Monday, September 10, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books That Make Me Think

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme started over at The Broke and the Bookish where they give us a topic and we give out top ten.
This week it's ten books that make us think.

In no specific order:

1. Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley
     I talk a lot about this book, I know. It hit me as so wonderful and right. The hardest thing about it is imagining losing a sibling and Where Things Come Back made me think a lot about it. It has a lot about fitting into the world around you as well. Cullen thinks people should see things one way and they are so wrapped up in something else. It makes me think about what is important to different people.

2. The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan
     The Lover's Dictionary has this weird ability to make me think about how life is made up of words. A single word can sum up an event or a personality trait in surprising ways. A part of me thinks life can't be that easy, but in it's basest form it really is.

3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
     This is an obvious one but there really is so much to think about in this book. How the games themselves are tied to our reality shows. Or seeing the movie and watching people cheer as characters were killed. The lengths some people are willing to go to to stay in control. The different compatibility of the characters and what sort of traits people are drawn to in one another. Survival.

4. Divergent by Veronica Roth
     I loved the idea of breaking people down into basic characters traits. I thought a lot about that as I read these books. But it's not really that simple. It makes you consider how multifaceted people are. How damaging and stunting it can be to make people pick a single trait or impulse to follow. Or even just the lessons in the manifestos (says the girl with the Dauntless tattoo on her ribs).

5. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
     This book makes me think a lot about the obvious lessons about friendship and love and perseverance but it also makes me think about people in general and the power of writers. It takes a series like this to bring together people who might never have anything else in common. My deathly hallows tattoo gets so many comments and from people I might never have spoken to otherwise. Especially in light of the Lincoln Center ticket hooplah it's amazing how much a series can band people together.

6. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
     I'll give you all a second to roll your eyes... Are you good now? It's not so much the content of this book that makes me think as it is the way it's handled. It's another series that has banded fans together and I find that incredibly admirable. But it upsets me that people who loved it, turned so quickly against it when others started listing off things they didn't like. It's become a guilty pleasure book and I intensely dislike how dismissive people become when they realize that someone likes it. It is as if your opinion no longer matters. So, it's the treatment of Twilight that makes me think.

7. Persuasion by Jane Austen
     This book makes me think a lot about the power of my own mind and how important it is to stand by my opinion, but at the same time, not to disregard someone else's entirely. There are also lessons on subtlety. The quiet ways that Anne and Wentworth love each other. In a writing perspective it gives ideas of making a feeling spread through out the entire text.

8. World War Z by Max Brooks
     I was surprised by how well written this book is. It makes me think about how honestly unprepared the world would be for any big outbreak, not necessarily just zombies. Each country has different ideas of how to handle things and none of them work together. It shows how people rise up and how that's not all good.

9. Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones
     I had a hard time deciding this one. I used this one to sort of cover the fascination people have for old stories. Howl's is heavily influenced by stories and the tropes that come with them. Retellings are huge and I think that tells us something about ourselves and our natures.

10. Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist
     This book is beyond disturbing but it is also a fascinating take on childhood and the vampire myth. There's a different take on innocence and violence. It also shows a vast difference between cultures. There's a brutality to this book that I don't think we see often in American literature. Even the US movie was heavily watered down. It's one of those books that is so disturbing but too interesting to put down.

And there you have my strange assortment of books that make me think. They're all a little different and they all make me think in different ways but I think they're all thought provoking, none the less.

What are you top ten thought provoking books?


1 comment:

  1. Awesome list - I'm reading Let The Right One In now, and agree it's fascinating. I wasn't a huge fan of The Lover's Dictionary, but really liked Divergent and The HP series. I also just got World War Z on audio, so I'm looking forward to listening to that soon.