T5W – Books that Make You Think

That’s a tricky question isn’t it? Just because I have to answer, I’ll only say this: what book doesn’t make you think? And of course, I’m not talking about books like Fifty Shades of Grey or some silly chick-lit books. I’m talking about interesting books with complicated characters. So, if I have to mention some books that really made me think, I’d probably choose:

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Have you read any of those and if so, do you agree with me?

Note: Next Friday there’s going to be a giveaway, stay tuned!

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22 thoughts on “T5W – Books that Make You Think

  1. HOLLY says:

    I’ve only read 1984 out of your list, but I definitely agree with choosing it! It had me wondering all sorts of things about the way we live our lives today. I’ll have to check out the other books you picked!

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  2. Ana says:

    Sadly I have only read the first, 1984. It is a classic for good reason and I need to rered it sometime.
    I need to read Of Mice and Men at least. I am not a fan of Paulo Coelho.

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  3. Cynthia says:

    The only one I have read is 1984, but I completely agree with you. I would also add The Handmaid’s Tale. Also, I just read a new book called Only Ever Yours. It is similar to The Handmaid’s Tale but WAY more disturbing. That one has stayed with me.

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  4. Killian says:

    I totally agree with you in regards to 1984 and V For Vendetta. The former has some of the most thought provoking quotes of all time and V For Vendetta is about as politically volatile as a novel can get. Alan Moore and George Orwell are two visionary writers and I’m glad that you acknowledged both of them here. Also, I actually just mentioned V For Vendetta in my latest blog post so that’s a nice coincidence.

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  5. Britt W says:

    I’ve read 1984 and Of Mice and Men. It’s good to have literature that challenges you to think more. Of course, there are the ones that are intentionally obtuse (House of Leaves) that are just a struggle to get through. I also enjoyed The Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck and it’s an important novel for Americans to read.

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  6. vacuouswastrel says:

    In terms of fiction, I’d suggest:

    – ‘A Canticle for Leibowitz’, Walter M. Miller, Jr. (religion, science, morality, faith, meaning of life, politics, etc)
    – ‘The Story of San Michele’, Axel Munthe (not technically ‘fiction’ I guess, a somewhat unreliable autobiography. Munthe is a very thoughtful and complicated man, but he’s also a window onto many different parts of a particular time period and its assumptions (some of which he challenges, some of which he doesn’t))
    – ‘Fictions’, Jorge Luis Borges (most of his stories leave me cold, and the thoughts aren’t as deep as his fans think they are – but they’re still interesting by the standards of fiction, and sometimes really elegant)
    – ‘The Prestige’, Christopher Priest (not obviously an ideas book, but a book that really keeps you on your toes, full of illusion, and that also manages to sneak in some provocative ideas here and there as well)
    – ‘The Rider’, Tim Krabbé (not really intellectual, but very provocative. An account of an amateur bike race, its first paragraph mentions some ordinary people watching the preparing riders from a cafe, and has the famous line: “Non-racers. The emptiness of those lives shocks me.” – you can take it as a novel about cycling, or about all sport, or about religion, or about obsession… it’s a cult classic that many people can’t stand, but that just goes to show how provocative it is!)
    – ‘The Man Who Was Thursday’, GK Chesterton (both kinds of thought-provoking: ‘what the hell is going on?’ and ‘is that a brilliant insight into the meaning of life or is it just nonsense? or both?’)

    But if we’re including philosophy, I might list:
    – The History of Western Philosophy, Bertrand Russell
    – Philosophical Investigations, Ludwig Wittgenstein
    – On the Genealogy of Morals, Friedrich Nietzsche
    – Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature, Richard Rorty
    – Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous, George Berkeley

    And somewhere between the two lists I’d mention ‘Sophie’s World’, which tries to open the eyes of lay readers (particularly young readers) to the appeal of philosophy.

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  7. A. P. Bullard says:

    The only one I have not read is the final selection. I do agree with you on all of the rest, though. These titles have inspired some deep conversations, debates, and essays on my part.

    Great post!

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  8. elyjayne says:

    I’ve read 1984 and Of Mice and Men out of these. I studied both of them in high school so I absolutely hated them. They definitely make you think though, especially 1984 in my opinion.

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  9. Nicole says:

    Really great post!! I might write out a blog post response if you don’t mind? (I started typing and then the comment just went on and on and on… haha!)

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  10. Nicole says:

    Oh, but I will say: After I read Of Mice and Men it just shot into my small group of favourites! Sooo good. It made me want to read more Steinbeck. Even his shortest stories, feel so FULL. While I appreciated 1984, the world and characters didn’t hold my attention so well for most of the book and I think the whole idea of it was already so ubiquitous by the time I read it that the ideas didn’t strike me as thought-provoking when they maybe should have… However, I was blown away by Brave New World. It might just be a taste thing; I know that people exist who did not enjoy Brave New World for some by bizarre happenstance… heh 😉

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  11. Shannon says:

    I definitely agree with Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. I’ve only read it once and my memory is not so good, but I remember the intensity of the emotions I felt while I was reading it.

    I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss chick lit! I’ve read some very thought provoking women’s fiction novels.

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  12. Karen says:

    I’ve only read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close out of your list but I did read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho which had such a big effect on me.
    I think the novel that had the profoundest effect on me was Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale.

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  13. joshmaloof97 says:

    Sadly I’ve read 1984 and seen V for Vendetta and but I absolutely could not agree more with those two on there. They challenge conventions and archetypes associated with power in the modern day and are absolutely critical to remind us that we should always be questioning and challenging authority. Such powerful tales that are shadowed by the modern day’s inability to appreciate their messages.

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