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News & Opinion

TimesOnline Best of Decade List

Sally Haldorson

November 20, 2009

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Just yesterday, I already saw two “Best of the Decade” lists. I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised as it is mid-November 2009, but for whatever reason, it seems the Millennium was just yesterday. One list was NPR.

Just yesterday, I already saw two "Best of the Decade" lists. I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised as it is mid-November 2009, but for whatever reason, it seems the Millennium was just yesterday. One list was NPR.org's The Decade's 50 Most Important Recordings that will no doubt generate a lot of arguments in this office of music lovers. The other was The 100 Best Books of the Decade proffered by the TimesOnline out of the UK. What I particularly enjoyed about this list (and plenty of comments show readers who completely disagree with me and the Times) was that it allowed fiction and nonfiction, young reader and adult contemporary, business and fantasy, elite and popular, to reside together. It's a surprisingly egalitarian approach to selecting good books. While the Times gave Cormac McCarthy's The Road its number one spot, it also included books that will appeal to business readers: The Ascent of Money by Niall Ferguson (2008) Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond (2005) No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies by Naomi Klein (2000) Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner (2005) The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell (2000) Perhaps most intriguing to me was Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth, a 2008 collection of lectures given about the history of debt by legendary novelist, Margaret Atwood , author of The Handmaid's Tale, Cat's Eye and The Blind Assassin.

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