Literary Blog Hop!

The Literary Blog Hop is Hosted by The Blue Bookcase.

Welcome Literary Blog Hoppers! My blog is an eclectic one, but I often read and comment on classic works and authors, and am happy to discover other bloggers who do the same.  Thanks to The Blue Bookcase for hosting the “LBH”  🙂

Today’s question involves Contemporary books that are Literary Classics…What makes a contemporary novel a classic? 
Discuss a book which you think fits the category of ‘modern classics’ and explain why.

(Note: For the purposes of discussion, I considered “contemporary” to mean an author who is still living and writing.)

Hmm… that’s a tough one, as it involves predicting the future.  Very few of the ‘contemporary’ books I’ve read in the past few years even made it to my ‘candidate’ list.   A few that did might be The Kite Runner by Khalid Hosseini, Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier, and maybe The Book Thief by Markus Zuszak.  The last is usually sold in the “young adult” sections of bookstores, but it is certainly a book that countless adults have read and enjoyed as well, and I can see it being “One of Those Books I Read in School” many years from now.  Cold Mountain wasn’t my cup of tea, but the writing was beautiful (Heck, it won the National Book Award, didn’t it?  It must have some merit).  The Kite Runner was a good story and excellently written as well.  I see all three of these books being part of the libraries of the “culturally literate” many years from now.  What do you think?


  1. November 26, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    I have no idea. I’m not good at predicting what will be respected in the future.

    My thoughts:


  2. JaneGS said,

    November 26, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    I think it’s really tough to predict what will really stand the test of time. Of the three books you listed, I’ve only read Cold Mountain but I thought it was incredible. Tough to read at times but really powerful. I want to read The Kite Runner–I’ve had it for awhile, but it hasn’t gotten read yet 😦 My kids loved The Book Thief, and I want to try to get to it this winter.

    I think a lot of classics become classics because they get on high-school reading lists….


    • stentorpub said,

      November 29, 2010 at 1:09 pm

      I agree, Jane. Once a book makes it onto some school reading lists – Bing! Classic status. 🙂

      The Book Thief was one of the most popular books my book club has read thus far, and we’re almost to 50 books…



  3. Sarah said,

    November 26, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    Those are great choices. The Book Thief definitely has the English 101 written all over it. I can really see it being read in high schools in the not to distant future.

    Cold Mountain is an interesting choice. I really enjoyed it when I read it but I never gave it much thought after. I guess it does depict and interesting struggle and centers around a historic event. Really interesting choice!

    Sarah @ Loving Books


  4. Dale Barthauer said,

    November 26, 2010 at 8:03 pm

    I think all of these books could become classics. What about The Color Purple? Is Alice Walker still living and writing? I read a book a few years ago called The Life of Pi by Yann Martel. It won the Mann Booker Prize (Canadian, I think?). It might potentially become a classic. It also tends to be found in the Young Adult section of bookstores.

    Great question!


    • stentorpub said,

      November 29, 2010 at 1:10 pm

      Hi Dale,
      I haven’t read either of those, although I’ve heard of them. I’ve heard a lot about The Life of Pi. Maybe I need to check that one out…


  5. Rachel said,

    November 26, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    The Book Thief was written by an Australian and over here in Australia, it was marketed towards adults and it is sold in the adult section of the bookstore. For some reason, US publishers market it as YA… I think this has more to do with how well YA books sell than the that they think that this is a YA book. Food for thought.


    • stentorpub said,

      November 29, 2010 at 1:11 pm

      I bet you’re correct about that. YA = >$$. I remember being surprised to find that this one was a “YA Book”


  6. November 27, 2010 at 11:26 am

    The Kite runner has been languishing in my TBR for a while now, so will have to get round to it.
    thanks for the reminder


  7. stentorpub said,

    November 29, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    No problem. That’s what we’re all here for. 🙂


  8. Ann Marie said,

    December 2, 2010 at 2:54 pm

    Sorry Jay, I am a little slow on this since I was out of the country when you posted it. I absolutely agree with The Book Thief. In fact, it is already on high school reading lists – Katie just read it in her Freshman English class.

    As you and I discussed, I think at least one of the Harry Potter books will eventually be considered a classic just as Alice in Wonderland and the Hobbit are today. I also think at least one Stephen King book will be up there. I just can’t decide which one (maybe The Stand as you pointed out). Finally (although the author is now dead so it violates your “still living” rule but since he only died recently I am adding it) I would put money on The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo.


    • stentorpub said,

      December 4, 2010 at 6:14 pm

      I’m not sure I would consider The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo series “classic” material rather than “popular phenomenon” material. I do hate that – with Stieg Larsson’s death – the character of Lisbeth Salander falls silent. I even had a dream the other night where she and I were fugitives together on the run from someone or something. Sadly I woke up before anything really good happened… 😉


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