"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Monday, March 28, 2022

TTT: Modern Classics

Top Ten Tuesday: 21st Century Books Likely to Become Classics

Classics are books which continue to have something important to say years after they are published. When re-reading a classic one has just as much a sense of discovery as the first time.

*Hyperlinked titles available for reviews of those books which I read before I began blogging. Books are listed in random order.


1. Life of Pi by Yann Martel (2001)
"A wonderfully original novel, which recounts the remarkable life of Pi Patel. Martel skillfully blends Pi's adventures of the mind and spirit with an unforgettable physical journey, making this a magical coming-of-age narrative." 

2. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (2004)
"The Shadow of the Wind is a coming-of-age tale of a young boy who, through the magic of a single book, finds a purpose greater than himself and a hero in a man he’s never met. With the passion of García Márquez, the irony of Dickens, and the necromancy of Poe, Carlos Ruiz Zafón spins a web of intrigue so thick that it ensnares the reader from the very first line. The Shadow of the Wind is an ode to the art of reading, but it is also the perfect example of the all-encompassing power of a well-told story."

3. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (2003)
"The Kite Runner is a beautifully crafted novel set in a country that is in the process of being destroyed. It is about the power of reading, the price of betrayal, and the possibility of redemption; and an exploration of the power of fathers over sons—their love, their sacrifices, their lies."

4. Station Eleven by Emily St. James Mandel (2014)
"Station Eleven is at once a gripping post-apocalyptic page turner and a hopeful, elegiac masterpiece that explores the connections that bind humanity."

5. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt (2013)
"The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling power. Combining unforgettably vivid characters and thrilling suspense, it is a beautiful, addictive triumph - a sweeping story of loss and obsession, of survival and self-invention, of the deepest mysteries of love, identity and fate."

6. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (2014)
"In this WWII-centered novel follows the lives of two children as they grow up among all the turmoil. Through his stunning use of metaphor and an unpredictable timeline, Doerr explores kindness and how people perceive the world."

7. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (2002)
"Eugenides packs so much richness into this classical saga-cum-bildungsroman-cum–paean to the American Dream that Dickens would be proud. Starting with the burning of Smyrna and winding its way through Prohibition to the 1967 Detroit race riots, Middlesex does what any viable candidate for the Great American Novel should; it broadens the definition of 'American.'"

8. The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (2016)
"Like the protagonist of Gulliver’s Travels, Cora encounters different worlds at each stage of her journey—hers is an odyssey through time as well as space. As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre–Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share."

9. Atonement by Ian McEwan (2001)
"Ian McEwan’s symphonic novel of love and war, childhood and class, guilt and forgiveness provides all the satisfaction of a brilliant narrative and the provocation we have come to expect from this master of English prose."

10. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (2007)
"Diaz immerses us in the tumultuous life of Oscar and the history of the family at large, rendering with genuine warmth and dazzling energy, humor, and insight the Dominican-American experience, and, ultimately, the endless human capacity to persevere in the face of heartbreak and loss. A true literary triumph."

11. Cloud Cuckoo Land by Anthony Doerr (2021)
"Cloud Cuckoo Land is, among other things, a paean to the nameless people who have played a role in the transmission of ancient texts and preserved the tales they tell. But it’s also about the consolations of stories and the balm they have provided for millenniums. It’s a wildly inventive novel that teems with life, straddles an enormous range of experience and learning, and embodies the storytelling gifts that it celebrates" (NYT).

As I think about all these books I started to wonder if they are made into a movie or a miniseries if it increases or decreases in its likelihood of becoming a classic book read by generations to come. Hmm.  I don't know the answer.


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