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11 Sep 2012

TTT - Books for Thought

For this week's Top Ten Tuesday we've been asked:

Top Ten Books That Make You Think
About the world, people, life etc.  Well, I've read tons of books that have made me think.  Usually it's sci-fi, fantasy, and horror that gets me thinking so most of the books on my list are from those genres.
So here are ten books that have got me thinking about their messages...
1) The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins)
Could reality TV ever go this far? If you look at what we show now it's already on the verge of brutal.  Take I'm A Celebrity.  You have these celebrities shoved right in the middle of an Australian jungle and given tasks to do like eating insects and having huge spiders and snakes thrown onto you.  There's Big Brother who purposely take the most mentally unstable people who contrast against each other and stick them in a house and complete isolate them from the rest of the world.  They snap.  It always happens and it doesn't do anything for their state of mind.
Reality TV isn't as extreme as The Hunger Games but it's still pretty awful and screws around with people's mental state of mind.
2) The Duff (Kody Keplinger)
This book is actually good for those with insecurities and jealousy to actually take a step back and really think of the people around them.  What issues do your peers have? When you think no-one will understand how you feel about your appearance everyone can actually sympathise.  Body issues or relationship issues aren't these occurrences rare that target one person a year group.  Everyone has their problems and while that probably won't make your dilemmas go away at least you know you're not alone in feeling bad about yourself.
3) The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight (Jennifer E. Smith)
While I wasn't a big fan of the book it did get me thinking about this 'love at first sight' thing.  Is it possible? It's tricky. Is it really possible to click with someone and when you do click, how quickly do your feelings evolve? And what if you do only have a short amount of time together? Again, how quickly would your feelings grow and develop?
4) The Island of Dr Moreau (H.G. Wells)
Victorian Gothic is probably one of the most thought provoking genres of all times.  All this science, technology and possibilities.  What could we actually have the power to do?
Could we actually have the power to create new species? To merge a human and animal together? Someday will a scientist actually go this far in an obsession to test our limits and discover what is possible with scientific advances?
5) Carrie (Stephen King)
How badly is the bullying affecting that shy, quiet boy or girl? What is it doing them mentally? In today's society, we have children who are suffering for no reason and how many of those children have anger and hate increasingly building up towards those who treat them unfairly? It only takes one more bullying antic for them to snap and do something about it. 
6) The Future of Us (Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler)
Again, not a book that really hooked me in but the concept is interesting.  Could it be good or bad to know so much about your own future.  What if is everything you expected and you take it for granted? Or what if it isn't and you start obsessing about changing it and making it right? Or what if you found out about a friend's fate? Would you try to stop it?
7) Trick or Treat (Richie Tankersley Cusick )
I'll try and avoid spoilers but the general concept is love and obsession.  How easy is it to go too far and be warped by your own love for someone?
8) Dracula (Bram Stoker)
At the time of Dracula the Victorian era was slowly becoming more and more scientifically advanced.  People were starting to see things through scientific logic and reason, forgetting old superstitious fears.  So the question is: how logical have we become today with even more advanced technology in society? What demons and threats have we forgotten about?
9) Twilight (Stephenie Meyer)
Now whether you love it or hate it Twilight unintentionally made people think about unhealthy relationships.  Stephenie Meyer wanted to write a love story but the tables turned and a lot of people saw obsession and unhealthy relationships.  The romance between Bella Swan and Edward Cullen wasn't exactly seen the same in everyone's eyes and a lot of people had issues.  It made people think about instalove and question just how unhealthy consuming love can be. 
10) Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Lewis Carroll)
In the nonsensical world of Wonderland lies a message all children will love.  How ridiculous can adults be? How insane are their rules and expectations? Tim Burton's film explored Alice's views further, finding certain fashions and standards ridiculous.  It's a nice little story that encourages you to think and not to be afraid to challenge authority and social conformities if you feel it's not the sanest of ways. 


  1. Good list, Robin! Of course, I would argue that what was happening in the Victorian era was not so much "science, logic, and reason" advancing over superstition, but a worldview shift, where people more and more tried to explain natural phenomenon from a purely materialistic point of view. Even today, much of the disagreement between science and "religion" is not over the facts, but over how those facts should be interpreted--which worldview is the best paradigm for explaining the facts. But that's another discussion. :)

    Another thought-provoking H.G. Wells classic is THE TIME MACHINE. I haven't read it in years--and in fact, I need to re-read it--but the way he conceives people in the future becoming either passive creatures who enjoy leisure and don't like to think too much, or wild predators who hunt the weak... the social commentary kind of slaps you in the face. :)

  2. What a great list, Robin! And very diverse too. I was thinking about doing this today, but I'm not sure if I could come up with ten books that made me think (should I be embarrassed by that?). THE HUNGER GAMES is a great one that I didn't think of for some reason. I think your thoughts on TWILIGHT are very true, and you're right about it making you think.

  3. Good choice, Colin! I read The Time Machine last year and loved it. Unofrtunately I think society already have a few Morlocks lurking around today.

    Jaime, I was having trouble too. Sometimes in the past I've cheated and list films as well. :)

  4. Great list. I appreciate that you didn't bash Twilight but gave a good explanation. Also anything by Stephen King probably makes everyone think. lol

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  5. No problem. :) There's no point in ranting and raging over it. Bigger things to worry about. :)