Δευτέρα, 16 Νοεμβρίου 2009

Τα 100 βιβλία της δεκαετίας

Ακόμη δεν τελείωσε η πρώτη δεκαετία του 21ου αιώνα και άρχισαν οι ανα/κατατάξεις. Από την βρετανική The Telegraph αναγράφουμε τα 20 πρώτα σημαντικότερα βιβλία, μυθιστορήματα, βιογραφίες, δοκίμια κ.α (αλλά όχι και πάντα τα καλύτερα) και για τα υπόλοιπα κάντε βόλτα στον σύνδεσμο. Αύριο θα έχουμε των Times.
Όσα έχουν χρωματιστεί κυκλοφορούν ήδη στα ελληνικά και -σύμπτωση- στο 7 , οι ΑΓΡΙΟΙ ΝΤΕΤΕΚΤΙΒ, βγήκανε σήμερα μόλις σεργιάνι στα ελληνικά βιβλιοπωλεία.


20 Schott’s Original Miscellany

by Ben Schott

Bloomsbury, 2002 £10.99

This compendium of useless and amusing information had its origins in the Weekend section of the Telegraph.

19 Snow

by Orhan Pamuk, tr by Maureen Freely

Faber & Faber, 2004 £8.99

A political exile returns to Turkey and finds a country wasting away.

18 The Kite Runner

by Khaled Hosseini

Bloomsbury, 2004 £7.99

Clunky writing but a poignant tale, this timely novel about an Afghan boy became a bestseller.

17 Madoff: the Man Who Stole $65 billion

by Erin Arvedlund

Penguin, 2009 £9.99

A gripping investigation into the fraudster by the whistle-blower who had been ignored.

16 The No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency

by Alexander McCall Smith

Abacus, 1998 £7.99

If you could condense charm into a paperback, this is what would result. Mma Precious Ramotswe appeared in 1998 but dominated the 2000s.

15 Samuel Pepys

by Claire Tomalin

Viking, 2002 £10.99

Magisterial biography of everyone’s favourite maid-tupping Restoration diarist.

14 Boyhood (1997), Youth (2002), Summertime (2009)

by JM Coetzee

Harvill Secker £7.99 each

A beautifully written trilogy of fictionalised memoirs that challenged genre conventions.

13 9/11 Commission Report

WW Norton, 2004 £6.99

Praised for its literary qualities as well as its findings.

12 Jade: My Autobiography

by Jade Goody

HarperCollins, 2006 £7.99

We hated her, then we loved her. The first of many memoirs from the world’s first non-celebrity celebrity.

11 The Tipping Point

by Malcolm Gladwell

Abacus, 2000 £7.99

A rip-roaring account of how cultural events happen. The title entered the language.

10 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

by Stieg Larsson, tr by Reg Keeland

Maclehose Press, 2008 £6.99

A journalist hooks up with a girl punk to form detective fiction’s unlikeliest pair, wading through the murky depths of Swedish society.

9 Atonement

by Ian McEwan

Jonathan Cape, 2001 £7.99

Briony Tallis tells a lie and regrets it for the rest of her life. Metafictional country house war novel that became a literary bestseller.

8 White Teeth

by Zadie Smith

Hamish Hamilton, 2000 £7.99

Smith was feted for her incisive, funny account of two friends whose lives intertwine in London. The dilemmas of immigration are confronted with satire and sympathy.

7 The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño

tr by Natasha Wimmer

Picador, 2007 £8.99

This mesmerising novel features a quest for the founder of the “visceral realists”, and showcases the magical quality of Bolaño’s writing. He called it “a love letter to my generation”.

6 Being Jordan

by Katie Price

John Blake, 2004 £7.99

Katie Price now heads a publishing industry, producing children’s books, novels and four volumes of memoir, of which this was the first – and the most revealing.

5 The God Delusion

by Richard Dawkins

Bantam, 2006 £8.99

Belief in God is not only totally irrational, but actively harmful to society, says Richard Dawkins. Whether you agree with him or not, his book was a popular demolition job of the world’s great faiths.

4 A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

by Dave Eggers

Picador, 2000 £7.99

One of the first of the “creative” memoirs, this chronicled Eggers’s life with his younger siblings after the death of their parents from cancer. Bold, dazzling and fantastical, it launched a new style of writing.

3 The Da Vinci Code

by Dan Brown

Corgi, 2003 £7.99

Dan Brown may not be able to write, but he sure can pull in the punters. A mad mishmash of conspiracy theories about Jesus built around the most basic elements of a thriller, this has sold almost as many copies as the Bible and has made the world’s pulse beat faster.

2 Dreams from My Father

by Barack Obama

Canongate, 2007 £8.99

Originally published in 1995 in the US, this was launched in Britain to enormous acclaim before the first black president took to the world stage. Candid and sensitively written, the memoir is a search for his father (who left when Obama was two) and his racial identity. A touchstone for future politicians.

1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

by JK Rowling

Bloomsbury, 2007 £8.99

If you don’t know what a Muggle is by now, you’re either Rip van Winkle or enormously stubborn. This is the seventh and final instalment in Rowling’s record-breaking series about Harry Potter, the world’s most famous lightning-scarred boy wizard and his tribulations with Lord Voldemort. We’ve seen Harry grow from a spindly, messy-haired 11-year-old into a heroic young adult. Children have grown up with him, finding in his battles metaphors for their own. This volume alone sold 15 million copies in the first 24 hours after it was published. Whether wickedly skewering suburbia, or bringing Harry, Ron and Hermione into mortal danger, Rowling is never less than absorbing. Some may sneer at her books, but they are triumphant sagas about the defeat of evil that tap into our basic hunger for stories. Most importantly, she makes reading a 700-page book seem easy. This one even has a quotation from Aeschylus as its epigraph. It stands as a cornerstone of the decade, a melding of high and low culture that appeals to all ages and nations.

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