John Williams of The Second Pass has organized a feature called The 2110 Club: "What books published in the past 10 to 15 years might still be read a century from now?" (A similar feature from NY Mag appeared a couple years ago, only the time frame was 50 years from now.) It's a fun little parlor game although a rather tough assignment, as it's very difficult to make a cogent defense of a novel as something an unimaginable posterity will appreciate.
I was thinking last year of a fairly modest project (it obviously never got off the ground) where the objective would not be predictive and the time span would be shortened to ten years. (The stupid pun I came up with for the project is the title of this post.) Short of asking people to make an educated guess about what works will be future-canonical, I was hoping just to ask what novels from the past ten or so years people plan to keep recommending over the next ten years—that is, what novels are personally important to you to keep alive over the next ten years?
I imagine that I will keep encouraging people (although I have not done so on this blog yet) to read Alan Hollinghurst's The Line of Beauty. It was certainly the best book that won a major award over the last decade, and I can quite easily imagine returning to it myself in ten years.
I most definitely intend to continue recommending Aleksandar Hemon's work (all of it, all of it), but I wonder if by the end of the next decade I'll need to; he's already had considerable success but I wouldn't be surprised if he breaks through further in the next few years.
Two single books from this past decade whose authors I have meant to follow up on would also be on my 2020 list: Carol Shields's Unless from 2002 and The Wife, by Meg Wolitzer, from 2003. Tremendous books which I think will wear very well and which I am sure I will enjoy revisiting in ten years or so.
How about you?