10 great books from the last 20 years

T book 3 glasses cropped

I highly recommend these novels:

  • Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem
  • The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon
  • The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
  • Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • The Sellout by Paul Beatty
  • The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
  • The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
  • We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

For this list I have chosen books that are compelling, entertaining, and have that elusive “worthiness” (example: interesting perspective, social awareness, thought-provoking, exceptional writing, etc). The list somewhat favors books I have read recently. I did not include two books by the same author (otherwise Michael Chabon would have two).

Want more? Here is a shortlist of runners-up:

  • Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
  • Everything is Illuminated By Jonathan Safran Foer
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  • The Time Travelers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon

Or going out beyond 20 years:

  • Possession by AS Byatt
  • Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut


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