This week’s topic from The Broke and the Bookish was really hard for me because I don’t generally read “new” literature—getting into the Divergent series and The Hunger Games was sort of an anomaly for me (if you don’t count Harry Potter, which I don’t, for whatever reason—it was just such a ubiquitous thing in the way that Divergent and Hunger Games aren’t).
Anyway, I could only really come up with five books/series written in the past ten years that a) I’ve read and b) I would want people to continue to read for decades. Here they are:
1. Harry Potter series – J. K. Rowling. This counts, right? Since the last one only came out five years ago?
2. Divergent series – Veronica Roth. This one may not be as all-encompassing as Harry Potter and may not appeal to all ages the way HP does, but it’s still a great series and I hope my daughters/granddaughters will read it one day.
3. The Book Thief – Markus Zusak. Even though the story takes place in Nazi Germany during WWII, I would definitely say it’s timeless in its themes and raw emotion.
4. 11/22/63 – Stephen King. I have no doubt that people will still be reading Stephen King long after he stops writing, but I hope this one stays near the top of the list and becomes one of the “canon,” as I like to think of it (in my head, this includes things like It, The Stand, Pet Sematary, Misery, The Shining, Carrie, etc.—most of his better-known novels).
5. The Hunger Games series – Suzanne Collins. I’m not sure how enduring this one will be on its own, but I know I’ll probably give it to my kids to read once they’re old enough.
For the other five, I’m going to give you five books/series written in the past ten years that I hope people are NOT reading in 30 years:
6. Twilight series – Stephenie Meyer. I feel like this goes without saying, but…I’m saying it. This series does nothing at all positive for women—it makes them desire the unattainable (i.e. the “perfect” man) and believe that their raison d’etre is to have a boyfriend. Nyet.
7. The Road – Cormac McCarthy. I realize a lot of people really like this book, and that it’s basically already a classic. But I personally thought it was boring, pointless, plotless, and depressing, and I hope people don’t continue to torture themselves by reading this.
8. Atonement – Ian McEwan. Okay, I missed the “deadline” on this by about a year (it came out in 2001), but still. I don’t know why people make such a big deal about Ian McEwan. He writes romance novels, not literature. I don’t see Danielle Steele on The List. I don’t know why McEwan is either, but he’s on there eight times. Give me a break! Atonement wasn’t even that good!
First world problems, much?by