Best Books List: Modern: 2000s and 2010s

The plan was always to update the Best Books list every ten years. That way, we can keep up to date on what we’re reading and not miss anything really exciting. Well, it’s been somewhere around ten years, and I thought I would make sure that the list goes all the way back to 2000. So here you go: the best books of the first and second decade of the twenty-first century. I have read very few of them, and like usual, I mashed up several other organizations’ lists and made sure to include nonfiction and Christian literature. Maybe somewhere down the line I’ll make sure to swoop up things like poetry and plays, as well. Let me know if you have any recommendations or if you disagree. You could also let me know if I spelled something wrong, as that is incredibly likely. (Please ignore that I did not italicize titles. That would have been way too obnoxious to do.)

BEST BOOKS OF THE 2000S

  • Harry Potter series, J.K. RowlingNEVER LET ME GO
  • The Last Samurai, Helen DeWitt
  • The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen (or Freedom)
  • Never Let Me Go, Kazua Ishigiro
  • 2666, Roberto Bolano (or The Savage Detectives)
  • Atonement, Ian McEwan
  • The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion
  • Middlesex, Jeffrey Eugenides
  • The Known World, Edward P. Jones
  • The Plot Against America, Philip Roth (or The Human Stain)
  • The Road, Cormac McCarthy
  • The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot DiazBRIEF AND WONDROUS LIFE
  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, Michael Chabon
  • True History of the Kelly Gang, Peter Carey
  • The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse, Louise Erdrich
  • Austerlitz, W.G. Sebald
  • The Book of Salt, Monique Truong
  • Oblivion, David Foster Wallace
  • Winter’s Bone, Daniel Woodrell
  • The Lazarus Project, Aleksandar Hemon
  • Fine Just the Way It Is, Annie Proulx
  • Scenes from a Provincial Life trilogy, J.M. Coetzee
  • White Teeth, Zadie Smith
  • Runaway, Alice MunroCLOUD ATLAS
  • Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell
  • Kafka on the Shore, Haruki Murakami
  • The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
  • Killing Yourself to Live, Chuck Klosterman
  • The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell
  • Blue Like Jazz, Donald Miller
  • Netherland, Joseph O’Neill
  • Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser
  • Slavery by Another Name, Doug Blackmon
  • Me Talk Pretty One Day, David Sedaris
  • Consider the Lobster and Other Essays, David Foster Wallace
  • Everything Is Illuminated, Jonathan Safran Foer
  • The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion
  • Blankets, Craig Thompson
  • The Book Thief, Markus Zusak
  • Gilead, Marilynn Robinson
  • A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers
  • Devil in the White City, Erik LarsonHEARTBREAKING WORK OF STAGGERING GENIUS
  • Fargo Rock City, Chuck Klosterman
  • Freakonomics, Leavitt and Dubner
  • Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich
  • Nixonland, Rick Pearlstein
  • Pictures at a Revolution, Mark Harris
  • Them, Francine de Plessex Gray
  • The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gradwell
  • The Wisdom of Crowds, James Suroweiki
  • The World Without Us, Alan Weisman
  • Bel Canto, Anne Patchett
  • The Blind Assassin, Margaret Atwood
  • Carter Beats the Devil, Glen David Gold
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Moonlight, Mark Haddon
  • Empire Falls, Richard RussoFORTRESS OF SOLITUDE
  • The Fortress of Solitude, Jonathan Letham
  • Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, Susanna Clarke
  • The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, David Wroblewski
  • The Terror, Dan Simmons
  • The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger
  • Half of a Yellow Sun, Chimamanda Ngo
  • Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, Ben Fountain
  • A Visit from the Goon Squad, Jennifer Egan
  • Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel
  • The Known World, Edward P. Jones
  • Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • unChristian, Kinnaman and Lyons
  • The Culturally Savvy Christian, Dick StaubAMERICANAH
  • Evangelical Feminism, Wayne Grudem
  • Heaven, Randy Alcorn
  • Blue Like Jazz. Donald Miller
  • Wild at Heart, John Eldredge
  • Real Sex, Lauren Winner
  • Vintage Church, Driscool and Beashears
  • Worship Matters, Kauflin and Balouche
  • Epic, John Eldredge
  • Paris, Margaret McMillan
  • Shake Hands with the Devil, Romeo Dallaire
  • Under the Banner of Heave, Jon Krakhauer
  • Random Family, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc
  • Scar Tissue, Keidis
  • The End of Faith, Sam Harris
  • The Glass Castle, Jeannette WallsTHE GLASS CASTLE
  • The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Michael Pollan
  • The Blind Side, Michael Lewis
  • Enrique’s Journey, Sonia Nazario
  • Legacy of Ashes, Tim Weiner
  • Blackwater, Jeremy Scahill
  • The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein
  • The Heminses of Monticello, Annette Gordon-Reed
  • Born to Run, Christopher McDougall
  • Zeitoun, Dave Eggers
  • Methland, Nick Reding

 

BEST BOOKS OF THE 2010S

  • The Emporer of All Maladies, Siddhartha MukherjeeEMPORER OF ALL MALADIES
  • Behind the Beautiful Forevers, Katherine Boo
  • Wild, Cheryl Strayed
  • The Black Swan, Nicholas Taleb Nassim
  • The Warmth of Other Suns, Isabel Wilkerson
  • Bloodlands, Timothy Snyder
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Rebecca Skloot
  • Black Count, Tom Reiss
  • The Passage of Power, Robert A. Caro
  • Wave, Sonali Deraniyagala
  • Between the World and Me, Ti-Nehisi Coates
  • Evicted, Matthew Desmond
  • The Order of Time, Corlo Rovelli
  • Bad Blood, John Carryrou
  • These Truths, Jill Lepore
  • The Sixth Extinction, Elizabeth Kolbert
  • The Invention of Nature, Andrea Wulf
  • Secondhand Time, Svetlana Alexievich
  • Dark Money, Jane Mayer
  • Steve Jobs, Walter IsaacsonALL THE SINGLE LADIES
  • All the Single Ladies, Rebecca Traister
  • Frederick Douglas, David W. Blight
  • Say Nothing, Patrick Keefe
  • This Changes Everything, Naomi Klein
  • The Sports Gene, David Epstein
  • Nothing to Envy, Barbara Demick
  • The Courage to Be Disliked, Kishimi and Koga
  • Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman
  • Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari
  • Quiet, Susan Cain
  • Daring Greatly, Brene Brown
  • Mating in Captivity, Esther Perel
  • The New Jim Crow, Michelle Alexander
  • The Tiger’s Wife, Tea Obreht
  • My Brilliant Friend, Elena Ferrente
  • Tenth of December, George Saunders
  • Citizen, Claudia RankineTHE TIGERS WIFE
  • My Struggle, Karl Ove Knausgaard
  • A Little Life, Hanya Yahagihara
  • The Sympathizer, Viet Thanh Nguyen
  • The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead
  • There There, Tommy Orange
  • Life After Life, Kate Atkinson
  • The Sellout, Paul Beatty
  • Sing, Unburied Sing, Jesmyn Ward
  • Little Fires Everywhere, Celeste Ng
  • The Nickel Boys, Colson Whitehead
  • Circe, Madeline Miller
  • Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi
  • Fates and Furies, Lauren GroffLINCOLN IN THE BARDO
  • Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders
  • Swamplandia!, Karen Russell
  • The Fifth Season, N.K. Jemison
  • The Leavers, Lisa Ko
  • Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel
  • Sing, Unburied, Sing, Jesmyn Ward
  • The Way of Kings, Brandon Sanderson
  • Wolf in White Van, John Darnielle
  • The Water Dancer, Ta-Nahisi CoatesTHE NIGHT CIRCUS
  • The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern
  • Family Life, Akhil Sharma
  • Swing Time, Zadie Smith
  • The Wise Man’s Fear, Patrick Rothfuss
  • The Destroyers, Christopher Bolen
  • Boy, Snow, Bird, Helen Oyeyemi
  • The Lesser Bohemians, Eimer McBride
  • Red at the Bone, Jacqueline Woodson
  • Eileen, Ottessa Moshfegh
  • The Poppy Wars, R.F. Kuang
  • The Incendiaries, R.O. Kwon
  • Bowlaway, Elizabeth McCracken
  • An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, Hank Green
  • The Twelve Lines of Samuel Hawley, Hannah Tinti
  • What Belongs to You, Garth Greenwell
  • Who Fears Death, Nnedi Okorafor
  • An Untamed State, Roxanne Gay
  • The Martian, Andy Weir
  • Exit West, Mohsin HamidOCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman
  • Sudden Death, Enrigue and Wimmer
  • Flight Behavior, Barbara Kingsolver
  • The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas
  • The Best We Could Do, Thi Bui
  • Super Sad True Love Story, Gary Steyngart
  • The MaddAddam trilogy, Margaret Atwood
  • The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, Aimee Bender
  • Lives Other than My Own, Emmanuel Carrere (or The Kingdom)
  • Zone One, Colson Whitehead (or Sag Harbor)
  • How Should a Person Be?, Sheila Heti
  • NW, Zadie Smith
  • The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt
  • Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn
  • The Neopolitan Novels, Elena Ferrante
  • The Argonauts, Maggie NelsonTHE ARGONAUTS
  • The Sellout, Paul Beatty
  • The Outline Trilogy, Rachel Cusk
  • Leaving the Atocha Station, Ben Lerner (or 10:04)
  • The Flamethrowers, Rachel Kushner
  • Confronting Christianity, Rebecca McLaughlin
  • Cultural Apologetics, Paul M. Gould
  • Christobiography, Craig Keener
  • Reading Romans with Eastern Eyes, Jackson W.
  • The Common Rule, Justin Whitmel Earley
  • Be the Bridge, Latasha Morrison
  • We Too, Mary DeMuth
  • What Is a Girl Worth?, Rachael DenhollanderLITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE 2
  • His Testimonies, My Heritage, Kristie Anyabwile
  • Write Better, Andrew Le Peau
  • Adorning the Dark, Andrew Peterson
  • Light from Distant Stars, Shawn Smucker
  • Throw, Ruben Degollado
  • God in the Rainforest, Kathryn Long
  • Anointed with Oil, Darren Dochuck
  • One Soul at a Time, Grant Wacker
  • Women in God’s Mission, Mary Lederleitner
  • Christian Mission, Edward SmitherONE SOUL AT A TIME
  • In Search of the Common Good, Jake Meador
  • Religious Freedom in Islam, Daniel Philpott
  • On the Road with Saint Augustine, James K.A. Smith
  • As I Recall, Casey Trygett
  • Justification, Michael Horton
  • For the Life of the World, Volf and Croasmun
  • Confronting the Truth, Rebecca McLaughlin
  • Surprised by Paradox, Jen Pollock Michel
  • Quiet, Susan Cain