As I’m sure many of you noticed, I have been pretty quiet here for the past, oh, six months. That’s not been entirely deliberate, though I am okay with it. It’s been a busy time due to my day job and thanks to the fact my kids keep getting older and have more going on in their lives. So I’m not going to do my “favorite books I read in 2019” post (though I have a few that would make the list that I hope to review soon). Instead, as the 2010s come to a close I did a deeper look back over the decade and picked (some of) the best books I’ve read and reviewed here since January 2010.

Notably, these are not the best books I read that were published in the 2010s. In fact, only one was actually published this decade. Rather, these are the books that shaped my decade in reading, and most were voices from the past.

Can you see a theme in my picks? One might think I have had a depressing decade ruminating about the passage of time. I don’t think so, though. I turned forty this year, and I am looking forward with a little sadness for things past, but also with a lot of hope and even some awe at the beauty of the turning of the seasons.

10. A Wreath of Roses, by Elizabeth Taylor (1949)

9. The Immense Journey, by Loren Eiseley (1957)

8. The Three Christs of Ypsilanti, by Milton Rokeach (1964)

7. LaRose, by Louise Erdrich (2016)

6. The Peregrine, by J.A. Baker (1967)

5. Butcher’s Crossing, by John Williams (1960)

4. Look at Me, by Anita Brookner (1983)

3. Stone Upon Stone, by Wieslaw Mysliwski (1984)

2. Lives of Girls and Women, by Alice Munro (1971)

1. Akenfield, by Robert Blythe (1969)

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