Top Ten Tuesdays: Top Ten Books Written In The Past 10 Years That We Hope People Are Still Reading In 30 Years

This is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely folks over at The Broke and the Bookish.

Earlier this month, Tom Vanderbilt wrote an article for the New Yorker Why Is Literary Fame So Unpredictable? that discussed how it’s really very difficult to predict what books will be popular in the future  – it’s a fun, quick read that raised lots of interesting ideas for us. But we tried to remember – the prompt is not what books people will be reading but rather what books we hope they are reading. So without further ado!

Mary’s Picks:

1. A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini (2007)

I have a feeling many people will choose The Kite Runner, but for me, this has to be Hosseini’s number one work. It’s emotional, powerful, and I appreciated the focus on family relationships and especially on women. It’s exactly the sort of book I imagine people will still be reading – and in this case, I hope I’m right.

2. Persepolis: The Story of Childhood – Marjane Satrapi (2005)

I love love love Persepolis. It depicts the author’s story of growing up during the Iranian Revolution. It and Maus are both really really awesome graphic novels that anyone can appreciate – and should!

(The second book in this set, The Story of a Return, is also amazing)

3. The Book Thief – Marcus Zusak (2006)

Boy, I’m so serious this week! But I can’t help but answer this topic with serious books it appears. This book is classified as young adult, but it demands a wider readership. It’s a beautiful/heart-breaking book about the Holocaust – narrated by Death! It’s an incredibly well-told story that stays with you, and I feel confident that will guarantee it’s still being read years from now.

4. The Hunger Games – Suzanne Collins (2008)

Okay, forget the serious. Now I just hope people are still having fun. I hope 30 years from now I can still put together a Katniss Halloween costume and not get blank stares when I do so!

5. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay – Michael Chabon (2000)

This is cheating. Oops. Note the year. But this is one of my all-time favorite books, so I couldn’t resist. I loved the writing, I loved getting to read it. I love how much fun great literature can sometimes be.

Disclaimer: In 30 years, I myself also hope to still be enjoying a host of light and fluffy young adult reads (ahem Princess Diaries) – I found it hard to include these fun books because who knows what will be relevant in 30 years. History, on the other hand (or in this case, books that tell it or confront it) will always be important!

Elizabeth’s picks:

6. The Dear America/Royal Diaries series: Okay, it might be kind of cheating to pick a series/two series, but the Royal Diaries was a spin-off of Dear America, and I feel like they taught me so much. I also can’t promise that they were all written within the last 10 years, but many of them were. The Dear America series are fictional diaries of girls who lived in different periods in American history, almost the American Girl doll characters for older girls. I love history, and I attribute that in part to both of these series. I learned about life on the Oregon Trail, Civil War, World War II and many more. The Royal Diaries are the fictional diaries of real historical royal figures, some famous and some not. As a redhead named Elizabeth, I of course loved Elizabeth I and her fictional diary too. Others include Cleopatra, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and Queen Victoria.

7.   Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: This is also kind of a cop-out since I really mean the Harry Potter series, but I needed one published in the last ten years, plus once you’ve read one, how can you not read the rest? I literally grew up with Harry Potter. I read my first one at age 11 (even though I actually read the third book first) and I loved it! I think there is something timeless about these books and I hope that future generations will read them and also believe in magic.

8. The Truth About Forever: Or any Sarah Dessen. I like that these books address real issues that girls deal with – from body issues to family problems – and in a thoughtful way. Since these issues unfortunately do not seem to be going away, I hope Sarah Dessen is still helping girls in the future.

9. Executed on a Technicality: Lethal Injustice on America’s Death Row:  I hope people are still questioning the way things work in our society in the future – in the news, the media, wherever. This book really opened my eyes to the fact that our government/our justice system is not infallible, and we should always question our assumptions about the system and especially about the people who find themselves a part of it. (sidenote: Mary is soooo proud right now)

10. Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto: First off, this book is hilarious. Chuck Klosterman is awesome. This gives a really funny picture of life at the beginning of our century that people 30 years from now can appreciate. The part about cereal mascots is so familiar – and so funny. It also makes you look critically at the world around you, but then shake your head and laugh too.

What do y’all think? What should people be reading in 30 years?