LitHub's Top Novels of the Decade

LitHub chose their top novels of the decade. How many of these have you read?

Updated December 4, 2023
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All my puny sorrows
Toews, Miriam
SHORTLISTED 2014 - Scotiabank Giller Prize Miriam Toews is beloved for her irresistible voice, for mingling laughter and heartwrenching poignancy like no other writer. In her most passionate novel yet, she brings us the riveting story of two sisters, and a love that illuminates...
The Buddha in the attic
Otsuka, Julie
Finalist for the 2011 National Book Award Julie Otsuka's long awaited follow-up to When the Emperor Was Divine ("To watch Emperor catching on with teachers and students in vast numbers is to grasp what must have happened at the outset for novels like Lord...
In the distance
Díaz, Hernán
A young Swedish immigrant finds himself penniless and alone in California. The boy travels East in search of his brother, moving on foot against the great current of emigrants pushing West. Driven back again and again, he meets naturalists, criminals, religious fanatics, swindlers, Indians,...
A little life
Yanagihara, Hanya
Shortlisted for the 2015 Man Booker Prize'Astonishing and unsettling ... A masterwork' San Francisco Chronicle'Announces Yanagihara as a major American novelist' Wall Street JournalBrace yourself for the most astonishing, challenging, upsetting and profoundly moving book in many a season. An epic...
Milkman
Burns, Anna
WINNER OF THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2018 'Milkman is extraordinary. I've been reading passages aloud for the pleasure of hearing it. It's frightening, hilarious, wily and joyous all at the same time.' - Lisa McInerney, author of The Glorious Heresies ...
Outline
Cusk, Rachel
Literary Hub, Best Books of the Decade, A Finalist for the Folio Prize, the Goldsmiths Prize, the Scotiabank Giller Prize, and the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction One of The New York Times' Top Ten Books of the Year Named a A New York Times...
The overstory : a novel
Powers, Richard
An Air Force loadmaster in the Vietnam War is shot out of the sky, then saved by falling into a banyan. An artist inherits a hundred years of photographic portraits, all of the same doomed American chestnut. A hard-partying undergraduate in the late 1980s electrocutes herself, dies, and is sent...
The sellout
Beatty, Paul
  A Book of the Decade, 2010-2020 (Independent) A LAUGH-OUT-LOUD SATIRE ABOUT RACE, CLASS AND INEQUALITY IN CONTEMPORARY AMERICA, BY A LITERARY GENIUS AT THE TOP OF HIS GAME Winner of the Man Booker Prize, 2016 In his trademark absurdist style, Paul Beatty...
The sympathizer
Nguyen, Viet Thanh
Soon to be an HBO Original Series Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction Winner of the 2016 Edgar Award for Best First Novel Winner of the 2016 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction "[A] remarkable debut novel." --Philip Caputo, New...
The thousand autumns of Jacob de Zoet
Mitchell, David
'ONE OF THE MOST BRILLIANTLY INVENTIVE WRITERS OF THIS, OR ANY, COUNTRY' INDEPENDENT Shortlisted for the James Tait Black Memorial and Commonwealth Writers' Prizes 'Thrillingly suspenseful' SUNDAY TIMES 'Stunning'...
The tiger's wife
Obreht, Téa.
The Orange Prize winning debut from a truly extraordinary talent. 'Having sifted through everything I have heard about the tiger and his wife, I can tell you that this much is fact: in April of 1941, without declaration or warning, the German bombs started falling over the city and did not...
Trust exercise : a novel
Choi, Susan
WINNER OF THE 2019 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION NATIONAL BESTSELLER "Electrifying" (People) * "Masterly" (The Guardian) * "Dramatic and memorable" (The New Yorker) * "Magic" (TIME) * "...
The underground railroad : a novel
Whitehead, Colson
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * PULITZER PRIZE WINNER * NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER * A magnificent tour de force chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. * Now an original Amazon Prime Video series directed by...
A visit from the Goon Squad
Egan, Jennifer.
NATIONAL BESTSELLER * NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE WINNER * With music pulsing on every page, this startling, exhilarating novel of self-destruction and redemption "features characters about whom you come to care deeply as you watch them doing things they shouldn't, acting...

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