It's Tuesday -- and time for another Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful people over at The Broke and the Bookish. This week's theme is a fun one - books that make you think. I had to think (ha ha -- no pun intended!) about this one for a while, since it's been a while since I read a book that truly made me think. This also reminded me that I need to be a little more diverse about the types of books that I choose in my reading repertoire. It is perhaps for this reason that I've been in a little bit of a slump lately -- too much YA with not much variety in my reading choices.
So, with no futher ado, here are my top ten books that made me go HMMMM.....
1. The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver
This book makes it onto many of my top ten posts, but it's probably the book that I've read the most times over. It takes place in the Congo, and taught me a lot about the history of Congo, as well as what a missionary family might have experienced during this time of political upheaval. What I particularly like about this book is that I read it for the first time in Grade 11, and completely identified with Rachel, because I felt that I would view Africa the same way she did. When I reread the book in university, Rachel annoyed me to no end, which just illustrated how much I'd grown up since reading the book for the first time.
2. White Oleander - Janet Fitch
This is another book that makes my top ten lists all of the time, but the writing is so exquisite that it tugs at the heartstrings and the story stayed embedded in my mind long after I'd savoured the final words. In fact, the first time I read this book, I immediately flipped back to the beginning and started to read through Astrid's story all over again, because I couldn't bear for the book to be over.
3. The God of Small Things - Arundhati Roy
Love that transcends the caste system and one of the most powerful endings I've EVER read. Need I say more?
4. The Life of Pi - Yann Martel
I read this one for a book club meeting and, even after a two hour discussion, I'm STILL not sure of exactly what happened in the book ... in a good way. It's a book that can mean different things to different people, which just makes it the perfect book to make you think and it's an excellent conversation starter.
5. Fall on Your Knees - Ann-Marie MacDonald
I read this one for a Women's Studies course and my group had to do a class presentation on the book. We spent dozens of hours discussing, dissecting and deconstructing the book, and still felt that we'd barely scratched the surface of the story.
6. The Gargoyle - Andrew Davidson
There are no words for how much I love this book. If you haven't read it, please do so. You'll thank me later. It's one of the most powerful love stories I have ever read, but so, SO intense. AND he's a Canadian writer -- yeah!
7. Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
I think I'm the only person in my book club who loved this book; everyone else couldn't even bring themselves to finish it. It's the story of a girl who believes that she should have been born as a boy, and her subsequent struggle to make her body match who she is inside. It's such a powerful story, and raises such profound issues of gender identify and what it means to "be" male or female.
8. The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
I read this book after dropping out of my teaching practicum, when I wondered what I was going to do with my life now that teaching had been removed from my list of options. The search for a "personal legend" really resonated with me, and it's a story that's stuck with me since then.
9. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
I don't think it's possible to read this book and NOT think about it. Such an amazing dystopian, because everything that happens in the book really happened at some point in history.
10. The Five People You Meet in Heaven - Mitch Albom
I read the last half of this book on the ferry, and sobbed through the last chapter (earning an offer of Kleenex from a couple of complete strangers). After finishing the book, I spent the last part of the ferry ride just staring out the window into the darkness, reflecting on what I'd read.
Well, that's my books that made me go HMMM... what about you? What books have you read that stayed with you long after you finished the last page? I think I need something more substantial to dive into, so I welcome any and all suggestions! Leave me a link to your post in your comment and I'll stop by to visit!