Tuesday, 30 April 2019

100 21st Century Novels to Love


It's been a while between Listmanias here but I was very inspired after coming across this list thanks to Eric Karl Anderson and his wonderful booktube channel. 


The Times created this list of favourite novels of the 21st century so far. Sadly it is behind a paywall (at least for those of us outside the UK, not sure if it the same for everyone). But Eric discussed all the books, so I can here too. I'm not sure if there was any particular reason for the order, but I've chosen to alphabetise it. 


As always there's a few books I've read. Many I've meant to read. Some I've bought. And quite a few where I've not heard of either the author or sometimes that particular book. 


A Visit from the Goon Squad - Jennifer Egan (see my review)


All Families are Psychotic - Douglas Coupland





All my Puny Sorrows - Miriam Toews


All That Man Is - David Szalay


All the Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr


Americanah - Chimamanda Ngoze Adichie


Any Human Heart - William Boyd


Arlington Park - Rachel Cusk


An Officer and a Spy - Robert Harris


Atonement - Ian McEwen


Breath - Tim Winton 


Brooklyn - Colm Toibin


Burial Rites - Hannah Kent (see my review)


Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell


Conversations with Friends - Sally Rooney


Darkmans - Nicola Barker


Daughters of Jerusalem - Charlotte Mendelson


Digging to America - Anne Tyler


Disobedience - Naomi Alderman


Dissolution - CJ Sansom


English Passengers - Matthew Kneale 


Fingersmith - Sarah Waters


Gilead - Marilynne Robinson


God's Own Country - Ross Raisin


Golden Hill - Francis Spufford


Grief is the Thing with Feathers - Max Porter




Harvest - Jim Crace

Home - Toni Morrison


Home Fire - Kamila Shamsie


Hope: A Tragedy - Shalom Auslander


How to be Good - Nick Hornby


If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things - Jon McGregor


I'll Go to Bed at Noon - Gerard Woodward


Late in the Day - Tessa Hadley


Legend of a Suicide - David Vann


Let the Great World Spin - Colum McCann


Life of Pi - Yann Martel


Lincoln in the Bardo - George Saunders


Little Fires Everywhere - Celeste Ng





Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides


Midwinter Break - Bernard MacLaverty (see my review)


Mister Pip - Lloyd Jones


Mothering Sunday - Graham Swift


Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro


Notes on a Scandal - Zoë Heller


NW - Zadie Smith


Old Filth - Jane Gardam


Olive Kitteridge - Elizabeth Strout


Small Island - Andrea Levy


Spies - Michael Frayn


Star of the Sea - Joseph O'Connor





Stay with Me - Ayobami Adebayo


The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Michael Chabon


The Blind Assassin - Margaret Atwood


The Book of the Heathen - Robert Edric


The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Was - Junot Diaz


The Constant Gardener - John Le Carré


The Corrections - Johnathan Franzen


The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon


The Essex Serpent - Sarah Perry


The Forgiven - Lawrence Osborne


The Green Road - Ann Enright





The Interestings - Meg Wolitzer


The Line of Beauty - Alan Hollinghurst


The Little Red Chairs - Edna O'Brien


The Noise of Time - Julian Barnes


The Plot Against America - Philip Roth


The Road - Cormac McCarthy (see my review)


The Secret River - Kate Grenville


The Secret Scripture - Sebastian Barry


The Siege - Helen Dunmore


The Son - Philipp Myer


The Underground Railroad - Colson Whitehead


The We Came to the End - Joshua Ferris


The White Tiger - Aravind Adiga


The Year of Runaways - Sunjeev Sahota


The Yellow Birds - Kevin Powers


The Zone of Interest - Martin Amis


Train Dreams - Denis Johnson


True History of the Kelly Gang - Peter Carey


We Need to Talk About Kevin - Lionel Shriver


West - Carys Davies


Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel


You Don't Have to Live Like This - Benjamin Markovits




Novels in Translation


All for Nothing - Walter Kempowski


Alone in Berlin - Hans Fallada


Austerlitz - W.G Sebald


Flights - Olga Tokarczuk


Frog - Mo Yan


Limonov - Emmanuel Carrère


Lullaby - Leila Slimani (see my review)





My Brilliant Friend - Elena Ferrante


Submission - Michel Houellebecq


Suite Francaise - Irène Némirovsky


The Explosion Chronicles - Yan Lianke


The Great Swindle - Pierre Lemaitre


The Unseen - Roy Jacobsen


The Yacoubian Building - Alaa Al Aswany


War & Turpentine - Stefan Hertmans


Your Face Tomorrow Trilogy - Javier Marias


15/100


2 DNF


Did I Love those 21st Century Novels that I have read? Pretty much yes. I certainly loved, and remember loving English Passengers, Burial Rites, We Need to Talk About Kevin, True History of the Kelly Gang, The Road, and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (and I saw the totally amazing stage adaptation in Sydney last year).  I had forgotten that I loved A Visit from the Goon Squad. And I really, really hated The Life of Pi. Well I loved it until the end, and then I think I literally threw it across the room. 


15 isn't a bad effort for me, but I've shamefully not read any of the works in translation. Several of them are of course waiting for me on my shelves. So much more work to do...


July 2020 16/100

7 comments:

Brona said...

I've read 23 of these books, a 24th was a DNF (The Corrections), 2 were movie versions rather than the book (Life of Pi and The Constant Gardener) and I have a handful of books still on my TBR pile...hopefully I'll read them before the next century!

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

Thanks, Louise. I've just now spent an hour making my own spreadsheet of these books, adding books to my want-to-read list, and sorting my lists. Is there anything book-ish I love more than book lists?

I've read thirty.

Oddly, I see that there is a wide disparity in the rankings of the books I've read (deeply disliked Americanah and greatly loved Suite Francaise). I see that, while there are many books I haven't read that I want to read, there are many books I have never heard of. And how can that be? These books were all published during my prime reading years.

Fun, fun.

Whispering Gums said...

27 for me, including 2 translated ones. I have at least a few on my TBR, including Americanah (sp?) and Alone in Berlin. There are several there I'd like to read, some I don't feel driven to, and some I've never heard of... but that's not surprising I think. At least, I can't seem to keep up with all that's going on these days!

Emma at Words And Peace / France Book Tours said...

I have only read 12 of those so far, but I have a few ore on my TBR list

Emma at Words And Peace / France Book Tours said...

by the way, no need of spreadsheet, the list is on goodreads, so it shows right away the books you have read: https://www.goodreads.com/list/show/134753.The_Sunday_Times_100_21st_Century_Novels_to_Love

Louise said...

Brona- yes we've all got a lot of reading to do before the next century!

Deb- there's always books that we haven't heard of, I think that's one of the reasons that I love lists so much too- always the new books to discover, and maybe even one day read.

Sue - I'd like to think that one day I'll have read all of these books, but I think we all know that that won't happen... maybe in retirement? and there's always some that don't appeal.

Emma 12 is a goodly start. Thanks for the goodreads link. I'll check that out.

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