Library Resources

A Decade of Reading: The Best Books of 2010-2019

A new decade is just two weeks away. That means it’s time to look back at the biggest books of the last ten years. Time Magazine recently selected their picks for the best fiction and nonfiction books published between 2010-2019. We’ve gone through their lists and can happily report that the Fordham Libraries hold nearly all of them. Keep reading to see which books were chosen and where you can find them at the library.

Each book below has a call number at either Walsh Library or Quinn Library (or both). These call numbers tell you where the books are located in the stacks. Since these books are popular, they might be checked out by other patrons when you go to look for them on the shelf. Search the title in the library catalog to make sure it’s available. If it’s not, you can also place a hold on it. Then, you’ll be notified when the book is returned and waiting for you at the library.

The Best Fiction Books of the 2010s (from Time Magazine)

A Visit from the Goon Squad (2010)
Jennifer Egan
Walsh Library: PS3555.G29 V57 2010
Quinn Library: PS3555.G29 V57 2010
“Jennifer Egan’s spellbinding interlocking narratives circle the lives of Bennie Salazar, an aging former punk rocker and record executive, and Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. Although Bennie and Sasha never discover each other’s pasts, the reader does, in intimate detail, along with the secret lives of a host of other characters whose paths intersect with theirs, over many years, in locales as varied as New York, San Francisco, Naples, and Africa.” – Read more on Goodreads

My Brilliant Friend (2011)
Elena Ferrante
Walsh Library: PQ4866.E636 A7913 2012
“A modern masterpiece from one of Italy’s most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense and generous hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila. Ferrante’s inimitable style lends itself perfectly to a meticulous portrait of these two women that is also the story of a nation and a touching meditation on the nature of friendship. Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighbourhood, a city and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between her two protagonists.” – Read more on Goodreads

Gone Girl (2012)
Gillian Flynn
Walsh Library: PS3606.L935 G66 2012
Quinn Library: PS3606.L935 G66 2012
“On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?” – Read more on Goodreads

Americanah (2013)
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Walsh Library: PR9387.9.A34 A44 2014
Quinn Library: PR9387.9.A34 A44 2014
“Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland.” – Read more on Goodreads

Life After Life (2013)
Kate Atkinson
Walsh Library: PR6051.T56 L54 2013
Quinn Library: PR6051.T56 L54 2013
“On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war. Does Ursula’s apparently infinite number of lives give her the power to save the world from its inevitable destiny? And if she can – will she?” – Read more on Goodreads

Tenth of December (2013)
George Saunders
Walsh Library: PS3569.A83 T46 2013
Quinn Library: PS3569.A83 T46 2013
“Writing brilliantly and profoundly about class, sex, love, loss, work, despair, and war, Saunders cuts to the core of the contemporary experience. These stories take on the big questions and explore the fault lines of our own morality, delving into the questions of what makes us good and what makes us human. Unsettling, insightful, and hilarious, the stories in Tenth of December—through their manic energy, their focus on what is redeemable in human beings, and their generosity of spirit—not only entertain and delight; they fulfill Chekhov’s dictum that art should ‘prepare us for tenderness.'” – Read more on Goodreads

The Sellout (2015)
Paul Beatty
Walsh Library: PS3552.E19 S45 2015
Quinn Library: PS3552.E19 S45 2015
“A biting satire about a young man’s isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court, Paul Beatty’s The Sellout showcases a comic genius at the top of his game. It challenges the sacred tenets of the United States Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, the father-son relationship, and the holy grail of racial equality―the black Chinese restaurant.” – Read more on Goodreads

Sing, Unburied Sing (2017)
Jesmyn Ward
Walsh Library: PS3623.A7323 S56 2017
Quinn Library: PS3623.A7323 S56 2017
“Sing, Unburied, Sing grapples with the ugly truths at the heart of the American story and the power, and limitations, of the bonds of family. Rich with Ward’s distinctive, musical language, Sing, Unburied, Sing is a majestic new work and an essential contribution to American literature.” – Read more on Goodreads

Little Fires Everywhere (2017)
Celeste Ng
Walsh Library: PS3614.G83 L58 2017
Quinn Library: PS3614.G83 L58 2017
“Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of long-held secrets and the ferocious pull of motherhood-and the danger of believing that planning and following the rules can avert disaster, or heartbreak.” – Read more on Goodreads

The Nickel Boys (2019)
Colson Whitehead
Walsh Library: PS3573.H4768 N53 2019
Quinn Library: PS3573.H4768 N53 2019
“Colson Whitehead brilliantly dramatizes another strand of American history through the story of two boys sentenced to a hellish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida. Based on the real story of a reform school in Florida that operated for one hundred and eleven years and warped the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative.” – Read more on Goodreads

The Best Nonfiction Books of the 2010s (from Time Magazine)

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration (2010)
Isabel Wilkerson
Walsh Library: E185.6 .W475 2010
Quinn Library: E185.6 .W475 2010
“In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves.” – Read more on Goodreads

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (2012)
Cheryl Strayed
Walsh Library: PS3619.T744 Z46 2012
Quinn Library: PS3619.T744 Z46 2012
“At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State — and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.” – Read more on Goodreads

Wave (2013)
Sonali Deraniyagala
Walsh Library: CT1528.D47 A3 2013
Quinn Library: CT1528.D47 A3 2013
“On the morning of December 26, 2004, on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, Sonali Deraniyagala lost her parents, her husband, and her two young sons in the tsunami she miraculously survived. In this brave and searingly frank memoir, she describes those first horrifying moments and her long journey since. She has written an engrossing, unsentimental, beautifully poised account: as she struggles through the first months following the tragedy, furiously clenched against a reality that she cannot face and cannot deny; and then, over the ensuing years, as she emerges reluctantly, slowly allowing her memory to take her back through the rich and joyous life she’s mourning, from her family’s home in London, to the birth of her children, to the year she met her English husband at Cambridge, to her childhood in Colombo; all the while learning the difficult balance between the almost unbearable reminders of her loss and the need to keep her family, somehow, still alive within her.” – Read more on Goodreads

Between the World and Me (2015)
Ta-Nehisi Coates
Walsh Library: E185.615 .C6335 2015
Quinn Library: E185.615 .C6335 2015
“For Ta-Nehisi Coates, history has always been personal. At every stage of his life, he’s sought in his explorations of history answers to the mysteries that surrounded him — most urgently, why he, and other black people he knew, seemed to live in fear. What were they afraid of? Coates takes readers along on his journey through America’s history of race and its contemporary resonances through a series of awakenings — moments when he discovered some new truth about our long, tangled history of race, whether through his myth-busting professors at Howard University, a trip to a Civil War battlefield with a rogue historian, a journey to Chicago’s South Side to visit aging survivors of 20th century America’s ‘long war on black people,’ or a visit with the mother of a beloved friend who was shot down by the police.” – Read more on Goodreads

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (2016)
Matthew Desmond
Walsh Library: HD7287.96.U6 D47 2016
Quinn Library: HD7287.96.U6 D47 2016
“In Evicted, Princeton sociologist and MacArthur “Genius” Matthew Desmond follows eight families in Milwaukee as they struggle to keep a roof over their heads. Evicted transforms our understanding of poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving one of 21st-century America’s most devastating problems. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible.” – Read more on Goodreads

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup (2018)
John Carreyrou
Walsh Library: HD9995.H423 U627 2018
Quinn Library: HD9995.H423 U627 2018
“The full inside story of the breathtaking rise and shocking collapse of a multibillion-dollar startup, by the prize-winning journalist who first broke the story and pursued it to the end in the face of pressure and threats from the CEO and her lawyers. In 2014, Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup “unicorn” promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood tests significantly faster and easier. Backed by investors such as Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, Theranos sold shares in a fundraising round that valued the company at $9 billion, putting Holmes’s worth at an estimated $4.7 billion. There was just one problem: The technology didn’t work. ” – Read more on Goodreads

These Truths: A History of the United States (2018)
Jill Lepore
Walsh Library: E178 .L57 2018
Quinn Library: E178 .L57 2018
“Widely hailed for its “sweeping, sobering account of the American past” (New York Times Book Review), Jill Lepore’s one-volume history of America places truth itself—a devotion to facts, proof, and evidence—at the center of the nation’s history. The American experiment rests on three ideas—“these truths,” Jefferson called them—political equality, natural rights, and the sovereignty of the people. But has the nation, and democracy itself, delivered on that promise?” – Read more on Goodreads

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity (2012)
Katherine Boo
Walsh Library: HV4140.M86 B66 2012
Quinn Library: HV4140.M86 B66 2012
“From Pulitzer Prize-winner Katherine Boo, a landmark work of narrative nonfiction that tells the dramatic and sometimes heartbreaking story of families striving toward a better life in one of the twenty-first century’s great, unequal cities. In this brilliantly written, fast-paced book, based on three years of uncompromising reporting, a bewildering age of global change and inequality is made human.” – Read more on Goodreads

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer (2010)
Siddhartha Mukherjee
Quinn Library: RC275 .M85 2010
“The Emperor of All Maladies is a magnificent, profoundly humane “biography” of cancer—from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new understanding of its essence.” – Read more on Goodreads

How many of these books have you read? What books are on your end-of-year list?

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