Top 10 books that will make you think…(those I’ve read in 2011 and 2012)
I struggled to decide what type of top ten list I wanted to do. Then I realized – I’ve read quite a few books over the past two years that have made me think about something – many things – on a deeper level. I like to dig into books whether fiction or non-fiction, whether superficial or deep, and look for an author’s possible intent. What underlying themes might they have wanted us, as their readers, to uncover? Was there an ulterior motive behind the story? Is there something to be learned? Reading is a rich and wonderful activity/hobby, and while I love to escape, I also love to learn so I thought what better list to create than a top ten of books that make you go HMMMM.
This list isn’t in any order and is by no means exhaustive, but it does represent some of the most thought provoking books I’ve read over the past couple of years!
1. 11/22/63 by Stephen King
Leave it to Mr. King to get the wheels turning over such a controversial topic. Not only does he make one think about the JFK assassination (and all the corresponding WHODUNIT), but he also begs the question, would changing the past, even if for what we think is good, eventually make things worse? Is there indeed a ripple effect when things happen in this world – how far do your seemingly insignificant actions and decisions ripple throughout the world/universe?
2. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
How would you live your life if it were your last day? We’ve all heard the advice to live each day as if it were our last, but what if you found yourself not only on your last day, but reliving it over and over. Additionally, you’re a teenager – what do you do different? How interwoven is your life to all those lives around you – those close to you, those you dislike, those you don’t even know.
3. Beyond Justice by Joshua Graham
A nightmare no man could ever imagine – suspected of the brutal murder of your own wife and child – is faith enough? Can forgiveness be given – is it even deserved? One man fights for his freedom, for his soul and for his faith.
4. Crank by Ellen Hopkins (the series)
Parents – have you done everything right? Have you loved enough – disciplined just right – been available? How does the star student become an addict? How does a family recover?
5. Crazy Love by Francis Chan
Christians this book will put you in a place that questions – how do we love the God that loves us? Do we love or do we go through motions? How much is enough – is there such thing as too much?
6. Raising Abel by Carolyn Nash
There is so much to think about in this one – how do children recover from abuse? Can they ever really recover 100%? What do we, as a society, do with the children and parents of abuse cases? Are the consequences fair? How do we make them fair if not? Who pays the price?
7. Impulse by Ellen Hopkins (the series)
Images – so much about life is about images. Who are we? Who are we supposed to be? Who do we want to be? Who do our loved ones want us to be? Who does society tell us we are? How do they all balance – or do they not?
8. The Man Who Couldn’t Eat by Jon Reiner
So much of life centralizes around food in our culture – holidays, celebrations, emotions, activities, family time and so on. What happens if you can’t eat – literally cannot put anything past your lips without fear of dying? What happens to those holidays and those traditions? How does one even live/survive? What about relationships – what happens to the relationships affected by any severe illness?
9. The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano
How do the beautiful, talented, or otherwise really live? Is life as perfect on the inside as it appears on the outside? Can love ever be achieved in someone who simply cannot love themself? Can 2 people with equal amounts of self-loathing come together in love? Can the two negatives essentially make a positive?
10. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
Hatred. Through the decades it is refocused, repurposed and found in society. Where does hatred stem? Is it jealousy? Fear? Why do we hate what we don’t understand? When and how do we learn from our mistakes? As a second theme – can lost love be found? Can a person have more than one true love and/or soul mate?
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