Best Books of the Decade



American gods : a novel

Neil Gaiman.

A master of inventive fiction pens the story of an ex-con who is offered a job as a bodyguard for Mr. Wednesday, a trickster and a rogue. Shadow soon learns that his role in the man's schemes are far more dangerous and dark than he could have ever imagined.


Seabiscuit an American legend

Laura Hillenbrand.

Nonfiction

Seabiscuit was one of the most electrifying and popular attractions in sports history and the single biggest newsmaker in the world in 1938, receiving more coverage than FDR, Hitler, or Mussolini. But his success was a surprise to the racing establishment, which had written off the crooked-legged racehorse with the sad tail. Three men changed Seabiscuit’s fortunes: Charles Howard was a onetime bicycle repairman who introduced the automobile...


Running with scissors : a memoir

Augusten Burroughs.

Nonfiction, Biography

Running with Scissors is the true story of a boy whose mother (a poet with delusions of Anne Sexton) gave him away to be raised by her psychiatrist, a dead-ringer for Santa and a lunatic in the bargain. Suddenly, at age twelve, Augusten Burroughs found himself living in a dilapidated Victorian in perfect squalor. The doctor's bizarre family, a few patients, and a pedophile living in the backyard shed completed the tableau. Here, there were no rul...


The story of Edgar Sawtelle : a novel

David Wroblewski.

Literary Fiction

Born mute, speaking only in sign, Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life with his parents on their farm in remote northern Wisconsin. For generations, the Sawtelles have raised and trained a fictional breed of dog whose thoughtful companionship is epitomized by Almondine, Edgar's lifelong friend and ally. But with the unexpected return of Claude, Edgar's paternal uncle, turmoil consumes the Sawtelles' once peaceful home. When Edgar's father dies su...


In defense of food : an eater's manifesto

Michael Pollan.

"Food. There's plenty of it around, and we all love to eat it. So why should anyone need to defend it?" "Because most of what we're consuming today is not food, and how we're consuming it - in the car, in front of the TV, and increasingly alone - is not really eating. Instead of food, we're consuming "edible foodlike substances" - no longer the products of nature but of food science. Many of them come packaged with health claims that should be ou...


The Girl Who Played with Fire

Stieg Larsson ; translated from the Swedish by Reg Keeland.

Mystery, Thriller

FOR:  Mystery lovers who like dark, fast-paced thrillers.

The electrifying follow-up to the phenomenal bestseller "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" features Lisbeth Salander, the troubled, wise-beyond-her-years genius hacker, as the focus and fierce heart of its story.



Water for elephants

Sara Gruen.

Historical Fiction, Action/Adventure, Romance


Marley and me : love, life, and drywall repair with the world's worst dog

John Grogan.

Nonfiction

John and Jenny had just begun their life together. They were young and in love, with a perfect little house and not a care in the world. Then they brought home Marley, a wiggly yellow furball of a puppy. Life would never be the same.


Twilight

Stephenie Meyer.

In this exquisite fantasy, Bella adores beautiful Edward, and he returns her love. But Edward must control the blood lust she arouses in him because--he's a vampire. This deeply romantic and extraordinarily suspenseful novel captures the struggle between defying instincts and satisfying desires.


Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything

Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner.

Nonfiction

Levitt (economics, U. of Chicago) and writing collaborator Dubner (a writer for the New York Times and The New Yorker) dub the material in this work "freakonomics" because Levitt uses analytical tools from economics to address a range of questions that, at first glance, might seem to be far removed from the discipline of the "dismal science." They consider questions such as how to determine if teachers are aiding in students' cheating on standard...


The kite runner

Khaled Hosseini.

Multicultural Fiction, Literary Fiction

An epic tale of fathers and sons, of friendship and betrayal, that takes us from Afghanistan in the final days of the monarchy to the atrocities of the present. The unforgettable, heartbreaking story of the unlikely friendship between a wealthy boy and the son of his father's servant, The Kite Runneris a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, a...


Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books

Azar Nafisi.

Biography, Nonfiction, Multicultural Fiction

We all have dreams—things we fantasize about doing and generally never get around to. This is the story of Azar Nafisi’s dream and of the nightmare that made it come true. For two years before she left Iran in 1997, Nafisi gathered seven young women at her house every Thursday morning to read and discuss forbidden works of Western literature. They were all former students whom she had taught at university. Some came from conservative ...


Life of Pi : a novel

Yann Martel.

Literary Fiction

The son of a zookeeper, Pi Patel has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior and a fervent love of stories. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes. The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatche...


The time traveler's wife : a novel

by Audrey Niffenegger.

Literary Fiction, Romance, Fantasy, Science Fiction

The love story of Henry and Claire whose lives are punctuated by Henry's disappearance to different points in time--sometimes even back to visit Claire as a young woman. When Henry meets Claire, he is twenty-eight, and she is twenty. He's a hip, handsome librarian; she is an art student with Botticelli hair. Henry has never met Claire before; Claire has known Henry since she was six...