20 Books to Celebrate as 2020 Approaches

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As the decade draws to an end and we enter the 2020s, it’s the perfect time to look back on the literary memories the past ten years have left us with! Looking into 20 of the most significant books of the decade, best and worst alike, it’s time to say goodbye to the 2010s.

2010

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Although I’m personally not the biggest fan of The Hunger Games, it can’t be denied that the final book in the trilogy caused a splash at the beginning of the decade. Whether you loved or hated the ending, the closure to this iconic series was definitely a significant release of the 2010s. 

Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman

The hit Netflix series was sourced from another great novel that started off the decade. A riveting memoir by Piper Kerman, this book was definitely a good one to adapt into a series, which was definitely worth the recognition and critical acclaim it received!

2011

Divergent by Veronica Roth

The beginning of another well-beloved series, Roth’s dystopian novel definitely marked 2011. With incredible characters, a riveting plot and a fascinating take on dystopia, this book inspired another blockbuster movie series. 

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami 

Murakami’s tauntingly massive novel was another staple in 2011: his signature, poetically confusing storytelling style and his fascinating characters once again made their mark on the literary scene. Although divided into three volumes, this work of Murakami’s is definitely worth the read. 

2012 

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green 

The beginning of John Green’s rise to stardom and a romance novel that broke the hearts of many. Although it provoked mixed reactions from audiences, especially after it was transposed onto a movie screen, there’s no denying that this hit romance novel made a mark on the past decade.

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling 

The comeback of the beloved Harry Potter author was completely different to her world famous series, but her writing style definitely remained distinct. A beautiful, heart wrenching insight into everyday suburban life, this book left an iconic mark on the literary scene of the 2010s.

2013

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

The anticipated sequel to The Shining finally hit bookshelves this year, wrapping up the duology. Although it’s a sequel, Doctor Sleep functions fascinatingly well on its own as well as a continuation of the first book, and definitely made a splash with its release back in 2013.

I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai 

The incredibly inspirational story of Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai rightfully received an amazing response from readers in 2013. An incredible insight into her poignant story, I firmly believe this is a book everyone should read at least once.

2014

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Definitely a historical fiction that marked the decade, Doerr’s novel is one that both breaks and mends its reader’s heart. Doerr’s beautiful prose combined with the heartbreaking storyline works to create a literary staple of the past decade.

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

A heart-wrenching account of the difficulties of marriage, this book was a favourite in the 2010s. Its sketch-like narration of the struggles its main characters face is one of the many things this 2014 release has to offer its loving readers.

2015

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

9 years after To Kill A Mockingbird, Lee’s sequel was finally released in 2015, detailing the life of a now twenty-six year old Scout. Although released two decades after its predecessor, the sequel definitely did not fall flat!

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins 

Later turned into a hit film, this book definitely made a splash in 2015! The fascinating thriller created quite a bit of a buzz with its release and received extreme enthusiasm with the announcement of its film adaptation. 

2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by John Tiffany 

The theatrical sequel to the Harry Potter series received extremely mixed responses from fans, but definitely marked 2016, and the 2010s. Although I was absolutely not a fan, I’d be lying if I denied its significance among the 2016 releases.

The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

The heartwarming romance that has now been transposed onto a movie screen was considered a staple of 2016, with book lovers all around the world raving about it for months after its release. Deserving of it’s hype, the beautiful interpretation of fate and love was definitely a significant book drop in 2016.

2017

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The hard-hitting account of police brutality was wholeheartedly accepted and respected in 2017. Another book on my personal “must-read” list, and one I’ve reread many times, Thomas’ debut novel was an extremely strong step into the literary scene in 2017.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling

This Harry Potter prequel was a hit both on-screen and off, giving fans another opportunity to immerse themselves into the magical world once again! Although I imagine many were skeptical about the release, it rightfully received an incredibly positive response. 

2018

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris 

This fictional account of the experience of Auschwitz was both necessary and treasured in 2018. Morris’ hard-hitting writing style combined with the addressed subject matter truly created a must-read this year.

Becoming by Michelle Obama

The memoir written by the former first lady of the USA was greatly cherished as soon as it was released this year, making several bestseller lists within mere days of its release. A personal favourite, Becoming is a heartwarming and inspiring account of Obama’s life.

2019

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid 

Beyond beloved by readers this year, this somewhat unconventional historical fiction novel captured the hearts of readers worldwide. A personal all-time favourite, this interestingly structured novel narrated through interview transcripts with the members of the fictional band is definitely a beautifully written emotional rollercoaster that rounds off the decade beautifully. 

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo 

The joint Man Booker Prize winner this year, Evaristo’s inclusive and intimate novel didn’t take long to become a favourite among readers. The strikingly personal writing style and the insight into the twelve fascinatingly unique protagonists definitely make this a fantastic book to round off the decade.

Here’s to many more iconic releases in the 2020s!

Image Credit: Washington Post