I cannot wrap my brain around it already being November of 2009. In less than 45 days we will all be living in the year 2010, which means that between now and then expect the Internet to turn into a breeding ground for Best of the Decade lists. The first I've encountered (via SFW) is The Telegraph's list of "100 Books That Defined the Noughties", and luckily for us, their list is quite friendly to fans of science fiction and fantasy novels. It's populated with titles like Cormac McCarthy's The Road, Phillip Pulman's The Amber Spyglass, Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones, and Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife, but a bulk of their praise goes to J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which took the number one spot:

"We've seen Harry grow from a spindly, messy-haired 11-year-old into a heroic young adult. Children have grown up with him, finding in his battles metaphors for their own. This volume alone sold 15 million copies in the first 24 hours after it was published. Whether wickedly skewering suburbia, or bringing Harry, Ron and Hermione into mortal danger, Rowling is never less than absorbing. Some may sneer at her books, but they are triumphant sagas about the defeat of evil that tap into our basic hunger for stories. Most importantly, she makes reading a 700-page book seem easy. This one even has a quotation from Aeschylus as its epigraph. It stands as a cornerstone of the decade, a melding of high and low culture that appeals to all ages and nations. "

And I couldn't agree more. Unlike most literary phenomenons, Harry Potter transcended all demographics, and not just because it was written with broad, clunky prose (cough, The Da Vinci Code) or a very niche fanbase (cough, Twilight). I remember being in Qatar when Deathly Hallows was published and seeing it proudly displayed in the windows of Arabic bookstores and pausing to reflect at how widespread its popularity had become.

But hey, what say you? Have you remained outside the Potter-mania? And if so, do you have a better alternative for a book that best represents the collective interests of an entire decade?
CATEGORIES Fan Lists, Sci-Fi