Books That I Think Will Be Future Classics

No doubt whatever I put on this list will be controversial for academics and bookworms alike. So I do want to clear some things up: I’m specifically going for “classics” in the academic sense, not “stand the test of time” books (there is, in my humble opinion, a difference). You’ll probably be able to note the books that I think are simply wonderful, but that don’t fit well enough into that category. This is a combination of books I personally admire and my own experience of the canon, not what I think the most popular books of our time are and I do hope people won’t be offended by what is/isn’t on here. And obviously, this doesn’t mean that I think I’ll be right, because who knows what the future holds? University students might very well end up studying Noddy in 2200 for all I know- at least I won’t be around to see it 😉 Without further ado, here are some books that I reckon *should*/*will be* the classics of the future:

The Book Thief– I hadn’t mentioned this book in ages… and now I’m mentioning it twice in a week- figures 😉 It is an *amazing*, inventive and emotional book. I definitely think this is the sort of book that would be worth delving into a little deeper, whether or not it does end up getting studied in the future- at least in schools surely!

Homegoing– a modern day epic, spanning centuries, it’s a remarkable piece of literature. With so many embedded themes and stunning writing, I’d be amazed if this didn’t end up on a university syllabus in the future.

Memoirs of a Geisha- Again, I’ve mentioned this recently, but I do think it’s a singularly striking story. I think this already has the label of “modern day classic”- but I don’t set much stock in that label. Most of the time it seems like a marketing ploy to be honest. However, when it comes to this book it’s pretty apt.

Never Let Me Go– yep, this also falls into that category of “modern day classic”- yet it’s fully deserving of that moniker. The writing, while unshowy, is very powerful and there’s a lot of fascinating themes about what it is to be human here. I certainly think it’s worth studying in greater depth.

A Thousand Splendid Suns– I know a lot of people would put the Kite Runner ahead of this- and I’ve no doubt that both will end up as future classics. The reason I put this ahead of Hosseini’s other books is quite simply because I love it so much!! Beyond the emotional depth, the writing is seductively beautiful and the story itself speaks to the human experience.

The Shadow of the Wind– I’m trying to not include books in translation, but I can’t help it with this one, because what a gem this book is! In any language, this book speaks to my soul and truly captures the essence of what it is to fall in love with stories. There’s so much here to admire- the characters, the multi-layered story and the wonderful writing. I certainly think there’s grounds for further exploration of its literary merit.

The Northern Lights– this could be hit or miss, because there’s a snob-value that goes into these decisions, and depending on the university, some do not see fantasy like the Hobbit or Lord of the Rings as a classic (they’re wrong, but whatever). Purely going on my own experience at a redbrick, this could be studied…

Neverwhere– again, I can’t say for certain that this will end up as a future classic- but it definitely deserves to be. Unlike a lot of the books on here, this isn’t my favourite by the author (though it’s wonderful), only I think this is the best example of all the symbolism and intrigue that Gaiman has to offer. I do know someone that did their dissertation partly on American Gods, so it’s not totally implausible as well.

There are a couple of other books that I’d like to put on here but I’m a bit more sceptical about whether they’d make it into the canon (even if I think they should). In the meantime, which books do you think will be future classic? Let me know in the comments!

139 thoughts on “Books That I Think Will Be Future Classics

    1. hehehe yes, true- I’ve just seen a lot of books listed as “modern classics” in the past (eg from the 60s) that are now totally forgotten (a lot of the time for good reason), but these are the ones I think will still be classics in the future (sorry- long winded explanation 😉 )

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  1. I think you are too right about The Book Thief… I love how you bring great literature (not just great books) to our attention as well… So many of these are ones I want to read. 😀 (I actually have no idea of any books that would fit with this list! GAH, I need to adult more maybe?!)

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  2. Most of these are so spot on! I can’t help being the black sheep though, I hated The Shadow of the Wind SO much xD but I guess you’re not a bookworm unless you hate at least ONE book everyone else loves 😀 couldn’t agree more about Pullman and Gaiman BTW, those two are my favorites.
    Memoirs of a Geisha is so strikingly… inaccurate though 😦 it’s so inaccurate that the actual geisha Arthur Golden talked to decided to write HER own book after he published this. Because she was appalled. She explains a lot of the stuff in her book, Geisha, A. Life – by Mineko Iwasaki. If you haven’t read it, I strongly advise it! It’s also interesting just because it’s the true side of the story. But I do agree that Arthur Golden’s book will not be forgotten, even if it’s half made up and has some harmful stereotypes that weren’t actually true. It’s written very well and it’s for everything a good story should have, that’s for sure.

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  3. I totally agree with these books! I have no doubt that The Book Thief is already making its way into a classic status. Same with The Shadow of the Wind. Although I wasn’t too much a fan of the book, I have to admit that it was very beautifully written. And I’ve yet to read A Thousand Splendid Suns, but The Kite Runner was one of my favorite books ever so I don’t doubt that this one too would be amazing. Wonderful post!

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  4. Reaaalllly interesting list- some of those I would agree with and would love to see become those classics. The others? Well, I am sure you’re evaluation of them is hitting home- and I really need to read them myself 😀 The Book Thief for example- I can’t believe I still haven’t read it!

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  5. Hello! I absolutely agree about The Book Thief, which is a book that I would recommend to anyone out there! I’ve read both A Thousand Splendid Suns and The Kite Runner a while back though I don’t remember much about them. The Kite Runner is on my shelf and I look forward to rereading it very soon 🙂

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