I love this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic, which asks you to pick the best book published in each of the last ten years. Here’s my list from 2009 to 2018, with some runners-up. I decided not to do 2019 since I haven’t read many books that have been published this year. I organized this list by the year each book was published, not the year I read the book.
I found it difficult to pick one book for each year, and some years (2013 and 2016) had a surprising number of books that I wanted to recognize. I tried to pick a book each year that stood out, that was memorable, and that had an important or unique point of view. These are books I find myself thinking back to often, and frequently recommending to others. I initially tried to describe each one, but find they are better speaking for themselves.
2009: The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver
Also: The Hand That First Held Mine by Maggie O’Farrell, One Day by David Nicholls
2010: Room by Emma Donahue
Also: Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell
2011: The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman
Also: The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan, The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
2012: Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt
Also: Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver, Astray by Emma Donahue
2013: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Also: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler, Burial Rites by Hannah Kent, Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O’Farrell
2014: Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
Also: Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, An Untamed State by Roxane Gay, Redeployment by Phil Klay
2015: The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney
Also: Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf, A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson, Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson
2016: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
Also: Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue, News of the World by Paulette Jiles, Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood, Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
2017: The Power by Naomi Alderman
Also: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, Less by Andrew Sean Greer, Anything is Possible by Elizabeth Strout
2018: An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
Also: The Great Believers by Rebekka Makkai, A Place For Us by Fatima Farzeen Mirha, The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo
It was fun making this list and it actually helped me share some book recommendations with colleagues at work. Which of these books do you agree with? And which ones do you disagree with? Please share!