Monday, December 30, 2019

Best of the Decade: A Long And Very Opinionated Set of Lists

Because I didn't get organized enough in time to dole this out like a sane person...

This isn't a list of my favorites I read this decade, but my favorites of those published. Obviously, there's quite a bit of crossover between those categories, but for instance, I'm not including In Cold Blood, even though I just read it in 2019. Also, I couldn't come up with a reasonable number for each category (much less reasonable categories, really), though I did prune the YA contemporary list back to 30. Books highlighted in blue are particular favorites of mine.

Favorite graphic novels of the decade

Middle Grade
Dear Sister
Making Friends
New Kid
This Was Our Pact
White Bird

Young Adult
Check Please
Drowned City
Hey, Kiddo
I Am Alfonso Jones
Kiss #8

Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant?
The Encyclopedia of Early Earth
Something New: Tales from a Makeshift Bride

Favorite Middle Grade books of the decade

novels in verse
Redwood and Ponytail
They Call me G├╝ero

spec fic
Akata Witch
The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge

historical fiction
Front Desk

Nine, Ten
The War that Saved My Life/ The War I Finally Won

The Benefits of Being an Octopus
Flying Lessons and Other Stories
Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World
Lily & Dunkin
Maybe He Just Likes You
Orbiting Jupiter

Favorite YA realistic Fiction/contemporary
All American Boys
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Challenger Deep
Darius the Great is Not Okay
Death Prefers Blondes
Eleanor and Park
Every Last Word
Everybody Sees the Ants
The Female of the Species
Goodbye Days
A Heart in a Body in the World
Hidden Pieces
How It Went Down
If I Was Your Girl
I’ll Meet You There
The Inexplicable Logic of My Life
A List of Cages
Long Way Down
Losers Bracket
The Memory of Light
Ramona Blue
Reality Boy
Saints and Misfits
The Serpent King
The Upside of Unrequited
The Wicker King

Best historical fiction
Code Name Verity
Dreamland Burning
A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue
If I Ever Get Out of Here
Murder on the Red River
Orphan Monster Spy
Salt to the Sea
The Smell of Other People’s Houses

Best YA speculative fiction of the decade

Bone Houses
Darker Shade of Magic (series)
Denton Little’s Deathdate
Dread Nation
An Ember in the Ashes
Girl of Fire and Thorns (series)
Not a Drop to Drink
Queen of the Tearling (series)
The Scorpio Races
Scythe (series)
Six of Crows
Strange the Dreamer/Muse of Nightmares
Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful
Tess of the Road
Three Dark Crowns (series)

Best nonfiction of the decade
The 57 Bus
Boots on the Ground
Brave Face
Every Falling Star
Just Mercy
Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War
Some Writer!
Symphony for the City of the Dead

Book Love
The Book Whisperer
Born a Crime
H is for Hawk
Lab Girl
Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal

Best adult fiction
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
Juliet Takes a Breath
The Last Policeman (series)
One Was a Soldier
Paragon Hotel
Station Eleven
The Steel Seraglio
There There
Trigger Warning: Short Fiction and Disturbances


  1. I’m so happy I’ve read a bunch of these! I’m saving this post so I can look up the ones I don’t know much about.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  2. This is quite a list! You and I definitely have a lot of overlap. I love that people are doing "Best of the Decade" lists, but I get so overwhelmed by the thought that I just can't even (which makes me appreciate the lists of those of you who do even more).

  3. This is quite a list, and I see many books I enjoyed and loved on it. Ivy Aberdeen was a standout for me, as was Blake's followup, Sunny St. James. I am excited to see The Memory of Light and The Smell of Other People's Houses on your list. I thought both books were phenomenal, but never heard too many people talking about them.

  4. It gives me a happy feeling to look over your list and remember reading some of these. I would love to read more from you list that I haven't read.

  5. I enjoyed a lot Born a Crime, but it didn't make it to my top 12 of the decade:


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