This week's Top Ten List (hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) asks us to choose ten books written in the last decade (or so) that we hope people will still be reading in 30 years time. Since I haven't done a Top Ten in a while, this seemed like a good week to jump back in. I mean, basically I just have to list my ten favorite books of the last ten years right?
As it turns out, wrong. There is a difference between a book that you loved personally and one that you think that people should still be reading in 30 years. For that kind of staying power it should be something that speaks to our common humanity and portrays something important about our society at large, in my humble opinion. So, I have created a list not just of books that I love (though I do love them all), but that I think have something important to say about the human experience and the societies we create.
A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Mosseini-The eradication of the oppression of women is a major indicator of a society becoming more developed, and this book shows us why.
The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins-Yes, I know it's YA and people are probably tired of hearing about it, but this book is so full of social commentary that I hope teachers are actively teaching with it 30 years from now-and that we have not yet taken our voyeurism and "reality" tv to that extreme.
The Harry Potter Series-Basically for the same reason as The Hunger Games. Underlying the magic and whimsical elements is a solid foundation of social justice and equality.
The Time Traveler's Wife, Audrey Niffenegger-OK, this one is mostly on the list just because I loved it so, but it does have some interesting things to say about the nature of relationships.
Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood, Margaret Atwood-What The Handmaid's Tale did in highlighting reproductive choice, these books do for environmental issues, with some feminism thrown in.
Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich-This book puts the lie to the conservative claim that if you have a job and work hard you will get ahead in American. Not if you are working for minimum wage, and Ehrenreich lived it to prove it.
The Book Thief, Markus Zusak-Amazingly beautiful, heart-breaking, transcendent and brutal, reading this book made me understand how the Nazi's affected the everyday German, and it is a great picture of courage.
Monster, Walter Dean Myers-Another YA title, this book illuminates the way that poverty and the need to survive can make people act against their own interests, and how incarceration affects teens.