My Favorite Books of the Decade: 2009-2019

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Okay, yes. It’s not a full decade, I know. But I’m a sheep and am following the book blog, vlog, and bookish social media herd and posting my favorite books of the last ten years. Narrowing it down to ten books was hard, but I managed to do it with only three extra. These are the parameters that I set for this list.

 

 

  1. All are books that I read for the first time between January 2009 and December 2019.
  2. It did not matter what year the books were originally published, it just mattered that I read them for the first time in the above time frame.
  3. I didn’t limit the list to one book per year. Frankly, there were a couple of years there that I didn’t read a fabulous book. And there are years in which I read three or four wonderful books. So I gave up the my favorite of each year plan for this list.
  4. I may or my not have given the book a 5 Star rating on GoodReads. This is a list about the books that have stayed with me and I remember during the last ten years. And these are books I recommend to anyone who asks me what book should they read. Click here to see my ratings system

***A quick note: All the book title links are linked to GoodReads.

With that in mind, in no particular order, here is my list of favorite books of the last ten years.

  • Longborne by Jo Baker. This book. I love this book. It shocks me how much I love it still. It’s a retelling of Austen’s Pride & Prejudice from the servants point of view. And it interrogates class issues and how the upper class and gentry support their lifestyles. It’s delicious. If I were teaching a Jane Austen lit class this book would be on the syllabus. Click here for more posts featuring this book.
  • Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. I fell in love with this book. It’s about women in WWII, female friendships, and writing your own narrative. If you haven’t read it, do it now! Don’t wait!
  • The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht. I picked this one up after seeing on book store shelves for a couple of years. I was drawn to it, but put off buying it or checking it out of the library for reasons I can’t quite remember. I think I kept confusing it with that tiger mom book that came out around this time?  When I finally did buy it and then read it, I was blown away. It was not at all what I was expecting. It’s an exploration of life in the Balkans after war  and a glorious retelling of the folk story of the tiger’s wife. I love a good retelling of fables, fairy tales, and mythology. And this is a really good one.  Click here, here, here  and here for other posts featuring this book.
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. I love this book. It really is my favorite of the books of his that I’ve read. I hope Gaiman writes more stories about these women.
  • Bone Gap by Laura Ruby. I listened to this as an audio book. And again, a book that is in no way what I was expecting when I started listening to it. It’s beautifully written. And has an engrossing plot. It’s one of those books that is considered YA, but transcends that genre, I think. It’s also a part of the magical realism genre, and is an excellent introduction to it for any newbie reader of the genre. Click here and here to read posts featuring this book.
  • The Bird Box by Josh Malerman. Do not judge this book by that awful mess of a Netflix movie. And if you haven’t seen the Netflix movie, don’t. Read this book instead. It is a terrifying read. Click here, here, here, and here to read posts featuring this book.
  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. I loved this post-apocalyptic story. It really is hopeful about humanity and how it behaves in the aftermath. And I say that because I see across all the bookish social media platforms, people are afraid to read this due to the coronavirus outbreak. They seem to think it’s all too prescient a story? And I suppose it is. But I would suggest reading it anyway because it is so good. And ultimately hopeful. Click here, here, here and here  for other posts featuring this book.
  • Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. This one made my List of Best and Worst Reads of 2019 (Click on this link to see the list.)  I love a good “retelling of a myths and fairy tales. And this one hit all the boxes for me. It’s another drop everything and read it now!” recommendation.
  • The Invisible Library  by Genevieve Cogman. This is a great book. And I’d argue that books about libraries and librarians are bookworm catnip. And this book is that and a bit more. It’s just a fun read. It is the first in a series and I think in general the ones Ive read so far have lived up to this first book. Click here, here, and here for my other posts featuring this book.
  • One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah MacLean. This is a Historical Romance which is my favorite romance genre. It is spicy and lovely and emotionally satisfying read. Because, y’all, that is one of the most important things to remember when reading romance, it must be emotionally satisfying when you close the book. And this one is just that. The nerdy girl with glasses gets the “mad, bad, and dangerous to know” hero. Really, all of Sarah MacLean’s romance novels are great and if you aren’t a historical romance reader, any of her books would be a good place to start. Click here for another post which features this book.

I noticed reading over this list that I’ve not included any nonfiction in this list. So here are three of my favorite nonfiction reads:

  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. This is a fascinating and eye opening tale. It made me think about how the medical research community has operated over the last century. And it’s appalling. I think everyone should read it.
  • The Man Who Loved Books Too Much by Allison Hoover Bartlett. Another book about books. And this one is a true story about a criminal. To my surprise this one sucked me in while I was sitting on a beach basking in the sun.
  • The Library Book by Susan Orlean. A nonfiction book about libraries. It’s amazing. And next time I visit LA, I’m going to this library. I posted about this book here and here and here.

That’s my list. Have you read any books on this list? And, if so, what did you think of the book? Would you place in a similar list? Let me know in the comments below.

Happy Reading!

5 thoughts on “My Favorite Books of the Decade: 2009-2019

  1. Oh what a lovely list, Loreen! I’ve read several on your list and concur that they are cracking reads – Gods of Jade and Shadow, The Invisible Library – what a wonderful series this has turned out to be! And I absolutely endorse your choice of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks – this book stayed with me for months afterwards… what a heartbreak for the family – and yet, what a great gift it has given science… I’m now fired up to go looking for Longbourne!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sara! I’m so glad you agree with many of my picks. I have to tell you, I still think about Henrietta Lacks regularly. It’s a book that just hasn’t let go of me. And the thing I think about the most is how her children have not benefited in any way from her contribution. It is just awful. I hope that it has changed in the wake of this book. That they are receiving benefits of some kind.

      Longbourne really is so good. After you read it I hope you will let me know what you think.

      Liked by 1 person

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