Best Fiction

The best fiction (novels, short stories, and plays) that I’ve read in the past few years.

10 Best Fiction Books I Read in 2021

  1. No One Is Talking About This, Patricia Lockwood
  2. Crossroads, Jonathan Franzen
  3. Stoner, John Williams
  4. The Abyss, Marguerite Yourcenar
  5. All for Nothing, Walter Kempowski
  6. The Morning Star, Karl Ove Knausgaard
  7. Second Place, Rachel Cusk
  8. Heat Wave, Penelope Lively
  9. Passing On, Penelope Lively
  10. Last Night: Stories, James Salter

10 Best Fiction Books I Read in 2020

  1. The Collected Stories, Grace Paley
  2. The Golovlovs, Mikhail Saltykov-Shchedrin
  3. Don Quixote, Miguel de Cervantes
  4. The Lying Life of Adults, Elena Ferrante
  5. My Struggle, Book 6, Karle Ove Knausgaard
  6. Sweet Days of Discipline, Fleur Jaeggy
  7. Mortals, Norman Rush
  8. Dept. of Speculation, Jenny Offill
  9. A Breath of Life, Clarice Lispector
  10. Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, Olga Tokarczuk

10 Best Fiction Books I Read in 2019

  1. History, Elsa Morante
  2. Selected Stories, Nadine Gordimer
  3. Across the Bridge, Mavis Gallant
  4. The Emigrants, W.G. Sebald
  5. Honored Guest, Joy Williams
  6. Escapes, Joy Williams
  7. Vertigo, W.G. Sebald
  8. The House of the Spirits, Isabel Allende
  9. Two Lives and a Dream, Marguerite Yourcenar
  10. On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous, Ocean Vuong

10 Best Fiction Books I Read in 2018

  1. In Transit, Mavis Gallant
  2. Ninety-Nine Stories of God, Joy Williams
  3. A Heart So White, Javier Marías
  4. Thérèse Desqueyroux, François Mauriac
  5. Labyrinths, Jorge Luis Borges
  6. Spring Snow, Yukio Mishima
  7. Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie
  8. Collected Stories of William Faulkner
  9. Florida, Lauren Groff
  10. King, Queen, Knave, Vladimir Nabokov

10 Best Fiction Books I Read in 2017

  1. The Rings of Saturn, W.G. Sebald
  2. The Complete Stories, Clarice Lispector
  3. The Visiting Privilege, Joy Williams
  4. Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders
  5. My Struggle, Book 5, Karl Ove Knausgaard
  6. The Big Rock Candy Mountain, Wallace Stegner
  7. The Sportswriter, Richard Ford
  8. Giovanni’s Room, James Baldwin
  9. The Question of Bruno, Aleksandar Hemon
  10. The Afterlives, Thomas Pierce

10 Best Fiction Books I Read in 2016

  1. The Passion According to G.H., Clarice Lispector
  2. The Days of Abandonment, Elena Ferrante
  3. Blow-Up and Other Stories, Julio Cortázar
  4. The Friendly Persuasion, Jessamyn West
  5. The Wallcreeper, Nell Zink
  6. The Leopard, Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
  7. Fates and Furies, Lauren Groff
  8. The Association of Small Bombs, Karan Mahajan
  9. My Struggle, Book 4, Karl Ove Knausgaard
  10. Troubling Love, Elena Ferrante

10 Best Fiction Books I Read in 2015

  1. The Stories of John Cheever
  2. The Neapolitan Novels, Elena Ferrante
  3. My Struggle, Books 1 and 2, Karl Ove Knausgaard
  4. A Little Life, Hanya Yanagihara
  5. Independent People, Halldór Laxness
  6. Between the Acts, Virginia Woolf
  7. The Blue Flower, Penelope Fitzgerald
  8. In Persuasion Nation, George Saunders
  9. Moon Tiger, Penelope Lively
  10. Coup de Grâce, Marguerite Yourcenar

10 Best Fiction Books I Read in 2014

  1. The Stories of Paul Bowles
  2. Alexis, Marguerite Yourcenar
  3. Pale Fire, Vladimir Nabokov
  4. The Forsyte Saga, John Galsworthy
  5. The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis
  6. Can’t and Won’t, Lydia Davis
  7. Henderson the Rain King, Saul Bellow
  8. Light Years, James Salter
  9. Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  10. The Orphan Master’s Son, Adam Johnson

10 Best Fiction Books I Read in 2013

  1. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy
  2. Infinite Jest, David Foster Wallace
  3. The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner
  4. Time Regained, Marcel Proust
  5. Memoirs of Hadrian, Marguerite Yourcenar
  6. Tenth of December, George Saunders
  7. Suite Française, by Irène Némirovsky
  8. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Tennessee Williams
  9. The Idiot, Fyodor Dostoevsky
  10. The Complete Poems of Anne Sexton

10 Best Fiction Books I Read in 2012

  1. Absalom, Absalom!  William Faulkner
  2. The Captive and The Fugitive, Marcel Proust
  3. Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino
  4. King Lear, William Shakespeare
  5. Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert
  6. Close Range, Annie Proulx
  7. Evidence of Things Unseen, Marianne Wiggins
  8. May We Be Forgiven, A.M. Homes
  9. The Wonders of the Invisible World, David Gates
  10. A Mercy, Toni Morrison

10 Best Fiction Books I Read in 2011

  1. Housekeeping, Marilynne Robinson
  2. Sodom and Gomorrah, Marcel Proust
  3. What the Living Do, Marie Howe
  4. Freedom, Jonathan Franzen
  5. Crossing to Safety, Wallace Stegner
  6. Light in August, William Faulkner
  7. Gilead, Marilynne Robinson
  8. The Marriage Plot, Jeffrey Eugenides
  9. The Sheltering Sky, Paul Bowles
  10. I, Claudius, Robert Graves

10 Best Books I Read in 2010

  1. The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen
  2. The Museum of Innocence, Orhan Pamuk
  3. The Guermantes Way, Marcel Proust
  4. Pale Fire, Vladimir Nabokov
  5. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Jonathan Safran Foer
  6. Wives and Daughters, Elizabeth Gaskell
  7. Ulysses, James Joyce
  8. The Man Who Loved Children, Christina Stead
  9. One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  10. Ada, or Ardor: A Family Chronicle, Vladimir Nabokov

10 Best Books I Read in 2009

  1. Middlemarch, George Eliot
  2. Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
  3. The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Milan Kundera
  4. Cane, Jean Toomer
  5. For the Time Being, Annie Dillard
  6. The Narrow Road to the Interior, Matsuo Basho
  7. Within a Budding Grove, Marcel Proust
  8. The Shipping News, Annie Proulx
  9. Resurrection, Leo Tolstoy
  10. Drown, Junot Diaz

10 Best Books I Read in 2008

  1. Out Stealing Horses, Per Petterson
  2. Rashomon and Other Stories, Ryunosuke Akutagawa
  3. Sula, Toni Morrison
  4. The Duel, Anton Chekhov
  5. Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston
  6. Snow Country, Yasunari Kawabata
  7. The Makioka Sisters, Junichiro Tanizaki
  8. What is the What, Dave Eggers
  9. Aspects of the Novel, E.M. Forster
  10. Tender is the Night, F. Scott Fitzgerald

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