The Goldfinch

Top 10 Books from the Last Two Decades You Need to Read

Don't miss out on these excellent books!

by Iva Rizova

When two people talk about books, they must read, in most cases, they are classic works. Undoubtedly, they have great literary value, and many of them are innovators in writing, but we should not underestimate the works of our time.

Although today it is much more difficult for a novel to stand out in the presence of such diversity, some authors manage to make a furor among readers. We have collected the ten books from the beginning of the millennium to the present day, which everyone should read.

The Book Thief – Markus Zusak

The Book Thief

Marcus Zusak’s novel quickly became an international bestseller. The author’s unusual technique has won many fans. The story is told on behalf of Death, and that fact is enough to make you shiver. At the center of the plot is a little girl with an unfortunate fate, sandwiched in the corner between innocence and adulthood. Despite her fragile age, she witnessed the horrors of the Nazi regime and found solace only in the books she stole – a practice that began at her little brother’s funeral. In 2013, the film adaptation of the novel was released.

Submission – Michel Houellebecq

Submission - Michel Houellebecq

The plot of the book is strikingly reminiscent of Orwell’s 1984. There is only one difference – Islam plays the role of the socialist regime. The novel presents the upcoming presidential elections in France, which are almost certain to be won by the Muslim party. By coincidence, Submission was issued on the day of the Charlie Hebdo shooting. This draws the attention of many people to Welbeck’s work, and it is defined as prophetic. Although the book was criticized for the negative portrait of Islam it portrayed, it became a bestseller.

All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr

All the Light We Cannot See - Anthony Doerr

Marie-Laure and Werner are young people whose destinies meet in an unusual way against the backdrop of the war. She is the daughter of the keeper of the keys to the Natural History Museum in Paris, who lost her sight at an early age. He is from a poor German town and lives with his sister in an orphanage. Because of his talent for repairing any radio, they called him to the Hitler Youth Academy to train as a soldier. All the Light We Cannot See is another book presenting the horror and hopelessness of war that begs us not to forget the past.

Inferno – Dan Brown

dan brown inferno

We admit that you can be seriously frightened if you read the novel now because it is very similar to a conspiracy theory about the origin and spread of the coronavirus. Leaving aside the conspiracies, you will enjoy an extremely well-written mystery thriller, in which tension and suspense are present literally to the last page. In addition, the detailed descriptions of all the cities and landmarks that the characters visit are a fantastic bonus. Although it received controversial reviews from critics, Inferno became a bestseller, and we think this is his best novel.

The Goldfinch – Donna Tartt

The Goldfinch - Donna Tartt

At the age of thirteen, Theodore’s life turned upside down after visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A bomb explodes in the museum, killing several people, one of whom is his mother. In the commotion, an old man gives him a ring and a mysterious message. As a result, Theodore takes the picture called The Goldfinch and hides it because he is afraid of being accused of theft. From now on, his life is directly connected with this famous example of fine art. Donna Tart’s novel was awarded a Pulitzer Prize, and in 2019 the film adaptation was released. It’s really one of the best books.

Me Before You – Jojo Moyes

Me Before You - Jojo Moyes

Louise Clark is an ordinary girl from a small English town. Although her life is ordinary, she likes it and has a clear plan for the future – to get married and have children. But when she loses her job, her life changes completely. Unemployment and lack of money bring her to the brink of despair. He then received a job offer as a personal assistant to a man confined to a wheelchair. Thus begins an unusual love story that will change both forever. After You (2015) and Still Me (2018) continue the story of Louisa and Will.

Auschwitz Lullaby: A Novel – Mario Escobar

Auschwitz Lullaby: A Novel – Mario Escobar

In recent years, many books have been published presenting various fates from the Auschwitz concentration camp. But this novel is the first to tell the story of a woman who went there voluntarily so as not to separate from her family. The reason is that Helene is of Aryan blood, but her husband is a gypsy. The book presents a mother’s sacrifice, the survival of the human spirit, and the preservation of dignity. For every mother, the most severe punishment is the misery and pain of her children.

The Forty Rules of Love – Elif Shafak

The Forty Rules of Love

Everyone thinks that this is another novel telling a love story, but you realize that it is something more when you unfold it. A book about love and finding the way to ourselves and others because all we have is now. The Forty Rules of Love from Elif Shafak became a bestseller and won many prestigious awards. In 2019, they included it in the BBC’s list of the 100 novels of all time that changed the world. In the same year, it became clear that Netflix had bought the rights to screen the bestseller in the form of a series.

Sarah’s Key – Tatiana de Rosnay

Sarah's Key - Tatiana de Rosnay

The action takes place in two stages – in the past and the present. The first one represents France during the Vichy regime, when thousands of Jews are imprisoned in the indoor Velodrome d’Iver, from where they make their final journey to the death camps. Operation Spring Wind will forever change ten-year-old Sarah, marked for life by the yellow star. The present narrative focuses on Julia Jarmond, a journalist who writes about the anniversary of the ominous date of July 16, 1942. While working on the article, she accidentally discovers that her family is involved in the story, which will change her life completely.

Not a Drop to Drink – Mindy McGinnis

Not a Drop to Drink - Mindy McGinnis

Sixteen-year-old Lynn and her mother Lauren live alone on the shores of a lake – a valuable resource they defend at all costs. Lynn has been taught since she was a child that the only person who is not her enemy is her own mother. She has no contact with people, and she sees others like her only through the rifle’s scope. She lives in a world where the cold metal of her weapon brings more comfort than her mother’s caress and follows the cruel rules of nature – not to trust anyone, until an unfortunate day when Lauren dies, and Lynn is left alone. The novel seems like a terrifying prediction due to global warming and limited water resources.

If you are hesitant to start any of the listed books, do not waste time – there is something to learn from each one. In addition, you will enjoy quality contemporary literature.

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