Books in News a Decade ago (2004) – Part 2


Continuing with our previous post on the subject, here are eight more news-making books from a decade ago.

  1. Cloud Atlas by David MitchellThis sci-fi has six nested stories with each tale being read by the main character in the next. It won the British Book Awards Literary Fiction Award and the Richard & Judy Book of the Year award, and was short-listed for the 2004 Booker Prize, Nebula Award, Arthur C. Clarke Award, and other awards. The book was eventually made into a movie in 2012.
  2. Little Children by Tom PerottaLittle Children is a dark comedy about seven main characters who live in the same suburban neighborhood. The novel was a critical success and was featured on numerous “Best Books of 2004” lists. The book was adapted into an Academy Award-nominated film in 2006.
  3. The Plot against America by Philip RothThis novel follows an alternative history in which Franklin Delano Roosevelt is defeated in the presidential election of 1940 by Charles Lindbergh. The story is told from the point of view of Philip Roth as a child. The New York Times review described the book as “a terrific political novel” as well as “sinister, vivid, dreamlike, preposterous and, at the same time, creepily plausible.”
  4. My Life by Bill ClintonMy Life is an autobiography of former President of USA Bill Clinton. Clinton had received what was at the time the world’s highest book advance fee, believed to have been worth US$12 million. The book has been made fun of for being 1,008 pages long. The audio book edition, read by Clinton and published by Random House Audio, won the 2005 Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album.
  5. Perespolis by Marjane SatrapiThe English translation of this autobiographical graphic novel (published in 2004 and 2005 in two volumes) depicts the author’s childhood up to her early adult years in Iran during and after the Islamic revolution. Newsweek ranked the book #5 on its list of the ten best fiction books of the decade. The novel was adapted into a movie and was nominated for Best Animated Feature at the 2007 Academy Awards.
  6. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi PiccoultThe novel tells the story of 13-year-old Anna, who litigates her parents for medical emancipation when she is expected to donate a kidney to her sister Kate, who is dying from leukemia. In 2009 the American Library Association (ALA) and the office for Intellectual Freedom named My Sister’s Keeper the seventh out of ten most frequently challenged books in the US. Schools and libraries attempted to ban the book for the following reasons: sexism, homosexuality, sexually explicit offensive language, inappropriateness from a religious viewpoint, unsuitability to age groups, drugs, suicide, and violence. It was adapted into a movie in 2009.
  7. 9/11 Commission Report by Kean/Hamilton Commission9/11 Commission Report is the official report of the September 11th, 2001 WTC attack. The report was heavily criticized by some for not digging deep enough into the matter and not mentioning all the security lapses. The report topped several bestseller lists, and became one of the best-selling government reports of all time. The National Book Foundation named the report a finalist in its 2004 National Book Awards’ non-fiction category.
  8. The Line of Beauty by Alan HollinghurstThe story is set in 1980 in Britain and follows the life of a young gay protagonist, Nick Guest, who has come down from Oxford to begin postgraduate studies at University College London. The book deals with HIV/AIDS, the relationship between politics and homosexuality, and its acceptance within the 1980s Conservative Party and mainstream society. The Line of Beauty was well received by the critics and won the 2004 Booker Prize.

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