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Books that Span Multiple Decades

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Whether you are participating in the final month of the Decades Reading Challenge or found this booklist searching for novels that span decades, we know you’re sure to love these expansive stories. Rather than providing just a snapshot in time, the fiction and non-fiction titles we recommend below provide a panoramic view of life in the 20th century and early 21st century.

Books Recommendations that Span Multiple Decades

You can read all about the Decades Reading Challenge, download your free printable reading tracker, and find book lists for each decades from 1910-2010 here.

We’ve heard from many of you that, throughout the challenge, you’ve loved diving into specific decades and discovering fascinating historical events that we didn’t learn about in school. There’s also a lot to learn by reading long-view novels, non-fiction, or memoir that spans multiple decades or multiple generations. Some of the recommended books are expansive stories that span the year and allow us to observe how things change over time. Others are books set in two different time periods and allow us to compare the decades side by side.

novels that span decades

As always, you’re welcome to read any book you’d like for the Decades Challenge, but to get you started we’ve compiled a list of non-fiction titles and some best novels that span decades from the 1910s through the present day.

Novels that Span Decades: From the 1910s to the 2020s

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If you enjoyed the Decades Reading Challenge, we invite you to also check out our other two annual reading challenges. The Book Voyage Challenge allows you to armchair travel your way all around the globe via the pages of books. And the Lifetime of Reading Challenge invites you to read books with main characters of different ages to create an appreciation and understanding of those in different phases of life.

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