Saturday, March 5, 2011

Modern Fiction (My take on EWs "New Classics")

Ok, so I'm not really a modern literature reader and I am glad that starting this blog has given me the chance to fix that! I've been seeing this list from Entertainment Weekly floating around the book blogosphere and thought I'd finally give it a go. I'll have to agree with many who have argued with the list that while this is a comprehensive list of modern books all the books aren't really literature...frankly, I'm not sure if all of them will withstand the test of time. There are some, however, that have changed my way of thinking and should be on anybody's reading list! :)

JI've read it.
MI want to read it.
$I recommend it to you, but that doesn't mean I considered it a classic, I just liked it...a lot!

1. The Road , Cormac McCarthy (2006) J
2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling (2000) J
3. Beloved, Toni Morrison (1987) J
4. The Liars' Club, Mary Karr (1995)
5. American Pastoral, Philip Roth (1997) M
6. Mystic River, Dennis Lehane (2001) $J
7. Maus, Art Spiegelman (1986/1991) 
8. Selected Stories, Alice Munro (1996) M
9. Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier (1997) J
10. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami (1997) 
11. Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer (1997) M
12. Blindness, José Saramago (1998)
13. Watchmen, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (1986-87) J
14. Black Water, Joyce Carol Oates (1992)
15. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers (2000) M
16. The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood (1986) $J
17. Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez (1988) M
18. Rabbit at Rest, John Updike (1990)
19. On Beauty, Zadie Smith (2005) M
20. Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding (1998) $J
21. On Writing, Stephen King (2000) 
22. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Díaz (2007)
23. The Ghost Road, Pat Barker (1996)
24. Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry (1985) 
25. The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan (1989) $J
26. Neuromancer, William Gibson (1984)
27. Possession, A.S. Byatt (1990) M
28. Naked, David Sedaris (1997) 
29. Bel Canto, Anne Patchett (2001)
30. Case Histories, Kate Atkinson (2004)
31. The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien (1990) $J
32. Parting the Waters, Taylor Branch (1988)
33. The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion (2005)
34. The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold (2002) J
35. The Line of Beauty, Alan Hollinghurst (2004)
36. Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt (1996) M
37. Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi (2003) 
38. Birds of America, Lorrie Moore (1998)
39. Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri (2000) M
40. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman (1995-2000) 
41. The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros (1984) $J
42. LaBrava, Elmore Leonard (1983)
43. Borrowed Time, Paul Monette (1988)
44. Praying for Sheetrock, Melissa Fay Greene (1991)
45. Eva Luna, Isabel Allende (1988)
46. Sandman, Neil Gaiman (1988-1996) 
47. World's Fair, E.L. Doctorow (1985) 
48. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver (1998) J
49. Clockers, Richard Price (1992)
50. The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen (2001) 
51. The Journalist and the Murderer, Janet Malcom (1990)
52. Waiting to Exhale, Terry McMillan (1992) J
53. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon (2000) M
54. Jimmy Corrigan, Chris Ware (2000)
55. The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls (2006)
56. The Night Manager, John le Carré (1993)
57. The Bonfire of the Vanities, Tom Wolfe (1987) M
58. Drop City, TC Boyle (2003)
59. Krik? Krak! Edwidge Danticat (1995)
60. Nickel & Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich (2001)
61. Money, Martin Amis (1985) M
62. Last Train To Memphis, Peter Guralnick (1994)
63. Pastoralia, George Saunders (2000)
64. Underworld, Don DeLillo (1997)
65. The Giver, Lois Lowry (1993) $J
66. A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, David Foster Wallace (1997) 
67. The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini (2003) $J
68. Fun Home, Alison Bechdel (2006)
69. Secret History, Donna Tartt (1992)
70. Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell (2004) 
71. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Ann Fadiman (1997)
72. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon (2003) J
73. A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving (1989) 
74. Friday Night Lights, H.G. Bissinger (1990) M
75. Cathedral, Raymond Carver (1983) $J
76. A Sight for Sore Eyes, Ruth Rendell (1998)
77. The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro (1989) $J
78. Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert (2006) J
79. The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell (2000)
80. Bright Lights, Big City, Jay McInerney (1984) M

81. Backlash, Susan Faludi (1991)
82. Atonement, Ian McEwan (2002) $J
83. The Stone Diaries, Carol Shields (1994)
84. Holes, Louis Sachar (1998) $J
85. Gilead, Marilynne Robinson (2004)
86. And the Band Played On, Randy Shilts (1987) $J
87. The Ruins, Scott Smith (2006)
88. High Fidelity, Nick Hornby (1995) $J
89. Close Range, Annie Proulx (1999) $J
90. Comfort Me With Apples, Ruth Reichl (2001) M
91. Random Family, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc (2003)
92. Presumed Innocent, Scott Turow (1987)
93. A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley (1991) J
94. Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser (2001) M
95. Kaaterskill Falls, Allegra Goodman (1998)
96. The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown (2003) J
97. Jesus’ Son, Denis Johnson (1992)
98. The Predators' Ball, Connie Bruck (1988)
99. Practical Magic, Alice Hoffman (1995) 
100. America (the Book), Jon Stewart/Daily Show (2004) $J


  1. I'm always so glad to see lists like this because it helps me fill in the blanks in my own reading list. There are a number of titles here that I am glad made the cut: The Road, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, The Liar's Club (although I thought Cherry was better), Naked, The Year of Magical Thinking, The Poisonwood Bible, The Glass Castle, Handmaiden's Tale

    Fabulous books, all.

  2. Trish,

    thanks for the comment. i've never even heard of Cherry...looking forward to investigating!

  3. Like Trish, I find I always get recommendations from lists like that, even if the lists themselves won't stand the test of time. Thanks for posting!

  4. I posted about this a couple weeks ago!

    Also, I just gave you an award. You can see more about it here:



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