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Book Chat > Best Year for Books in the 2010s

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message 1: by Trevor (new)

Trevor (mookse) | 1843 comments Mod
I'm going to create a few of these threads for the last few decades, because I'm curious what we think are the best years for books within each of those decades.

My reason for doing this is because I love film as well, and it's quite easy to look at some years in film (2007, being the most recent example, with 2011 being quite good as well) and see that in some years something was in the water. The year's output featured so many great films it was simply a great year for film. Of course, great movies -- maybe even better movies -- are made in other years, but here I'm looking at the concentration of greatness.

So I'm wanting to do something similar for books, where I don't think it's quite as apparent (perhaps because it's a silly exercise, not that that has stopped me before).

Here is the thread for the years 2010-2019.

Let's try to look at the year of first publication for this. If a book was published in the UK in 2015 but in the US in 2018 (or never), then it is a 2015 book. If a book was written in German in 2010 but published in English in 2012, then it is a 2010 book.

Will this result in anything interesting? I'm not sure! Let's try though.

message 2: by Trevor (new)

Trevor (mookse) | 1843 comments Mod
I'll use this post to keep track of the years 2010-2014. If you mention a book in one of these years, I'll put it here.






message 3: by Trevor (new)

Trevor (mookse) | 1843 comments Mod
I'll use this post to keep track of the years 2015-2019. If you mention a book in one of these years, I'll put it here.






message 4: by Hugh (last edited Apr 02, 2019 02:09AM) (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 2998 comments Mod
This one is perhaps the hardest to be objective about, because I have read so many more newer books in the last 3 to 4 years than ever before. Purely in terms of the numbers of books I have awarded 5 stars to (in some cases over-generously), 2017 is leading with 13 (topped by Reservoir 13, Winter, Attrib. and other stories, A Line Made by Walking, Home Fire and We That Are Young), but the 11 for 2014 looks pretty impressive too (The Blazing World, Human Acts, The Wake, The Lives of Others, Arctic Summer, Nora Webster).

message 5: by Trevor (new)

Trevor (mookse) | 1843 comments Mod
I think this will also be hard to be objective about because it's all so fresh and probably several gems are still waiting to be uncovered. I know that's the same in any decade, but I think particularly the case when we've had such a limited amount of time with this decade's books.

I'm hoping to go through big lists and put something together for the posts above that help. Soon!

message 6: by Robert (new)

Robert | 1958 comments For me 2014 was a great year in books: How to be Both, the bone clocks, as Hugh did mention, The Wake.

message 8: by Neil (new)

Neil | 1822 comments Here's my longlist:

2010: A Visit from the Goon Squad, C, 1Q84 3
2011: Swimming Home, The Sisters Brothers
2012: Artful, Indigo
2013: Bricks and Mortar, The Goldfinch, The Luminaries
2014: Orfeo, The Blazing World, Station Eleven
2015: Counternarratives, The Shape of the Ruins, Resistance
2016: Autumn, The White Book, Hot Milk, Forbidden Line
2017: Winter, Tinderbox, Playing Possum
2018: Murmur, Census, The Overstory
2019 (sneak preview): Spring, Memories of the Future

Overall, for all decades, a fascinating exercise. Firstly to see how my reading tastes have changed. Secondly to see how the number of books read has ramped up over the years. The choices get harder in later years, but only really because there are so many more books to choose from.

message 9: by Ang (last edited Apr 02, 2019 04:51AM) (new)

Ang | 1685 comments Gillespie and I - Jane Harris - 2011
The London Train - Tessa Hadley - 2011
Swimming Home - Deborah Levy - 2011
Hawthorn and Child - Keith Ridgway - 2012

message 10: by Stacia (last edited Apr 02, 2019 10:25AM) (new)

Stacia | 52 comments 2010: Comemadre by Roque Larraquy
2013: Sudden Death by Álvaro Enrigue

And seconding the mentions of C, The Sisters Brothers, and The Goldfinch.

Will have more after looking at my book lists a bit.

message 11: by Nadine (new)

Nadine (nadinekc) | 196 comments Stacia wrote: "2010: Comemadre by Roque Larraquy
2013: Sudden Death by Álvaro Enrigue

And seconding the mentions of C, The Sisters Brothers, and [boo..."

Ooh, Sudden Death, one of my all time favorites :) I don't see its name bandied about enough!

message 12: by Antonomasia (new)

Antonomasia | 2632 comments Had to ask myself just now if I ever got round to reading Hawthorn & Child, felt like I might have, but couldn't remember anything except possibly the satisfaction of having finished it. Found I had read it, and gave it 5 stars. Possibly shouldn't nominate it if it didn't stick.

Would like to second
Artful (2012),
Laurus (2012)
The Blazing World (2014)

The Sellout (2015)
Tram 83 (2014)

More later

message 13: by Ang (new)

Ang | 1685 comments The Long Take - 2018

message 15: by Antonomasia (new)

Antonomasia | 2632 comments also 2015: Vernon Subutex, 1, Vernon Subutex, 2

Do only positive nominations count for this? Can books get voted out if other posters can't stand them?

message 16: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 2998 comments Mod
Antonomasia wrote: "also 2015: Vernon Subutex, 1, Vernon Subutex, 2

Do only positive nominations count for this? Can books get voted out if other posters can't stand them?"

That is up to Trevor, but right now, I would be happy just to see a bit more positivity in this group. I have certainly seen a few I personally dislike on these lists, but I have also tried to include a few idiosyncratic or under the radar choices in my lists, as I would if we were voting about music (I leave film to the experts as I have a poor visual memory and don't watch much!)

message 17: by Antonomasia (new)

Antonomasia | 2632 comments Hugh wrote: "but right now, I would be happy just to see a bit more positivity in this group. "


message 18: by Neil (new)

Neil | 1822 comments From what Trevor said, I see this as a year ranking, not a book ranking. In my head, we are looking for stand out years, so I would leave books I hate on the list unless they were published in a year I wanted to turn out the best!

message 20: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 2998 comments Mod
This could double the length of my TBR list!

message 21: by Karen Michele (last edited Apr 06, 2019 09:48AM) (new)

Karen Michele Burns (klibrary) | 178 comments Here are my lists. I think 2012 and 2013 are my stand -out years for publishing, especially if I look at what was published in YA in those two years. I'm not sure exactly what data is the most valuable, but I tried to get some relevant numbers and titles. I'll add links and revise a bit later.

2010: 1Q84, HHhH, The Invisible Bridge, The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet, Who Fears Death, Memory Wall, Room, Full Dark, No Stars
35 5 star books / 21 YA
2011: The Sisters Brothers, Black Water Lilies, When the Killing's Done, Half Blood Blues, Doc, Habibi, The Dovekeepers, The Garden of Evening Mists, The Sense of an Ending
40 5 star books / 23 YA
2012: Wilderness, The Orphan Master's Son, The Snow Child, Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America, Bring Up the Bodies, Telegraph Avenue, Building Stories, Flight Behavior
47 5 star books / 20 YA
2013: The Goldfinch, The Luminaries, Claire of the Sea Light, Life After Life, Night Film, The Narrow Road to the Deep North
42 5 star books / 20 YA (Year I retired from the High School library)
2014: Orfeo, The Blazing World, Station Eleven, Fourth of July Creek, We Are Called to Rise, Euphoria, The Bone Clocks, A Brief History of Seven Killings How to be both
28 5 star books / 5 YA
2015:Epitaph, H is for Hawk
18 5 star books / 6 YA
2016: Autumn, Hag-Seed: The Tempest Retold, To The Bright Edge of the World, The Sport of Kings, Olio, Augustown
24 5 star books / 8 YA
2017: Winter, Brother, Sing, Unburied, Sing, Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI
12 5 star books / 2 YA
2018: The Overstory, The Great Believers, Milkman, Washington Black
5 5 star books
2019: Black Leopard, Red Wolf

message 22: by Trevor (new)

Trevor (mookse) | 1843 comments Mod
Right, this is not a personal favorite book list or even personal favorite year (though personal tastes will clearly be a part). This is meant to recognize sizable great years, where the significance may outweigh quality from time to time, though hopefully quality plays a role. For example, it’s hard for me to think any year is as significant as 1922. But do you have to like Ulysses or The Waste Land to recognize that? It helps but I don’t consider that necessary.

message 23: by carissa (new)

carissa | 98 comments 2010-Freedom, the passage, A Visit from the Goon Squad, Bad Marie, Comemadre, Father of the Rain, HHhH, I Remember You, Just Kids, Our Tragic Universe, Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, Room, Super Sad True Love Story, The Memory of Love

2011-Before I Go to Sleep, Bento's Sketchbook, Blue Nights, Discovery of Witches, Half-Blood Blues, Leaving the Atocha Station, Life on Mars, Mr Fox, Salvage the Bones, State of Wonder, Stone Arabia, Swamplandia!, The Chronology of Water, The Sense of an Ending, What Belongs to You

2012-Belladonna, Die my Love, I Refuse, Laurus, Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, NW, Suite for Barbara Loden, Tell The Wolves I'm Home, The Address Book, The Light Between Oceans, The Roundhouse, The Snow Child

2013-Boy Snow Bird, Core of the Sun, Crapalachia, crazy rich Asians, ladavine, life after life, maddaddam, Tale of the Time Being, The Book of Dolores, the circle, The Orenda

2014-children act, Fever Dream, How to be Both, Human Acts, I am the Brother of XX, j, orfeo, paying guests, Station Eleven, Sweetland, The Dig, The Enchanted, The Endless Summer, Wolf in a White Van

2015-eileen, Counternarratives, Heart Goes Last, Seveneves, spool of blue thread, The Buried Giant, The Library at Mount Char, The Sarah Book, The Sellout , The Sympathizer

2016-Autumn, Barkskins, Black Wave, float, His bloody project, homegoing, Imagine me Gone, LaRose, Mister Monkey, Mr. Splitfoot, Museum of Modern Love, My Name Is Lucy Barton, Performance of Becoming Human, The Association of Small Bombs, The aviator, the nix, The Portable Veblen, Underground Airlines, Version Control, White Book, Zero K

2017-book of joan, Borne, childfinder, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Elmet, Exit West, Frontier, gallows pole, history of wolves, in the distance, lincoln in the bardo, line made by walking, Reservoir 13, sing unburied sing, stephen florida, the idiot, The Sparsholt Affair, Universal Harvester, white tears, winter

2018-Cemetery in Barnes, Everything Under, freshwater,Gun Love, Lucia, mars room, milkman, murmur,my year of rest and relaxation, Split Tooth, The Long Take,the Overstory, The Shepherd's Hut


2016 & 2017 seem especially interesting.

It's been interesting looking at the 3 decades. The 90's seem most interesting with the 2010's coming in almost as interesting near the end and the 2000's are less interesting by comparison. Strange.

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