Saturday, November 14, 2009

One hundred books that defined the noughties

At the Daily Telegraph, Brian MacArthur named 100 books that defined the last ten years.

A few titles from the top 10:
10 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
by Stieg Larsson, tr by Reg Keeland

A journalist hooks up with a girl punk to form detective fiction’s unlikeliest pair, wading through the murky depths of Swedish society.

9 Atonement
by Ian McEwan
Briony Tallis tells a lie and regrets it for the rest of her life. Metafictional country house war novel that became a literary bestseller.

7 The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño
tr by Natasha Wimmer

This mesmerising novel features a quest for the founder of the “visceral realists”, and showcases the magical quality of Bolaño’s writing. He called it “a love letter to my generation”.

4 A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
by Dave Eggers

One of the first of the “creative” memoirs, this chronicled Eggers’s life with his younger siblings after the death of their parents from cancer. Bold, dazzling and fantastical, it launched a new style of writing.

2 Dreams from My Father
by Barack Obama

Originally published in 1995 in the US, this was launched in Britain to enormous acclaim before the first black president took to the world stage. Candid and sensitively written, the memoir is a search for his father (who left when Obama was two) and his racial identity. A touchstone for future politicians.
Read about #1 on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue