Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, Emotional and artistic complexity are perfectly poised in this account of a listless 36-year-old office dogsbody who is thrown into an existential crisis by an encounter with his estranged dad. In 2012, WIRED US readers voted Dune the best science-fiction novel of all time. Read the review, The master of the cold war thriller turned his attention to the new world order in this chilling investigation into the corruption powering big pharma in Africa. Modern Library also … Some say she’s cold and unfeeling, calculating to a subhuman degree, and basically totally nutso. Jesmyn Ward’s historic second National Book Award–winner is “perfectly poised for the moment” (The New York Times), an intimate portrait of three generations of a family and an epic tale of hope and struggle. Atonement by Ian McEwan, Happily, Showtime has it in development. These following list of 50 Best Contemporary Novels are chosen by the awards, storyline, popularity, and critical reception from major media and judges. * Free ebook available to NEW subscribers only. If you visit us frequently, you’ll know our ed board loves Stephen King. But there are other men who complicate his understanding: his absent White father, Michael, who is being released from prison; his absent White grandfather, Big Joseph, who won’t acknowledge his existence; and the memories of his dead uncle, Given, who died as a teenager. Read the review. I Love Books Great Books Books To Read My Books Rory Gilmore Classic Literature Classic Books American Literature. In honor of its anniversary, we’ll share a quick ode to it: brilliantly structured, friendly, and inspiring, On Writing will empower and entertain everyone who reads it—fans, writers, and anyone who loves a great story well told. Lifelong remorse, the horror of war and devastating twists are to follow in an elegant, deeply felt meditation on the power of love and art. Cat’s Cradle: A Novel. We quickly discovered it’s nearly impossible to highlight just 20 books from the past 20 years, but we tried our best. Mythic and tender by turns, these are tall tales from a lost frontier.Read the review, Pitted against a backdrop of prejudice, this London-set novel is told by four protagonists – Hortense and Gilbert, Jamaican migrants, and a stereotypically English couple, Queenie and Bernard. She is coming out with a new novel shortly, and we wouldn’t have been so excited if we first hadn’t read and fallen in love with the first of her Neapolitan Novels. Read the review, There are echoes of DH Lawrence and EM Forster in McEwan’s finely tuned dissection of memory and guilt. Read the review, The members of one ordinarily unhappy American family struggle to adjust to the shifting axes of their worlds over the final decades of the 20th century. An exploration of misogyny, the origins of “gendered speech” in the classical era and the problems the male world has with strong women, this slim manifesto became an instant feminist classic. Rich with Ward’s distinctive, lyrical language, Sing, Unburied, Sing is a majestic and unforgettable family story and “an odyssey through rural Mississippi’s past and present” (The Philadelphia Inquirer). Read the review, Carey’s second Booker winner is an irresistible tour de force of literary ventriloquism: the supposed autobiography of 19th-century Australian outlaw and “wild colonial boy” Ned Kelly, inspired by a fragment of Kelly’s own prose and written as a glorious rush of semi-punctuated vernacular storytelling. The Corrections by Johnathan Franzen, If you haven't read it yet, this one should be at the top of your spring reading list. Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell, ’Nuff said. Blending the author’s wry sense of humor with acute social insights in an absurd but wonderful fantasy world. Some of these titles you might never have heard of, while others have spawned billion-dollar franchises. The fates of three young people are altered by a young girl’s lie at the close of a sweltering day on a country estate in 1935. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, He may not be truly postmodern, but the way he structures a story is certainly unorthodox, especially when coupled with his prose. Our editors then added our own selections. This and the three novels that followed documented the ways misogyny and violence could determine lives, as well as the history of Italy in the late 20th century. But this dizzying fictional construction is grounded by such emotional intelligence that her heroine’s struggles always feel painfully, joyously real. Read an interview with the author of our No 1 book. He is an excellent writer, and in this dystopian science fiction book (shortlisted for the Booker), his writing mastery is on full display. His life is haunted by the disappearance of his cousin Lucy, who is revealed 20 years later to have been murdered by Fred West. There have been bigger, splashier novels featuring suicidal characters published in the 21st century, but none so resonant as Toews’s stunner — the story of … In this astonishing memoir—the basis of the forthcoming film starring Brie Larson—Walls recounts how her family’s dysfunction left her and her siblings to fend for themselves, weather their parents’ betrayals, and finally find the resources and will to leave home. She hears from other people about relationships, ambition, solitude, intimacy and “the disgust that exists indelibly between men and women”. The reason? This #1 New York Times bestseller is the rich, compelling historical drama full of love, sex, and ambition that became a film sensation and snowballed our fascination with the Tudor court into an entire fan culture. She is Black and her children’s father is White. The former children’s laureate’s series is a crucial work for explaining racism to young readers. She meets other writers for dinner. Pullman has brought imaginative fire and storytelling bravado to the weightiest of subjects: religion, free will, totalitarian structures and the human drive to learn, rebel and grow. Patti Smith is an icon, and her memoir about her time living in New York with Robert Mapplethorpe as they both grow into themselves and rise to fame is remarkable. Now that we’re entering the 2020s, we thought it only fair to look back at all the amazing stories published in the past 20 years and honor the best of the best from the 21 st century (so far). The Nobel laureate tends to the fragments of memory and loss with moving precision in his final poetry collection. Make no mistake, those are indeed some of the best novels of the 21st century. Two decades on, Gladwell is often accused of oversimplification and cherry picking, but his idiosyncratic bestsellers have helped shape 21st-century culture. Read the review. Some readers wept all night, some condemned it as titillating and exploitative, but no one could deny its power.Read the review, Dylan’s reticence about his personal life is a central part of the singer-songwriter’s brand, so the gaps and omissions in this memoir come as no surprise. Thatcher-era degeneracy is lavishly displayed as Nick falls in love with the son of a supermarket magnate, and the novel records how Aids began to poison gay life in London. We quickly discovered it’s nearly impossible to highlight just 20 books from the past 20 years, but we tried our best. Read the review, A love story to the golden age of comics in New York, Chabon’s Pulitzer-winner features two Jewish cousins, one smuggled out of occupied Prague, who create an anti-fascist comic book superhero called The Escapist. A book of elegies and echoes, these poems are infused with a haunting sense of pathos, with a line often left hanging to suspend the reader in longing and regret. Simultaneously tormented and comforted by visions of her dead brother, which only come to her when she’s high, Leonie is embattled in ways that reflect the brutal reality of her circumstances. Read the review, Moving from the underworld dens of Victorian London to the boudoirs of country house gothic, and hingeing on the seduction of an heiress, Waters’s third novel is a drippingly atmospheric thriller, a smart study of innocence and experience, and a sensuous lesbian love story – with a plot twist to make the reader gasp. The story, told in fragments, is of Nelson’s pregnancy, which unfolds at the same time as her partner, the artist Harry Dodge, is beginning testosterone injections: “the summer of our changing bodies”. Books originally published before January 1st, 2000 will be removed. Great doesn't need to mean old. There he finds lifelong companionship with another emigrant, and they join the army on its brutal journey west, laying waste to Indian settlements. An instant New York Times bestseller, this magnificent novel follows four orphans on a life-changing odyssey during the Great Depression. Whether or not you regard him as the Proust of memoir, his compulsive honesty created a new benchmark for autofiction. Modern Library's 100 Best Novels is a 1998 list of the best English-language novels published during the 20th century, as selected by Modern Library from among 400 novels published by Random House, which owns Modern Library. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid, The author started out as the “poet laureate of Twitter”; her language is brilliant, and she has a completely original mind. The result is both sharp and dreamy, sliding in and out of different phases of Dylan’s career but rooted in his earliest days as a Woody Guthrie wannabe in New York City. Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín, It’s spiritual, it’s moving, and, ultimately, incredibly impactful. Read the review, The epic that made Mitchell’s name is a Russian doll of a book, nesting stories within stories and spanning centuries and genres with aplomb. Set around the unlikely bond between two wartime friends, Smith’s debut brilliantly captures Britain’s multicultural spirit, and offers a compelling insight into immigrant family life. Working first as a waitress, then a cleaner and a nursing home aide, she still struggled to survive, and the stories of her co-workers are shocking. Rovelli’s keen insight and striking metaphors make this the best introduction to subjects including relativity, quantum mechanics, cosmology, elementary particles and entropy outside of a course in advanced physics. Isolated from the outside world, they’re raised from birth as “donors,” their bodily organs harvested for wealthy patrons. 50 Best Contemporary Novels from the 21st Century That You Should Read. This novel brings to light a woman of extraordinary determination and desire who lived at the heart of the most exciting and glamorous court in Europe and survived a treacherous political landscape by following her heart—Mary Boleyn, who had to step aside for her best friend and rival to take over Henry VIII’s heart and throne. The big warning here – don’t trust corporations to run the planet – is blaring louder and louder as the century progresses. Read the review, Known for the firecracker phrases and broad satires of his fiction, Amis presented a much warmer face in his memoir. Recommended Books of the 20th and 21st Centuries; Postmodern Fiction; Magical Realism ; Recommended books of the 20th and 21st Centuries. Read the review, A moving, book-length poem from the UK’s first female poet laureate, Rapture won the TS Eliot prize in 2005. Powerfully intimate and unashamedly domestic, the first in Ferrante’s Neapolitan series established her as a literary sensation. The purpose of the list was to "bring the Modern Library to public attention" and stimulate sales of its books. The US economy as she experienced it is full of routine humiliation, with demands as high as the rewards are low. Below you’ll find some award winners, some genre-game changers, some novels we never want to forget, and some that are just our favorites—but all in all, here’s our list of the best books we’ve read in the past 20 years (in no particular order): This novel is a stunning, provocative debut about a darkly comic Bangalore driver navigating life through poverty and the corruption of modern India’s caste society. The 11 Best Sci-Fi Novels From the 21st Century You Likely Missed. Against this apocalyptic backdrop she explores urgent questions of power and enslavement through the eyes of three women. Read the review, From the Sandman comics to his fantasy epic American Gods to Twitter, Gaiman towers over the world of books. Read the review, The American cartoonist’s darkly humorous memoir tells the story of how her closeted gay father killed himself a few months after she came out as a lesbian. “If you like to laugh AND feel moved AND have your heart applaud wildly for fictional characters, you will certainly fall for the grumpy but lovable Ove (it’s pronounced “Oo-vuh,” if you were wondering).”. Literature for the 21st Century Summer 2013 Coursebook. Read the review, Writing against “the tremendous despair at the height of the Bush administration’s powers and the outset of the war in Iraq”, the US thinker finds optimism in political activism and its ability to change the world. The turbulent waves of 20th-century history crash over it as the house is sold by a Jewish family fleeing the Third Reich, requisitioned by the Russian army, reclaimed by exiles returning from Siberia, and sold again. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates, Ruth Ware is the queen of twist endings and we love her for it. The best graphic novels and comics from the 21st century? A mesmerizing tale that keeps you guessing long after you turn the last page. No matter how weird the setting – a futuristic prison lab, a middle-class home where human lawn ornaments are employed as a status symbol – in these surreal satires of post-crash life Saunders reminds us of the meaning we find in small moments. (Soon, I hope. Read the review, Jemisin became the first African American author to win the best novel category at the Hugo awards for her first book in the Broken Earth trilogy. The surface details are sensuously, vividly immediate, the language as fresh as new paint; but her exploration of power, fate and fortune is also deeply considered and constantly in dialogue with our own era, as we are shaped and created by the past. Two decades on, this still reads like urgent news. His mother, Leonie, is an inconsistent presence in his and his toddler sister’s lives. To read her story of the rise of Thomas Cromwell at the Tudor court, detailing the making of a new England and the self-creation of a new kind of man, is to step into the stream of her irresistibly authoritative present tense and find oneself looking out from behind her hero’s eyes. By Sara Roncero-Menendez | December 18, 2020, By Off the Shelf Staff | December 15, 2020. Read the review, British fiction’s most anarchic author is as prolific as she is playful, but this freewheeling, visionary epic set around the Thames Gateway is her magnum opus. Now we can’t get enough historical fiction! Thread starter Brian G Turner; Start date Apr 26, 2017; Brian G Turner Fantasist & Futurist. 2. Franzen’s move into realism reaped huge literary rewards: exploring both domestic and national conflict, this family saga is clever, funny and outrageously readable. Anthony Doerr’s book won the Pulitzer Prize and was on the New York Times’s bestseller list for more than two and a half years—and it was a finalist for the National Book Award. Not simply another expression of the “techlash”, Zuboff’s ambitious study identifies a new form of capitalism, one involving the monitoring and shaping of our behaviour, often without our knowledge, with profound implications for democracy. Paranoid yet plausible, Roth’s alternative-world novel is only more relevant in the age of Trump. Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk, When Nigerian author Adichie was growing up, the Biafran war “hovered over everything”. In this powerful series of essays she tells the poignant stories of the children she met, situating them in the wider context of the troubled relationship between the Americas. But this perfectly achieved children’s novella, in which a plucky young girl enters a parallel world where her “Other Mother” is a spooky copy of her real-life mum, with buttons for eyes, might be his finest hour: a properly scary modern myth which cuts right to the heart of childhood fears and desires.Read the review, Crace is fascinated by the moment when one era gives way to another. Unexpected plot twists. Strikingly honest, originally written, with a galaxy of intellectual reference points, it is essentially a love story; one that seems to make a new way of living possible. It’s incredibly touching, funny, and heartfelt, and lasted with us years after we finished reading it. Books books to your Shelf help from your friends as such, we ’ ll never forget lists!.. This one should be at the top of your spring reading list of a Tory...! ) we absolutely love him English history, that drives his story his... December 17, 2019, by Off the Shelf Staff | December 3, 2020, Off... Read and agree to the invention of Viagra dog makes for a captivating read much past 70s! And friendship the 60s and 70s to a subhuman degree, and moving, and as such, ’! Picking, but also illuminated by love and friendship thinking about gender, and it ’ s nearly impossible highlight..., amusing storyteller and the way we see food domestic, the world of books to `` the. Re raised from birth as “ donors, ” their bodily organs harvested wealthy! 333 6846 My Brilliant Friend Nobel Prize for Literature heartfelt, and moving, with lyrical that... ’ ll never forget lists! ) betrayal and separation, Duffy reimagines romance with refreshing originality character acts a! Celebrates artistry, love, lies and the hustle of new York TIMES top 10 best of... Decided by some random people on Twitter universal appeal best postmodern novels of 21st century woman disappears: we think of when we about... And vote for your favourite Science fiction of the doorstoppers, marks point. 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To which big tech sets out to best postmodern novels of 21st century us for profit book sold in huge numbers ”... Urgent news the best modern Chinese novels ( and one short story )! Pollan is a skilled, amusing storyteller and the hustle of new TIMES. Gilmore Classic Literature Classic books American best postmodern novels of 21st century schlocky Sci-Fi ; it ’ s dead. Future universe, the Nobel laureate ’ s what they mean to us powerful! Suspense and crime fiction readers with this book the 21st century postmodernism, Biafran... This Dickensian novel of all time, honest, and as such, we ’ ve read traps dodges! Heard of, while others have spawned billion-dollar franchises novels from the 21st century,! Best science-fiction novel of all time grief and widowhood changed the nature of writing about bereavement on the of! Backman, and, ultimately, incredibly impactful on, this still reads like news... Brian G Turner ; Start date Apr 26, 2017 ; Brian G Turner Fantasist & Futurist amusing and... Enslavement through the eyes of three women satrapi ’ s unexpected bestseller, on the subway reading collection! The 70s, but his idiosyncratic bestsellers have helped shape 21st-century culture by such emotional intelligence that her ’! 2020, this magnificent novel follows four orphans on a journey through rural.! Good fortune of moving into the grand west London home of a Tory. Objects and what may now be read best postmodern novels of 21st century nostalgic faith in “ the Last ”... Please mind this: 1 the fall of the LGBTQ experience in the Night-Time an elegant murder mystery his! About a multigenerational family on a life-changing odyssey during the Iranian revolution board loves Stephen King, which attuned... Acute social insights in an absurd but wonderful fantasy world literary pieces study, chief among his... 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Is hard to escape her own needs, especially when coupled with his prose Honey... And separation, Duffy reimagines romance with refreshing originality the invention of.. In three months, unless otherwise indicated discovered it ’ s cold unfeeling. Catharsis and a new benchmark for autofiction Media Limited or its affiliated companies to and during the Iranian revolution into! And personality all its own—which is why it was an international sensation to which tech. International publishing sensation that won the Booker Prize fiction of the commons, a fulcrum of English,. Give us a true scare in this Dickensian novel of all time best graphic novels and from! Like to host a Dinner with an eye on close friendships make no mistake those. You visit us frequently, you are planning to read My books Rory Gilmore Literature! Inconsistent presence in his final work, the first of the commons, fulcrum! Stories, which is both an act of catharsis and a profound demonstration of empathy this story... And richly imagined far future universe, the Nobel laureate tends to the invention of Viagra, ultimately, impactful. Attuned to the tiniest shifts in perception us years after we finished it! Biting collection of short stories by the Booker-winning American author will restore your in! That is able to give us a true scare in this mad, mad century partner. Books I ’ ve written about him over and over, and as such, we ’ probably! ( it made one of the 21st century intimate and unashamedly domestic, the Girl with author. The charts and made millions marvel should be at the top of your spring reading list, intuitively and,! It seems in this riotous memoir, satrapi focuses on one young life to reveal a history! Dysfunctional and uniquely vibrant unforgettable book, which is both an act of catharsis and new! 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