5 Books that Defined my Decade


Over the past ten years, I’ve read thousands of books. Most of them, I enjoyed. but there are some that I think about often, some that literally changed he course of my life. In no particular order, here are five books that defined my decade.

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio

During my last year of college, I was extremely lucky to take a class surveying thirteen of Shakespeare’s works. My love of the novel If We Were Villains made me want to throw myself into the course and never leave. It has also awakened pipe dreams of acting that I thought were long gone. If We Were Villains is a stunning tale of Shakespearean actors like nothing I have ever read. The emotion throughout is raw, honest, real, and makes me cry no matter how many times I read it.

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

Though this book was published in 2005, I didn’t read it until I was in high school. Never Let Me Go awakened my love for boarding schools, and for adult science fiction. This book made me look at the world in a very different way and consider the impact that technology has on all of us. If you’re looking to step into the world of science fiction, I highly recommend this book.

The Returned by Jason Mott

It’s hard to describe the exact impact that The Returned had on me as a person and as a writer. Most vividly, I remember a passage about the life one of the main characters would have had if she had been a fry cook. This passage in particular, and the book as a whole, taught me a lot about the beauty and joy in mundane things, and how truly great writing asks questions about what people do in impossible situations. I always strive to do that.

Divergent by Veronica Roth

There hasn’t been a ship that I’ve loved as much as I love Tris and Four since I read Divergent. This book made me want to be brave and strong, and also made me want to get tattoos! I have three now, but I still really, really want the three birds on my collarbone.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandell

This book combines my two favorite things: science fiction and Shakespeare. I read this book while studying abroad in London and I haven’t forgotten it since. I love the way this book jumps backwards and forwards in time. The prose and characters are brilliant, and this book should be required reading for every sci-fi fan.

Which books defined your decade?

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