Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison
In 2010 Mockingjay concluded the popular story of Katniss Everdeen, a two time survivor of the deadly Hunger Games who is now on the run from the corrupt Capitol. Room told a gripping story of a woman and her son's escape from seven year imprisonment that later became an Oscar nominated movie. Orange Is the New Black explored life in prison for women and became a popular Netflix original series.
Honorable mention: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Fifty Shades of Grey
Frankly 2011 should be ashamed of itself for giving us Fifty Shades of Grey, the Twilight fanfiction that gripped the hearts of women who don't love themselves and tried to make used tampons sexy. Fifty Shades of Grey taught us that stalking and abuse is fine if it's done by men who are hot and rich. It wasn't good but unfortunately it was impactful.
Honorable mentions that didn't bring shame to our ancestors: Divergent, The Night Circus, A Dance with Dragons, Ready Player One
The Fault In Our Stars
2012 brought us Gone Girl, the inspiring story of a woman who could just have filed for divorce but instead tortured her lousy husband in the most creative ways possible. Wild tells the true story of Cheryl Strayed, who lost her mom and probably should have just gotten therapy but instead went on a 1000 mile hike alone, had unprotected sex with multiple strangers, and allowed a bunch of animals to die from neglect... I'm not sure why but Oprah liked it and it became a movie starring Reese Witherspoon. The Fault In Our Stars explores the life and romance of a teenage girl with cancer, and later became a movie staring Shailene Woodley.
Honorable mention: My Brilliant Friend (not to be confused with my friend with a bike)
I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban
Crazy Rich Asians
The world was moved in 2013 when we read I Am Malala, the story of a girl shot by the Taliban for going to school and who has since traveled the world advocating for girls education. Americanah explores the story of a Nigerian woman who leaves her home and her struggles with racism in America. Crazy Rich Asians is pretty self explanatory, Rachel Chu finds out that her boyfriend is filthy rich and struggles to find her place in his world.
Honorable mention: Ancillary Justice, The Goldfinch
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
We learned a lot from books in 2014 guys. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up taught us how to stop hording crap that doesn't spark joy, and The Martian taught us how to grow potatoes on Mars! Both very handy skills to know.
Honorable mentions: All the Light We Cannot See, Everything I Never Told You, To All the Boys I've Loved Before, The Goblin Emperor
Between the World and Me
The Fifth Season
In 2015 The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters in France during World War II. In Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates discusses what it's like to inhabit a black body and the nations history and ongoing crisis with racism. The Fifth Season is novel of power, oppression, and revolution at the end of an age and a woman's quest to find her daughter.
The Underground Railroad
Born a Crime
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
2016 gave us stories about rising above the circumstances of your birth and also ruined our childhoods. In The Underground Railroad Cora is a young slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia who flees slavery. Born a Crime author Trevor Noah tells how he went from being born illegally in South Africa to being host of The Daily Show. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child appalled us all at how it broke previously established rules in the HP universe and oh yeah Voldemort and Bellatrix f*cked so there is that to emotionally scar you.
Honorable mention: When Breath Becomes Air, The Hating Game
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Little Fires Everywhere
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
Full of Old Hollywood glamour, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo tells the story of reporter Monique Grant and the scandalous actress Evelyn Hugo. In Little Fires Everywhere the perfect orderly life of Elena Richardson is upended by neighborhood newbie and mysterious single mom *le gasp* Mia Warren. In Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Eleanor is obsessed with a famous singer and avoids social interactions while consuming pizza and vodka on the weekends... did I wander into a FFA? She meets Raymond who probably doesn't wash his legs and some old dude and starts to heal from a traumatic childhood.
Honorable mentions: Exit West, The Hate U Give, This Is Going To Hurt
I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer
2019 had some great hits. America's most beloved first lady (questionable taste in friends aside) Michelle Obama wrote Becoming which tells the story of her upbringing and marriage to President Barack Obama. Circe is the beautifully told story of a woman born among gods who never quite fits in and finds herself drawn to the world of mortals. In I'll Be Gone in the Dark true crime journalist Michelle McNamara is determined to find the Golden State Killer and brings the reader on her journey.
Honorable mentions: Where the Crawdads Sing, Children of Blood and Bone, The Woman in the Window
Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators
She Said: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement
The Winter of the Witch
We watched the exposure of sexual predator Harvey Weinstein in real time in 2017, and this year the journalists who helped out him have shared their stories. In Catch and Kill Ronan Farrow faces opposition from his own bosses at NBC while trying to uncover decades of hidden sexual crimes by Weinstein. In She Said Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey work to uncover the same story and discuss the social shift that has occurred since then with the Me Too movement. The Winter of the Witch is the conclusion of the Winternight trilogy, Vasya holds the weight of Russia and the magical world on her shoulders and struggles to save both.
Honorable mentions: The Unhoneymooners, Gods of Jade and Shadow, The Testaments, Daisy Jones & The Six
Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28
What were your favorite books of the last decade ontd?