We are discussing classics at Bagels and Books on Jan 10 (2:30 in the Trustees Room at the Maynard Library – 77 Nason Street) so here is another look at what we might call a classic courtesy of the New York Public Library.
By “modern classic,” we mean a defining or definitive work of art, published in 1960 or later, that’s a brilliant accomplishment or a near-perfect example of a genre — a standout book that’s important or representative of a particular idea or school of thought. It doesn’t have to be a bestseller, but the title and/or author is likely recognizable to most people who have an interest in books.
1. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
2. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
3. In Cold Blood by Truman Capoteby Truman Capote
4. Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin
5. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
6. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisernos
7. Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
8. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
9. Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson
10. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
11. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
12. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Alternates: Beloved by Toni Morrison, Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
Turns out you can talk about mysteries for a very long time and still leave without touching on some of your favorites. If you stop by the library, pick up the sheet with some of the sub genres and examples from the desk under the bulletin board – along with information about our meetings in the new year.
So – just as a sample – Lynette had several new titles from well known authors like Louise Penny, Michael Connelly, Daniel Silva, John Grisham, Stephen King, Joseph Finder, Anne Perry and David Balducci along with titles from less well known authors:
Murder as a Fine Art and Ruler of the Night by David Morrell, Coffin Road by Peter May, Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner, Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil by Melina Marchetta, The Vainishing Year by Kate Moretti, Daisy in Chains by Sharon Bolton, and the Widowmaker by Paul Doiron.
Others discussed included A Death in the Small Hours and A Beautiful Blue Death by Charles Finch; Norwegian by Night by Derek Miller, and titles by Alan Bradley.
We also talked about some older titles that might have slipped past you – A Touch of Frost by R. D. Wingfield (first in that series); Live Bait by P. J. Tracy; Uncivil Seasons by Michael Malone; Open Season by Archer Mayor; A Cure for all Diseases by Reginald Hill and others – many others.
NEXT MONTH WE TACKLE THE CLASSICS and we can start by deciding what we identify as classics and what about a book puts it in that category. Hope to see you there.
Next Tuesday – Dec 13 – we’ll be meeting to talk about mysteries (2:30 in the Trustees Room at the Maynard Library) and there was another great post on the Maine Crime Writers blog – this one by Richard Cast. His title was Against the Dumbing Down and I not only found the article interesting but he recommended some books that I need to read right now.
If you’d like to read it, the link is