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12.28.09

Best Books You Missed

What should have been on your nightstand this decade? The Daily Beast picks the most overlooked reads of the past 10 years—none of which involve a wizard, a vampire, or a code.

You can never please everyone—and that's doubly true when you're writing a list of the books you missed this decade. The problem isn't just that this book or that will be missing from the list, but that "overlooked" is such a damn tricky concept. "Overlooked by who?" will come the question, "By the critics? Or by the book-loving public?" And you can bet that for every 100 people who haven't read or praised a particular book, there'll be one, five, 10, or 50 others who have. Just where do you draw the line?

Click Image To View Our Gallery of the 14 Best Books You Missed This Decade

In which case, I apologize to those people who are more or less familiar with the titles in this list. So far as I'm concerned, you've got excellent taste—well done. But hopefully you'll still find something new among its recommendations. After all, I've tried to go for quite a wide mix of types and genres: fiction, nonfiction, poetry, history, comics, art, thrillers, essays, and so on. What unifies them is that they were all, erm, published in this decade, and that I think they could all do with a little bit more love.

Anyway, you get the point. The curtains have opened, the hosts have taken to the stage, and the winners are practicing their acceptance speeches. It’s time to reveal the titles...

Plus: Check out Book Beast, for more news on hot titles and authors and excerpts from the latest books.

Peter Hoskin has been in and around the worlds of politics and journalism since graduating from university in 2006. He runs the Spectator's political blog, Coffee House, and writes about cinema, literature, and culture as much as he can.