‘It has saved countless lives’: readers’ picks of the best books this century

From The Guardian:

After we published our list of the greatest books since 2000, you sent in your own suggestions – from Chinese sci-fi to a history of music.

. . . .

London: The Biography by Peter Ackroyd (2000) made me fall in love with London all over again. The blood of the city’s history soaked into the clay. Quiet hidden corners, conspiratorial whispers in coffee houses, the dirty Thames and the Great Stink. Invasions, bridges, fires and fog. It’s a very human tale told with the verve of a novelist, the detail of a diarist and the grace of a poet.” – dylan37

“The one novel I’ve read from the century to date that I am sure will stay with me for the rest of my life, for personal as well as for general reasons, is The Hunger Angel by Herta Müller (translated by Philip Boehm in 2012). It was published in German as Atemschaukel in 2009, just before she (deservedly) won the Nobel prize for literature. It’s an extraordinarily dense and poetic work and one that seems to transcend language – so perfectly written that text and idea are fused, yet still overflowing with humanity.” – nilpferd

. . . .

“Very surprised not to see any of Amitav Ghosh’s Ibis Trilogy (2008-2015). Historical writing very much for our time, set in the 1830s when drugs, capital, indentured labour and languages themselves were moving across the seas between Britain, India and China. Ghosh juggles the fates of multiple and memorable British, Indian and Chinese characters with some glorious writing, especially about ships and the sea.” – bertilek

We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver (2003) is one of the most disturbing, unstoppable and unforgettable books I’ve ever read. Incredibly well written and a sucker punch twist at the end.” – MajorJackCelliers

. . . .

“Was waiting and waiting for Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig (2015) to appear. Very intelligently written, beautiful, heartbreaking and life-affirming and SO important – it has saved countless lives. Can’t imagine a more important book.” – gadget

Link to the rest at The Guardian