Wednesday 11 March 2015

Top Five Wednesdays: Books That Made You Think

Top Five Wednesdays was started by Lainey at GingerReadsLainey and today's topic is 'Books That Made You Think'. Check out the complete list of top five wednesday-ers here. So here are my picks in no particular order:

1. The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

I went into this book not expecting to enjoy it as much as I did, and not expecting it to have such a profound effect on me. Written in the midst of cold-war paranoia, the novel demonstrates the fragility of society and of the nature of humanity. The novel raises questions about societal conventions and morality, and whether these have a place in a changed world. It really brought home to me the delicate and frail nature of humankind, and how easy it would be for society as we know it to collapse entirely. I certainly look forward to reading more Wyndham and I believe that The Midwich Cuckoos will be next on my list.

2. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

This beautifully written, post-apocalyptic novel made me think a lot about civilization and legacies, about what we leave behind in the world and if anything we ever do will make a difference. The novel focused a lot on art both in terms of the importance of it to an individual's life and also to society. In the collapsed world of the novel, art and creativity still remain and perhaps are even seen to thrive. Station Eleven is both a reminder that even in the darkest and most bleak of times, beauty and joy can still be found through the arts and that it is possible to have an impact and leave a legacy.

3. Paper Towns by John Green

This is by far my favourite John Green book, I think because it resonated with me the most. I read it at a time in my life when I was a bit lost and a little bit broken. I sat down to read it at 9 or 10pm and after finishing it at 1am I remember tweeting about how this book helped to tie my strings back together ( a cheesy, slightly misinterpreted yet relevant reference to the strings metaphor in the novel). It made me think a lot about people and how we see them, and how we see ourselves. It made me feel a little less lost and alone and I think it contains ideas that everyone should read about.

4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

This one is a little obvious but no less relevant. I studied this at GCSE and it was one of the first books which I read analytically and thoughtfully. It explores issues of innocence, experience, race and justice. I don't really have words to describe how much I love this book except to say that you must read it immediately, if not sooner.

5. Paper Aeroplanes by Dawn O'Porter

Reading this book felt like I had travelled back to my teenage years, all the emotions were so raw and so real and it really brought home to me the importance of those formative years and how intensely difficult it can be to be a teenager. It made me think a lot about the foundations of friendships and helped me remember and understand my teenage years in a way that I haven't thought about for a long time. A full review of this book and it's sequel, Goose, will be going up here on Saturday.

I think it's quite interesting that the books I chose as having made me think are also books that gave me all the feels, I think that a strong emotional reaction definitely inspires further thought both emotional and analytical.

Are there any books that stand out to you as having made you think?

1 comment

  1. I haven't read any of these books, but they all sound interesting. I'd like to read Station Eleven. I love art and agree with what you said about art and beauty, sometimes they are our hope and strength for something better. Also, I think you're right. The best books that have made someone think are the ones that have reached the deepest into his or her heart.


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