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Best Books of the Decade

Favorite Reads from the 2000s

By

2000-2009, the first decade of the new millennium. Of the thousands of books published in the 2000s, which were the ones you absolutely should read? Here are the best books of the decade, 10 books that are highly recommended and that should withstand the test of time.

(Wondering which books, good and bad, were the most popular of the decade? Here are the People's Choice Top 10 Books of the Decade).

1. 'The Kite Runner' by Khaled Hosseini

Riverhead

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini helped millions around the world understand the Afghan people. Released in 2003, Hosseini's book was a gift in a decade when a coalition of troops from around the world spent much of the decade fighting a war in this country. The Kite Runner is a page turner with complex characters and situations that will make you think hard about friendship, good and evil, betrayal, and redemption. It is intense and contains some graphic scenes; however, it is not gratuitous. A great book by many measures.

2. 'The Thirteenth Tale' by Diane Setterfield

'The Thirteenth Tale' by Diane Setterfield - Best Books of the Decade
Atria

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield is a rich story about secrets, ghosts, winter, books and family. The Thirteenth Tale is a book lover's book, with much of the action taking place in libraries and book stores, and the line between fact and fiction constantly blurred. It is hard to believe this is Setterfield's debut novel (released in 2006), for she makes the words come to life with such skill that some passages even gave me chills.

3. 'Water for Elephants' by Sara Gruen

'Water for Elephants' by Sara Gruen - Best Books of the Decade
Algonquin Books

The pages of Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen take you to a world of ringmasters, elephants and sideshows as well as life in a nursing homes and the trials of old age. A book club favorite, Water for Elephants was released in 2006.

4. 'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society' by M. Shaffer and A. Barrows

'The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society' - Best Books of the Decade
Dell

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows is a book I handed to all my friends and wanted to reread. By far the best book I read in 2008, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a delightful piece of historical fiction that will make you laugh, cry and remember the transformational power of literature.

5. 'The Time Traveler's Wife' by Audrey Niffenegger

'The Time Traveler's Wife' by Audrey Niffenegger - Best Books of the Decade
Harcourt Trade
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger was released in 2004, but had a resurgence in popularity in 2009 when the movie version of the book was released. If you read the back of The Time Traveler's Wife you may wonder whether it is science fiction or romance. It is neither. Henry's time travel drives the story, but is not really what the story is about.

 

6. 'The Road' by Cormac McCarthy

'The Road' by Cormac McCarthy - Best Books of the Decade
Knopf
In 2006 Cormac McCarthy added another novel to his growing list of masterpieces. What separated The Road from his other works was McCarthy’s ability to capture moments of lyrical and emotional beauty in a father and son’s haunted relationship even as a silent cloud of death covers the world in darkness. Oprah chose The Road as a selection for her book club in 2007, it won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2007 and in 2009 it hit the big screen.

7. 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time' by Mark Haddon

'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time' by Mark Haddon - Best Books of the Decade
Anchor Books

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon, released in 2003, is unlike any other book I have read. Told from the perspective of a boy on the autism spectrum, it is both a page turning mystery and a fascinating change of perspective.

8. 'Middlesex' by Jeffrey Eugenides

'Middlesex' by Jeffrey Eugenides - Best Books of the Decade
Picador
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides is not just the story of a hermaphrodite, but also a story of immigrants and family. It is hard to describe, but not to be missed.

9. 'What is the What' by Dave Eggers

'What is the What' by Dave Eggers - Best Books of the Decade
McSweeney's
What is the What by Dave Eggers is the story of Valentino Achak Deng, one of the "Lost Boys of the Sudan" who emigrated to the U.S. What is the What was published in 2006.

10. 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' by J.K. Rowling

'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince' (Book 6) by J.K. Rowling - Best Books of the Decade
Scholastic
In some ways, it was the decade of Harry Potter. Books four, five, six and seven in the series were all released between 2000 and 2007. While I only recommend reading Book Six, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, if you have read the five books preceding it, I have decided to declare it the best book in the series.

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