When Bionic Bookworm announced September’s Top 5 Tuesday topics, this week’s topic—top five books I consider to be modern classics—is one I knew my answers to.
Some of the books on this list are not necessarily my all-time favorite books. I chose them because of the phenomenon they created when they were published. Many of these impacted people’s lives, mine included. These are the books I suspect to see future students to read to study our society’s texts.
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Of all the books on this list, Harry Potter is a no-brainer. These are the books that made many people I grew up with readers. The Harry Potter books inspired more than movies, clothes, and a theme park. It created a lifestyle for people. Harry Potter is a figurehead of literature—nothing can beat J.K. Rowling’s books. And the legacy will be carried on as those of my generation read these stories to their children.
The Giver by Lois Lowry
The Giver is the oldest book on this list (published in 1993 versus Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, which came out in 1999) and one I had to read for school multiple times. First, in my freshman year of high school, and then again twice in college. While I enjoy it very much, it is by no means my favorite book. However, The Giver is still relevant, especially in this modern age. People want a Utopia where everyone is the same and everything is painless. The Giver teaches that, while this ideal is great, it is not the way humanity is. The world sucks, but you have to deal with it because the alternative could be much worse.
The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
The Hunger Games is another series that created a phenomenon much like Harry Potter. At the time these books were published, the American government—government in general—was under serious scrutiny by people. What was even scarier was the realization that the Hunger Games and the Thirteen Districts could actually happen. The Hunger Games was a warning to readers that this could someday be our world if we did not keep watch on ourselves as well as those in power.
Twilight saga by Stephenie Meyer
I know—you are probably cringing and saying What? Twilight, really? Yes, I am calling the Twilight saga a modern classic with a straight face. While I acknowledge that the books are cheesy and problematic, I cannot deny the influence it had on the young adult genre. Because of Edward and Bella’s vampire love story, so many YA authors had a chance to start their careers. We probably would not have many of the books we do now without Twilight.
Don’t shoot me please, but I can see Twilight as the next generation’s Pride and Prejudice.
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
Aside from Harry Potter, The Book Thief is one I plan to pass down to my own children. The themes in this novel are powerful. It is the only book I know of or read that is narrated by Death. Marcus Zusak reveals the horrors of World War II through the eyes of a child as well as how books have the power to heal and share knowledge certain groups do not want those they have oppressed to know.
What books do you think as modern classics?