Wednesday, January 1, 2020

A Decade in Books: Favorites Books 2010-2019

I joined Goodreads in January of 2008. That means I now have a record of every book that I've read for the past twelve years. With the decade coming to a close, I thought it would be interesting to look back on my favorite books from these past ten years.

I selected two of my favorite books published in the specified year (although I didn't necessarily read them that year) and at least one favorite series that concluded in that same year. Looking back at the series especially, I can see the books that really were a big part of my life.


Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde
Okay. So I'm kind of cheating right off the bat with this book. Technically it came out on December 29, 2009, but that is practically 2010, and I'm counting it. (featured here)

At Home by Bill Bryson
I could not stop talking about this book when I read it. I probably drove everyone bonkers with all the little tidbits I was learning. (featured here)

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Can you believe that it's been a decade since the last book in The Hunger Games came out? I had dreams about that series; that's how ingrained it was in my psyche. And now, in 2020, we are getting another new addition to the world. (I try to define "dystopia")


Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt
This book is still one of my very favorites. Definitely in my top ten. Just superb in every way. (featured here)

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
I found this book so engrossing when I read it. The tone and atmosphere were just so magical. (more "circus" books here and here)

Beka Cooper by Tamora Pierce
The Beka Cooper series was the first series by Tamora Pierce that I read, and it set off a whole chain of events that involved me reading every one of her books over the next few years. I really could not leave a series that had such a huge impact on my reading life off this list. (Most Read Authors: Tamora Pierce post that you don't want to miss)


Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Still one of my absolute favorites. I loved Rachel Hartman's follow-up to this book too and very easily could have put it on the series side of the list. I chose not to because Seraphina has such a warm place in my heart. (Seraphina here and Shadow Scale here)

The Woman Who Died a Lot by Jasper Fforde
I love Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series. (I'm assuming he's going to write more, which is why it isn't on the series side of the list.) This book, especially, is such a kick. So fun. (Jasper Fforde makes the Favorites of the Year Post twice here)

The Montmaray Journals by Michelle Cooper
My sister and I both fell so hard for Michelle Cooper's Montmaray series. I still want someone to make this book series into a television mini-series. (series featured here)

The Graceling Realm by Kristin Cashore
Kristin Cashore really ignited in me a love of YA high fantasy, and I started picking up the genre a lot more. However, in recent years, I've come to realize that I am very picky when it comes it YA high fantasy but something that has the feel of Cashore's series will always be a winner for me. (Graceling here and Bitterblue here)


Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
I think this is my only YA contemporary on this list. I started out the decade not too into the YA contemporary genre, but I've read more and more of it every year thanks to gems like this one. (featured here)

The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
Fascinating nonfiction about the U.S. rowing team that won the Berlin Olympics in 1936.  Anyone interested in the Depression Era, World War II, or amateur sports needs to pick this one up. Also, I highly recommend the audio version read by the late great Edward Herrmann. (featured here)

For Darkness Shows the Stars Series by Diana Peterfreund
This series includes some of my favorite retellings of classic literature. The first book in the series is a dystopian retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion and the second is a retelling of The Scarlet Pimpernel. (series featured here and here)


Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
I was slow to pick this one up, but it became one of my very favorites. Just exquisite. (featured here)

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Another popular book I was slow to pick up, but there's a good reason everyone was so enamored with it. (featured here kind of)

Daughter of Smoke and Bone Series by Laini Taylor
I love Laini Taylor's writing, and I could read her descriptions of the Chimera endlessly. No plot required. (series featured here, here, and here)


Symphony for the City of the Dead by M.T. Anderson
Reading this book was one of the best reading experiences of my life. I read it while listening to  Shostakovich's music, which made for a very enjoyable, emotional, and wonderfully aesthetic reading experience. (Goodreads review with music suggestions here. Featured on the blog here.)

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
This book made me feel that swelling, tingling sensation that you get when you are reading something truly amazing. I loved the characters. I loved the mystery. I loved the strangeness. I loved the atmosphere and the mood of the book. And, most of all, I loved the writing. (featured here)

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
Very few series gave me as much long-term joy as The Lunar Chronicles. I kept telling people that I didn't know what I was missing from my life was a cyborgian retelling of Cinderella, but, wow, was I ever. I loved every one of the books and fell pretty hard for these characters. (series featured here)

The Elemental Trilogy by Sherry Thomas
Oh. I have such fond feelings for this series. Titus and Iolanthe may always be my OTP. Titus and Iolanthe forever! (series featured here)


Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
Martha Hall Kelly's debut novel is one that I've recommended to countless people. It's an exceptional World War II book in a world swimming in World War II books. (featured here)

The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry
The quiet perfection of this book really took me by surprise. This book is a fantastic work of historical fiction, made all the more enticing by the fact that it is set in a time and place that gets very little attention when it comes to fictional narratives. (featured here)

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater
This list would not be complete with a book by Maggie Stiefvater. She is one of my very favorite and most read authors. I think every book in The Ravens Cycle made a Favorites of the Year post. (series featured here)


Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
This is kind of a strange pick for a favorites of the decades list, but I love Neil Gaiman, and I was completely smitten by his retellings of Norse myths. (featured here)
The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan
This novel was such a joy to read. It also makes this list, in part, because it's one that I recommended (and gifted) left and right. (featured here)

Lockwood & Co. by Jonathan Stroud
Anyone that's been around the blog for a hot minute knows of my total and utter devotion to Lockwood and Co. This series lasted five glorious years, and I wouldn't have complained if it had lasted forever. (series featured here)


Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield
I love how this book weaves together history, mythology, folktale, and science. This book is so transporting. (featured here)
Circe by Madeline Miller
Just absolutely as fantastic as everyone says it is. This book reminds you that Greek Mythology is just one big, complicated family drama. I also love the smooth, relaxing writing style.  

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
An absolutely glorious series from Laini Taylor. Muse of Nightmares, the second in the series, was my very favorite book of 2018. This series is the loveliest slow-burn fantasy with incredible world-building. (series featured here and here)

The Illuminae Files by Aime Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Every year the sequels in The Illuminae Files series topped my most-anticipated lists. I love how inventive the story telling is in this series, and I'm a little obsessed with AIDAN. (series featured here)


The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
A stunning debut novel. I was completely under its spell. (featured here)

Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater
Such a satisfying homecoming. I loved everything about this book, but best of all it brought back that The Raven's Cycle tone that I love so much. (featured here)  

Renegades by Marissa Meyer
This series got better with every book. I was so happy with the series conclusion. (featured here and here)

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco
I love this underrated gem of a fantasy trilogy. In fact, I love it so much that I reread books one and two before tackling book three this summer, and I'm not much of a rereader. (series featured here)

1 comment:

  1. Such a great list! We share Mockingjay, Fangirl, Circe, and, of course, the Maggies.


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