Monday, November 23, 2009

Paste's Top Ten Books of the Decade

Paste magazine came today, and they featured their "tops" of the decade. This intimidates me. I really like "top ten" lists for each year, but top ten for a decade starts to seem exhaustive.

That said, I liked their top ten for the decade in books, and I in large part agree with them. Here it is:

10. David Foster Wallace, Consider the Lobster and Other Essays: Hands down the best and most memorable collection of essays I have ever read in my whole life

9. Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything is Illuminated: Didn't read it, but I think we read one of his other novels in book group

8. Joan Didion, The Year of Magical Thinking: An amazing cartography of grief, it helped me think through grief in my own life and parish ministry

7. Craig Thompson, Blankets: A graphic novel that kind of defines the genre. Amazing. Seems like this genre is often autobiographical, but in this case it works very well.

6. Markus Zusak, The Book Thief: Haven't read it, though more than one person has recommended it to me.

5. Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex: Read this one in book group, great for discussion and profound on the immigrant experiences and change, among other things.

4. Marilynne Robinson, Gilead: This is the only book in the last decade, other than the Bible, that I read three times. I would have ranked it #1 on the list.

3. Cormac McCarthy, The Road: I listened to this as a book on a tape a few years ago, and I was riveted. I'd lengthen my drives to keep listening. It's amazing. I'd rank it #2, after Gilead.

2. Dave Eggers, A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius: I'd prefer to give this award to his book Zeitoun, but this one was good also. Dave Eggers is one of my heroes.

1. Michael Chabon, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay: Chabon is another one of my heroes. I've started this novel twice but haven't finished it yet. I would have ranked his Yiddish Policeman's Union as a tie with Gilead for #1.


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