Top Ten Tuesdayis an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.
Today’s topic is “older” books we don’t want anyone to forget about. Often readers get caught up in the excitement of new releases (“The Casual Vacancy,” anyone?) and the books that came out two or three years ago tend to lose steam. I’m splitting this list into two sections: those recent releases that need to be refreshed, and classics that should not under any circumstances be allowed to fade, whether or not they’re actually in danger of doing so.
First, the modern:
1. “Shadows of the Wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Every time someone mentions “The Name of the Wind,” this is the book I think of. It has mysterious deaths, unique books, forbidden romance, Spanish history…basically exactly nothing that is in “Name of the Wind.” I have yet to read its two sequels, but since the third supposedly connects the first two, I’m interested in finally reading them.
2. “Interpreter of Maladies” by Jhumpa Lahiri. “The Namesake” will probably live on as Lahiri’s most famous novel, but since she won a Pulitzer for “Maladies,” her very first collection of stories, I think this deserves to be remembered more.
3. “The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society” by Mary Ann Shaffer. I got my mom and sister to read this one and we all loved it, but I’m afraid of it fading away as another one-hit-wonder summer-book-club read. It deserves a place among well-read comfort-food books like “Pride & Prejudice.”
4. “Never Let Me Go” by Kazuo Ishiguro. I haven’t read anything else by Ishiguro yet, and although he’s most famous for “Remains of the Day,” I would hope this one survives as one of his most popular works.
5 “The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril” by Paul Malmont. This one may not get remembered much since I don’t think many people read it in the first place, but I loved it. It’s shameless bibliophile pulp fun.
6. “The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Just keep reading it, folks.
7. “The Age of Innocence” by Edith Wharton. How is it that there’s so much griping about the “dead white man” fixation in literature, when Edith Wharton was never even mentioned while I was in school? Yes, she’s white, but she was the most famous female writer of her time, and she was the first-ever woman to win a Pulitzer price for fiction (for “Innocence”). That book deserves more attention.
8. “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. It’s always incredible to me that this was Lee’s only book, and that it’s still so vital and timeless.
9. “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley. One of the original dystopian novels, notable for its use of a society controlled by giving it everything it wants, rather than brutally subjugating it.
10. “Tortilla Flat” by John Steinbeck. “Of Mice and Men” gets more attention, but I thought “Tortilla Flat” was just as effective and more enjoyable to read in a classroom setting. If someone wanted to read Steinbeck and had a lot of time, though, I’d tell them to read “East of Eden” over anything else.
What books do you hope will live on, either in the classroom or for fun? Check out the suggestions from this week’s other entries.