Top 5 Wednesday: Current Books that Will Become Classics

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Samantha on ThoughtsonTomes, where your goal is to find 5 books, topics, or general things that fit the theme!  To find the full list of topics, information, and pretty much anything else regarding T5W, head over to the Goodreads Group.

This week, the topic is “Future Classics”, aka books that you think will eventually become classics.  When I read the topic, I didn’t have any that came to mind, but I found the topic interesting and unique so I decided that I would start writing and see where it takes me! (WARNING: I went to giphy for 1 gif, just 1, and now suddenly my post is full of them)

1. Harry Potter, by The Queen of Literature

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I think this one is pretty obvious, after all, it’s pretty much already a classic.  Everyone knows it, it’s such a powerful read, and so years down the road I’m sure it will still be remembered as a staple piece for entire generations.  I don’t think you could write a list about classics without including this one.

2. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak

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This book was so so so so so good, words cannot even describe it.  The way it was written was impressive, and it was an extremely powerful story.  When I first read it 5 years ago, barely anyone had heard about it, but I think it is already becoming more and more popular, on its way to becoming a classic.  For me, one of the qualifications of a “classic” besides just be a powerful story is that it has to be well written, and this novel certainly fell in that category.

3. The Help, by Kathryn Stockett

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I mean, who could resist immortalizing this book for all future generations?  It was comical, addressed a VERY real issue, and told a gripping story all at the same time.  This is one of the few books that I would be willing to read twice, and so for that reason it’s on the list.  Plus, nothing can beat that ending.

4. The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini

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I wasn’t sure which Hosseini book to put on this list but I ended up with this one because it’s more popular, and I read it first, so we’re going with it.  Not sure if this is cheating because it’s basically already a classic, but it was written in the last 50 years so I figure it hasn’t officially been hailed as the classic it deserves to be quite yet.

 

5. Water for Elephants, by Sara Gruen

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This last one was hard because I wasn’t sure whether to do this, Night Circus, or Shanghai Girls.  But, my love of “meaningful” writing prevailed, as it did earlier on the list, and I ended up going with Water for Elephants, a book which I read in 1 week even though I normally take about 3.  So go me!  and also go Gruen you’re amazing!  PS although I haven’t seen it I heard the movie is terrible so if you’ve only watched that don’t judge.

I’m so glad I participated in this because it made me realize how many books I love, and how excited I am to have kids of my own who I will be able to give these to read, just like my mom did for me (oops I’m 17, I’m getting wayyyyy ahead of myself).

Anyways, what books do you think will be classics? Share your T5W links, or comment below!

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Review: Out of Africa

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In 1914 Karen Blixen arrived in Kenya with her husband to run a coffee farm. Instantly drawn to the land, she spent her happiest years there until the plantation failed. Karen Blixen was forced to return to Denmark in 1931 and it was there that she wrote this classic account of her experiences. A poignant farewell to her beloved farm, Out of Africa describes her strong friendships with the people of the area, her affection for the landscape and animals, and great love for the adventurer Denys Finch-Hatton.

 

 

Last month I finally got round to reading Out of Africa by Karen Blixen and I am so pleased that I finally got round to reading it! I initially bought this book last year after watching the film adaptation with my mum. I very much enjoyed the film for its stunning views of Africa and I thought that if the film was so beautiful the books descriptions of the African landscape must be too. But after reading the book I was disappointed with the lace of descriptive writing of the African landscape. Yet, I found myself picking out chunks of descriptive writing about the African natives as they were so descriptive and very interesting to me.

This book, or memoir, has 5 main chapters, four of which read very much like a memoir turned fiction story which I greatly enjoyed. However, there was one chapter, titled ‘From an Immigrant’s Notebook’ that I felt ruined and broke the stories chronological framework up and thus removed emotionally from the book. Also this chapter read very much like notes from a notebook. There were sub-chapters that were very short and didn’t add anything much to the story in a chronological sense and at this point I got rather bored as it felt as if Karen Blixen could no longer be bothered to weave these journaled parts of her life into a narrative and instead just copied them all down and shoved them into one chapter. Despite this, I did feel that the concluding chapter where Blixen says goodbye to her farm in Africa that all these little lose stories came together, in a way, to bid her farewell.

All in all, I very much enjoyed learning about Blixen’s time and life in Africa, especially about how the natives of Africa lived during this time.

The Virtue of Classics- A Discussion

An open discussion of whether the name classic is truly deserved

Everyone is familiar with the so-called “classics”. Jane Eyre, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Life of Pi, and so many others. But how do these books earn their titles? And do they deserve it? Does being a classic really matter? Today’s blog post is going to be dedicated to discussing classical literature, and why that name is (un)deserved.

In my opinion, the only book that absolutely HAS to be read by every person, no matter their age/gender/religion/anything, is Harry Potter. Easily the best book of our generation, it teaches so many important lessons and is written amazingly well. I honestly believe that in the future, Harry Potter will become required reading in high schools. And if it doesn’t, then there is something very wrong with a system that prefers Lord of the Flies and Of Mice and Men. Most classics I find exceedingly dull, until the one moment when there is an ounce of climax. Praises for the way they are written are unwarranted, as the books are certainly not written to entertain. Take Pride and Prejudice for an example. The book has a good plot, and I found myself interested, but through the use of chapters upon chapters dedicated to describing the outdoors, the author efficiently causes readers to fall asleep. I understand the virtue of being challenged in everything that you read, and that is the reason I put myself through the misery of a classic in the first place. I just do not understand how those earned the title, and others did not.

I am sure there are plenty of other books written that deserve to be considered a classic, such as Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer, which is largely overlooked despite the prevalence of his previous book Into The Wild. Perhaps there is a method used, but to me it seems quite arbitrary. I think that they should not name particular books as classics, as this produces a stigma. For example, recently my little sister was reading “The Little Prince” and my mom made the mistake of telling her that it was a classic. This caused her to moan in disgust and state that classics were very boring, instead of just beginning the book and deciding for herself. That may be just my family personally, but I think many more people would read books if they were not formerly labeled.

Classics are also seemingly closed to discussion. You cannot debate the virtues of reading a classic because people will simply respond, “But it’s a classic!”, thereby making any logical debate impossible. (By the way this is actually a persuasive strategy called Begging The Question, often used in advertisements) There is no room for talking and stating the classic isn’t good, because people insist on only stating the positives of a classic. Sure, it’s written in old English and still around today, but is it really that good?

What is your opinion on classics? I know I’m a bit harsh, and sometimes classics are deserving, but I want to know if other people share a similar opinion, or if I have a warped mind. So please comment below!!