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The 100 Best Books of The Decade

Friday April 2, 2010 at 4:36pm
In a list from The Times guaranteed to get librarians at cross daggers, they suggest the top 100 books so far of the decade, though at first glance it may be uncertain which decade as War and Peace enters at number 11.

15 The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins (2006)

Dawkins showed that you could be a bestseller with a book positing a negative. His witheringly argued treatise against the notion of divine creation made him the poster boy for atheists, the thinker whose arguments every religious person must address.

12 A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers (2000)

With this modestly titled calling card, the most influential young author of the decade announced his arrival. As well as writing books and screenplays, Eggers has been, as editor of the journal and imprint McSweeney’s, the centre of a literary coterie.

11 War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, in a new translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky (2007)

The greatest novel in the world is given new life by the remarkable translating team who have already blown the dust off Dostoevsky; if there is one essential desert island book, this is it — the literary equivalent of digital remastering.

10 The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (2003) A murder in the Louvre, and the clues are all hidden in the works of Leonardo. Some love it, some hate it (see our worst of the decade article), but you can’t deny that its mix of conspiracy, riddles and action dominated the decade.


3 Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance by Barack Obama (2004)
The book that revealed Barack Obama as not just an ambitious politician, but also as an eloquent writer and deep thinker. The fascinating story of his early life, first published in 1995, was reissued in 2004 and became a worldwide bestseller as momentum for the presidency built.

Its astonishing rediscovery more than 40 years after Nemirovsky’s death in Auschwitz should not overshadow that the two novellas here are miniature masterpieces. In the first the veneer of civilisation is stripped from a group of Parisians fleeing the advancing Germans, while the second is a moving tale of forbidden love across the divide of war.

And the top 2? View The Times
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