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The EW 100 New Classics List

Book Listers UNITE!

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1thekoolaidmom
Edited: Jun 22, 2008, 1:49pm Top

Entertainment Weekly has posted a list of their top picks for new classics:

1. The Road, Cormac McCarthy (2006)
2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling (2000)
3. Beloved, Toni Morrison (1987)
4. The Liars' Club, Mary Karr (1995)
5. American Pastoral, Philip Roth (1997)
6. Mystic River, Dennis Lehane (2001)
7. Maus, Art Spiegelman (1986/1991)
8. Selected Stories, Alice Munro (1996)
9. Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier (1997)
10. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami (1997)
11. Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer (1997)
12. Blindness, José Saramago (1998)
13. Watchmen, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (1986-87)
14. Black Water, Joyce Carol Oates (1992)
15. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers (2000)
16. The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood (1986)
17. Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez (1988)
18. Rabbit at Rest, John Updike (1990)
19. On Beauty, Zadie Smith (2005)
20. Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding (1998)
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)
26. Neuromancer, William Gibson (1984)
27. Possession, A.S. Byatt (1990)
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)
32. Parting the Waters, Taylor Branch (1988)
33. The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion (2005)
34. The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold (2002)
35. The Line of Beauty, Alan Hollinghurst (2004)
36. Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt (1996)
37. Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi (2003)
38. Birds of America, Lorrie Moore (1998)
39. Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri (2000)
40. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman (1995-2000)
41. The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros (1984)
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)
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)
53. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon (2000)
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)
58. Drop City, TC Boyle (2003)
59. Krik? Krak! Edwidge Danticat (1995)
60. Nickel & Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich (2001)
61. Money, Martin Amis (1985)
62. Last Train To Memphis, Peter Guralnick (1994)
63. Pastoralia, George Saunders (2000)
64. Underworld, Don DeLillo (1997)
65. The Giver, Lois Lowry (1993)
66. A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, David Foster Wallace (1997)
67. The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini (2003)
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)
73. A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving (1989)
74. Friday Night Lights, H.G. Bissinger (1990)
75. Cathedral, Raymond Carver (1983)
76. A Sight for Sore Eyes, Ruth Rendell (1998)
77. The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro (1989)
78. Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert (2006)
79. The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell (2000)
80. Bright Lights, Big City, Jay McInerney (1984)
81. Backlash, Susan Faludi (1991)
82. Atonement, Ian McEwan (2002)
83. The Stone Diaries, Carol Shields (1994)
84. Holes, Louis Sachar (1998)
85. Gilead, Marilynne Robinson (2004)
86. And the Band Played On, Randy Shilts (1987)
87. The Ruins, Scott Smith (2006)
88. High Fidelity, Nick Hornby (1995)
89. Close Range, Annie Proulx (1999)
90. Comfort Me With Apples, Ruth Reichl (2001)
91. Random Family, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc (2003)
92. Presumed Innocent, Scott Turow (1987)
93. A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley (1991)
94. Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser (2001)
95. Kaaterskill Falls, Allegra Goodman (1998)
96. The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown (2003)
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)

How many have you read? What are your thoughts on this list? Any that you would strike off? or put in?

2bostonbibliophile
Jun 22, 2008, 7:45pm Top

i think it's a weird list. i checked mine off on my blog; i've read very few! i'm glad there are some graphic novels on it though.

3Mr.Durick
Edited: Jun 22, 2008, 8:29pm Top

Thank you for posting this.

Among the works that touchstoned, I have catalogued six books of which I have read two. I notice, though, that America, number 100, didn't touchstone in your list, and I both have it and have read it.

I think I have a few books which are lists of books around. They may surface, and I may be able to list them here.

Robert

4blondierocket
Jun 23, 2008, 1:35pm Top

I've only read two as well, but there are many on here that are already high up on my list to read this year.

5RoseCityReader
Jun 25, 2008, 12:46am Top

Interesting, mixed-up list. I've read 25 of them and another 19 or 20 are on either my TBR shelf or one of my other "must read" lists.

But I've made great strides in my compulsive reading habits by not immediately adopting EVERY list that gets promulgated. I try to avoid lists heavy on Sci-Fi (no offence intended, just my personal preference) or pop-lit. Since I never watch (read? -- I am not sure what medium EW is) Entertainment Weekly, I can back away from this one. It's not easy for me, mind you, but I think I can do it . . . .

6Prop2gether
Jun 26, 2008, 6:23pm Top

Interesting list, especially considering the source. I've actually read 31 of these titles, and looked at or through probably another dozen before moving on to other works. If I read about 10 on this list, then I'll have another 10 for the 1001 Must Read List. I have to check out the Banned Book List now to see how that one works out for me!

7VisibleGhost
Jun 26, 2008, 9:49pm Top

I've read 21 of them and have another 15 sitting on my shelves. The oldest one I saw was from 1983 so it looks like a list from the last 25 years. Not a bad list for 1983-2008.

8ABVR
Jun 26, 2008, 11:59pm Top

It's hard to discern what the authors of the list were trying for . . . it seems good on literary fiction, but haphazard everywhere else: genre fiction, non-fiction, graphic novels, young adult, etc. Good choices in the latter categories, but so few of them, and with no rhyme or reason. Is Neuromancer the only recent SF novel to be worthy of "classic" status?

Minor quibbles: The Night Manager for LeCare? LaBrava for Leonard? Why all of Phillip Pullman and one volume of J. K. Rowling? The Da Vinci Code is the best thriller of the last half-centur? Sez who?

9EnriqueFreeque
Jun 29, 2008, 11:01pm Top

What lit cred does EW have anyway? The Road is a better McCarthy novel than Blood Meridian? Give me a break! I guess if Oprah loves it, EW should too. The intermingling of genre fiction with literary fiction is absurd. It's insulting to Denis Johnson that his literary masterpiece, Jesus' Son would be inserted beneath (puhleease) the idiotic The Da Vinci Code, a piece of propagandish crap and a book Salman Rushdie labelled as one of the worst novels ever. Where's Infinite Jest? Any top 100 list of contemporary, supposed "classics" from the past 25 years which does not include Infinite Jest has no literary credibility whatsoever. If by classics EW means the most popular or best selling books of the past 25 years instead of true artistic classics like the Hemingways, Faulkners, Prousts, Tolstoy's, etc., I grew up on, then that's one thing and that's all find and dandy, but when EW has the unmitigated gall of triumphing adolescent, gimicky (wow! it's written in the 2nd person!), poorly crafted tripe like Bright Lights, Big City -- that book shouldn't even be in the top 1000 -- over the Pulitzer Prize winning novel of 1992, A Thousand Acres, the list, in my estimation, strains credulity and carries about as much weight as a snowflake.

10Morphidae
Jun 30, 2008, 7:44am Top

>9 EnriqueFreeque: Oh, but tell us how you REALLY feel. :)

11Prop2gether
Jun 30, 2008, 2:22pm Top

Oh really now! This is a group of people who list books, or read lists of books, or like to compare lists. So chill a bit! Make your own list of 100 and see how it compares with others in this group.

No one's taste exactly matches another, and I certainly have not been fond of several listed by #9 as "better" than others. But I love looking at lists, especially of books, to see how I compare with others and how my choices would "stack up."

I'm also intrigued that EW (!!!!) would come up with a list of BOOKS to read. Whoda thunk it?

12EnriqueFreeque
Jun 30, 2008, 2:23pm Top

I guess what I meant to say was I really didn't like the list :)

13Nickelini
Jun 30, 2008, 3:27pm Top

I actually rather like the list if you take away the silly "classics" title. I've read a pile of the books on the list, and I'd say the common thread that runs through them is that they are somehow significant to our (western) culture, or somehow comment on an aspect of our culture. (And I don't mean Culture as in The Barber of Seville and Finnegan's Wake and a glass of fine Bordeaux.)

14Katie_H
Jul 7, 2008, 6:32pm Top

I like this list also, though the order is interesting -- I've read about a quarter of them and have a bunch more in my TBR pile.

15njd908
Jul 16, 2008, 8:26pm Top

Little shocked that Goblet of Fire is the only HP book on the list. If only one could be on there, I would have gone with Half-Blood Prince or Deathly Hollows.

16JolieLouise
Feb 16, 2009, 3:50am Top

I've read 14 of these and have another 12 of them waiting to be read. I think it's an interesting list considering who put it together. Actually, I think it would be tough to put together a list of only 100 new classics considering how many more books are published each year than in the past.

17Ambrosia4
Feb 24, 2009, 10:30pm Top

9,10,11> I think it's admirable that a popular culture magazine like EW is at least TRYING to get people to read more. It's depressing how few people actually read anything. Who cares if they read The Da Vinci Code as long as they're reading? Maybe it'll be a revelation that there are other LESS crappy books they can read :)

18trinah
Feb 26, 2009, 5:18am Top

After a quick glance I've read 6. I would have never put The Da Vinci Code on a list like that. So many other choices. Despite this, I do enjoy most of the list.

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