Top Ten Books of the First Decade of the 21st Century
What defines a good book? An acclaimed author, a lovely title or neat cover illustrations? What really creates a lifetime bestseller? An intelligent plot or a creative way of presenting words? All of these, actually. A book can only be called ‘great’ if it has a perfect combination of a good storyline, creative presentation and sometimes the name of a celebrated writer on its cover. However, it is very difficult to judge a good book; the list is too vast and the taste, as we know varies greatly. If you are an avid reader, you would know how easy it is to fall in love with every new book you read. The 21st century so far has seen an immense variety of books, some good, some great and some…you will have to read them to decide. It is pleasant to see that in this world of high-speed internet, books are still adored, even if they are on your Kindle.
Amongst the great books today, there are some that have stood out for their excellence; books that you will love, from the very first line. The following is a list of the top- ten ‘love at first read’ books of the first decade of the 21st century:
- The Kite Runner
Written by Khaled Hosseini, this must read novel is set in Kabul, against the backdrop of its chaotic social and political condition. It has received the South African Boeke Prize and has been adapted into a movie of the same name and also into a stage production.
- The White Tiger
Aravind Adiga’s debut novel and was published in 2008. This novel studies India’s economic, political and religious tensions. The author’s realistic plot and epistolary style earned him the Man Booker Prize for 2008.
- Life of Pi
This popular and acknowledged novel by Yann Martel is a story of an Indian boy named Pi and a Royal Bengal Tiger. The well written tale’s fable-like presentation, accompanied by hints of allegory won the author the Man Booker Prize for 2002.
Twilight is the debut novel of Stephanie Meyer. Published in 2005, this book became an instant success, especially amongst teenagers, all over the world, the protagonist being teenager who falls in love with a vampire. It is the trigger to a series and has been adapted into a motion picture.
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time
A National Bestseller this novel by British writer Mark Haddon, won the 2004 Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for Best First Book. Christopher Boone, the protagonist, narrates his intriguing tale of the mystery of the murdered dog, his interests, achievements, goals and optimism.
- The Time Traveler’s Wife
Published in 2003, this is American author, Audrey Niffeneger’s debut novel which revolves around the romance between a man with a genetic disorder, allowing him to time travel unpredictably, and an artist. This popular novel has received the Exclusive Books Boeke Prize along with many other awards. It has also been adapted into a movie.
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
The last of the very popular J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series was published in 2007. Yet again, Rowling is able to capture the reader’s attention with her spellbinding saga of Harry Potter’s magical adventures. Being on the list of New York Times 100 notable books, this is once again a rage with young adults.
- Wolf Hall
Bold and gripping, this Man Booker Prize winning novel by English author, Hilary Mantel was published in 2009. It is remarkably noted for its intelligent plot and subtle humor. Wolf Hall is a contemporary book with a historical setting, mainly dealing with the Tudors.
- The Da Vinci Code
American author, Dan Brown’s well known book is a mystery-detective novel which deals with gruesome murders and the eventual discovery of the possibility of Christ’s marriage to Mary Magdalene. Although this book is a worldwide bestseller, it has been repeatedly bombarded by severe criticism for its historical and religious inaccuracies.
- The Road
Written by Cormac McCarthy, this book, published in 2006 is a chiefly popular environmental book that has won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2007. It describes the gloomy journey of a father and son amidst an environmentally destroyed earth, in a quest to find warmth and life.
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