Books that I think will be future classics

Definition of a classic book:

classic is a book accepted as being exemplary or noteworthy, for example through an imprimatur such as being listed in a list of great books, or through a reader’s personal opinion. … A “canon” refers to a list of books considered to be “essential” and is presented in a variety of ways.

What follows are some factors for what makes a classic:

-Addresses universal human concerns

-Shifts people’s views on life

-Influences subsequent works

-Merit, which is continually respected and examined by experts and critics throughout the years

When I worked as a cataloguer for a public library, there was much debate as to what could be considered ‘classic‘ fiction.  Some argued that only books that have been around for hundreds of years (Dickens, Austen, Dostoyevsky, the Bronte sisters, etc.) were true classics.  Others argued that more modern works such as “The Great Gatsby” and the works of Agatha Christie could be considered ‘classics’.

Some say the cut-off is 1950.  Those classics that were published before 1950 are true ‘classics’, while those books published after 1950 should be considered ‘modern’ classics.

In my personal opinion, classic novels are ones that have the ability to endure over a long span of time. Ones that contain an important message, or that have a universal appeal for some reason despite the fact that they were published years ago – without stipulating how many years. A book that outlasts the time period in which it was written.

Now, for my personal choice of 10 books who have the potential to be future classics:

The Help” by Kathryn Stockett

The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak

The Remains of the Day” by Kazuo Ishiguro

A Man Called Ove” by Fredrik Backman

Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine” by Gail Honeyman

The Binding” by Bridget Collins

The Forgotten Garden” by Kate Morton

Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens

The Sewing Machine” by Natalie Fergie

Tin Man” by Sarah Winman

I’ve read all ten of the above books and although I didn’t give them all a five-star rating, I did feel that they had merit and were memorable enough to be in this list.

Have you read any of these? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

I wish to thank the Orangutan Librarian who graciously let me borrow this idea for a post.


About Fictionophile

Fiction reviewer ; Goodreads librarian. Retired library cataloger - more time to read! Loves books, gardening, and red wine. I have been a reviewer member of NetGalley since October 2013. I review titles offered by Edelweiss, and participate in blog tours with TLC Book Tours.
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41 Responses to Books that I think will be future classics

  1. Pingback: 10 Future Classic Books — Keeping Up With The Penguins

  2. Fantastic list! Really want to read “The Help”. And I love Eleanor Oliphant, The Book Thief, A man called Ove and Remains of the Day. Thanks for linking to my post!


  3. Sheree @ Keeping Up With The Penguins says:

    Ooooh, what a fascinating topic – so interesting to think about! And I love the idea of A Man Called Ove being elevated to the status of classic someday, I hope so! I recently read In The Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado and I think that will become a classic of the memoir genre and queer literature. Also Normal People by Sally Rooney might be a candidate as a classic of this “millennial” era?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Pingback: Books That I Think Will Be Future Classics – Witty and Sarcastic Bookclub

  5. Have read quite a few of those and agree that may well have sticking power. Recently listened to Crawdads on Audible and loved it!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I haven’t read all of the books on your list, but I certainly agree with you on the first three at least!


  7. eLPy says:

    Excellent post! I have not read any of these though I did see The Help film and passed on that I agree with your choice here. I’ve heard of several of the others but not the whole list. You’ve got me curious… 😀


  8. stargazer says:

    Great idea for a post! I hope you are right with The Remains of the Day, I think it has what it takes. Less certain about Ove and Eleanor, I love both of them, but not sure they have the staying power. I wonder if Harry Potter will become a classic? Dating back to the 90s and still being on bestseller lists (at least on audio) is quite a feat.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Carol says:

    I’ve read the first 5 plus Forgotten Garden. I think Gentleman in Moscow might become a modern classic?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I haven’t yet read that one Carol, but perhaps I should?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Carol says:

        I think it could be a classic! It’s a good example of literary fiction I think. Character driven, meaning of life, exquisitely written. Interesting premise. Lots of Russian history. The book is in parts…5??? I took one part at a time. In the last part, the plot picks up the pace. The ending is somewhat open ended…but enough context to come to your own conclusion. I definitely think it’s worth a read!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. A big yes for The Remains of the Day!


  11. thequietgeordie says:

    So far only read “The Help” from that list. Although thinking of tackling “The Book Thief” soon – part of the reason I haven’t yet is as I’m not keen on big books (they scare me), but given the current situation, now might be a good time to pick some chunky books!


  12. I have read The Binding and can certainly understand why you have included that. The one that springs to my mind the most is Once Upon A River. That totally reads like a classic.


  13. I’d definitely agree with you on The Book Thief and The Remains of the Day. A few possible candidates I’d suggest The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, Days Without End by Sebastian Barry, I Claudius by Robert Graves…


  14. carhicks says:

    I have read 6 of these, I am going to add the other four to my list. Great post!


  15. I’ve not read all of them but can see the merit in The Book Thief and The Help potentially being future classics. Not so sure about The Binding (although I
    ‘m still a little bitter about that one, I wanted and amazing Fantasy story and got Romance instead)

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Thank you, Lynne. This is a great list.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Oh my goodness, I really want to do one!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Martie says:

    I hope you’re correct. All good books.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Not a one Lynne. And I studiously avoided a man called ove. I swear its the same theme as the last two I just read. I have been known however to find a literary fiction that I enjoyed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Loved Ove and read it back when it was first published. Since then, there have been many written along the same lines, but none as good as Ove. Of course, I’m quite biased as I’ve loved everything Fredrik Backman has written so far.


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