Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme brought to us by the fine folks over at The Broke and the Bookish, so we can all make bookish lists to our hearts’ content.
The topic for this week is:
Top Ten Books Written In The Past 10 Years That I Hope People Are Still Reading In 30 Years
Ooh, this one is hard. Most of the books on my shelf are either really old or really new. And most of the really new stuff, even books I really enjoyed, I don’t see standing the test of time. Many contemporary titles make a lot of references to the technology and culture of today, and may seem too dated to the teens and adults of 2042. So most of what I’ve come up with either deals with the past or the future, or fantasy worlds. Those seem a lot more likely to age well than books that are firmly grounded in the present.
I’m going to stick to fiction, since that’s what I review on this blog, although of course there have been some wonderful non-fiction titles that have come out in the last 10 years.
Also, I know this may be cheating, but I’m going to include a few series where the first book may have come out more than 10 years ago, but the series continued into the past 10 years. My apologies for playing fast and loose with the rules.
What kills me is I have a few books on my shelf right now that I suspect would make this list if I had read them yet. But alas, I haven’t had time. C’est la vie.
That said, here’s what I’ve come up with.
10. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I hesitated to put this one on the list, because I kind of hope that our obsession with “reality” entertainment will have faded in 30 years, thus making the book less relevant. But it is still a moving look at the effects of war on society, and while I’d like to think that war will also be irrelevant in 30 years, something tells me that’s just a dream.
9. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Such an interesting and unique way to tell a story. And I assume the vintage photography will only be cooler 30 years from now.
8. Ender’s Shadow series by Orson Scott Card.
This follow-up series to the Ender’s Game series (which has already proven it can withstand the test of time) is exciting and thought-provoking science fiction. The first book was released in 2000, but the series is still continuing, and the most recent book, Shadows in Flight, was just released this year.
7. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.
A beautiful story set during one of the darkest times in our history. I hope it moves future readers as much as it moved me.
6 The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen.
An enchanting and marvelous medieval tale that will appeal to young readers of all ages. I wouldn’t be surprised if this starts showing up as required reading in schools.
5. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
This book is in turns amusing, heartwarming, disturbing, and inspiring. It’s a simultaneously entertaining and thought-provoking look at racism and discrimination in our not-too-distant past. In 30-years, hopefully readers will be much more removed from racism, but it will be good for them to appreciate where we came from.
4. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
I’d imagine that even 30 years from now, there will be a market for pulse-pounding, adrenaline-pumping speculative fiction.
3. The Tawny Man trilogy by Robin Hobb
This one’s a big cheat. I’m assuming that if you’re going to read Tawny Man, you’ve already read the Farseer trilogy (first book published 1996) and the Liveship Traders trilogy (first book published 1999). But even if all anyone in the future read was this series, they’d still be treated to an amazing fantasy adventure.
2. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
The first book in this series, Outlander, came out more than 20 years ago, but this series is actually still going on, so I think it counts. The most recent book, An Echo in the Bone, was released in 2009, and the next in the series, Written in My Own Heart’s Blood, will be released in early 2013. This is a beautiful historical romance with a touch of time travel thrown in. It’s already lasted 20 years – why not 30 more?
1. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Again, the first Harry Potter may have been released in 1999, but the series continued through 2009 and introduced so many people — young and old alike — to the wonders of reading through magic and fantasy. I have no doubt that The Boy Who Lived will age well.