Recommended: The “New Classics”

In 2008, Entertainment Weekly produced a list of the “new classics”—that is, the best books of the past 25 years (from 1983 to 2008, more precisely). Some of the picks are laughable, IMHO (Practical Magic? The Da Vinci Code? Eat Pray Love???) and seem to have been added simply to suck up to readers of the other, more popular parts of the magazine. But some are spot-on, and draw attention to wonderful books that, for whatever reason, nobody much talks about, at least in America: Blindness, by Jose Saramago, for one. And of course, the list is chock-full of acclaimed novels that I have to “get on,” if you will: Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, Jane Smiley’s A Thousand Acres and Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections, to name just a few. There’s so much in the world I haven’t read :-/.

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