What exactly qualifies as a NEW classic read?
By definition, our (meaning the one you identify) classic author is the one you cannot feel indifferent to, who helps you define yourself in relation to him or her, even in dispute with him or her.
Growing up, we’re often told which books are the classics, read them in our English classes, rarely questioning since many scholars before us deemed them worthy.
That said, I hated Return Of The Native, Giants In The Earth, and most of The Odyssey and The Iliad (books assigned by my AP English teacher my freshmen year of high school). You know you’re in trouble when the Cliff’s Notes put you to sleep. Just because they were classic didn’t make them interesting or life-changing to me, a fourteen year old girl concerned about lip gloss, hair, and boys.
And yet, I grew to understand the impact of the styles as having merit and weight in the world of books. Many of those broke ground, if you will, with regard to style or portrayal of a historical period. It didn’t make me enjoy them any more, but at least I garnered more comprehension of what makes a classic well, a classic.
Now that I’m a writer myself (and someone who works with writers in my business capacity as BadRedhead Media), I look at what’s out there and ask myself: what books do I go back to again and again? What books are perennially popular? What am I missing?
Are books such as the Harry Potter and Twilight series new classics? Well, that’s not for me to say (though Rowling is a far better writer than Meyer), they both wrote good stories at the core. I will admit to having read all the books and not regretting the time I spent reading them, though I did skip past some of the more boring parts. Hey, I even read Fifty Shades (and cannot write that without thinking of SNL’s Mother’s Day skit).
I’ve written before about the impact The World According To Garp and The Time-Traveler’s Wife (the books, not the movies)had on me. I immediately knew both were new classics – for me – based on how well the authors portrayed the characters and storyline, and how they stayed with me for years afterward. I read quickly, I forget a lot. But not with these books. And, I’ve reread both at least four to five times.
Would I do that with Twilight or Hunger Games? No. Once was plenty. But there are rabid fans of each, who read nothing but those books, repeatedly. Look at the Fifty Shades series – rife with errors, poor and sloppy writing, and yet still breaking sales records. It even created a new genre: housewife porn (don’t get me started on the sexism of that).
So, what makes a NEW classic read?
For me it must me:
- Interesting throughout
- Well-written technically
- Wonderful prose.
While many of my favorite books growing up are traditionally published (because frankly, that’s all there was), I’ve now read so many terrific indie authors these past few years, I couldn’t possibly list them all, but my short list includes: Justin Bog (now signed), Christine Nolfi, Molly Greene, Terri Guiliano Long, R.S. Guthrie, Frederick Lee Brooke, Andy Holloman, Toby Neal, Emlyn Chand (now signed), Hugh Howey (now signed), Ann Charles, Billie Hinton (underrated but amazing), Rebecca Tsaros Dickson, and sooo many more on my TBR list, please don’t be upset if I haven’t mentioned you!
Choosing our favorite books is like choosing our favorite child: impossible to do (unless you only have one kid, then mazel tov. I have two and miss sleep).
I’d love to hear your thoughts on whether your favorite books fit into my definition of a new classic read and if not, how you define it.
What makes a book a classic for you? Join Terri Long, Christine Nolfi, Rachel Thompson and myself January 3-7, 2013 for Classic Reads Blog Hop 2013 and share the books that have made your own “Classic Reads” list! We want to hear about your favorite stories, authors and books – regardless if they’re old, new, controversial, or simply heartwarming. What elements catapult a book from a good read to a must read for you?
This is a fabulous opportunity to share your favorites and hear about more! Not only that, every blogger taking part is eligible for a $200 Amazon/B&N gift card drawing. In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to win one of two $50 Amazon/B&N gift card “Spread The Word” contest prizes. Here’s how you can participate:
- Visit Terri Long’s website NOW and complete the appropriate Classic Reads Blog Hop registration form.
- If you write a post: Your post must include the sponsor banner to be entered into the $200 draw. For EXTRA entries and chances to win, you can promote one or more of the sponsoring hosts’ books at the bottom of your post by adding our book cover(s) and synopsis. All this information will be sent to you by December 24, 2012. If you’re sharing: You’ll need to provide a Tweet URL or a Pinterest URL for verification.
- Several days prior to the event, we’ll send an email with graphics and a new link code that will link directly to all participating posts. (Keep this email, you’ll need it, see below!)
- Schedule your post to go live at 12:01 EST between January 3-7, and respond to our email with your direct post URL. Your post URL will be added it to our link and used to validate your Rafflecopter entry/entries.
- Don’t forget Rafflecopter! Submit your entry/entries at any time for prize drawings via Rafflecopter (one entry for participating PLUS extra entries for running sponsor’s materials.) The forms are available at the bottom of the “Classic Reads 2013 Blog Hop” page (same link as above).
- Spread the love January 3-7 – and learn about everyone’s own classic reads – by visiting and commenting on as many hop participants’ posts as you can.
Please leave a comment to share the title of your latest favorite classic read – and let me know if you have questions about how you can join in the fun!
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If you haven’t read my books yet (NO Kindle required), I’ve discounted both of them for the holidays (A Walk In The Snark and Mancode: Exposed) and in anticipation of my new release, Broken Pieces (nonfiction but not humor this time) in a few weeks!