Weekly Lists #155: Favorite Modern Classics

Fact: calling a book a “classic” has little to nothing to do with the age of a book. It is basically just a way of saying “this one is for the ages”. Sure, that status might be determined by the influence of time, but in general? A classic might be coined as such from the moment it’s published, only time will tell if that will be right. Either way, here’s 5 books I would consider modern classics!

1. The Secret History, Donna Tart

This book has been around for a little while, now, but I only got around to reading it this past April. Which is impressive, considering my Latin-teacher when I was 15 told us it was an amazing book. Well, I finally got round to it? And he was right. This book is amazing. (Goodreads)

2. Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro

I have mentioned this one as one of my favorite books of all time. on multiple occasions. That is not the reason why I would consider it a modern classic though. This story has that perfect mix of psychological depth, slightly dystopian context, amazing world building, great characters that are allowed to be “not good” and, you know… A really fun movie adaptation? (Goodreads)

3. The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Mitch Albom

This book is definitely more on the philosophical/theological side. If that’s your cup of tea? This book is great. Basically just check out my review. (Goodreads)

4. 84, Charing Cross Road, Helene Hanff

For my fellow bookstore lovers out there: this novel builds from the old school letter novel, spans multiple decades, two continents and some amazing characters. Also, it’s been adapted to multiple other media, which is usually a pretty good indicator for whether or not something will be a classic! (my review, Goodreads)

5. The Princess Bride, William Goldman

Another common misconception: classics have to be serious. Guess what? No, they don’t. Again: whether a book is a classic? Based on its perception by people, not on any inert qualities! (Also, yes, I’m aware that this can indicate the reverse for some classics: not actually that good. It’s a statement I’ll get behind!) Basically, this one is a classic for the way it uses old tropes, re-invents and re-frames them, and then somehow makes all of that so inherently funny? It’s a bit of a Don Quichotte of the modern age, I would say. Also: there’s this scene in the movie adaptation:

That is just beautiful writing on all accords. (Goodreads)

Anyway, that’s 5 books I would consider modern classics! Are there any others you would’ve liked to have seen on this list? Be sure to let me know below!

-Saar