Saturday, November 14, 2009

Another list

Image from The New Yorker


Telegraph just came up with a list of 100 books that defined the 2000s. Check it here. This decade, the noughties, hasn't been a very good reading year for me, as I used to read at least 250 books every year during the 90s. Now I just average around 50 in a year. (Oh, how work gets in the way of reading.) Still, I was surprised that I've read 56 of them!

I'm not really a big fan of lists as they seem to be very subjective. And I think I'm not sure yet as to how a book can define a decade. Should it rank in a bestseller list? (Probably, since The Da Vinci Code is #2, Twilight is #32, Jamie Oliver's The Return of the Naked Chef is #46.) Should it be political? (Yes, as apparently, Obama's Dreams from My Father is #2.)

The list, however, did get me to think of the best books that I've read in this decade, which is quite challenging. Telegraph did include three of my favorite books so far -- Michel Faber's The Crimson Petal and the White (#91), Irène Némirovsky's Suite Française (#87), and Dave Eggers's A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (#4).

How about you, dear reader? Are there books you've read in the 2000s that particularly stand out? I'd like to know about them.

20 comments:

I Heart Monster said...

Books I'm glad I read? My top books of the decade would include Twilight (not because of it's popularity or quality, which are both questionable, but because it's become a cultural phenom and I'm glad that I know what is going on with it) and I'm glad I read Willow by Julia Hoban. Those two are both YA, but honestly, no adult books are standing out this decade...

SariJ said...

I read 11 and have two more on my TBR pile. One of my favorite books of all time, A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson is on the list, as is the one book I could not stand, Twilight. I was surprised to find Rushdie did not make the list. As a huge fan I am a little disappointed.
Peter, thanks for sharing another list.

Peter S. said...

@I Heart Monster: Twilight has indeed become a cultural phenomenon. I'm actually thankful for its publication, as it somehow made my nieces read.

@SariJ: Hmmm... I never realized that Rushdie wasn't on the list. I guess he hasn't been churning out novels the way he did back in the 80s. I also loved A Short History of Nearly Everything!

Alexia561 said...

Have to say that I'm not impressed with any list that has Harry Potter and the Da Vinci Code in the top ten. Wish they would have explained their criteria, as some of the choices seem a little strange.

You used to read 250 books every year? Wow! I'd be lucky to read 50, as work keeps getting in the way!:)

Peter S. said...

Hi, Alexia! I had way too much time on my hands during the 90s.

Krista said...

I have only read about two of those books, hehe :) I have read Twilight(okay read, read much better, though) and I'm reading The Lovely Bones as we speak, and so far I'm really enjoying it. :)

My favorite reads(super easy, lol) this year have been Brandon Sanderson's novels... yes, all of them! LOL! He is my all time favorite author right now! The Mistborn Trilogy and Warbreaker (stand alone title) are some of my favorite books by him, though.

Then I'd have to say Lamentation by Ken Scholes and The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, just to name a few, since none of these titles were on there and I think they should be! LOL! :)

You always have the coolest posts, Peter! Lovein' your blog :)

theliterarystew said...

I don't find a list credible if it has the Da Vinci Code or Twilight!
Interesting that you like Crimson Petal and the White. Do you really recommend it? I've read mixed reviews so not sure whether I should pick it up.

Krista said...

Oh, and 250 books a year!!! That's insane!!! Closer to the end of the year I will be posting all the titles I've read in 2009, and I'm exited to see how many... LOL! :) I think I've read over 50 but I'm not sure... we will see, I guess... hehe ;)

Logan said...

Whoa, whoa, whoa...250 books a year! That's amazing. I feel like such a slacker.

Amber Tidd Murphy said...

A few I enjoyed from the list:
The Lovely Bones
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Twilight (I'll admit it. I'm not ashamed.)

On my Immediate Reading List:
Donna Tartt's The Little Friend (I just finished The Secret History and I LOVE her writing)

On my own personal best of the decade list:
Wally Lamb's I Know This Much is True
Tom Wolfe's I am Charlotte Simmons
Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog at Nighttime
Christopher Buckley's Boomsday!

Jessica (BookLover) said...

I love the bookshelf in that picture!

A book that sticks out for me is The Book Thief.

savidgereads said...

Hmmm out of that list I have read 22 of them and the ones that really cut it for me or defined the noughties are Wolf Hall, Harry Potter, The Crimson Petal and The White and The Time Travellers Wife. Night Watch at a push. I am appaulled they have missed out The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society or The Mitford Letters but hey ho!

Mrs. B. said...

Peter - saw your comment on my site. The Bobbsey Twins and Hardy Boys were also abridged!

the geek said...

mine would be kaye umansky's the silver spoon of solomon snow.

it is actually a children's book but it is a refreshing read.

the geek said...

and with regards to your comment on my yoga post, i tried bikram once but we dont have a facility here in our city to cater for that particular yoga.

i just do basic hatha. ;)

Miss_Nobody said...

I have to say I enjoyed two books by Khaled Hosseini the most- The Kite runner and A Thousand splendid suns :)

Stepford Mum said...

Ten years of Noughties, where has the time gone! I've read a fair few of the titles on this list, but do agree with the comments above - Salman Rushdie should be on this list, as should Mark Haddon's Curious Incident.

David (dsc73277) said...

I suspect there is an inevitable arbitrariness about what makes it on to this sort of list. Whether the criteria was sales or how much discussion a book generated then, objectively, it would seem difficult not to have included the Da Vinci Code. I'm sure I've made the odd snide comment about it - in fact I know I have because the last occasion was only a couple of weeks back - however, ultimately I take the view that Dan Brown's massive sales are probably a good thing because they bring money to the book trade which effectively cross-subsidises less popular work.

Going back to the list itself, I found I had read 18 of the featured titles. There were only a few, like Suite Francaise, that I have always intended to read but not yet got around to. Some - like the memoirs of a former British Prime Minister's wife - seemed of parochial interest, whereas others have had much more global impact.

stacybuckeye said...

I usually like lists, but this one was a little strange. Russell Brand and Jane Gody bios? Did they really define a decade? Anyway, I am much more impressed with the fact that you used to read 250 books a year! That is impressive.

caite said...

not sure about this list...but maybe because I read like 5 of them..lol