The idea for this week’s book recommendation theme first came to me as I roamed the classics section of the local Barnes and Noble with my friend and attempted not to be persuaded into buying half the store. In many high school and college classes students are asked to analyze numerous classic novels, such as The Great Gatsby and The Canterbury Tales, among others. These classics have touched the hearts of many generations and will surely continue to for years to come. However, this got me thinking – what classics will come from our generation? What modern books from our time will be assigned to future students to analyze? A few of the obvious answers that came to mind included many Young Adult favorites, such as Suzanne Collins’ trilogy The Hunger Games, the novels from Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson universe and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. With this question in mind, I decided to interview students around campus for their input.
The first student I talked to was freshman Lucie Peltier, who recommended The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Hadden. This book follows a young boy with autism as he dons a detective hat and attempts to solve the suspicious death of a local neighborhood dog. When prompted as to why this book should be deemed as a potential future classic, Peltier said, “I think this book touches on aspects of society that we don’t normally acknowledge and aren’t regularly exposed to. Since the main character is autistic, he views aspects of the world a lot differently than many other people, which is something I think many fail to realize. I feel that this book allows those with disabilities to have a chance at feeling represented for once, especially since society often overlooks them. It’s very enlightening to view the world through this character’s eyes and gain a new perspective on things.” Peltier recommends this book to everyone, but especially those who are interested in creative writing and want to gain insight on how to write from different points of view.
Freshman Kate Superka decided to recommend A Game of Thrones from the popular series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin. In the first book of the series, readers see the fictional world of Westeros through the eyes of numerous characters, namely the famous Starks of Winterfell. Superka feels that the entire series will be deemed as a classic one day, especially because of how popular HBO’s show Game of Thrones became. “Most people have seen or at least heard of the show, so it’s not hard to imagine it becoming a classic in the future,” said Superka. Superka also mentioned that the books aren’t only good because of their classic fantasy elements, but because they keep readers on edge as the lies, deaths, and betrayals start to add up. Superka feels that this book is good for anyone who loves fantasy, and maybe even those who prefer science fiction.
My own recommendation for this week’s prompt is The Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. The book stops at multiple points throughout place and history, anywhere from aboard a ship sailing for California in 1850, to modern-day England and a post-apocalyptic environment in the distant future. With each new character, readers begin to understand how the characters’ ancestors are reincarnated into new roles from previous chapters and how their choices shaped the world for the future generations. I feel that this book could eventually become a classic one day, since it beautifully illustrates how human souls can be intertwined with one another over time and space, and how our choices today can shape the world for years to come. I would recommend this for anyone and everyone, though I will warn you that it does get a tad confusing to follow occasionally, so I won’t blame you if you decide to check out the movie instead.