Tuesday, 9 June 2020

The 100 Best Books of the 21st Century



This list from the Guardian caught my attention back in September, but I've been so slack about the place here, that it's only now that it caught my attention again this week, that I'm getting around to finishing off this post. 


It's a worthy list. I'd be very happy with myself to read all of these, even some more of these books. 

100. I Feel Bad About My Neck - Nora Ephron 2006


99. Broken Glass - Alain Mabanckou 2005, translated by Helen Stevenson 2009


98. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson 2005, translated by Steven T Murray 2008


97. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - J.K. Rowling 2000


96. A Little Life - Hanya Yanagihara 2015


95. Chronicles: Volume One - Bob Dylan 2004


94. The Tipping Point - Malcolm Gladwell 2000


93. Darkmans - Nicola Barker 2007


92. The Siege - Helen Dunmore 2001


91. Light - M. John Harrison 2002


90. Visitation - Jenny Erpenbeck 2008, translated by Susan Bernofsky 2010


89. Bad Blood - Lorna Sage 2000


88. Noughts & Crosses - Malorie Blackman 2001


87. Priestdaddy - Patricia Lockwood 2017


86. Adults in the Room - Yanis Varoufakis 2017


85. The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins 2006


84. The Cost of Living - Deborah Levy 2018


83. Tell Me How It Ends - Valeria Luiselli 2016, translated by Luiselli with Lizzie Davis 2017


82. Coraline - Neil Gaiman 2002


81. Harvest - Jim Crace 2013


80. Stories of Your Life and Others - Ted Chiang 2002


79. The Spirit Level - Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett 2009


78. The Fifth Season - N.K. Jemisin 2015


77. Signs Preceding the End of the World - Yuri Herrera 2009, translated by Lisa Dillman 2015


76. Thinking, Fast and Slow - Daniel Kahneman 2011


75. Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead - Olga Tokarczuk 2009, translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones 2018


74. Days Without End - Sebastian Barry 2016


73. Nothing to Envy - Barbara Demick 2009


72. The Age of Surveillance Capitalism - Shoshana Zuboff 2019


71. Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth - Chris Ware 2000


70. Notes on a Scandal - Zoë Heller 2003


69. The Infatuations - Javier Marías 2011, translated by Margaret July Costa 2013


68. The Constant Gardener - John Le Carré 2001


67. The Silence of the Girls - Pat Barker 2018


66. Seven Brief Lessons on Physics - Carlo Rovelli 2014


65. Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn 2012


64. On Writing - Stephen King 2000


63. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot 2010


62. Mother's Milk - Edward St Aubyn 2006


61. This House of Grief - Helen Garner 2014


60. Dart - Alice Oswald 2002


59. The Beauty of the Husband - Anne Carson 2002


58. Postwar - Tony Judt 2005


57. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay - Michael Chabon 2000


56. Underland - Robert Macfarlane 2019


55. The Omnivore's Dilemma - Michel Pollan 2006


54. Women & Power - Mary Beard 2017


53. True History of the Kelly Gang - Peter Carey 2000


52. Small Island - Andrea Levy 2004


51. Brooklyn - Colm Tóibín 2009


50. Oryx and Crake - Margaret Atwood 2003


49. Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal - Jeanette Winterson 2011


48. Night Watch - Terry Pratchett 2002


47. Persepolis - Marjane Satrapi 2000-2003, translated by Mattias Ripa 2003-2004


46. Human Chain - Seamus Heaney 2010


45. Levels of Life - Julian Barnes 2013


44. Hope in the Dark - Rebecca Solnit 2004


43. Citizen: An American Lyric - Claudia Rankine 2014


42. Moneyball - Michael Lewis 2010


41. Atonement - Ian McEwan 2001


40. The Year of Magical Thinking - Joan Didion 2005


39. White Teeth - Zadie Smith 2000


38. The Line of Beauty - Alan Hollinghurst 2004


37. The Green Road - Anne Enright 2015


36. Experience - Martin Amis 2000


35. The Hare with Amber Eyes - Edmund de Waal 2010


34. Outline - Rachel Cusk 2014


33. Fun Home - Alison Bechdel 2006


32. The Emperor of All Maladies - Siddhartha Mukherjee 2010


31. The Argonauts - Maggie Nelson 2015


30. The Underground Railroad - Colson Whitehead 2016


29. A Death in the Family - Karl Ove Knausgaard 2009, translated by Don Bartlett 2012


28. Rapture - Carol Ann Duffy 2005


27. Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage - Alice Munro 2001


26. Capital in the Twenty First Century - Thomas Piketty 2013, translated by Arthur Goldhammer 2014


25. Normal People - Sally Rooney 2018


24. A Visit from The Goon Squad - Jennifer Egan 2011 (see my review)


23. The Noonday Demon - Andrew Solomon 2001


22. Tenth of December - George Saunders 2013


21. Sapiens - Yuval Noah Harari 2011, translated by Harari with John Purcell and Haim Watzman 2014


20. Life After Life - Kate Atkinson 2013 (see my review)


19. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon 2003


18. The Shock Doctrine - Naomi Klein 2007


17. The Road - Cormac McCarthy 2006 (see my review)


16. The Corrections - Jonathan Franzen 2001


15. The Sixth Extinction - Elizabeth Kolbert 2014


14. Fingersmith - Sarah Waters 2002


13. Nickel and Dimed - Barbara Ehrenreich 2001


12. The Plot Against America - Philip Roth 2001


11. My Brilliant Friend - Elena Ferrante 2011, translated by Ann Goldstein 2012


10. Half of a Yellow Sun - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 2006


9. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell 2004


8. Autumn - Ali Smith 2016


7. Between the World and Me - Ta-Nehisi Coates 2015


6. The Amber Spyglass - Philip Pullman 2000


5. Austerlitz - W.G. Sebald 2001, translated by Anthea Bell 2001


4. Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro 2005


3. Secondhand Time - Svetlana Alexievich 2013, translated by Bela Shayevich 2016


2. Gilead - Marilynne Robinson 2004


1. Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel 2009



Damn, I'm really going to have to read Wolf Hall sometime. It's so daunting though. 

I'm impressed! I've read 19/100

Not great by most standards, but pretty good for me. 


I've finished two of these books (Normal People, Autumn) in the last month or so and I finished a Top Ten title this week! Ali Smith's Autumn. I don't think it would make my Top Ten, but I'm glad to have read it. 


I've started 4 of these books but not finished them (for various reasons). I need to crack on. Many of them are already in the house.


















4 comments:

Brona said...

Very Interesting list Louise - I got 24.
It was rather US/UK-centric though - and yes, you must read Wolf Hall soon, otherwise you cannot read Bring up the Bodies AND The Mirror and the Light :-)

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

I love lists as much as you love lists. Even though I'm sure I won't do well on a list created by one from the UK, I still feel compelled to copy and paste it into a Google doc and see how many I've read.

Mae Travels said...

I'm out of step with everyone on Wolf Hall -- I HATED it, though forced myself to keep reading, and nothing could force me to read more of that author's work. What can I say? I think I counted my "finished" books on that list when it came out, but I don't remember.

be well... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

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