Top Ten Tuesday: 21st Century Books I Think Will Become Classics


Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

A little yellow flower sticking out between the pages of an antique hardcover book. If you ask me, this is one of the best topics that was ever submitted to Top Ten Tuesday!

Bravo to Lisa of Hopewell for coming up with it. You have a wonderful mind, and I’m so glad Jana chose your idea.

It is about time that books from the 21st century begin to be sorted into various classics lists. I used the plural form because I don’t know that there should ever be one single list that everyone reads or even agrees is the best of the best.

What I find emotionally engaging and appealing might not be necessarily the same list of books that someone else picks for a wide variety of reasons. We all have different tastes and previous life experiences that influence which books leave a lasting impact on it.

Honestly, there are certain books from the lists of classics from earlier centuries that I have never been able to get into, but of course not everyone agrees with my opinions of those books.

With all of that being said, here are some books from this century that I think will be remembered fondly for many years to come.

1.Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

Why: It was an immersive story that followed the same group of characters for decades as they matured. The plot itself was also quite interesting, and I could see it being taught in schools.

 

2. Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Why: Neil Gaiman is an amazingly nuanced storyteller who sneaks all sorts of deep themes into his works that you might otherwise expect to be simple entertainment.

 

3. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz

Why: To be honest, it’s been so long since I read this book that I’ve forgotten many of the plot twists. What I do remember is being astonished by how many layers the author fit into the short life of his main character. That takes skill, and it makes this something I should reread again soon.

 

4. Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam, #1) by Margaret Atwood

Why: This almost read like it was half of a conversation with an unseen companion who had strong opinions about the world that the author only partially agreed with. Ms. Atwood also had some astute observations to make about 21st century life that I think will appeal to future generations quite a bit.

 

5. Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Why: It had such a sympathetic portrayal of someone who had Alzheimer’s Disease and no hope for a cure. I’ve read other books on similar topics from previous centuries. You can learn so much about a society by looking at how people with incurable illnesses are treated as well as how they react to the news that they’ve reached the end of what medicine and science can offer to them.

 

Five hardcover books standing up and arranged in a circle on a wooden table. 6. Little Bee by Chris Cleave

Why: The gorgeous writing makes this a modern classic in my opinion! Do not spoil the storyline for yourself by looking up spoilers in advance. The less you know about it beforehand, the better in my opinion.

 

7. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Why: This was a challenging read for sure given the many references to war and political upheaval, but it was well worth sticking it out with the characters to see what became of them.

 

I look forward to see which books everyone else picked! I wonder how much crossover there will be on our lists?

 

68 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday: 21st Century Books I Think Will Become Classics

  1. I’m so curious about your description for Little Bee. I know nothing about it so maybe bored my chance to take your advice and give in blind!

  2. I’ve seen Oscar Wao on a lot of lists today and it makes me want to pick it up even more! I’ve had it on my TBR for a while after trying one of Diaz’s books a few years back but I just never got around to reading it. I’ll definitely bump it up the TBR now 😃 Great list!

  3. I’m horrified that I haven’t read even one of these. I read your post having come to it via Stargazer’s post, and made some suggestions there. We all have such very different ideas. It could be a long list, eventually!

  4. These are great picks! I remember feeling as overwhelmed by reading Oryx and Crake as I had felt while reading some of the classics we studied in school, so that fits perfectly. (Looking back, I wish I’d had people to discuss that book with at the time.)

    And I would love to see Coraline on future “children’s classics” lists!

    My TTT: https://bookwyrmknits.com/2022/03/29/throwback-ttt-books-by-my-favorite-authors-i-still-need-to-read/

  5. I loved Still Alice. It was a book that really surprised me. I didn’t think I’d like it, but I ended up really loving it. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by my blog.

  6. I read Coraline for the first time a couple of years back, and though I think I probably would have enjoyed it more if I’d read it when I was younger, I still liked it and want to read more Neil Gaiman stuff in the future.

  7. Coraline I can definitely see making the list, and I haven’t even read it! But just seeing everyone’s thoughts on it over time.

  8. Gaiman’s and Atwood’s books are definitely going to be classics in the future, I am just not sure which one of their books is going to be the most popular. They are all so good!

  9. I almost put #1 and #4 on my list but had to make the cut somewhere. I totally agree that they are going to be classics. The same with the one we have in common “Half of a Yellow Sun”, I’ve seen that on several other lists. I haven’t read any of the other books on your list, I probably should.

    Thanks for visiting my TTT this week. As usual, I couldn’t restrict myself but it still is a TTT (Top Twenty Tuesday).

    • You’re welcome. I’m glad my comments are going through on your site again!

      May you enjoy any of the other books on my list that you decide to read.

  10. Hi there Lydia! There are quite a few Neil Gaiman books I hope will become classics. Coraline is a good choice!

    I was actually also thinking about Still Alice, it’s a book that can still be read for years to come.

    So sorry I only visit so late, we’ve had internet problems for the last 3 days…

    I hope your week is good!

    • No worries, Mareli. I hope your Internet access is more reliable now.

      Have you seen the film based on Still Alice? It’s excellent.

      And, yeah, Gaiman has written many books that could be modern classics for sure.

  11. I have only read Coraline from your list but have the rest on my TBR.. and hope to get to them soon!! Thanks for visiting, as always..

  12. I certainly think Neil Gaiman would become a classic author in the future. A lot of this books stand out to people for some reason or another. I’ve read a few by him that reall stood out to me.

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