Books That I Think Will Be Future Classics #2

orangutan list

Alrighty then, it’s been a while since I’ve talked about books which I think will be future classics… so I thought I may as well go for round 2! And since I did a massive preamble in my previous post, I won’t bore you by repeating myself. All I’ll quickly say is that I’m going to (try) not just including books because I love them and try to pick books I genuinely think are worthy of study one day. I’m a little overcautious when it comes to that, which is why I leave out a lot of *maybes*. Anyhoo, let’s get into it!

circe

Circe– this is as good as it gets when it comes to retellings- it’s perfect and as wonderful as reading classics from ancient sources.

bear and the nightingale

Bear and the Nightingale– speaking of exquisite mythological books, you can’t go wrong with Arden’s (future) classic.

the secret history

Secret History– I said it when I reviewed it and I’ll say it again (and again and again)- this is worth studying. Endlessly complex and the kind of book you can never quite move on from, Tartt’s book is nothing short of a masterpiece.

perks of being a wallflower

Perks of Being a Wallflower– I feel like I’m going to get a lot of “but it’s already a classic” for this one, so I should probably clarify that I think it’ll stand the test of time.

summer that melted everything

The Summer that Melted Everything– if nothing else, that writing is to *die for*.

book of hidden things 3

Book of Hidden Things– maybe we’re moving into wishful thinking territory, yet there’s something intensely seductive and powerful about this book.

going postal

Discworld– okay, yes, I broke the rules again, going for a personal fave- I’m a very naughty monkey! But I really think there’s a great argument to be made for Pratchett’s entire satirical works to become classics- I feel like they are the best fantasy parodies ever written (and the best we’re ever going to get!)

Well I think it’s safe to say I pretty much failed at choosing books for the right reasons… So, it’s time to turn the question over to you: do you agree with any of my picks? And which books do you think will be future classics? Let me know in the comments!

82 thoughts on “Books That I Think Will Be Future Classics #2

  1. Going Postal is one of the best Pratchett novels, and also quite relatable to people not that much into fantasy, thanks to it’s topic.Perhaps it will help it to really become classic, even outside of the genre circles?

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  2. You talk a lot about The Bear and the Nightingale (or have been, recently), and I feel like maybe I missed something? I was super-excited about the premise, but I thought it was jumpy and slow and introduced long subplots that went nowhere. (Like the brother that became a monk.) The world-building was pretty spectacular though.

    Circe has been on my list for a while – maybe I should bump it closer to the top.

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    1. That’s fair- I’ve noticed it’s not for everyone because of the style. I found a lot of the subplots got resolved later in the series as well (and were more developed). Even so, it’s okay if it wasn’t for you! But I’m glad you liked the world building.

      That is a brilliant book! I hope you like it if you give it a try! (but fair warning- it is also a slow burn)

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  3. I’ve only read the first two on the list, but I think those would definitely be future classics! Especially because Miller’s representation of Circe is such a well-written and complex character (spinning a ‘villainous’ mythological character) and The Bear and the Nightingale also has the (somewhat) historical fiction angle going for it as well.

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  4. Considering I have only read 1 of these, I can’t say with any authority whether they will be classics or not. However, as the Pessimist I am, I HIGHLY doubt any of these will last 50 years. I might be wrong, completely wrong, but from what few reviews I’ve seen, they all seem to fall into the Outsiders/Rumblefish type of story. Make a splash, impact maybe a generation, then poof, gone. I wonder how many of your other followers even know what those 2 books are? That is how I feel about most of the ones you listed. They’ll be known and loved by people in their 40s, 50’s and 60’s in the future and the kids will say “what?”. And go one to write what books they think will be classics 😉

    Lots of fun to read your thoughts and speculate though. Speculating can be boatloads of fun!

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    1. hehe well it is a realllly hard thing to guess at- but I can say that a couple will probably make it. Hehe you are right- there is always the chance that things will be a flash in the pan (possibly the case for summer that melted everything and book of hidden things) but then some have already been around a while and are starting to get taken seriously (perks and secret history) and then there are a few that might be wishful thinking on my part but really deserve to be future classics 😉 (circe and bear and the nightingale).

      Absolutely!

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  5. Oooh fun choices! I’d love to have studied these in school!

    I don’t know if it’s new enough, but I’d say that The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time is worth studying too. I did Fahrenheit 451 for my O’s and that was amazing, and if I remember correctly Code Name Verity is also an O Level text in Singapore.

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  6. Sadly, I have not read any of these. But Circe and Bear & Nightingale are both on my list, having been highly recommended by multiple reputable sources.

    It is certainly possible for a parody to become a classic. The Princess Bride (the book) was basically a parody of fantasy romances, and it became a classic film. And in school, we read Jonathan Swift’s satirical pieces such as Gulliver’s Travels and A Modest Proposal.

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  7. Totally agree with all of these! Well, maybe not The Bear and the Nightingale, but I WANT it to be!!! I just don’t know that it’ll be popular enough consistently enough to make it in to the canon. I think that Uprooted has a much stronger shot due to its more wide-reaching success. But it’s kind of too soon to tell.

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  8. HAHA, you’re right – The Perks of Being a Wallflower is already considered a modern classic.
    Circe was brilliant. I can’t wait for Madeline Miller’s future works. As for The Secret History, I’ll have to check it out. I just read The Goldfinch last fall before I went to see the movie and I really enjoyed it! I always forget how much I enjoy books over 700 pages!! I just love the in-depth character development and plot progression.

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  9. This is a great idea for a blog post. I haven’t read any of these but will try the bear and the nightingale. Books I think should be classics . . . that’s a tough one. When I think of a classic I picture Jane Eyre, Les Miserables, David Copperfield, To kill a Mockingbird. etc. While I read lots of books I like – recently, Educated, When the Crawdad Sings, This is How it Always is – I don’t think any of those will be around 50 years from now.
    One author who seems to be standing the test of time is Georgette Heyer. Some of her books have been around since the 1920’s and are still going strong. I read those to tattered shreds. Anyway thanks for sharing. good food for thought.

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  10. I have second book in winter trilogy. I still need to buy other two. I wish to get them read soon. I would vote to Clifton chronicles by Jeffrey Archer. So far I have read only 3 in this 7 book series but I’m in love with author’s writing and plot he created. I keep recommending this. Anybody who love historical fiction, politics and family drama would love this. Maybe it might not be on the top but I would like to see it in classic list in future.

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  11. I haven’t read these, but based on my experience with Small Spaces, I do think that Arden’s work is worth studying. Though, I remember studying more “modern” books in some of my classes as well, not just “classics” so maybe they don’t have to be classics in order to merit study?

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  12. Great post! I’d add the MaddAddam trilogy by Margaret Atwood–I think it’ll be interesting to explore in how far her futuristic vision of the world has become reality in 50 years time.

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  13. I completely agree with Perks and Circe! As you said, Perks already has gotten a bit of the classic status, but I think it’ll be one that continues to be well-loved for generations. And I haven’t read The Secret History yet, but I think it’s similar – everyone I know of who’s read it recommends it highly, and it still has a lot of avid fans despite being an older book. Sounds like a classic in the making to me!

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  14. An interesting list. I thought The Secret History was already a modern classic? Even critics think so. Unfortunately, The Book of Hidden Things does not have ANY chance – with the amount of very tasteless erotica/pornography (yes) there, it is simply a “delightful” mystery/thriller. It is very surprising to see it on your list.

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    1. I wonder what future students are supposed to study in “The Book of Hidden Things”? How Italian machismo still permeates every corner of the Italian society? Can you name one morally-pristine female character from that book?

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        1. The leads are the men – we are supposed to associate ourselves with them as we read. That is one book whose females’ treatment and presentation we do not need in the 21st century. I even got a whole A4 page personal reply to me from the author defending his female treatment and image in his book. Now, that is saying something.

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