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Top 10 Books of the Century

Historical fiction tops the Guardian's list
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2019 8:41 AM CDT
Ben Miles as Thomas Cromwell, foreground, and Paul Jesson as Cardinal Wolsey perform a scene from "Wolf Hall" during a media opportunity in London in 2014.   (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
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(Newser) – Weeks after its list of this century's best movies, the Guardian has done the same for books. Atop the list Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall, a 2009 political intrigue that imagines the ascent of Thomas Cromwell in the court of King Henry VIII. That was long ago, but the Guardian says Mantel's "exploration of power, fate and fortune" is still relevant in our own era; the book was on former President Obama's summer reading list. Works by JK Rowling, Nora Ephron, and Bob Dylan also made the Top 100. The top 10:


  1. Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel (2009)
  2. Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson (2004)
  3. Secondhand Time, by Svetlana Alexievich (2013), translated by Bela Shayevich (2016)
  4. Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro (2005)
  5. Austerlitz, by WG Sebald (2001), translated by Anthea Bell (2001)
  6. The Amber Spyglass, by Philip Pullman (2000)
  7. Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates (2015)
  8. Autumn, by Ali Smith (2016)
  9. Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell (2004)
  10. Half of a Yellow Sun, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2006)

See the full list of 100, along with the reviews. (The paper's top movies list started with There Will Be Blood.)

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