The 20 best books of the decade

Caroline Allen
It's the best time of year to read, after all. [Photo: Getty]

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As the decade draws to a close (yes, we don’t know where the time went either) it’s a great time to reflect.

From coffee table essentials to can’t-put-down fiction, we’ve rounded up the 20 best books of the decade based on reviews and sales.

There can be a lot of pressure placed upon New Year’s resolutions, so if you want to bypass the new year, new you contingent, why not set yourself a 2020 reading challenge instead?

We’ve got some fabulous suggestions to get you started.

These 20 books symbolise the very best in literary genius; the sort of books that will one day be referred to as “classics” if they’re not already.


The best reviews and the biggest selling books of the decade. [Photo: Amazon]

The Fault In Our Stars, John Green | 2013

This book has been reviewed over 3.1 million times on Goodreads with a very impressive 4.2/5 rating. The multi-award winning novel explores the frankly heart-breaking business of being alive and being in love.

Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn | 2014

It sold 20 million copies worldwide and it was pretty much all anybody could talk about in 2014. It ignited our love for psychological thrillers which is still going strong today - The Girl On The Train being another classic that has stolen our attention this decade.

Mockingjay (Hunger Games Book Three), Suzanne Collins | 2011

The first two Hunger Games books don’t even fall into this decade - can you believe it? Mockingjay was a huge success in 2011, though. Hunger Games is a classic trilogy which will likely go down in history alongside Harry Potter and Lord Of The Rings.

Fifty Shades Of Grey, E.L James | 2012

When literature student, Anastasia Steele meets incredibly successful entrepreneur Christian Grey, a world of passion and control unfurls and we all couldn’t get enough of it. It’s the book every person spent the whole of 2012 talking about.

Me Before You, JoJo Moyes | 2012

The story of Lou Clark and Will Traynor stole our hearts. We were sold it as a holiday read, but it left us crying into the swimming pool. It sold 21 million copies and has a perfect five star rating on Amazon.


These books stormed the charts this decade. [Photo: Amazon]

On Writing, Stephen King | 2012

This book quickly became a writer’s must-have, a book about the craft of the written word by one of the most successful authors of all time.

Becoming, Michelle Obama | 2018

The former First Lady’s story is one of the most inspiring and compelling books of the decade. The intimate look at her life in the White House is an addictive read from start to finish.

This Is Going To Hurt, Adam Kay | 2018

2018 was a big year for autobiographies, and there were none funnier - and more heartbreaking - than the secret diaries of an NHS junior doctor.

Hinch Yourself Happy, Mrs Hinch | 2019

This decade saw the rise of the influencers, and nobody is quite as influential when it comes to our home cleaning habits as Mrs Hinch. The Sunday Times bestseller has received thousands upon thousands of five star reviews.

Yes Please, Amy Poehler | 2015

This book gained a cult following in 2015, branded the bible for women everywhere. The New York Times bestseller is from comedian and star of hilarious comedy Parks and Recreation.

Coffee Table

The coffee table essentials of the last ten years. [Photo: Amazon]

Tom Ford, Tom Ford | 2017

A must-have for fashion lovers; the story of the iconic Tom Ford. This book has reached cult status among influencers for its Instagrammable palette, but the complete catalogue of his work makes it a bible for the fashion-conscious.

Eat, Drink, Nap, Soho House | 2014

Soho House interior designs have inspired a generation, it’s really no wonder Eat, Drink Nap is one of the most sought-after coffee table books of the decade.

Alexander McQueen, Claire Wilcox | 2015

This book is the definitive guide about everything Alexander McQueen. From creative essays to a catalogue of his work, it’s not one to be missed if you’re interested in the life of one of fashion’s most iconic designers.

Good Vibes, Good Life, Vex King | 2018

This book has received hundreds of five star reviews for its positive outlook on “unlocking your greatness”. It’s not just a book full of useful information, but it looks great as well, perfect to pick up time and time again.

The Planets, Professor Brian Cox | 2019

This book has been around for less than a year and has already earned a space on the coffee table book hall of fame. A beautiful exploration of our solar system - suitable for everyone, regardless of your interests.


There has been a rise in best-selling cookbooks in the latter half of the decade. [Photo: Amazon]

5 Ingredients, Jamie Oliver | 2017

Jamie Oliver’s books have spanned over many decades, but this one has inspired many people who don’t enjoy cooking to pick up a saucepan and give it a go.

Lean In 15, Joe Wickes | 2015

We’re sure most people have this cookbook, from the person that inspired a whole generation to cook. It’s the millennial cooking bible and he has launched plenty of new versions since.

The Plant-Based Cookbook, Deliciously Ella | 2018

This book is the fastest selling vegan cookbook of all time. It’s packed with plant-based recipes and came out at a time when vegan eating was only just starting to gain momentum.

Pinch Of Nom, Kate Allinson and Kay Featherstone | 2019

The book only came out this year and yet it has dominated the cook book charts for months. With thousands of five-star reviews, this book of 100 slimming at-home recipes is a winner.

The How Not To Die Cookbook, Michael Greger | 2018

A lot of the best cookbooks of the decade are in recent years, which is quite indicative of our shift towards nutritional eating. Nobody has a more solid understanding than Dr. Michael Greger on how we should eat.

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