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

  97. Vegas Linda Lou

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

  98. scott g.f.bailey

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

  99. A Paperback Writer

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

  100. Jaime

    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 . . . 😉

  101. Marilyn Peake

    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

    THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES by Sue Monk Kidd

    THE GRAVEYARD BOOK by Neil Gaiman

    BONESHAKER by Cherie Priest

    THE HISTORIAN by Elizabeth Kostova


  102. Anne Rainey

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

  103. Madeleine

    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.

  104. Pam

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

  105. Kia

    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.

  106. David

    Mystic River

  107. Aimee

    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.

  108. Leslie Garrett

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

  109. mkcbunny

    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.

  110. Diane Moody

    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
    MY NAME IS RUSSELL FINK by Michael Snyder

  111. Roban

    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.)

  112. Roban

    … 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!

  113. Alexa

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

  114. Lynne


  115. Rebekkah

    I have to go with Tamar, by Mal Peet.

  116. Lisa

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

  117. Kathleen

    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.

  118. Anita

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

  119. Ali Katz

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

    Anansi Boys, Neil Gaiman

  120. Lyn Miller-Lachmann

    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.

  121. Anonymous

    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

  122. Mira

    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.

  123. Yamile

    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

  124. Vacuum Queen

    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.

  125. Pure fiction

    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.

  126. Ellen B

    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 🙂

  127. Kia

    > 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.

  128. Trish

    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.)

  129. Shannon

    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.

  130. Simon

    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

  131. Ben Dutton

    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.

  132. G. Jackson

    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

  133. Mardi Link

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

  134. Robin Miura

    Another vote for The Lovely Bones.

    But I also really liked Serena by Ron Rash.

  135. Shelby

    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.

  136. Claude Forthomme

    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 something…it would really help!)

  137. Heather

    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!

  138. Anita Saxena

    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

  139. Claude Lambert

    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

  140. Trace

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

  141. jmartinlibrarian

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

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

  142. Anonymous


  143. Book of Matches Media

    The Graveyard Book by Gaiman

    Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

    The Name of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

  144. Nancy Beck

    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!).

  145. Nancy Beck

    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!

  146. althrasher

    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.

  147. Nona

    "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.

  148. Kathleen

    The Well of Lost Plots
    by Jasper Fforde

  149. Marla Warren

    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.

  150. Reba

    American Gods – Neil Gaiman

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

  151. Michael M. Hughes

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

  152. Bittersweet Fountain

    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.

  153. Disgruntled Bear

    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.

  154. Marlene Sanchez

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

  155. abc

    Absolutely THE CORRECTIONS.

  156. christina

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

  157. Linguista

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

  158. Diana

    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 books…so little eye sight left…

  159. catehart

    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

  160. Aven

    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

  161. Ashley

    Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

  162. stacy

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

  163. Danielle

    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.

  164. Trish

    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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