The Books That Defined My Decade

In my opinion, the end of 2019 is a special moment. Not only are we closing out a year and ushering in a new one, we’re straight-up closing out a decade. That is some significant shit. No matter how you feel about the past ten years, fact of the matter is, 10 years is a huge chunk of one’s lifetime. That’s not a small thing, and neither are the things that happened during this past decade that influenced who you are today.

In particular, for millennials like me, the 2010s were an era in and of itself. A lot of us did our growing up during this decade, transitioning from preteens to high school students to functioning adult members of society. The 2010s defined us. It was during these ten years that we learned what we liked and didn’t like, what we enjoyed, what we believed in, what we would fight for. It was these ten years that we sowed the seeds of the adults we are today. 

At the start of the decade, I was 16 years old. I had just started college, moved out of my mom’s house, and was on my own for the first time in my entire life. I barely knew what I was doing, let alone what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I majored in political science, joined a bunch of campus orgs that would look good on my resume, but otherwise mostly kept to myself in my dorm room with a massive pile of books.

Now, I’m 26. I’ve been out of college for longer than I’ve been in it. I’ve moved in with my boyfriend, and have a job that – while it periodically kicks my ass – I enjoy and am passionate about. I consider myself a fairly well-rounded and intelligent person, with varied interests and hobbies, a small group of close friends that I can rely on for anything, and the capacity to both comprehend my privilege and what I can do to level the playing field for others. I like to think the past decade turned me out pretty okay!

Consistently, big part of who I am throughout the decade came from the books I read. I credit being a wide and voracious reader with the personality and disposition that I have now, so I thought, what better way to celebrate the end of the 2010s than with a post dedicated to the books that defined my decade?

For each year from 2010 to 2019, I name the books published in that year that I most enjoyed and related to. Read on, and let me know if you enjoyed any of these books too!

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