25 Years of Books We Love at 112th

In continued celebration of Book Culture turning 25 this year, we've compiled a staff pick for each of Book Culture's 25 years! Check out our journey through the literary history of the last 25 years.

 

1997:

"Secretly the best - and funniest - of Pynchon's novels." - Michael

 

 

 

 

 

 

1998:

"The perfect gateway drug into Anne Carson's genre-defying playground of language, eros, and myth.  A work intensely modern yet fully steeped in the amber aura of the ancient past." - Kyle

 

 

 

 

 

1999:

"Embarrassing? Maybe! But for better or for worse, this really was the emotional support story that carried me through high school. And I still revisit her whenever I am craving that horrendous feeling of being young-- so full of every emotion but empty at the same time. This is one of the most impactful coming of age books out there, at least I know it was for me." - Erica

 

 

 

 

2000:

"Tales within tales and a little bit pulpy. This is a novel full of passion and extraordinary frivolity-- simply lots of fun, but a little slow moving." - Josh

 

 

 

 

 

2001:

"Edinburgh is a beautiful and gut-wrenching story about a young man learning how to process "the before" and live in "the after". Central to the spirit of the book is isolation: the ways mentors and adults wield attention to isolate young people, the ways we may isolate ourselves after abuse and regret, and steps we take back into a life among others. You'll hear echoes of Other Voices, Other Rooms and The Catcher in the Rye, but this book is wholly unique and wonderful. Actually, all of his books are wonderful. Read them, too!" - Cody

 

 

 

 

 

2002:

"I like to tell people that Ted Chiang is a modern Calvino or Borges, and Stories of Your Life and Others really illustrates why. While ostensibly science fiction tales, they're more sublime and touching than that genre label might imply. Some of these stories are fun explorations of "what if?" -- but others are modern parables or allegories that I could easily see being passed down amongst the generations." - Joe

 

 

 

 

 

2003:

""The artistic genius with the nightmarish private life-- some say it's overplayed, but it never fails to deliver. Nureyev's life is already a wild story, but McCann's fictionalized retelling makes for a superb novel. We're talking ballet, fame, sex, drugs, war, and disease... what's not to love?" - Conrad

 

 

 

 

 

2004:

"In an updated take on Howard's End, Smith gives us an eye-opening study of aesthetics and societal expectations through the many eyes of a multi-racial family deeply involved in the worlds of art and academia." - Kyle

 

 

 

 

 

2005:

"Deliciously addicting and very steamy, Call Me... is a powerful, gut punching book of the psyche. Truly one of the most powerful love stories I've ever encountered! PS: very different from the film" - Josh

 

 

 

 

 

2006:

A list of words from Cara and Kyle: "Enigmatic, Gothic, Barcelona, Romantic, Postwar, Literary, Macabre, Unsettling" - Cara & Kyle

 

 

 

 

 

2007:

"A haunting coming-of-age story that will make you cry, laugh, and feel those sharp pangs all over again along with the pertinacious narrator." - Cara

 

 

 

 

 

2008:

"Excavations of U.S. History within fiction require a deep understanding of the roots of this country and profound sense of grace, and Toni Morrison understood that like no other. This book is a masterpiece." - Sophia

 

 

 

 

 

2009:

"Totally engrossing and heart wrenching, this book is the perfect blend of page-turning mystery and thought-provoking literature. When a man’s wife goes missing, leaving a doppelganger in her place, he searches high and low to unravel the mystery – from the farthest reaches of Pategonia to just down the street at Hungarian Pastry Shop." - Devon

 

 

 

 

 

2010:

"Late DeLillo has a breezy, pleasantly alienating vibe. None of his current imitators have so far managed to surpass this work of contemporary plotlessness." - Michael

 

 

 

 

 

2011:

"Harbach's novel has so much to offer!

- An idyllic campus setting

- A complicated interplay of friends, or lovers, or loved ones, maybe?

- Four simultaneous, intergenerational coming-of-age stories

- The Yips! Let us not forget the Yips. 

The psychological (sports?) novel at it's best, it set the mold for the "blockbuster novel" for the decade that followed." - Cody

2012:

"The book that sparked Ferrante Fever! My Brilliant Friend is a beautifully unique reading experience, like gossiping over coffee with your BFF, if your BFF happened to be a literary genius." - Devon

 

 

 

 

 

2013:

"A story of art, love, loneliness, and sorrow. It's the perfect Dickensian novel worth all the praise and hype it received." - Josh

 

 

 

 

 

2014:

 

"A triumphant experiment in using fiction to recover historic voices lost to the gaping maw of Western historiography. Lalami memo(i)rializes the journies of Moroccan slave Estebanico, the first Black explorer of America." - Cara

 

 

 

 

2015:

 

"This book is so strange and so beautiful. Its transformative energy and haunting, horrific details will hit you like a ton of bricks and then leave you thinking about it over and over again." - Peper

 

 

 

 

2016:

"A book that starts and ends with fire and burns all the way through, Gyasi’s work is heart-wrenching and beautiful. The only times I found myself putting it down were when I had to decompress from how hard some of these stories hit." - Nick

 

 

 

 

 

2017:

"If you haven't read a Jennifer Egan novel-- you probably should. Manhattan Beach is a modern classic that'll resonate with lovers of Betty Smith and Amor Towles. Riveting from start to finish, you won't want to leave your seat (not that you would anyway)." - Molly

 

 

 

 

 

2018:

"Split between past memories and two present narrations, Tin Man tells the bittersweet story of old loves and inexorable loneliness that Winman has such a tender handle on. Grief, love, loss, nostalgia. 10/10" - Leo

 

 

 

 

 

2019:

"This is a moving story about a boy wrongfully sent to an infamous juvenile reformatory school. The book focuses on the bond between him and a friend he makes there. While also displaying the horrible crimes that occur at Nickel Academy. The scariest aspect of this book is that it's based on a real school in Florida that was only shut down in 2011." - Anthony

 

 

 

 

 

2020:

"EERIE! Moshfegh is uniquely capable of laying a groundwork of unease with a level of subtlety that, oddly enough, increases the reader's discomfort with every page turn. If you want a chill read, maybe hold off on this one, but if you're looking to be kept up at night, this is your book!" - Zofia

 

 

 

 

 

2021:

"God I love Patricia Lockwood! What wowed me totally was her ability to write social media -- life in it, around it, with/without it. She's done what so many have inadequately attempted, which is capture the ~~curiosities~ of the online generations with a striking semblance of neutrality, but elegantly powerful commentary. And all that? Only the tip of the iceberg -- this book gives you the good kind of whiplash that leaves you with tears in your eyes and an achy but fuller heart by the end." - Zofia

 

 

 

 

 

2022:

"What can't be given up?

A pencil

A city

A street

You."

The pages of this book tremble and breathe along to a heartbeat strong and unforgettable." - Molly

Mason & Dixon: A Novel By Thomas Pynchon Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780312423209
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Picador - January 3rd, 2004

Staff Pick Badge
Autobiography of Red: A Novel in Verse (Vintage Contemporaries) By Anne Carson Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780375701290
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Vintage - July 27th, 1999

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower By Stephen Chbosky Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780671027346
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: MTV Books - February 1st, 1999

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The Blind Assassin: A Novel By Margaret Atwood Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780385720953
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Anchor - August 28th, 2001

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Edinburgh By Alexander Chee Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780544916128
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Mariner Books - November 1st, 2016

Stories of Your Life and Others By Ted Chiang Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781101972120
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Vintage - June 14th, 2016

Dancer: A Novel By Colum McCann Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781250821898
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Picador - March 9th, 2021

On Beauty: A Novel By Zadie Smith Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143037743
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Penguin Books - August 29th, 2006

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Call Me by Your Name: A Novel By André Aciman Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780312426781
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Picador - January 22nd, 2008

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The Shadow of the Wind By Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Lucia Graves (Translated by) Cover Image
By Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Lucia Graves (Translated by)
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143034902
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Penguin Books - January 25th, 2005

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Black Swan Green: A Novel By David Mitchell Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780812974010
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - February 27th, 2007

A Mercy (Vintage International) By Toni Morrison Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780307276766
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Vintage - August 11th, 2009

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Atmospheric Disturbances: A Novel By Rivka Galchen Cover Image
$19.00
ISBN: 9780312428433
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Picador - April 27th, 2009

Point Omega: A Novel By Don DeLillo Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781439169964
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Scribner - December 14th, 2010

The Art of Fielding: A Novel By Chad Harbach Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316126670
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Back Bay Books - May 1st, 2012

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My Brilliant Friend: Neapolitan Novels, Book One By Elena Ferrante, Ann Goldstein Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781609450786
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Europa Editions - September 25th, 2012

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The Goldfinch: A Novel (Pulitzer Prize for Fiction) By Donna Tartt Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780316055444
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Back Bay Books - April 7th, 2015

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The Moor's Account By Laila Lalami Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780804170628
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Vintage - August 18th, 2015

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The Vegetarian: A Novel By Han Kang Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781101906118
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Hogarth - August 23rd, 2016

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Homegoing By Yaa Gyasi Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781101971062
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Vintage - May 2nd, 2017

Manhattan Beach: A Novel By Jennifer Egan Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781476716749
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Scribner - June 5th, 2018

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Tin Man: A Novel By Sarah Winman Cover Image
$14.00
ISBN: 9780735218765
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - April 9th, 2019

The Nickel Boys: A Novel By Colson Whitehead Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780345804341
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Anchor - June 30th, 2020

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Death in Her Hands: A Novel By Ottessa Moshfegh Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781984879370
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Penguin Books - June 22nd, 2021

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No One Is Talking About This: A Novel By Patricia Lockwood Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593189597
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: Riverhead Books - February 15th, 2022

Lucky Breaks By Yevgenia Belorusets, Eugene Ostashevsky (Translated by) Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9780811229845
Availability: On hand at one or more locations, see product page for details
Published: New Directions - March 1st, 2022