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?



Filed under Blog Hops

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

  1. This is the second time I’ve seen The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz on a future classics list today, and it’s my second reminder that I should probably read it.

  2. I also found it hard to figure out how to define a classic! But I definitely need to read Coraline before it’s defined as one, haha. Great list!

  3. 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!

  4. Classic is hard to define. I just thought of books that would be read for years to come.

  5. I do like the idea of Coraline becoming a classic.

  6. The only books I’ve read is Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. I enjoyed it.

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

  9. I’ve always been intrigued by Oryx and Crake.

  10. Damn, I haven’t read any of these, but am definitely moving them up on my TBR. Especially since I’ve seen quite a few of these on multiple lists of modern-day classics.

  11. 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:

  12. Great list! I feel like Coraline definitely has ‘classic’ potential.

  13. This is why I like lists like these, I never read any of these books yet. Time to add some to my TBR I guess. Thanks! 🙂

  14. 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.

  15. I have not read any of these but several sound really intriguing. Thanks for sharing!

  16. I can see the movie adaptation of Coraline becoming a classic. I get around to reading Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.

  17. Jo

    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.

  18. I haven’t read any of those books 😱 a good looking list though!

  19. I’ve only read the first two books on your list, but I agree, they’re definitely worthy of being called classics. CORALINE will definitely always stand as a unique addition to the horror genre.

    Happy TTT!


  20. Little Bee is a great book! I haven’t read Half A Yellow Sun but I could definitely see it as the sort of book that will become a classic

  21. 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.

  22. Of the books I”ve read on this list, I agree with all making the cut as “classics”. I love Snow Flower & the Secret Fan, Coraline, and Oryx and Crake. Fabulous choices. Little Bee too!

  23. Thank you for your kind words–you made my day! I read Little Bee. Good choice. You did a great job again this week!0

  24. 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!

  25. 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.

  26. I was torn between Coraline and Graveyard Book as my pick for Gaiman. I could see both enduring.

  27. Coraline is a good one. I could also see The Graveyard Book becoming a classic too. Great list!

  28. Great list. I especially agree about Coraline. I could see many of Gaiman’s novels being considered classics some day.

  29. 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.

  30. Oryx and Crake is one of my favorite books ever. I hope it sticks around and becomes a classic.

  31. 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..

  32. I though of Neil Gaiman as well, his stories do have a timeless quality. Haven’t read Coraline, though.

  33. 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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