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Started by dreams99 on Sep 21, 2019 10:19:37 AM
The 100 best books of the 21st century
dreams99 - 21 Sep 2019 10:33:16 (#1 of 95)

I've read 37 of them, and own another 19.

I think they've got limited it to one book per writer, otherwise there would be more mantel, Ali Smith, etc. And not nearly enough foreign fiction.

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HerrWalrus - 21 Sep 2019 10:37:53 (#3 of 95)

So the list includes Zadie Smith, but no Donna Tartt. I wouldn't argue with that, but I suspect many would. Good to see Andrea Levy in there.

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HerrWalrus - 21 Sep 2019 10:48:36 (#6 of 95)

Would it be fairly easy between us to think of 100 alternative books that should be on the list?

darkhorse - 21 Sep 2019 11:15:31 (#7 of 95)

I did better than I thought I would (if I did worse I wouldn’t have posted).

The Siege

The Spirit Level

The God Delusion

Seven Brief Lessons on Physics

True History of the Kelly Gang

Small Island




White Teeth


Curious Incident

Shock Doctrine

The Road

Fourteen. I would not do well on a 21st century fiction list.

breakfast - 21 Sep 2019 11:18:45 (#8 of 95)

You are an expert on tooth whitening now though.

MontyPeculiar - 21 Sep 2019 11:40:52 (#9 of 95)

Read 17

Harry Potter


The Siege

Noughts & Crosses


Notes on a Scandal

Gone Girl

Kelly Gang

Small Island


White Teeth

Underground Railroad

Curious Incident


Half of a Yellow Sun

Cloud Atlas

Amber Spyglass

and coincidentally I just started Wolf Hall yesterday, after the brief discussion on the other thread. Life after Life and Never Let Me Go are both on the to-read pile.

nac1001 - 21 Sep 2019 11:45:39 (#10 of 95)


cozzer - 21 Sep 2019 11:48:30 (#11 of 95)

It’s not the Barnes I would have chosen. Nor the Ishiguro, although maybe the ones I liked were pre-21st Century.

bossab2 - 21 Sep 2019 11:48:51 (#12 of 95)

Another example of the Guardian's feeling that the 21st century is about to end early...

cozzer - 21 Sep 2019 11:49:32 (#13 of 95)

What, is it going to be 2101 next year?

SaffronSunrise - 21 Sep 2019 11:49:58 (#14 of 95)

haven't read any

own 1 - The Plot Against America

have seen the film Moneyball

am probably familiar with what 3 of the others say

it's a poor show & I am deeply ashamed, there's some right pretentious old crap on the list though, innit?

Dayraven - 21 Sep 2019 11:54:20 (#15 of 95)

Have read

Goblet of Fire



Noughts and Crosses


Stories of Your Life

Fifth Season

Nothing to Envy

Jimmy Corrigan


Kavalier and Clay

Night Watch


White Teeth

Fun Home

Emperor of All Maladies

Life After Life

Curious Incident

Shock Doctrine

The Road

Cloud Atlas

Amber Spyglass

Wolf Hall

And am currently reading The Underground Railroad. 23 and a bit then, heavily buoyed by the SF and Fantasy on the list.

dreams99 - 21 Sep 2019 11:54:34 (#16 of 95)

I can list several books I've read that should be on the list:

Foreign fiction since 2000:

Michel Houllebecq - Atomised

Daniel Kehlmann - Measuring the World

Imre Kertesz - Liquidation

Jonathan Littell - the Kindly Ones

Diego Marani - New Finnish Grammar

Per Petterson - In the Wake

Robert seethaler - The Tobacconist

Sjon - The Blue Fox

English fiction:

Ned Beauman - Boxer Beetle

Ronan Bennett - Havoc, in its third year

Malcolm Bradbury - To the Hermitage

Peter Carey - The True History of the Kelly Gang

Michael Chabon - The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Klay

Andrew Crumey - Mr Mee

Helen DeWitt - The Last Samurai

Patrick deWitt - The Sisters Brothers

Junot Diaz - The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

EL Doctorow - Homer and Langley

Richard Flanagan - Gould's Book of Fish

Mohsin Hamid - The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Aleksandr Hemon - The Question of Bruno

Hannah Kent - Burial Rites

Matthew Kneale - English Passengers

Eimear McBride - A Girl is a Half-foprmed Thing

Tom McCarthy - Remainder

James Meek - The People's Act of Love

Andrew Miller - Pure

Viet Thanh Nguyen - The Sympathiser

Sergio de la Pava - A Naked Singularity

Francis Spufford - Golden Hill

David Vann - Legend of a Suicide

Tim Winton - Eyrie

Sam Byers - Perfidious Albion

Samantha Harvey - The Western Wind


Daron Acemoglu - Why Nations Fail

Diana Athill - Stet

Paul Broks - Into the Silent Land

Nick Davies- Flat Earth News

Wade Davis - Into the Silence

Ben Goldacre - Bad Science

Sven Lindqvist - A History of Bombing

Bethany Maclean - The Smartest Guys in the Room

James Rebanks - The Shepherd's Life

Thomas E Ricks - Fiasco

Joe Sacco - Safe Area Gorazde

Philippe Sands - Lawless World

Nate Silver - The Signal and the Noise

JD Vance - Hillbilly Elegy

David Winner - Brilliant Orange

Lawrence Wright - The Looming Tower

So that's 50 books of this century that I've read that aren't on the list and might be. I reckon at least 20 of those are exceptionally good.

cozzer - 21 Sep 2019 11:55:36 (#17 of 95)

The Kelly Gang is on the list, no?

Dayraven - 21 Sep 2019 11:56:02 (#18 of 95)

Kelly Gang and Kavalier and Clay are on the list.

HerrWalrus - 21 Sep 2019 11:57:15 (#19 of 95)

So that's 50 books of this century that I've read that aren't on the list and might be.

Some more to add (imo)

A gentleman in Moscow - Amor Towles

Koestler - Michael Scammell

Cultural Amnesia - Clive James

Emancipation - Michael Goldfarb

Any one of the 3rd Reich trilogy by Richard J Evans

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