Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Connie's Top 10 Books that Make Her Think

I'm very excited about this week's Top Ten Tuesday topic, as my favorite books are the ones that make me think. That's why I'm a sucker for a well-executed tragic ending, as those tend to be the most haunting. Here are ten books that I love for the amount of thought they provoked.

10. Memories of My Melancholy Whores by Gabriel Garcia Marquez ~ This one is fresh on the mind, as I read it in a book group this summer, and it resulted in an interesting meeting. Marquez's truly unique love story between a 90-year-old man and a 14-year-old virgin is at times an uncomfortable read and  sparked a great discussion in the group about our dearly held cultural views of love and sex.

9.  Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro ~ I will never forget the experience I had with this book. In case you missed it, read about it in my review here.

8. The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien ~ This is the best war book I have ever read. It beautifully examines the mentality of those at war as well as those who are not. Read my review here.

7. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood ~ A dystopia that examines women's role in society? Yes, please. In fact, I look forward to reading this one again, as it gave me perhaps too much to think about the first time around. Read my review here.

6. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens ~ Nothing like an anti-hero to make you question society's black-and-white classification of the "good guy" and the "bad guy."

5. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf ~ Pretty much any book - or journal - or essay - or scribble of Virginia Woolf's is guaranteed to make me stop and think.

4. Native Son by Richard Wright ~ In school (my schools at least), teachers loved to assign us books about racism in America, but they tended to choose books that tip-toe around the issues. When my ninth grade English teacher assigned us this book, I found it shocking and disturbing and a refreshingly new perspective. Wright has since become one of my favorite authors.

3. Orlando by Virginia Woolf ~ Once again, my Woolf obsession. Virginia Woolf has such a unique view of gender, and it's never more evident than in Orlando, in which the character begins life as a man and one day awakes as a woman. Read my review here.

2. We: Understanding the Psychology of Romantic Love by Robert Johnson ~ One part mythic tale of Tristan and Isolde, two parts analysis of our deepest set beliefs and expectations about love, this is truly a fascinating read. You can't help but reanalyze every relationship you've ever had while reading this. Read my review here.

And the number one book that sends my brain into a frenzy is....

1.  1984 by George Orwell ~ Huge surprise to those of you who know that this is my very favorite book. 1984 is brilliant and insightful and haunting. Every read leads me to question everything around and inside of me. And I love that. Read my review here.

And now I'm in the mood to read some more thinkers! Recommendations, anyone?