Quintessentially aughts?

Buzzfeed is one of my current guilty pleasures.  Its layout suits my ever diminishing attention span and…well, there are cute dog, cat, and Paul McCartney pictures.  But every once in a while, they make random picks in a category, lump them together and give them a header like “19 Quintessential Books of the ‘90s” (the numbers are never even, it seems, and that’s another BF affectation), and off I go to spend five minutes that I’ll never get back growing increasingly disgruntled by their choices.

I remember the ‘90s in literature quite well and this list is disappointing.  Where are The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love, The Hours, The Hot Zone  (Remember when we were all worried about Ebola? Simpler times…), Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, for goodness’ sake?

Which got me thinking that now that the “aughts” are over we should be able to put together a list of the quintessential books of the first decade of the 21st century.  I’ll get us started (let’s keep it simple and list only fiction):

  • The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
  • Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
  • Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
  • Atonement by Ian McEwan
  • Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

What would you add to (or delete from) the list?


8 Responses to Quintessentially aughts?

  1. Lee Westmore says:

    The Nanny Diaries.

  2. Richard Gropp says:

    House of Leaves?

  3. Kevin Grange says:

    The Road by Cormac McCarthy

  4. Andrea says:

    Silver Linings Playbook

  5. Kevin A. Lewis says:

    Possibly I’m giving YA more status than it deserves, but the 21st Century seems to be the launching pad for a lot of excitement in this field, some of which may actually still be around into future decades. My nomination would be The Book Thief by Mark Zusak, mostly because it’s such an utter black swan (a book about the Holocaust told by the Angel of Death!?) that probably had to be smuggled past a legion of gatekeepers who’d just as soon forget about this whole unpleasant part of the 20th Century. And how many years now has it been living on the NYT bestseller list?

  6. Katie says:

    Such a great summer reading list developing. Thanks!

    I’d add:

    Kite Runner
    Water for Elephants

  7. Miriam says:

    These are all great! For some reason, I thought THE ROAD was published in the late ’90s, Kevin, so thanks for that one.

  8. Kevin Grange says:

    Hi Miriam, I had to look up when THE ROAD was published to remind myself too. Can we get a list for nonfiction as well? I’d love some suggestions!

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