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Best of the Decade – Jocelyn’s Picks


The Dark Tower (2004, book 7 of the Dark Tower series) by Stephen King


“The man in black fled across the desert and the gunslinger followed.” The first line from Stephen King’s iconic Dark Tower series was originally published in 1982. Six subsequent books and more than 20 years passed before the gunslinger and his readers reached their final (?) destination. The series as a whole had absolutely everything a reader could want: excellent storytelling, captivating language, enthralling worlds and characters, and storylines that spanned all genres.

by Audrey Niffenegger

This is one of the rare books that I’ve read more than once; once I finished the book I felt as though I was only just ready to begin it. Even more than the love story, I love this book for its plotting, creativity, and storytelling. Henry and Clare were difficult characters to say goodbye to.



This is a fascinating and beautifully written story of the early days of the comic book world: how and why it began, the mythology rooted in real world politics and horrors like Nazism, and the artistic and creative drives that enthralled some and made others very nervous.



by Margaret Atwood

This is one of my favourite Atwood books; I think she’s at her best with a little sci-fi thrown in to her darkness.




by Michael Ondaatje

There are some images from this book that still linger with me. It’s not even my favourite Ondaatje, but his poetic prose never fails to captivate!



Mercy Among the Children (2000) by David Adams Richards

I’m so glad this one falls in the right time frame, because it happens to be my favourite of all Richards’ books. There’s one specific conversation between the two brothers that chokes me up whenever I think of it.


The Spellman Files (2007, book 1 of the Spellman novels) by Lisa Lutz

Hilarious, mysterious, dysfunctional, and so wrong it’s right! I can’t wait for the fourth installment!



by Alice Sebold

I had also considered Sebold’s memoir, Lucky, but it misses the mark by a year. Sebold’s writing here is delicate and brutal all at once. The story is so heartbreaking and uplifting that sometimes you can’t tell whether you’re crying out of despair or joy. Wonderful.


The Birth House (2006) by Ami McKay

I love it because the setting is so familiar, as are the characters, even in their strangeness and of-a-certain-time-and-place behaviours. So creative and compelling and haunting.



Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight (2002) by Alexandra Fuller

It’s a world that’s unfamiliar and scary, yet the story itself is so recognizable: family, conflict, confusion, coming of age … an unforgettable memoir that reads like fiction but is too crazy to be made up.


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