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Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday: Baby, You're So Classic...

How would you define a classic? A dusty tome no one ever reads written by some old white guy everyone has forgotten? A long, boring tale that's more symbolism than story? I've defined classics that way before! It's true I'm not a huge fan of "real" literature or even literary fiction. While I appreciate beautiful writing, no matter how long ago it was penned, that's not enough to get me to read a book. Nope, I want the whole shebang: intriguing characters, a compelling plot, skilled prose, and that something special that makes a book stand out from its peers. To me, a classic has all of these elements. It also has a sense of timelessness that makes it relatable to people in any era. Most importantly, it's a book that people actually want to read, not one that has to be forced upon them. 

Today's TTT topic asks which books written in the 21st Century we think are destined to become classics. Since most of the titles that came to my mind for this prompt are a *teensy* bit older than that, I'm going to do just a wee twist on the topic and go with books with classic potential that were written in my lifetime. Since I was born back in the Dark Ages (1975), this should give me plenty of books to choose from.

First, though, be sure to click on over to That Artsy Reader Girl and give our hostess, Jana, some love. If you're in a listy kind of mood today, join in the TTT fun. It's a great way to discover new blogs, drop in on old favorites, and find even more books for your toppling TBR pile.

Top Ten Books Written in My Lifetime That Are Destined to Become Classics


1. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling (published between 1997 and 2007)—These children's fantasy books are already classics and no wonder—they're utterly charming.

2. The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins (original trilogy published between 2008 and 2010)—Although dystopian books existed before anyone ever heard the name Katniss Everdeen, I feel like this is the series that really made the genre popular. Copycats are still being published constantly, but nothing can really compare to this very original series.

3. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak (2005)—Poll any group of World War II fiction lovers and this beloved book will come up. It's unique, moving, and enduring.

4. The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate (2012)—I'm not big on stories told from animal viewpoints, but this lovely novel is a big exception. It's touching and beautiful. I adore it.

5. The Giver by Lois Lowry (1993)—Another much loved book, this one has a simplicity to it that makes readers ask themselves big questions. It's thought-provoking and unique.


1. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah (2015)—This gorgeous novel is another big favorite among lovers of World War II fiction. It would definitely have a place on my list of Top Ten Favorite Novels of All Time (a list I've never actually made, but which I totally should).

2. The Inspector Armand Gamache mystery series by Louise Penny (2005)—This is my favorite crime series ever written. Not only does it feature a quaint little village, but it's a place that is teeming with life and color. The characters are memorable, the mysteries are intriguing, and the books are all suffused with a quiet wisdom that makes them irresistible.

3. The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown (2013)This is the only book on this list that I haven't read, but it's absolutely on my TBR list. Whenever I see lists of favorite non-fiction narratives, this one is on there. If it's this popular now, chances are it will continue to be a winner.

4. The Help by Kathryn Stockett (2009)—I realize this well-loved Southern story has some issues. I still love it, though, as it makes me laugh, cry, cheer, and think. 

5. The Shining by Stephen King (1977)—Published when I was just a toddler, this horror novel is King at his most iconic. I'll never see twin girls or read "murder" in the same way again!

There you have it, ten books penned in my lifetime that I think are on course to become classics. What do you think of my choices? Which titles did you pick for you list? I'd truly love to know. Leave me a comment on this post and I will gladly return the favor on your blog.

Happy TTT!


  1. I actually haven’t read most of these, but you’ve got some great ones on this list.

    1. Thanks! I've read all of these but one and I loved them all :)

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Leah!

  2. Good list! I like that you went with the timelessness of classics like I did. :) Thanks for stopping by my blog. I didn't see that you had posted a TTT today so I'm glad you came by so I could return the favor. :D

    1. I volunteer in my stake's Family History Center on Tuesday mornings, so my TTT posts are often published in the late afternoons. Occasionally, I'm super organized and put it together the night before, but that's pretty rare. Ha ha.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Jenni!

  3. I plan to read The Book Thief soon. Also being born in the Dark Ages (1978) I have read some of these and heard of most of them. Happy Tuesday :)

    1. THE BOOK THIEF is a great one! There's definitely a reason it's so popular.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Cindy!

  4. Great list! The Hunger Games has been on almost everyone's list today. haha! I totally forgot about The Book Thief, it was such a fantastic book!

    1. HG is definitely a classic, especially because it really ushered in the Great Dystopian Age of literature! I think a classic can also be defined as something many have tried to replicate and just...can't. That applies here for sure.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Leslie!

  5. Nice list! Most non-fiction makes me sleepy, but not The Boys in the Boat. It really is good.

    1. Agreed! I enjoy NF as long as it reads like fiction. Ha ha. I've heard nothing but good things about THE BOYS IN THE BOAT. I'm excited to read it.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, T!

  6. I included The Hunger Games and The Book Thief in my TTT today, too!

    1. Great minds think alike! Both have been super popular choices this week and no wonder. They're unique, memorable, thought-provoking, and entertaining.

      Thanks for popping in, Melissa!

  7. Oh yes! Harry Potter is a forever classic, for sure!

    1. Definitely! Kids will be falling in love with the whole wizarding world for years and years to come.

      Thanks for stopping by, Nishitak!

  8. The Hunger games and The Book Thief - of course! I think we're all in agreement there! I haven't read The Giver but heard so much about it that I hope to read it at some point.

    Zoë X

    1. THE GIVER is a good one. It's spare, which allows a lot of room for deep thinking! I hope you enjoy it when you read it.

      Thanks for popping in, Zoe!

  9. Wonderful post! I agree on what you wrote at the beginning---> this: "While I appreciate beautiful writing, no matter how long ago it was penned, that's not enough to get me to read a book. Nope, I want the whole shebang: intriguing characters, a compelling plot, skilled prose, and that something special that makes a book stand out from its peers. To me, a classic has all of these elements." This is so awesome to me! Yes!

    I've read most of your books and agree. I haven't read The One and Only Ivan because I'll cry if I read it, and I must have missed The Boys in the Boat. Whew, your post gave me all the feels-- thanks!

    1. THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN is a tear jerker, but it's also moving and sweet and just really lovely. I resisted reading it for a long time because of the animal protagonist thing. I wish I hadn't waited because it really is a beautiful read.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Mia!

  10. The One and Only Ivan almost made my list, but I cut it. The Giver is a good one, especially since it is Newbery winner. Great list!

    1. It was hard to stick to just ten. There were a number of others I thought about including, but I finally decided on these ten (after changing my mind at least that many times).

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Kami!

  11. I absolutely love classics. I always say, so many people who have read and loved those books can't be wrong. And I rarely didn't like it. I have read books 1 and 2 from your youth list and while they are not my type of reading, I totally agree, they will be around for ages.

    From your adult list, I have read numbers 3 and 4 and have "The Help" on my list, as well. Definitely going to be a classic.

    Thanks for visiting my TTT this week. As usual, I couldn't restrict myself but it still is a TTT (Top Twenty Tuesday).

    Oh, and if 1975 are the Dark Ages, what is 1957? LOL

    1. I know you do! And your enthusiasm for classics always makes me think I need to explore them more widely. Just because one classic bores me to tears doesn't mean they all will!

      Ha ha. I think 1957 qualifies as The Good Old Days. Yes?

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Marianne!

    2. Always my pleasure. Maybe classics aren't for everyone. I always insisted in our book club that we read at least one every year and while some didn't enjoy all of them, I think they were happy we did.

  12. I've only read Harry Potter. I wanted to put it on my list but as the first one was 1997 I decided not to add it 😂 I regret that decision 😂

    1. Ha ha. That's why I widened the timeline on my list a bit :) I couldn't NOT include HP when it's the first thing that came to mind when I saw this prompt!

      Thanks for popping by, Emily!

  13. Yep. I have to agree. These all are going to be classics. I wish I would have included some of them on my list. At least we had one the same.
    Happy (belated) TTT!

    1. As always with these lists, as soon as I started hopping around reading others' choices, I was like, "Doh! How did I forget about THAT one?" LOL.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Deanna!

  14. Good list! I think, for me, I would substitute The Stand for The Shining. ;-)

    1. I actually had THE STAND on the first draft of this post, but since I haven't read it and because I feel like The Shining is more well known because of the iconic movie, I did THE SHINING instead. I probably just should have put them both on there!

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Kay!

  15. Yes to all of these! (But especially Harry Potter, The Hunger Games and The Giver. I love those books. )

    1. Same. They're all favorites of mine. Very memorable series.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Lark!

  16. Great post! I debated adding HP to my list or not... I wish I had!

    1. It was the first thing that came to my mind when I saw this prompt. I couldn't NOT have it on my list! As a matter of fact, HP shows up on most of my lists in some form or another.

      Thanks for stopping in, Maya!

  17. It's been really interesting to see people debating the idea of what makes a classic! Absolutely agree with you on THG and HP :)

    1. Yes, I agree. It's an interesting question and one that, I think, changes a bit over time.

      Thanks for popping by, FangirlFlax!

  18. It fun to see what books are showing up on multiple bloggers' lists, which seems like a sure sign they will become classics. I am especially pleased to see Boys in the Boat on your list as I LOVED that book, still think about it, and recommend it to people.

    1. Agreed. If these books are so beloved, that seems to be a sure sign that they are classic material!

      I've been meaning to read THE BOYS IN THE BOAT since it came out. Once I bought a copy, I just seem to have forgotten about it. I need to read it already.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Helen!

  19. Such a great list. I agree with all of your choices. :)

    1. Aw, thanks! There were other titles I debated putting on my list, but I finally decided to stop overthinking and just go with my instincts. Glad I hit the mark.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Suzanne!

  20. Nice list! I have The Nightingale on my TBR.

    1. Oh, good! I hope you like it. I look forward to reading your review.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Wendy!

  21. Some great choices there! Agree about Harry Potter certainly, and The Help. Oh, and Armand Gamache! Going to look up The One and Only Ivan, not heard of that.

    1. You haven't? It's a really sweet middle grade novel that's very popular here in the U.S. They even made a movie out of it, although I haven't seen it. Applegate writes great children's books.

      Thanks, as always, for coming by and commenting, Cath!

  22. I have read about half the books on your list; the others I want to read. The Book Thief is definitely on more than half the lists this week! Mine is here: Wonderful 21st Century Books: The Classics?

    1. I feel like THE BOOK THIEF is already a classic. It's well-deserved as it's a lovely book all around.

      Thanks for stopping in, Lady in Read!

  23. I've read most of these! I didn't think about The One and Only Ivan. I can see that book becoming a classic.

    1. Same. It's a great book and one that appeals even to people (like me) who don't really like animal stories.

      Thanks for popping by, AJ!

  24. I definitely agree with Harry Potter, Hunger Games, and the Giver.

    Ash @ Essentially Ash

    1. Yeah, those were the first few that came to my mind when I saw this topic!

      Thanks for stopping in, Ash!

  25. NIce take on this week's topic! I agree, there are many factors which are critical for whether a book becomes a classic. But I think it's difficult to clearly define them, though. Interesting to think about, though.

    1. It's definitely tough to put your finger on exactly what makes a book endure through the ages. There are plenty of classics out there whose allure I don't understand AT ALL. It will be interesting to see what's still being widely read 20, 50, 75 years from now...

      Thanks for coming by, Stargazer!

  26. Ah The Book Thief is always a good pick. Tearjerker that one.


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