In this day and age, we just know what the classics are. The books that have stood the test of time and are still loved today even if they are hundreds of years old. That got me thinking what recent books that have been released over the last couple decades would be classified as classics in a hundred years time. I went over my book shelf and to me, these are the books that deserve to go down in history.
- The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
I’m not sure if this has already been deemed as a modern classic. A re-telling of an Ancient Greek tragedy is bound to keep on the bookshelves for years to come. However, we seem to be going through an age where re-tellings are at their prime. We have suddenly come to a large range of Ancient Greek or Roman or even fairytale stories that have their own twist on it. But to me, this is one of the best up there and I’m sure will become a modern day classic. Not only does is shine of the story of Achilles, but it gives so much dimension to a lover’s story. It proves that it doesn’t matter what sex you are that love is love. Not to mention that ending — never have I read a book so gut wrenching and continues even after the protagonist dies. I hope this is still read in decades to come as we need more stories that don’t just focus on the hero, but the people around them.
2. These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong
Another re-telling, but this time of a Shakespearean classic. Of course, Romeo and Juliet is probably one of the most well-known stories out there. But the reason why I think this book needs to become a classic is because of what it does with the story. It shows the destruction of different cultures and societies condemning one another. It highlights gangster lifestyle and the disastrous life it brings. Not to mention, it beautifully demonstrates the life that isn’t set in western civilisation. The use of different languages and cultures running throughout needs to be talked about, studied and given praise. That’s without even talking about the relationship between the two protagonists. As stunning as the original, and proves that love can stand the test of time without the two having to die for it. Plus, what I majorly love is that the female characters are not weak as older tales like to do because of how it was at the time. This should be praised alone just at the use of a strong female lead and teach women can be just as strong.
3. Felix Ever After by Karen Callender
This was the first queer book I read, and I have a review on my blog which goes into more depth why this books needs to be read by everyone. Even though I am not in the same position as the protagonist, I related so much to this book because it’s simply about love. It is such a compelling story about finding out who you are. To appreciate what you are and to not let society or anyone tell you otherwise. Of course, this book will be perfect for people who feel they have to hide because of social thoughts or perhaps they are afraid to admit they are queer or a part of the LGBT community. But to me, this is for anyone. It needs to be studied in schools and to go down in history because it proves you can simply be you and never be apologetic about it.
4. The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang
I wasn’t sure whether I should include this book or not because it is a hard read at times. But to me, this is the perfect story to prove what war does to not only societies, but individuals. Influenced by the war between China and Japan and is influenced by the second sino-Japanese war and it does highlight on the political side. But to me, this proves how devastating war can be. Sometimes I feel as a society, especially in western civilisation, we are so used to our comfort homes that we forget war is still affecting people today. We studied the world wars or the battles between countries, but sometimes people don’t take it seriously because we are not a part of it. Perhaps having a fictional tale influenced by real events might change that. It highlights what it can do and how it can destroy lives but doesn’t feel like it is being shoved down your throat since parts are still fiction. Also, I love the fact that it is a war based on different cultures. We are coming into a world where different societies and ways of life are being highlighted, and I hope that we continue to do it.
5. The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin
The last book I believe should go down as a classic is in fact the trilogy by N. K. Jamison. This is due to two reasons. One, it highlights how destructive global warming is and how destructive humans are to the earth without it feeling like it is trying to be a lesson. And secondly, the style of writing. At first, I wasn’t sure how to feel about the parts where it was addressing the reader as if it was one of the characters (a sort of second person take). But the more I’ve thought about it after finishing the series, I realised how powerful it is. It is such a hard topic the book is focusing on, and by addressing as if the reader is a part of it, it proves how changes need to be made. The world is dying, and only now are humans starting to take it seriously. This trilogy highlights what awaits us if we do not change, and does it in such a way that it does not feel like you are being roasted, but just to have you think. Hopefully the more people who read this, the bigger the praise it will get and it soon will become a classic.
It’s hard to known what books will be remembered in decades to come. Every author hopes they impact their readers. But to me, these books deserve to be talked about more, and with generations to come.