Earlier this month I celebrated my 30th birthday in the Bahamas! And as I look back on the last decade of my reading life, I realized my tastes and interests changed drastically over the last ten years. What follows are just a few of my favorite books from that decade and are not in any particular order.
In Extremis by Lindsey Hilsum & It’s What I Do by Lynsey Addario
In Extremis was my favorite book of the past ten years. It’s status as a more recent read may have given it an unfair advantage, but I LOVE this book. It also just won the James Tait Black Award for biography in the UK, and it’s absolutely worth a read for lovers of richly detailed and compelling biographies.
I never would have read In Extremis if not for It’s What I Do. The first war correspondent memoir/biography I read and it definitely sent my reading life in a brand new direction. I picked it up while visiting family in South Carolina where it was displayed on a table and I went back to the bookstore EVERY DAY to stare at it (it was 2 blocks from their house) before finally giving in and spending the $30 for the hardcover. And it was so worth it. The hardcover incorporates Lynsey’s photos with the relevant chapters and it’s a hands-down gorgeous book.
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff & A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab
Two of my favorite new fantasy series of the second half of my twenties are Nevernight, which I picked up for some obvious Throne of Glass comparisons, and A Darker Shade of Magic, which I picked up for its 4 different London’s and lady pirates. While I hoped to have both series finished pre-birthday, I didn’t quite make it and am halfway through each trilogy.
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak & Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
I’ve loved historical fiction since I was introduced to the American Girls when I was in 3rd grade. And while I’ve read many (mostly WWII) historical fiction books in the last ten years, my two favorites have been contemporary YA classics – Verity for upending the normal narrative structure and blowing my mind, and The Book Thief for showing me the everyday lives of Germans during the war.
City of Dark Magic by Magnus Flyte & Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett
Enduring favorites City of Dark Magic and Good Omens stick with me for many reasons, but they are the two books that my husband picked out for me when we were in the early days of our relationship. There’s nothing quite like the realization that someone so thoroughly gets you when they pick books for you that you wind up loving fiercely.
Harry Potter defined my last decade and Throne of Glass owned my twenties. I finally finished Kingdom of Ash this summer (I don’t like endings) and it cemented just how much I love the whole series. The full review of this series (minus Tower of Dawn because I still hate Chaol) will be up on Sunday, October 6!