The 2000s were a tumultuous time for words printed on old-fashioned paper. Memoirs went gangbusters. A boy wizard induced literary pandemonium. The notion of reading on screens (computer screens, Kindles, iPods and so forth) exploded in popularity, causing a certain amount of hand-wringing about the fate of the book. And the very definition of truth got a rigorous debate thanks to a fellow named Frey.
Amidst that turbulent environment, a slew of memorable texts emerged: some fiction, some non-fiction, all worth reading and cherishing. Today we present our 20 favorite books across all literary genres, with reviews by Paste staff and luminaries like Rosanne Cash, Arthur Phillips and David Langness.