There’s been a lot of buzz about The Oyster Review’s 100 Best Books of the Decade So Far list. I think it’s a good list, with a fair amount of variety and books that are more “accessible” than many best-of lists, with popular non-fiction inclusions like Wild and Bossypants.
I don’t know much about Oyster, and they tell me nothing about their criteria for ranking the books, which bugs me. But it’s still a pretty good list, and it gives me a lot more ideas of what to read, not that I need more on my list.
I counted 18 books on the list that I’ve read, and many were good if not great, in my opinion. My favorites, in no particular order:
- A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan
- Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
- Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
- The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell
- Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
I also really liked The Round House, Skippy Dies, Wild, Gone Girl, All the Light You Cannot See, and The Fault in Our Stars. And I can’t disagree with including The Goldfinch even if I had issues with it.
If I have any that I disagree with, it would be This is How You Lose Her, which was so not as good as Diaz’ previous novel, and 11/22/63, which I found a bit long and somewhat predictable. Not my favorite Stephen King although I appreciated the historical detail. And I didn’t care for Every Day, but then I’m not exactly the target audience for that book.
These are really small complaints, which is why I have to say this is a good list. I guess the real question is, what’s missing? I would have included Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple, or Burial Rites by Hannah Kent, or Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt. I would also have to consider The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker and Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O’Farrell. And what about The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman?
But no book list makes every reader happy, and yet we love them anyway. What did you think of the list?