Top Ten Tuesday: Books for Thought

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/meme brought to you by the folks over at The Broke and the Bookish (the button also belongs to them).  This week’s theme is the Top Ten Books That Make You Think (About The World, People, Life, etc.).

1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte– I have read this book many, many times and I love that I get something new out of it each time.  Jane makes me think about what it means to be independent and in love.

2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green– This one made me ponder life and death and what’s the whole point and all that jazz.

3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins– I thought a lot about the broadening socioeconomic gap in the US when I read this one.  And about the “realness” of reality television.

4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series by Stieg Larsson– If these don’t make you think about patriarchy and its role in violence against women… I think you may have read something else.  Larsson was pretty up-front with his agenda here.

5. Inescapable Ecologies by Linda Nash– Ok, so a lot of the books I’ve read that made me think were things I read in graduate school.  This is one of my favorites from those days.  Nash talks about the historical role of place and environment in notions of disease and health and how these ideas faded away with the introduction of germ theory, but are coming back as we re-learn this relationship between the environment and disease.  Thinking about your body as inseparable from its environment is a rather fascinating and somewhat scary idea (at least it was for me).

6. The Gospel of Germs by Nancy Tomes– Another grad school read.  Tomes talks about how the introduction of germ theory changed American culture (no more communal drinking cup, for example) with a particular focus on anti-germ products in consumer culture (Kleenex, white porcelain bathrooms, etc.).  I loved this book because it made be think about how science and culture interact with one another.

7. Unwind by Neal Shusterman– This book tackles the massive minefield of abortion in such a smart way.  My opinion on abortion is not something I question much (nor do I really talk about it with people because that is the most pointless argument on the face of the planet), but this book made me think of the good, bad, and absurd of both sides of the debate.

…and I’m quitting at seven today because I’ve run out of time to get this written.  What are your favorite books for thought?


25 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books for Thought

    • It is definitely a sad, but surprisingly hopeful book. I hesitate to tell someone they’ll cry at something because I cry at EVERYTHING. I think it’s definitely one to try out, but if you are a crier, bring a box of tissues!

  1. I almost put Dragon Tattoo on mine, but I was trying to be diverse and I already had a couple that were about women’s issues. I need to reread Jane Eyre now that I’m not in high school.

  2. I really like your list! I feel like I didn’t have too many “traditional” books that make you think, so I like seeing dystopians on other people’s lists too!! I think that’s why I’m so obsessed with them. It boggles my mind to see our world as something crazy and different and hey, it could happen!

  3. Oh, grad school books… the ultimate thinking books! And not to get all political here, but yeah… I think the abortion debate is kind of pointless. Especially when there are so many other things that we need to be discussing. Such as trying not to let our society turn into the Hunger Games – something I think could very well happen (minus the actual games). Great list!

    • They were pretty intense books… so much violence, but I liked that it wasn’t just violence for violence’s sake, but that it was there to talk about the rights/roles of women.

  4. I’m currently working my way through Jane Eyre for the first time, and I am really enjoying how Jane approaches her independence in life. You’re right. It does make you think about things like independence and love.

    ~Allison @ Good Books and Good Wine

    • I always struggle to reconcile independence and love… like is it possible to have both at the same time? Jane manages to have both, but struggles to accept love if it comes with dependence. I hope you enjoy Jane Eyre! It’s one of my all-time favorites!

    • Jane Eyre starts out a bit slow and dark, so I can see how it would not be for everyone. I think it is worth persevering, but there are other books I’ve been told that about (Pride and Prejudice) and for the life of me I can’t do it. So believe me, I understand!

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