Best Books of the Last Decade

Hello all! I wanna say something really funky about blogging in a new decade… but let’s be real, it’s gonna be much the same as before, mostly gushing about all the great books out there! And what better way to continue that tradition than with a post about all the best books in the last decade? (at least according to me 😉). I’ve seen a few people do this- so sorry if I don’t remember all the amazing posts out there on the topic- but I was particularly inspired by Kristin Kraves incredible post– so definitely check that out!

Because I didn’t want to overload the post, I tried to keep to just one book per author (I only broke that rule once, but who can blame me when Laini Taylor exists 😉). I’ve not included series that started before the decade either. And also, I feel like I have to point out I haven’t read *all the books* (as much as I’d love for that to be the case 😉), so this is far from an exhaustive list! Here are some of the ground-breaking, game-changing, mind-blowing books from the last decade:

2011

Daughter of Smoke and Bone– a forever favourite ever since I read it. Laini Taylor gives lyrical writing a whole new meaning.

A Monster Calls– this graphic novel made me so emotional! I never realised how powerful a graphic novel could be until I read it!

2012

Righteous Mind– such a thought-provoking book and- dare I say it- one of the most important non-fiction books of the decade.

Wonder– a great Middle Grade with a sweet message!

2013

Vicious– this was my introduction to Schwab and it couldn’t have made a bigger impact!

Ocean at the End of the Lane– Neil Gaiman delivers on nostalgia and fantasy in this beautiful book.

2014

Red Rising– what a bloodydamn brilliant book this turned out to be! The way I’d describe this series is basically Romans in space and if that sounds good to you, you simply have to read it!

Shadow of What was Lost– an underrated fantasy book that is the epitomes the best of the genre to me.

Through the Woods– this creepilicious book takes fairy tale retellings to a whole other level!

2015

Carry On– a Harry Potter parody with so much heart- this never fails to bring a smile to my face 🙂

In Order to Live– I read this just last year and it made a huge impact. An important memoir that gives insight into life inside North Korea- and what it means to escape it.

Illuminae– I had to include this because it is such a gamechanger. It took me a while to get used to the unusual format- but that ended up being one of the greatest assets to the story! Plus, it’s thanks to books like this that I fell so deeply in love with sci fi.

2016

Radio Silence– a book that has ended up meaning so much to so many people from different walks of life- and that is an impossibly impressive achievement!

My Lady Jane– this laugh-out-loud alternative history was not what I was expecting- it was better!

Homegoing– weaving individual, intergenerational stories into one seamless narrative is no easy feat- yet Gyasi effortlessly accomplished this with her masterpiece.

2017

Red Sister– another incredible fantasy- this one stands out to me because it doesn’t just have cool world building- it has real heart!

Bear and the Nightingale– inspired by Russian mythology, this exquisite historical fantasy won my heart with every beautiful word.

Strange the Dreamer– okay , I know I said I wasn’t going to put authors on here twice… but Laini Taylor deserves it! And this duology deserves its place on here just as much- its rich world building, lovable characters and dramatic plot all make this a wonderful reading experience.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine– Eleanor Oliphant was not the contemporary romance I was expecting- it was so much more! Quirky and emotive and with hidden depths, it easily is one of the standout books of the decade.

Blackwing– mind-blowing, atmospheric and different- for that alone I would have loved this series. Yet, what makes it special is the complex characters at its heart.

2018

Circe– beautifully written and poignantly thought out, this retelling of the Odyssey is magnificent in that it not only perfectly interprets the original, it also elevates the story to new heights. I doubt we’ll see another retelling like this- unless of course Miller writes another 😉

Sadie– my absolute favourite read last year, Sadie is a gut wrenching and powerful book. I particularly recommend it on audiobook!

Hazel Wood– there’s something very special about this book. A gothic fairy tale, it draws you in to a story within a story and takes you places you could never dream.

Seven and a Half Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle– ever since I read this groundhog day murder mystery, I’ve been mulling it over. I didn’t think it was perfect- but it sure as hell stands out!

2019

Daisy Jones and the Six– this was also especially awesome in audiobook form- this book boasts one of the most realistic casts of characters I’ve ever read. And I adored the rock ‘n roll setting.

Wolf in the Whale– a very unusual fantasy that draws on the little known history of Vikings landing in Inuit land- I can safely say I’ve never read anything else like it.

So, what did you think of these? And do you have any books from the last decade you’d like to add? Let me know in the comments!

41 thoughts on “Best Books of the Last Decade

  1. Wow, what a list !

    The only one I’ve read so far is Radio Silence — and OMG do I agree! I regret waiting so long to actually read it.
    Sadie is remaining on my virtual wanna read, ahaha but i’m thinking of adding Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine on it too now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Red Rising is a force to be reckoned with. Pierce Brown stressed me out so much in Golden Son that I’ve still not actually finished the trilogy. All of Laini Taylor’s books should be featured cause she is a master storyteller. I’ve not read Daisy Jones, but no one can deny its influence last year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It absolutely is!! Ahh it stressed me out too- but that meant I had to read the next one straight away 😉 I do recommend morning star- it’s an excellent series finale! YES! I completely agree! Oh and I absolutely agree- I can also say it’s well deserved hype!

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  3. It is always fun to read lists like this, they provide great inspiration! I’ve only read The Ocean at the End of the Lane and Eleanor, both of which I loved. In Order to Live sounds fascinating as well. Everybody seems to love Daisy Jones, but somehow, it doesn’t really appeal.

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  4. Illuminae was a game-changer for me too. Once I got into the groove of reading that format I couldn’t put it down. It is a big book, but I read it in one sitting. I’d been reading adult science fiction but this one really got me exploring young adult sci-fi.

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  5. I agree with a lot of these, especially Illuminae and Sadie. Both books I went into with moderately high expectations, only for them to be completely blown out of the water. Truly stunning books, the both of them. I’ve just started Bear and the Nightingale, so hopefully I’ll like it just as much.

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  6. Wow, it really has been an amazing decade! There are so many books here that I love that I don’t even know where to start or which ones to gush over the most. 🙂 Great post — it’s nice to look back and see all these wonderful books.

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  7. This was an amazing decade of books, wasn’t it?! I definitely see some of my favorites on here as well. DOSAB helped me to fall in love with Laini Taylor. I read Vicious last year and that it was extra-ordinary (see what I did there 😉 Red Rising is one of my favorite books of all time, but I think Golden Son is even more so. Illuminae was a gift to us and to the YA sci-fi genre. I reread so many sections from Carry On. My Lady Jane is absolutely hilarious and clever. Sadie was amazing, especially with the audiobook for the podcast sections. And Circe was mind-bogglingly good. Miller is such a talent ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was!! 😀 Ah me too 😀 hehehehe! I see what you did 😉 And me too! I think golden son was my favourite of the series too 😀 (I was tempted to put the whole trilogy on the list, but then if I’d done that for every book in a series this list would’ve been impossibly long 😉 ) YES!! I adore those! And I completely agree- I wasn’t all that into audiobooks… and then I listened to that- it blew me away! Ahh I completely agree! ❤

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  8. I love this but reading it made me anxious. I’m faaaar too much of an overthinker to ever do my own list like this XD. I mean, maybe if I did a Top Ten each year or something? And then I could go back? But then there are the books I didn’t read the year they came out! Okay…I’m stopping because I’m driving myself crazy. So I love this post and I’m impressed you could do it because it’s a feat of decisive literary strength I couldn’t share.

    Could I add anything? Clearly I established I overthink things like this just a moment ago XD. The first title that came to mind was Andrew Shaffer’s ‘Hope Never Dies: An Obama/Biden Mystery’ and it’s pretty much a legit, published fanfic about Obama and Biden that reimagines them in a bromantic, buddy-cop, mystery-solving sort of light. It was pretty funny. And I’m tagging out there!

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  9. Totally agree about Laini Taylor!!! 😄 And now I’m enormously curious about ‘ My Lady Jane’!! 😄 Wonderful list of the best books of the last decade! 💕

    Like

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