Here you go: my highly personal, completely biased list of the best books of the decade. The criteria were simple: books that were so good I’ve read them more than once, or books that were so delicious I read them in one sitting.
10) Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (2007) The Book of Basketball: The NBA According to The Sports Guy by Bill Simmons (2009) One for women and one for men.
9) Bel Canto by Ann Patchett (2001) A group of strangers in a hostage situation build a world heartbreaking in its fragile beauty.
8) The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (2004) The U.S. has been at war in Afghanistan for the better part of the decade, and this book introduced us to the people and the culture on the other side.
7) The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (2004) The most impossible love story — for the past, present, future, and all the inbetweens.
6) Life of Pi by Yann Martel (2001) A boy, a hyena, an orangutan, an injured zebra, and a Bengal tiger are adrift in a lifeboat in the Pacific. What happens next?
5) Breath by Tim Winton (2009) Set in Western Australia, a novel of uncommon adolescent adventure, strictly for adults.
4) A Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion (2007) Death is part of life. This memoir from a woman who lost her husband and daughter in one year helps make sense of that.
3) The Road by Cormac McCarthy (2006) The terrifying story of a man and his son in a post-apocalyptic world. The sparse but rich writing makes the horror worthwhile.
2) Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life by Barbara Kingsolver (2007) The best part is getting the turkeys to mate, but there is much more to learn from this book about how to eat local. Recipes included!
1) The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (2008) The fuku of the Dominican Republic follows a family through its escape from a dictator to a boy in love with science fiction in New Jersey.
No, there’s no typos — I didn’t include Harry Potter, Twilight, or any Dan Brown. What else did I miss? Comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.