Thursday, December 17, 2009

Susan's Top 10 Books of the Decade (2000-2009)

You may have noticed that this is the time of year that every person and publication ccomes out with various top 10 lists. I must admit, this is an activity I engage in every year. I'm not quite ready to commit to my Top 10 books for 2009. It's gotten to the point that I've become bitterly resentful of any truly wonderful contender for this year's list. Cutting it down to 10 will be brutal.

This is the first time I've ever compiled a best of the decade list. Oddly, it was significantly easier to come up with these titles. Of course, there were many, many worthy books I couldn't include. I've read hundreds and hundreds of books in the past decade, but these ten stood out--either for their literary merit, because the book or author is a personal favorite, because it represents a favorite genre, because the novel has stuck with me, or because it was simply the single best book I read in a given year.

The only author who was short-changed was Michael Chabon. The Yiddish Policemen's Union could and arguably should have made the list, but as wonderful as it is, it pales in comparison to The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, IMHO. And in order to have a more diverse list, I decided to list only the stronger novel.

So, for what it's worth, here are my personal Top 10 Books of the Decade:
  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Michael Chabon (2000)
  • Carter Beats the Devil - Glen David Gold (2002)
  • Prey - Michael Crichton (2002)
  • Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides (2002)
  • Lamb; The Gospel according to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal - Christopher Moore (2003)
  • The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger (2004)
  • Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell (2004)
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows(2008)
  • The Year of the Flood - Margaret Atwood (2009)
  • Last Night in Twisted River - John Irving (2009)
Apparently, I really like books with incredibly long titles, LOL. I also seem to be favoring novels from the first half of the decade. Perhaps with a few more years' perspective, there would be other, more recent, titles that would make the cut. I realize that not all of these books are in the same league, but these are my picks. What are yours?

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