Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: My Top Ten Books That Make You Think

This is a weekly meme hosted by the girls over at The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's topic: Books That Make You Think.

Well, this is a fairly subjective topic because everyone has different ideas about what applies as thinking during reading/books that make you think. I'll be interested to see what other books pop up on other people's list. Me, I think any book that makes you think about life, how we as people work, religion, gender topics, even things like bullying can count as a book that makes you think. So you'll probably see some very random books on here.

1) A Handmaiden's Tale by Margeret Atwood-If ever a person needs to realize why the stuff surrounding women nowadays (birth control, abortion, civil liberties, equal pay etc.) is very important and why some of the rhetoric coming out of certain camps (yes, Rush Limbaugh, I'm looking at YOU) is dangerous give them this book. It shows exactly why one should not be putting up with this crap that has been aimed at women not just lately but for hundreds of years.

2) Harry Potter series by JK Rowling-I know what you're thinking: HP, really? Pop culture, it may be, one of the many reasons I love Harry Potter is the many discussions that it can open up: it brings up bullying, racism, classism, the use of propaganda, the role media has to play in wars, war itself and how devasting it can be, how sometimes authority is not always right, friendship, loyalty, the list is endless. It is proof that entertainment does not have to be dumb.

3) Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher-While I don't think this book is the best book ever, I do appreciate the frank discussions of bullying and how our actions and how we treat people absolutely effects others. This should be like required reading for middle-schoolers where some of the worst bullying can take place.

4) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee-Forget The Help, THIS is a book that is good for talking about racism. If I hear one more person try to say The Help is the new To Kill a Mockingbird I will smack something. The only thing The Help may be good for is to talk about white priviledge and how Skeeter is a perfect example of it (so is the author in question as Skeeter is basically a self insert character).

5) His Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillup Pullman-First rule about this trilogy: go into it with a open mind and don't be afraid of it. Yes, this book heavily criticizes Christianity. But you know what? That's not always a bad thing. Consider it a new way of looking at your faith and why you believe the things you do. Heck, it may make your beliefs stronger! While I don't agree with everything in this trilogy (and I think Pullman himself is kind of a arrogant jerk), I think it's definitely one of those that makes you think about some of the slightly funky things about the Christian religion.

6) The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins-Another series that is proof that entertainment doesn't have to be dumb. While I am endlessly bothered by how much the HG fandom is all about the love triangle (which isn't even important!) I love the commentary this series does on things like war, tyranny, classim, how apathetic we've all become to violence on TV, humanity's sheer lack of empathy sometimes, how we burden the younger generation with our problems etc.

7) Game of Thrones series by George R. R. Martin-Game of Thrones is another one of those that is just good for the endless amount of discussion it can bring up. It brings up how women operate in a patriarch world, it brings up politics and how it shapes our world, and is just good for the way it studies people and how our choices effect us and others and questions what makes a person good or bad. Because seriously there is not one person in this series who is totally good or bad except maybe Rickon, but he's hardly ever discussed so I don't think he can count. Oh and Joffrey. Joffrey is just a little ass who needs to die already (sorry, I've gotten to the part in Storm of Swords where he's gloating about giving Sansa her brother's head so my rage towards him is very fresh right now)

8) The Millaneum Trilogy by Stieg Larsson-This is one of those thrillers that makes you think about how corrupt our systems can be and how much people can fall through the cracks simply because the system just writes them off. Granted, this mostly deals with the Switz government which is very very corrupt but it also applies to our own system which can be just as problamatic. I also appreciate how it's not afraid to bring up the violence against women because not enough people talk about it how much it is still a problem that goes unreported. Plus, you have to use your brain to keep up with the mystery.

9) American Gods by Neil Gaiman-This talks about more generalized religion instead of just Christianity. Mostly it's concerned with Gods and their place in America and how religion is used now as well as many other topics that it brings up about humanity.

10) The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak-The Book Thief is really really hard to explain to people who have never tried to read it. But just know it mostly talks about things like death, grief, how WWII effected those in Germany, and just life in general.


  1. I completely agree with what you've said about The Book Thief! I really want to read American Gods too, I've heard great things about it, which makes me excited!

    My Top Ten

  2. I loved the Dark Materials series - and you have one of the best arguments for reading it I have heard. :)

  3. Great list. I really need to finish reading The Game of Thrones books.

  4. Excellent list! The Handmaids Tale is a great choice! I like giving that one as a gift, as what's happening in the world lately is a little scary. And I love that you've also included American Gods, as it does make you think.