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Books Set in the 2000s

Whether you found this post searching for the best books set between 2000 and 2009, or you’re participating in our Decades Challenge, we hope you’ll find some great books set in the 2000s to add to your TBR lists. If you’re looking for books set between 2010-2019, you can find them here.

Three tilted book covers, This is Where I Leave You in the center

Our recommendations include numerous memoirs and non-fiction accounts of major world events of the first decade after the millennium, as well as works of fiction that span drama, comedy, and young adult literature. Other books on our list provide an eye-opening look at the stark contrast between life in America and in other parts of the world at the start of the 21st century.

The Aughts or the Noughties – 2000 to 2009

Before recommending books set in this decade, we like to provide historical context. If you prefer, feel free to scroll straight to our list of books set in the 2000s.

The first decade of the 21st century was largely defined by the 9/11 terrorist attack and the war that followed, and, in the second half of the decade, by the largest recession since the Great Depression. Near the end of the decade, America elected its first Black president, as well as the most diverse Congress in history.

Our daily lives were influenced by the advent of social media, the reality TV craze, and the rapid increase in internet businesses. By the end of the decade, flip phones gave rise to iPhones and allowed us to begin carrying the power of a computer in our pockets.

For additional historical context, check out the timeline of major world events included at the end of the post.

Books Set in the 2000s (2000-2009)

How Not to Drown in a Glass of Water Book Cover

Book Summary

Cara assumed she’d have her factory job forever, but in the midst of the 2008 Great Recession, she’s laid off. Now in her mid-50s, Cara finds herself back in the job market for the first time in decades. When she’s set up with a job counselor, she ends up sharing her life story instead of her career ambitions.

Cara’s story is told in over twelve sessions, from love affairs and financial strain to her difficult relationship with her son. Full of heart and humor, you’ll fall in love with this character amid her tales of life’s ups and downs.

The Book Girls Say…

This 2022 release from the author of Dominicana gives another glimpse into the life of a Dominican immigrant and legal resident of the United States. The book was a Goodreads nominee for Best Fiction and a New York Times Editors Choice book.

While much of Cara’s story is told in first person, you’ll also see the paperwork that is filed as part of the counseling process. This unique structure of storytelling will make for great discussion! Reviewers mention that the audiobook narration is exceptional and that the short 195-page length makes this a great choice when you’re short on time.

For another story of how the 2008 recession impacted an immigrant in New York, try Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue.

Also Featured on These Book Lists:

Best Book Club Books From 2022

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

100% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

While this book takes place on September 11, 2001 and the following days, it’s not the constantly devastating story you would expect. Instead, this heartwarming book recounts the experiences of countless passengers from some of the 38 planes that were unexpectedly diverted to Newfoundland – an island in Canada’s easternmost province – when US airspace was closed on 9/11. On that day, the small town of Gander, with a population of just 10,000, received more than 6,600 passengers from 92 countries. Ganderites, along with residents of the surrounding towns, opened the doors to the local churches, schools, and even their own homes.

Throughout this book, you’ll not only learn the personal stories of the passengers, but you’ll also learn a lot about life on this tiny, remote island and about the unexpected hosts who welcomed strangers from around the world with open arms and generous hearts.

The Book Girls Say…

We’ve both seen and loved the musical Come From Away, so we already knew some of the story, but we learned so much more from this book. The selflessness of the residents of Gander and the surrounding towns will warm your heart page after page. It is one of the most uplifting, faith-in-humanity-restoring books we’ve ever read. The audiobook, narrated by Ray Porter, is especially well done.

Rent Collector Book Cover - image of shanty-style homes on trash dump

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

100% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

Sang Ly and her husband, Ki Lim, live in a shantytown built upon Cambodia’s largest municipal waste dump, where they make their living by picking recyclables from the trash.

Their poor living conditions are made even more challenging by their struggles to care for their chronically ill son, and to pay their ill-tempered “rent collector” named Sopeap. But when Sang discovers a secret about Sopeap, the two strike a deal that will change both of their lives.

The Book Girls Say…

This fictionalized novel is based on the real-life struggles of a family living in the Stung Meanchey dump, as chronicled by the author’s son in his documentary, River of Victory.

Rise and Fall of Ava Arcana Book Cover - large face with sunglasses

Book Summary

This mystery for music lovers is told in two timelines from two perspectives. Kayla, a Rolling Stone journalist, has been assigned to write a cover story about Lady Gaga-esque icon Lexi Mayhem. However, her story takes a surprising turn when she finds that another rising star from Lexi’s past mysteriously leaped to her death.

In 2005, Ava moved to Manhattan with a big dream and a notebook of songs. When she meets an up-and-coming star, Lexi, they become fast friends. As they work to get noticed on parallel journeys to stardom, there’s only room for one new female pop star at the top.

Back in the present day, Kayla is ready to unravel the truth about Ava’s life and death.

The Book Girls Say…

Kindle Unlimited as of: 10/04/2023

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

97% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

Ten-year-old Sarah is arrested with her family in the Vel’ d’Hiv’ round up – the most notorious act of French collaboration with the Nazis. But before the police come to take them, Sarah locks her younger brother in their favorite hiding spot – a cupboard in the family’s apartment and holds onto the key, thinking she’ll be back soon.

On the 60th anniversary of the Vel’ d’Hiv’, an American journalist is asked by her Paris-based magazine to write an article about that day in France’s past. Having lived in Paris for 25 years, she realizes her ignorance about the event and is shocked by the silence that still surrounds it. She begins to follow a trail that connects her to Sarah and forces her to question everything.

The Book Girls Say…

Keep the tissues handy because this book will bring you to tears.

Also Featured on These Book Lists:

Books Set in the 1940s

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

93% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

Caught between two of the major events of the early 21st century – the war on terror and Hurricane Katrina, this is the true story of one family trying to survive.

Abdulrahman and Kathy Zeitoun operate a house painting business in New Orleans. As the storm approaches, Kathy evacuates with their young children, but Zeitoun – a Syrian-born American citizen – stays to watch over the business. In the aftermath of the storm, he uses his canoe to rescue many neighbors and animals, until he is arrested by the police and National Guardsmen, who mistake him for a terrorism suspect.

The Book Girls Say…

This is an extremely powerful book that paints a vivid portrait of the impacts of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in the days during and after the storm.

In recent years, Abdulrahman Zeitoun has since been arrested for, and pleaded guilty to, charges of domestic violence against his now ex-wife, which we obviously do not condone! The veracity of David Eggers’s portrayal of Zeitoun during Hurricane Katrina has not been called into question.

The Yellow Birds Book Cover

Book Summary

In Al Tafar, Iraq, twenty-one-year old Private Bartle and eighteen-year-old Private Murphy cling to life as their platoon launches a bloody battle for the city. Forces press from every side as the young soldiers do everything they can to protect each other. While the insurgents attacking look like the primary threat, physical and mental fatigue are also overwhelming Bartle and Murph.

In addition to covering the perspective of the soldiers, The Yellow Birds highlights the effects of a hidden war on mothers and families at home. In only 226 pages, you’ll come away with a deeper feel for the real costs of war.

The Book Girls Say…

The author of this book served in Iraq as a machine gunner in 2004-2005, in the same region his characters serve in the book. When he returned home, he finished an MFA in poetry, so you can expect this book to be both realistic and lyrical.

The writing is non-linear and fragmented, taking you into the broken mind of a soldier as he tries to reconcile all he experienced.

After reading this National Book Award finalist, you can watch the movie adaptation of the same name on Amazon.

An Upper West Side Story book cover

Book Summary

It’s 2004, and we’re back in a world without iPhones, Ubers, and streaming on Netflix. One thing was the same though – the Manhattan real estate market requires twenty-somethings to have roommates in order to afford their rent.

Robin has lucked into a rent-controlled classic-six on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, but she can’t afford it alone. Her best friend is moving, she’s overdue for a promotion, and her romantic life is struggling. This property is the best thing in her life at the moment, and she won’t give it up.

Jessica is supposed to be moving in with her boyfriend, but she catches him cheating on her, and now she has nowhere to go.

Tory lives in her parent’s $50 million brownstone on the Upper East Side, but her promised trust fund isn’t worth the misery they put her through. She’s ready to learn how to cook and take the subway if that’s what it takes.

Zach is a successful tech executive, but still struggles in his personal life after a painful incident during college. He never planned to rent his spare room, but a chance encounter results in an impulsive offer that will change his life forever.

This story of friendship and love in 2004 New York is told from multiple perspectives as these 20-somethings learn to navigate life together.

The Book Girls Say…

Reviewers say this book reminds them of an early 2000s TV Dramedy/Romantic Comedy sitcom. If you need a lighter read this month, this is a cute choice!

Kindle Unlimited as of: 10/09/2023

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

91% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

If you need a good cry, grab Me Before You. It’s both heartbreaking and romantic. You’ll slowly come to love Lou and Will and their story.

Will is a successful and adventurous world traveler until he’s in a tragic accident. Louisa has barely left her small village. When she gets talked into a job taking care of him, she looks beyond his gruffness and hopes he will see that he can still enjoy life.

This book has the theme of assisted suicide, which increased in frequency for terminally ill patients throughout the 2000s

The Book Girls Say…

Despite the heavy emotions that come with Me Before You, we both rated it five stars. This is the first book in a trilogy. The second book, After You, has a lower rating than the first, but the third book, Still Me, is rated very highly.

Also Featured on These Book Lists:


This is Where I Leave You Book Cover

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

100% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

The entire Foxman family is together for the first time in years following the death of their father. At the dying request of their patriarch, they will all spend seven days sitting shiva following the funeral. All together in one house, it doesn’t take long before things begin to spin out of control.

This family drama is written from the perspective of Judd Foxman, whose wife’s affair with a radio shock jock has recently become public, and who announced her pregnancy on the day of his father’s death.

The novel is described as fast and smart, “riotously funny,” and “emotionally raw.”

The Book Girls Say…

This book was also adapted into a 2014 movie of the same name starring Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, & Adam Driver.

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

100% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

Compiled by an award-winning journalist and best-selling historian, The Only Plane in the Sky paints a human portrait of 9/11, telling the story of the day as it was lived and in the words of those who lived it.

This oral history brings together never-before-published transcripts, recently declassified documents, original interviews, and oral histories from nearly 500 people – including government officials, first responders, witnesses, survivors, family members, and friends.

The Book Girls Say…

While you can certainly read this book, this audiobook version, read by a 45-person cast, is the most powerful way to experience this oral history. It won the 2020 Audie Award for Audiobook of the Year, and it was also a 2019 Goodreads Choice Award Nominee in the category of History and Biography.

Fall and Rise by Michell Zuckoff is another extremely highly rated minute-by-minute account of the events of 9/11 told through the eyes of those who lived it. At 625 pages, this book makes Only Plane in the Sky’s 485 pages seem short, but it’s an extraordinary work that’s well worth reading.

Also Featured on These Book Lists:

Books Set in the 2000s

The Language of Flowers book cover

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

88% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

Abandoned at birth by her mother, Victoria Jones spent her childhood in no fewer than 32 foster homes. At age 9, Victoria wanted nothing more than to be adopted by a woman named Elizabeth, but something went terribly wrong. Nine years later, having aged out of the foster care system at age 18, Victoria finds herself homeless on the streets of San Francisco.

All those years before, Elizabeth instilled a love of flowers and their meanings in Victoria. While Victoria is unable to get close to anyone, she finds that she can communicate through flowers, and she gets a job working for a florist named Renata. When Victoria meets a flower farmer named Grant, her past and present begin to collide. She is forced to confront some painful secrets for a second chance at happiness.

The Book Girls Say…

This novel is beautifully written and hard to put down! The book also includes the author’s flower dictionary, modeled from the Victorian era.

Home Front Book Cover

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

100% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

This book starts in 2005 on Jolene’s 41st birthday. She’s been married 12 years and a member of the National Guard for even longer as a Blackhawk helicopter pilot. When she’s sent to Iraq, her husband, who doesn’t understand her dedication to her career and country, tells her he no longer loves her.

She’s heartbroken when she arrives in Iraq but thankfully has her best friend Tami by her side. The two encounter situations just as heartbreaking during their deployment. After reading about Jolene and Tami’s time deployed, some readers say they have a greater appreciation for our modern-day troops.

The Book Girls Say…

While many of us know Kristin Hannah for her fantastic and heart-wrenching historical fiction, she also has a gift for writing stories of friendship. Unfortunately, some reviewers do not enjoy the narration on this one, so it may be better in print or ebook form.

Kindle Unlimited as of: 10/02/2023
A Very Large Expanse of Sea Book Cover

Book Summary

Shirin is a 16-year-old girl whose family moves to yet another small town where she’s forced to start over. But as a hijab-wearing teenager in the year after 9/11, it’s especially difficult. Daily, she faces rude stares, degrading comments, and even physical violence as a result of her race and religion. On the other hand, her brother doesn’t suffer the same stereotypes because his religion isn’t apparent just by looking at him. Together, the siblings share a love of music and break dancing.

Her lab partner, Ocean James, is the one classmate who wants to really get to know her, but she’s terrified to let her guard down, fearing what will happen if she does. But as Shirin begins to open up to Ocean, the reader also gets to learn more about her struggles and her culture.

The Book Girls Say…

This coming-of-age romance novel draws upon some of the real-life experiences of Iranian-American author Tehereh Mafi. Though she clarifies that Ocean is not directly based on her husband, author Ransom Riggs, the real-life couple has similarly faced the complications of being in an interracial relationship.

Some readers find the first love/young romance scenes to be too sweet and gushy, but this book also gives you plenty to think about outside of this storyline.

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

100% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

It’s Nana’s 80th birthday, and her party will be in her crumbling gothic family home, which is on a tiny, isolated island. Daisy has been avoiding her family members for years but agrees to attend the gathering to celebrate Nana.

At midnight, Nana is killed, followed by another family member an hour later. They’re all trapped together until the tide comes in, and it’s time to reconcile past secrets with the present danger before it’s too late.

The Book Girls Say…

This one is said to be a nod to the classic And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. Also, check out our Locked Room Mystery Books list if you enjoy this style of suspense thriller.

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

100% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

This non-fiction book is part memoir and part literary true crime. It takes us deep inside the landmark sexual assault investigation into the University of Colorado football program through the eyes of the private investigator who helped crack the case open.

When Erika Krouse was assigned to investigate the sexual assault of a college student who was attacked by football players and recruits at a party the year before, she knows she should turn the case down because her own personal experience with sexual violence makes it feel too personal… but that’s exactly why she takes the job. Over the next five years, as the investigation grew into a national scandal and historic civil rights case, she had to struggle to win the case without losing herself too deep into it.

Heirloom Garden Book Cover

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

93% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

After losing her husband in WWII and her daughter to illness, Iris walled herself off from the world. She’s spent many decades hiding behind the tall fence around her home. In place of human connection, Iris has surrounded herself with a family of flowers. Propagating her daylilies and roses and tending to a garden that helps her keep memories of those she loved alive.

In the early 2000s, Abby is a young mother whose husband has recently returned from military service in Iraq. When Abby’s family rents a cottage along Lake Michigan, next door to Iris’ property, the older woman can’t help but view the young family as a window to the life she once had.

As Iris and Abby are drawn together by their shared love of flowers, the friendship that blossoms between them is a testament to the healing power of both gardening and human connection.

The Book Girls Say…

Through this book, we get to see Iris’ life both in the past and the 2000s. Keep the tissues nearby as you read because you’re sure to shed a few cathartic tears.

Book Summary

The author is an investigative journalist as well as a physician, and this non-fiction book is the culmination of her six years of reporting on Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.

As the flood waters rose in New Orleans, the power failed, and the heat climbed inside Memorial Medical Center. Difficult decisions had to be made about which patients to rescue first. Months later, several health professionals faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths.

This book takes you inside the chaos of the hospital and into the conversation about the most terrifying form of health care rationing.

The Book Girls Say…

While we always tend to think that the book is better, you may also be interested in watching the eight Apple TV+ streaming episodes of this book. Melissa and her husband watched some of the episodes and thought the reenactments felt a bit too much like a fictionalized version of the nonfiction events, but others have rated it highly.

The Pearl That Broke Its Shell book cover

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

100% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

This is the story of a young Afghan girl named Rahima, and the parallel story, a century earlier, of her great, great-grandmother Shekiba. Side by side, their two stories illustrate how little had improved for women in Afghanistan over the course of a century, but the story is not without hope.

In the 21st century, Rahima lives in Kabul with a drug-addicted father and no brothers. Her only hope for her future lies in the ancient custom of bacha posh, which allows her to dress and be treated as a boy until she is of marriageable age. As a boy, she can attend school and go to the market. A century earlier, her great, great-grandmother also adopted this custom to save herself after she was orphaned by an epidemic.

The Book Girls Say…

Author Nadia Hashimi is a first-generation American of Afghani parents. In addition to traveling to Afghanistan with her parents, she serves on the boards of organizations committed to educating and nurturing Afghanistan’s most vulnerable children and empowering the female leaders of tomorrow. She is also a member of the US-Afghan Women’s Council.

Kindle Unlimited as of: 10/02/2023

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

93% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

Alice Love is 29, madly in love with her husband, and pregnant with her first child. At least, that’s the last thing she remembers. When Alice comes to on the floor of the gym and is whisked off to the hospital, she discovers that it’s actually 2008, not 1998, she has three kids, and she’s getting divorced. As she tries to reconstruct what she’s forgotten about the past decade, she also hopes to reconstruct the life she remembers. Ultimately, she’ll have to decide whether she really wants her old life back.

The Book Girls Say…

This book provides an intimate look at life in the 2000s from the perspective of a woman who can’t remember the past decade. If you woke up with no memories of the past 10 years, what would surprise you? How have your relationships changed? Would you have any regrets? Like Liane Moriarty’s other books, this one will have you laughing, but it will also really make you think.

Salvage the Bones Book Cover

Book Summary

Told from the perspective of a pregnant teenage girl, this book takes place during the twelve days leading up to Hurricane Katrina. It’s the story of how one Black family in Bois Sauvage, Mississippi, makes sacrifices for each other and endures poverty, sexual abuse, and violence.

The Book Girls Say…

Reviewers say that this novel is unconventional but beautifully written, and that while it addresses very difficult topics, it is also big-hearted.

HEADS UP: Readers should be aware that this book addresses child sexual assault and contains scenes of animal cruelty (dog fighting).

Extremely Loud & Incrediby Close Book Cover

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

90% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

Nine-year-old Oskar Schell lost his dad on 9/11, and on top of that grief, he’s been carrying around a secret since that day his dad died. Oskar suffers from anxiety, but dreams up wild inventions to help him cope. And now he’s upset that his mom is spending time with a new man.

One day, while looking through his dad’s closet, he finds an envelope with the name Black on it and an unusual key inside. Oskar embarks on a mission to visit every person in NYC with the last name Black in hopes of learning what the key opens.

The Book Girls Say…

There are moments in this book that will make you laugh out loud, and others that will have you reaching for the tissues. Be aware that the author uses some interesting writing tactics, including words stacked on top of each other, incorrect punctuation, and even blank pages. However, in the audio version of the book, none of these things are apparent. Depending on your preferences, you may miss a bit with the audiobook, or it may allow you to enjoy the story without distraction.

Book Summary

After graduating from college, the author started her first real job as the Assistant to the Editor-in-Chief of Vogue, Anna Wintour.

It’s a not-so-well-kept secret that Weisberger’s experiences working for Wintour in 1999 and 2000 inspired this book about Wintour’s fictional counterpart, Miranda Priestley, the demanding and impossible-to-please editor of “Runway” magazine. In the book, Miranda’s new assistant, Andrea, is overworked and struggling to fit in with her much more stylish colleagues.

The Book Girls Say…

This book is pure fun and satire. Use it for an escape, not when you’re in the mood for something more serious. Some say this is one of the few cases where the movie is better, but we enjoyed both reading and watching.

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

82% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel takes a deep look at the blue-collar heart of America. For the past 20 years, Miles Roby has been slinging burgers in Empire Falls, Maine – a town filled with abandoned mills and lifelong friends and neighbors.

Miles isn’t sure what kept him in his hometown all these years – he didn’t intend to end up here. He even left for a short time before being called back. Two decades later, he is divorcing his high school sweetheart and raising his teenage daughter. This novel is less about the plot and more about the character development as we get to know a wide cast of residents of Empire Falls.

The Book Girls Say…

This is not a happy, fast-moving book. The characters have a depressing life and do not always have a great attitude, so many readers find them unlikable. However, if you love slower-paced, character-driven stories set in small towns, you may love it.

Looking for Alaska book cover

Book Summary

While this story is fictional, the characters and plot events of John Green’s debut young adult novel are based on Green’s own early life.

Miles Halter is obsessed with “famous last words.” He’s also bored with his safe life at home, but when he heads to the anything-but-boring world of boarding school, his life becomes the opposite of safe. Just down the hall, he meets Alaska Young, a girl who is everything.

The Book Girls Say…

While YA novelist John Green is best known for his cult sensation, The Fault in Our Stars (about two teens who find first love in their cancer support group sometime around 2008), Looking for Alaska is said to be full of 2000s nostalgia.

Looking for Alaska commonly appears on banned book lists due to some sexual content, adult language, drug use, and themes of suicide.

You are welcome to choose any book that you’d like to read for the challenge, but we hope that this list of books has given you a good starting point.

Sign Up for the Decades Challenge

Sign up for our email list below to receive a free printable tracker for the Decades Challenge. Our weekly email newsletter helps you stay on track with friendly reminders while still allowing you the flexibility to read at your own pace. Additionally, challenge participants have an opportunity to discuss the books on this list and to provide ratings and reviews via our book logs.

Major Events of 2000 to 2009

We compiled this list of major events of the time period to provide some historical context for your reading. We hope you enjoy learning a bit more about this period in history.

  • In 2000, Vermont became the first state in the US to legalize Civil Unions for same-sex couples. Three years later, Massachusetts became the first state to legalize gay marriage.
  • The results of the 2000 US Presidential Election were so close that it triggered an automatic recount in the State of Florida. After a machine recount, just 600 votes separated the two candidates, requiring a manual recount. When the recount was not completed in the required number of days, the case ended up in court. In December of 2000, the US Supreme Court ruled in Bush v. Gore, giving the presidency to George W. Bush. Bush was reelected to a second term in 2004.
  • The first crew to live on the International Space Station – made up of one American and two Russian astronauts – arrived in November of 2000 and stayed aboard the ISS for 136 days.
  • Following the success of MTV’s The Real World in the 1990s, reality TV achieved prominence and global popularity in the 2000s with the success of shows like Survivor, which premiered in May of 2000, The Amazing Race, Big Brother, and The Bachelor, and The O.C.
  • Email continued to gain popularity throughout the decade and began to replace “snail mail” as the primary form of sending letters and communications.
  • Apple released iTunes in January of 2001, providing an easy way to purchase, store, and organize digital music.
  • On September 11, 2001, 19 highjackers took control of four US commercial airliners. Planes crashed into the two tallest towers of the World Trade Center in NYC, causing both to collapse within hours. A third plane crashed in the Pentagon in Virginia, and the fourth plane crashed in a field in rural Pennsylvania after passengers appeared to resist the hijackers. Nealy 3,000 people died on 9/11, and more than 6,000 were injured.
  • In response to the 9/11 attacks, the US invaded Taliban-controlled Afghanistan in October of 2001, marking the beginning of the US “War on Terror.” The following year, President Bush created the Department of Homeland Security to fight threats of terrorism.
  • Following 9/11, and the subsequent Shoe Bomb attempt several months later, much stricter screening measures were put in place at airports, and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is put in place to oversee security in all modes of transportation.
  • After several years of rapid growth among new tech companies, the “Dot Com Bubble” burst in the early 2000s, leaving many investors with steep losses.
  • In February of 2003, the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated upon re-entry, killing all seven crew members.
  • In March 2003, the US invaded Iraq, launching the Iraq War that lasted until the end of 2011. The purported basis of the war was the belief that dictator Saddam Hussein possessed or was building weapons of mass destruction, although none were ever found. In 2006, Saddam Hussein was found guilty of crimes against humanity by a Iraqi judge, and sentenced to death by hanging.
  • The Human Genome Project was completed in 2003, with scientists from around the world identifying over 20,000 individual genes and successfully sequencing 99% of the human genome.
  • Roy Horn, one half of the Siegfried & Roy illusionist duo that mesmerized Vegas audiences for decades, was mauled by his white tiger on stage in front of an audience of 1,500 at MGM’s Mirage Hotel and Casino, leaving Horn partially paralyzed.
  • NASA’s Mars Spirit Rover arrived on Mars in 2004 on a mission that included searching for evidence of water on Mars and whether there were ever conditions that could have sustained life on the planet. The mission continued until contact with the Spirit Rover was lost in 2010.
  • Facebook was launched as a social networking site in 2004, but was initially open only to students at Harvard. By the next year, it had over a million users around the world, which was just the beginning.
  • Martha Stewart, creator of one of the most successful home and lifestyle brands, was charged with insider trading and convicted of related felonies. She served five months in prison.
  • On December 26, 2004, an earthquake in the Indian Ocean measuring 9.3 on the Richter Scale struck near Indonesia. The earthquake triggered tsunami waves that swept across the coastlines of Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, the Maldives, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia, killing at least 290,000.
  • In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit the coastal areas of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Levees that separated Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans were breached, causing nearly 80% of the city to be flooded. Nearly 1,600 people died in Hurricane Katrina across the impacted states.
  • Then Prince Charles, now the King of England, remarried in 2005. Queen Elizabeth did not attend the civil ceremony between Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles, but did host a reception for the couple.
  • In 2007, a student went on a killing spree on the Virginia Tech campus, killing more than 32 people.
  • Apple introduced the first iPhone in June of 2007.
  • The global financial crisis of 2007 and 2008 sparked the most severe recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Now referred to as the Great Recession, the crisis was the result of the US housing bubble bursting, combined with excessive risk-taking by banks in the years prior.
  • In the 2008 US Presidential Election, Barack Obama defeated John McCain to become the 44th president and the first African American to hold the position.
  • In April 2009, four pirates attempted to hijack a cargo ship off the coast of Somalia. They were unable to take control of the ship but took the captain hostage. US Navy SEALs rescued the captain several days later.
  • Just minutes after taking off from NYC’s La Guardia Airport on January 15, 2009, a US Airways flight collided with a flock of geese, causing the plane to lose both engines. In what is now known as the “Miracle on the Hudson,” the pilot, Captain Sully, was able to successfully crash land the plane in the Hudson River between Manhattan and New Jersey, saving the lives of all 155 passengers and crew.
  • The 2009 death of Michael Jackson – the King of Pop – brought outpourings of grief from around the world.

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Angela & Melissa

The Book Girls are best friends who jointly read over 200 books per year. We started Book Girls' Guide in 2019 to help others de-stress and find joy through the power of a great book. We do in-depth research on thousands of novels and non-fiction titles each year to provide curated book lists covering a variety of genres.

Books to Read in the Fall of 2023

Saturday 2nd of September 2023

[…] Audiobooks for Road TripsUplifting Books for Book ClubsBooks Set in the 2000sBooks Set in North […]

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Looking for your next great read? Try one of the highly-rated titles from our curated book lists.