Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books That Make Me Think

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week, top ten Tuesday asks us to share ten books that really make us think. Well, I would like to be all fancy and declare that every book I read really makes me think, and, on some level, that’s certainly true, since one cannot read without thinking. However, some books I read in a perpetual state of glazed boredom. Such books will not earn a place on this list. What I’m going here are for the books that really pushed my understanding of the world, and that I remember more than others because of that. Also, this might be my chance to show how smart I am by showing some of the more complex books I’ve read, so bear with me.

Today, I’m feeling lazy about pictures, so it’s just a list, but I’ll link you up to GR and Amazon.

1. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood (Goodreads|Amazon)
2. A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess (Goodreads|Amazon)
3. Eleven Minutes – Paolo Coelho (Goodreads|Amazon)
4. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Jonathan Safran Foer (Goodreads|Amazon)
5. Catch-22 – Joseph Heller (Goodreads|Amazon)
6. The Phantom Tollbooth – Norton Juster (Goodreads|Amazon)
7. Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit – Daniel Quinn (Goodreads|Amazon)
8. An Instance of the Fingerpost – Iain Pears (Goodreads|Amazon)
9. The Gulag Archipelago – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Goodreads|Amazon)
10. What’s Left of Me – Kat Zhang (Goodreads|Amazon)

Observations:

  • Yup, pompous. Look who read all of The Gulag Archipelago. Be impressed, folks.
  • Most of these I’ve read more than once.
  • Over half I read for school.
  • Eight are adult books; only two aim at children or teens, though a couple more were just off the list, so top 15 or 20 would have a better age disparity.
  • Books that make you think tend to be depressing.

So, what do you think of my choices? What books made you think?

16 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books That Make Me Think”

  1. Steena says:

    I think Eleven Minutes might make my list. I would add 1984, Utopia, The Great Divorce, Middlesex, Orthodoxy, Crime & Punishment, The Women’s Bible (though I did not read all of it), and I can’t think of two more at this moment. I’ll have to consider that.

    • Christina says:

      I forgot Middlesex! Ahhhhhh! I probably would swap that with Eleven Minutes. Sigh. Oh well. I considered 1984, and Crime & Punishment mostly made me think about how awful that epilogue was. I haven’t read the others (you’re shocked, right?).

    • Steena says:

      Totes shocked. Actually, I AM surprised you haven’t read or been forced to read Utopia. I keep wanting to add The Yellow Wallpaper because it’s indelibly marked in my brain, not because it influenced my world view as much as CREEPERS. I actually have a blog post I need to write about that.

    • Christina says:

      I might read Utopia someday, but I didn’t actually know it was a book most people had actually read.

      The Yellow Wallpaper makes me think of Margot Thomsen’s class. UGH. I got to argue from the husband’s perspective. It was pretty great.

  2. omg. I am shamed to admit.. I haven’t read any of these! Will have to get on that.

  3. The Phantom Tollbooth. <3 I read that in sixth grade for school and it has stuck with me since. I think about it all the time.

    • Christina says:

      I can never think of the phrase jumping to conclusions without thinking of Phantom Tollbooth. Also, it shows just how amazing wordplay is. I suspect it’s partly why I am so literal.

  4. Look who read all of The Gulag Archipelago. Be impressed, folks.

    I’m impressed.
    When I go to the library, I like to pause in front of the shelves for Russian literature. The Gulag Archipelago is in three volumes, about 650-700 pages each (although I think it’s a critical edition with introduction and possibly footnotes). Still, I suppose it’s quite a long book.

  5. Kayla Beck says:

    I agree with you completely on The Handmaid’s Tale (it scared the shit out of me), and that’s the only one from your list that I’ve read. Nineteen Eighty-Four made me do a lot of thinking, as did Flowers for Algernon, My Sister’s Keeper (though I usually avoid chick-lit), and the Incarnations of Immortality series by Piers Anthony. I’m sure there are others that are more important and all to me, but I’m tired and don’t want to think about it. 😛

    • Christina says:

      Those are good choices too, though I have not read any Piers Anthony, a thing we have discussed.

      I still remember the shock and horror when I figured out why her name was Offred.

  6. I haven’t read any of these! I read The Alchemist and hated it, but I’ve heard that Eleven Minutes is better. Someday I will read The Handmaind’s Tale.

    • Christina says:

      I read The Alchemist and wasn’t a big fan. It was a little too far into all of the Christian/spiritual stuff for me. Eleven Minutes was better.

      Also, DEF read Handmaid’s Tale.

  7. Kat Balcombe says:

    Oh look at you, all fancy pants 😉

    I haven’t read a single one of them, but I’m in admiration of your list!

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