Books That Make You Think

This week's top ten Tuesday gives me a chance to highlight some of my favorite kinds of books; those that make you think. Allow me to elaborate - these are books that examine an issue that doesn't have a "right" or "wrong" answer ; these books present both sides of an issue, open your eyes to it, and make you really think about about where you stand, or make you question what you thought you believed in the first place. For me, these books tend to be the most powerful and the most memorable.

Native Son by Richard Wright / What you'll consider: Civil rights; discrimination in the American judicial system; racism; generational poverty

Zeitoun by Dave Eggers / What you'll consider: What in means to be an American Muslim post 9/11; racial profiling; hypocrisy of governments

People Who Eat Darkness by Richard Llyod Parry / What you'll consider: Eastern vs. Western culture in terms of media, law, sexual behavior and government; how culture determines gender roles

The Submission by Amy Waldman / What you'll consider: What it means to be an American Muslim post 9/11; government propaganda; the non-apologetic attitude of modern-day America; the irrationality of certain post 9/11 fears

them by Joyce Carol Oates / What you'll consider:
Poverty in America; class struggle; the role of women

Animal Farm
by George Orwell / What you'll consider: The problems that arise from absolute power/totalitarian regimes; political corruption; the human desire for power

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugindes / What you'll consider: Cultural history; divided identities; the impact one has on the lives around him or her; gender vs. sex

by Stephen King / What you'll consider: The power of "what if;" the idea that the past it obdurate; 

The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Moshin Hamid
/ What you'll consider: What it means to be a Muslim in post 9/11 America; the ever-changing American landscape and its consequences

Life of Pi by Yann Martel / What you'll consider: Faith; religion; free will

As I said, these kind of books tend to be my favorite kind of read, so please feel free to leave any recommendations in the comments!   
image via weheartit.


  1. Great list. I am really interested in People Who Eat Darkness and Zeitoyn is one of my favorite books.

    1. I love Zeitoun - I have pushed that book on so many people. I even just borrowed it to a friend's mom last week.

  2. Love the way you broke out this list, with the "what you'll consider" stuff. And I want to read all of them.

    1. Oh thanks! I'm glad that worked out. I actually thought it would be easier than you know, writing actual sentences :)

    2. I agree; I love the way you constructed the list. I haven't read many of these so I'll to give them more thought (no pun intended SERIOUSLY).

  3. What a great list, and I second Red in loving the way you broke it down by listing what it makes you think about. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I especially love these kinds of books too. I've read and loved 7 from your list. 11/22/63 is on my TBR pile, along with loads of Oates books (an author I've yet to read, but really feel I should) and I haven't heard of The People who Eat Darkness, but it does sound fantastic - thanks for drawing it to my attention.

  5. Zeitoun terrified me. I thought Eggers did a masterful job of structuring that story. Haunting.

  6. I love that you explained how the books on the list inspired thinking, and adding what kind of contemplation we could expect. thanks for sharing your list; I am very much intrigued by Eggers' and Hamid's novels and I keep meaning to read Life of Pi (and am thinking I am the only one who hasn't)...

    ~L (omphaloskepsis)

  7. I've just discovered your blog and your list makes it clear we like the same type of books! If you liked Zeitoun and you like books that make you think, try Whatis the What, also by Dave Eggers. Gripping and sobering, a really great book.

  8. Middlesex makes you think about genetics class, too!

    I want to read Zeitoun.

  9. An interesting list, quite a few of which I have read.