Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new ‘top ten’ challenge is posted – anyone can join in. This week’s topic is the ‘Top Ten Books That Make You Think (About The World, People, Life, etc.)’. Well, I had a long, hard think about the books that made me think. Here’s my list (not quite ten!):
1. & 2. Beautiful Boy by David Sheff – the most moving, terrifying (true) story I have read in years. If you are a parent, you must read Beautiful Boy – it changed my perception of drug addiction and how families manage an addict. If you can stomach it, read Nic Sheff’s companion story, Tweak (equally harrowing).
3. We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver – I read this book when it was first released in 2003. I still think about it all of the time – and so many events/ things trigger ‘Kevin’ thoughts. It’s a benchmark book for me – I didn’t ‘enjoy’ it but there were so many aspects of the story that made me think. Incredibly powerful.
4. The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas – does this book need any introduction?! It all boils down to ‘is it okay to smack a child?’ and it’s hard not to have an opinion!
5. The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin – what truly makes you happy? This might seem a heavy question but Rubin delivers her message in a totally readable and interesting way (without a whiff of ‘self-help-desperado’).
6. The Reader by Bernard Schlink – can I imagine life without reading? Challenging.
7. Love and Other Impossible Pursuits by Ayelet Waldman – there’s so much in this book about families and mothers just trying to get things right. Heartbreaking, wonderful.
8. Nice Girl by Rachel Chin – if true crime is your thing then this book will have you mulling over the facts for a long time.
9. The Atlas of the Real World by Dorling et al. – this may seem an odd pick but if you have an opportunity to see this amazing book, grab it. The atlas is a map of modern living – watch nations expand and shrink depending on the map. For example, mobile phone ownership on one map, maternal health on a another. The results are eye-opening and will make you consider all sorts of equity issues.