Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. A new topic is posted each week, and bloggers post their top ten in the category. I love making lists, especially about books, so when I heard about Top Ten Tuesday, I just had to participate.

Top Ten Books That Make You Think

10. Mockingjay
By Suzanne Collins

This was an obvious choice for a lot of reasons. Not only were there moments when I had to stop and think about the morals of the characters and the situation - Katniss's agreement to be the Mockingjay, the idea of hosting one final Hunger Games, Coin being basically the same person as Snow, Gale's aggressive nature and the bombing at the end - but the entire book as a whole made me think about writing: things like what makes a book good and how books in a trilogy work together. I didn't like most of Mockingjay when I first read it, and since then I've spent some time wondering whether it was because the book really wasn't good and didn't mesh with the other books in the series, or if I was just too attached to the characters to accept an ending that wasn't perfectly happy. 

9. Wonder
By R.J. Palacio

This book made me think a lot about kindness: what it means, why people don't do it more often. It was a very uplifting and inspiring book, but it also made me stop and consider what I would do if I was in Jack, Via, or Summer's place, and how I would react to August. It made me look at what kind of a person I really am. 

8. Bitterblue
By Kristin Cashore

Unlike most of the other books on this list, Bitterblue didn't have me pondering any philosophical questions, but it was a workout for my brain. I was analyzing every page for clues to unraveling the mystery of King Leck's reign, while trying to figure out what Saf's grace might be and contemplating the complicated politics of The Seven Kingdoms. This book really engaged my brain, which is part of the reason I loved it so much. 

7. I Am The Messenger
By Markus Zusak

If I had to summarize this book in one sentence, I would say it's about single actions that change people's lives, which is a really thought-provoking subject. It makes you wish there was someone sending you directions so you would know where to start, wonder whether you would have the courage to follow through with things, and think about what people around you need and how you can help them find it.

6. The Book Thief
By Markus Zusak

I can never find adequate words to describe this book, even though I've blogged about it many times. The main reason it's on this list is that it's such an unique take on Word War II, and makes you really think about what life must have been like then. 

5. The Penultimate Peril
By Lemony Snicket

The books in A Series of Unfortunate Events became much more serious as the series progressed, and dealt with more complicated themes, such as right and wrong, shades of gray in people, and what really makes a villain. The Penultimate Peril was sort of where all these questions came together, making it by far the most thought-provoking of the series. 

4. To Kill A Mockingbird
By Harper Lee

This book is like a playground for my mind. There's so much to think about, so many characters, so many themes, and they all tie together in ways that are so amazing to see. I love reading this book because I always - always - discover something new to think about.

3. The Hunger Games
By Suzanne Collins

Although the first book in the series is the most straightforward of the series (Katniss has one main goal: Stay alive) it also causes readers to ask the most important question: could something like this actually happen in our society? It doesn't seem so far-fetched when you think about reality TV shows now, combined with the fact that everyone who picks up the book is drawn in by the idea of the Games themselves. For being such popular YA novels, these books deal with some pretty heavy stuff. 

2. 1984
By George Orwell

This book made my head spin. It left me questioning every single concept I had of reality and struggling to understand the concept of Doublethink, while marveling at the brilliance of Big Brother's control and then questioning my morality for being both amazed and repulsed by it instead of just horrified. It was an amazing book, but I haven't even skimmed it in the two years since I first read it just because I can't handle what it does to my brain. 

1. Brave New World
By Aldous Huxley

We read this book for English last year, and it is still the only book that makes my brain hurt more than 1984. There were things in this book that I knew were wrong, and yet I was completely unable to put together a logical argument against them. I took pages and pages of notes, and had a ridiculously hard time narrowing them down to one topic for my final essay. 


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