#TopTenTuesday 21st Century Books I Think Will Become Classics

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

The rules are simple:

  • Each Tuesday, Jana assigns a new topic. Create your own Top Ten list that fits that topic – putting your unique spin on it if you want.
  • Everyone is welcome to join but please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own Top Ten Tuesday post.
  • Add your name to the Linky widget on that day’s post so that everyone can check out other bloggers’ lists.
  • Or if you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment.

This week’s topic is 21st Century Books I Think Will Become Classics, a topic suggested by Lisa at Hopewell’s Library of Life

This is a fascinating topic which, of course, begs the question ‘What is a classic?’ My own thoughts are that a ‘classic’ is a book that will stand the test of time, that will continue to be read and discussed for many years to come. I also think it must have some element that sets it apart from other books, either in terms of subject matter, structure or writing style. I’ve only read four of the books on my list but the others are all ones I’ve heard enough about to make me think they fit my criteria.

Which books would you have chosen?

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel – the first in the author’s Tudor era trilogy based on the life of Thomas Cromwell, it won the 2009 Booker Prize and the 2010 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara – described as ‘an immensely powerful and heartbreaking novel of brotherly love and the limits of human endurance’, it was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2015

Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart – described as a book that ‘lays bare the ruthlessness of poverty, the limits of love, and the hollowness of pride’ it won the 2020 Booker Prize

The Road by Cormac McCarthy – described as ‘a searing, post apocalyptic novel’, it won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2007

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson – winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 2004, it’s the story of three generations of a family starting in the time of the Civil War.


Days Without End by Sebastian Barry – winner of the 2017 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, it’s the story of two men and the makeshift family they create with a young Sioux girl

Small Island by Andrea Levy – winner of the 2004 Orange Prize for Fiction, it’s the story of two couples in postwar London, one of which are immigrants from Jamaica 

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – winner of the 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction, it’s the heart-breaking story about the suffering of the people of Biafra told from the point of view of three different characters

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides – described as ‘a grand, utterly original fable of crossed bloodlines, the intricacies of gender, and the deep, untidy promptings of desire’, it won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2003

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon – described as ‘a murder mystery novel like no other’, the book’s narrator is Christopher Boone, a fifteen-year-old with Asperger’s Syndrome 


15 thoughts on “#TopTenTuesday 21st Century Books I Think Will Become Classics

    1. I feel the same about A Little Life as I’m a wimp when it comes to big books. However, it has so many plaudits I might have to make an exception. If I happen to see it on a trip to my local charity bookshop I might just interpret that as fate telling me to pick it up.


  1. This is such a great list! I have only read Middlesex and The Curious Incident, but you’ve listed so many I have on my TBR and should probably get to sooner rather than later.


    1. I never thought of using ratings on Goodreads to make my selection, great idea. Looking at your list, I think it’s safe to say there’s a world of difference between what Goodreaders enjoy and the books that are awarded literary prizes!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good choices! I think, Half of a Yellow Sun (like The Road) is already considered a modern classic, so it should have a good chance of standing the test of time.


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