As most will be aware, this feature is hosted weekly by Thoughts on Tomes.
So this weeks theme is a rather interesting one. Classics can mean different things to different people, as well as different things to yourself. You could consider something classic because it was, in your view, a storytelling masterpiece, a literary gymnast full of technique or perhaps it simply had a profound effect on readership as a whole that warrants a ‘classic’ accolade.
The brilliant thing about this particular Top 5 is that they can be a mix of books you love, hate or are indifferent towards. Classics are a genre that umbrellas all genres and are merely linked by their impact and contribution to the literary world over time. From the few T5W posts I have seen already today, there is clear agreement in some titles, and I will be equally suggesting some of these, but I hope also to explore some new considerations.
One. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
This is the third blog post in a row where I have featured this particular title. If that doesn’t scream classic to you then I am not certain what will. This is also one of the titles I have seen on every single T5W list so far. If you want my thoughts on this in more detail, I would refer you to my Weekly Big Three on Children’s Books.
Two. Harry Potter Series by J.K Rowling
Another one unlikely to shock and one featured on many lists already. The Harry Potter series for me was definitely a turning point in readership, particularly young readership. It single-handedly (arguably alongside the Twilight series) combated the modern world and young readers obsession with technology and online, and got them back to books. The Harry Potter fandom is unlike any other and these books have such significant place in my heart, as I am sure it will in many of yours.
Three. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
This book truly is special. Stories with protagonists on the autism spectrum are not uncommon, but there is just something about the way Haddon tackles this topic that is so truly beautiful. The book itself puts the ‘murder mystery’ element to the front, and the fact that the character is autistic to the back. It gives us unique insight into the mind of someone on the autism spectrum that it allows the character to either be relatable, or at the very least, allows us the ability to sympathise. The play-version of this is touring the UK again this year, and I hope to catch it in Glasgow when it comes as I have heard rave reviews of that also.
Four. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
I have decided to add this one to my list, simply because of the way it made me feel when I had first finished it. A story of woman who has the opportunity to live her life time and time again through the 20th century. It’s a unique interpretation of the Butterfly Effect theory as well as the idea that our paths are laid out for us. I am a major sucker for most things period, particularly early 20th-century, and this book was just simply beautiful. You get so attached to one ‘life’ of the character, only to feel such heartache when that particular path is stopped and life is once again reset. I implore anyone who has not read this to do so. I have doubts this would be considered a classic to most, but I have purposefully put it here simply because of the way it impacted on me.
Five. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
Did anyone else equally squeal with joy earlier this year when it was announced Pullman planned on revisiting this world? What a delight! This is the first series I remember tackling and truly loving next to Harry Potter. Such a unique world with all the home comforts of our own to keep us familiar. Adventure, philosophy, fantasy mixed with a hint of tragedy definitely makes this particular series a future classic in my eyes!
Well that concludes my particular top 5. Did I have similar ones to you? If you have done a blog post on this, please link me in the comments so I can go have a nosey!