Every December lists sprout up as weeds after rain – Best Reads of the Year and the like. This year has an added category: 10 Best Reads of the Decade. Lonesome Reader’s post on the topic inspired me to hunt through my collection of tatty notebooks, and apply some thought. Ten books? One per year? Nah. I’ve listed the books that inspired, entertained, or informed me and made an indelible impression because of the stellar writing or their emotional impact or their intellectual content.

I read some magnificent novels: The Overstory- Richard Powers; the haunting A Little Life – Hanya Yanagihara; the intriguing Pale Fire – Vladimir Nabokov ; the elegiac Gilead by Marilynne Robinson; the unsettling House of Leaves – Mark Z Danielewski; ;and in the decade I discovered Australian Tim Winton’s work. For which I am grateful!]
Memoir provided some startling reads, namely Educated by Tara Westover and The Glass Castle by Janette Walls.
Non-fiction :Noah Yuval Harari’s Sapiens and Ken Moji’s The Little Book of Ikigai provided food for thought as did The Swerve – Stephen Greenblatt.

These ten books added to my life one way or another. The gift of sight, books and reading are treasures.




  1. I would have to say Tim Winton’s books have been a treasure to discover. Unfortunately I have not kept notebooks of all I have read – my bad, so I lose track. I borrowed The Overstory but it was November and NaNo called to me to write instead and since the book was small, light print, I gave it a miss due to the cataracts too – and that’s my excuses. Sapiens was another amazing book and a couple of the others you list here. As was Tan Twan Eng’s Garden of Evening Mists. A decade of reading up to 10 books a month – yes, I should have kept a notebook. Why didn’t someone suggest it to me, heheh?

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  2. Completely agree with ‘The Overstory’ and ‘A Little Life’, both of which have a place on my list of favourites, possibly even ‘of all time’. I was a little less impressed by ‘House of Leaves’ but I did admire it for its originality. It seems our reading tastes are similar!


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