Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Make You Think

Today's Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish is "Top Ten Books That Make You Think (About The World, People, Life, etc.). In the words of Grad Student "you might not think we are challenged to think deeply about the world since we read a lot of YA, but thankfully we are omnivorous readers! Cue the heady intellectualism!"

1. As is no surprise to our readers, John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars tops this list, because some infinities are bigger than others.

 2. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard.  One of Crazy Camper’s favorite books and one that changed how she felt about the wild: “An exhilarating meditation on nature and its seasons -- a personal narrative highlighting one year's exploration on foot in the author's own neighborhood in Tinker Creek, Virginia. “ (Good Reads).

Is this where we live, I thought, in this place at this moment, with the air so light and wild?
3. Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold. Again this book opened Crazy Camper’s eyes to the world of conservation and preservation, and may be one of the main forces for why she choose to study environmental policy. Remember Grad Student's Pilgrimage? If no part else, read "Thinking Like a Mountain."

4. Slaughter House Five by Kurt Vonnegut: “Slaughterhouse-Five introduces us to Billy Pilgrim, a man who becomes unstuck in time after he is abducted by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore. In a plot-scrambling display of virtuosity, we follow Pilgrim simultaneously through all phases of his life, concentrating on his (and Vonnegut's) shattering experience as an American prisoner of war who witnesses the firebombing of Dresden.” (GoodReads). When was the last time you read a book about getting unstuck in time? Mind bending to say the least.

5. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins, for its devastating look at the impacts of war, hiding behind Katniss’s coming-of-age story.

6.  Unbroken by Laura Hillebrand - see Goosie Mama’s review. She was moved and inspired by this history of WWII Japanese POW camps.

 I would obvi want the cake, too, lady!
7. Food Rules by Michael Pollan. A common-sense healthy-eating manual in bullet form. And funny! And illustrated! GS gave a copy of this to CC.
#4. If You’re Not Hungry Enough to Eat an Apple, Then You’re Probably Not Hungry
This little thought experiment is a good way to assess whether your desire to eat is really based on hunger or something else. If the idea of eating an apple doesn’t appeal to you, then chances are you’re reaching for food out of habit, boredom, or sadness. The urge will pass. But if you find the idea does appeal, then go ahead: have an apple.

8. Bringing it back again to some classic high school English- The Gift of the Magi, by O'Henry.  It is a short story about love and what you do for the person you love.  If you havent read it, you should, right now.  

9. Goosie Mama nominates  The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson (Goosie Mama's ReviewGrad Student's Review)- and as she says, this book "beautifully walks the line between grief, teenage emotion and gorgeous eyelashes."

And one book that I think was supposed to make us think, but that in reality Crazy Camper just hated:

10.  Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton. UG. that pickle dish? the sled ride? I still have no idea what that all meant. Sorry Edith.  If you dont know it, Liam Nielson starred in the 1993 version with Cat from Winterfell, which this YouYube video is loosely based on...


  1. O. Henry wrote that story at a bar on Irving Place, Crazy Camper! Just a couple blocks from where I live. I have clearly been there for beer. (Sadly, they do not have happy hour. Whhyyyyyyyyyy).

    Also, Ethan Frome was TERRIBLE.

  2. Ahhhhhhhhhh... I was going to actually say something, but I am distracted by the presense of freaking ETHAN FROME on your list. That tops these personal lists for me: Least favorite books, books that should never be forced upon high school students, Books that made me want to bang my head against the wall, Books that I asked for a refund for my time investment.

  3. This is such a great list. I am gonna check out the ones I have not heard/read!

    Happy Reading!! Here is my Top Ten post!

  4. This is a fantastic list, ladies! Most of the books that make me think are what I consider to be "classics," like Lord of the Flies, Catcher in the Rye, Othello and Animal Farm. I am really happy to see Mockingjay top your list. I can't ever remember being so affected by a series before I read The Hunger Games trilogy. Perhaps it's because I studied the causes/effects of war as a part of my BA in International Relations, but for whatever reason, it had a profound affect on the way I think. Great job!

  5. Completely and uterly love The Sky is Everywhere!! <3 <3 This book means so much to me :) I think it's perfect :) Great list! ;)

  6. I haven't read Unbroken, but it is written by the same author who wrote Seabiscuit - one of my favorite non-fiction books. Has Goosie Mama read that one? I do want to read Unbroken, I just haven't gotten around to it yet. So many books I want to read!


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