|Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.|
Top Ten Books that Make Me Think.
This was a hard list for me. There are so many books that have impacted and affected me deeply. Narrowing it down was hard, but here you go!
It may feel a bit like the “standard” Christian answer, but that doesn’t change the truth of it. There has never been a time when I’ve opened my Bible and not been forced to think deeply. It is a book that continues to change, challenge and affect me and every decision I make.
The Ragamuffin Gospel
Practical faith. Honest questions. Where I sometimes feel like I fail in my faith, The Ragamuffin Gospel reminds me that God isn’t seeking perfection, just an honest relationship with me. When I feel lost, lonely and afraid, this is a book that speaks to the skeptical and passionate believer in me all at the same time. If you’ve never read it, you should. If you think you have faith figured out, read it. If you don’t think you have faith at all, read it.
I’ve talked about this book over and over and over again. It affected me deeply when I read it the first time. Every time I read it, I think about what it would be like to live in a world so sterile and ordered – and wonder if I’d be brave enough to break free and follow a different path. It also makes me treasure every memory – good and bad – and hold onto them because they have shaped me.
The Book Thief
What is there to say about this book that hasn’t already been said? It’s beautifully written and powerfully real. It’s about life, death and knowing that the two interact in mysterious ways every moment of every day. It makes the horrors of the Holocaust real in a different way. And it proves that every life, every moment, is part of a bigger story.
“To dream the impossible dream.” Don Quixote is the dreamer, believer and star-wisher that I wish I was at all times. He refuses to see the world just as it is, but as it could be. He believes that darkness can be redeemed and that the journey is the destination. There is a lot to this book, beyond the moments of folly, that reveals the inner heart of the human condition.
The Sound and the Fury
This is maybe one of the books that first challenged me as a reader. It was a hard book to read and a harder book to understand. It was full of all the things we don’t want to believe are real in the world – violence, darkness, anger, bigotry…but yet still tells the story of one family choosing to set themselves apart. This isn’t a book, it’s literature. It is meant to be read, absorbed and read again. It’s one of the few books I didn’t like the first time I read it, but felt compelled to read again. And then I fell in love with the story.
It takes a lot for a non-fiction book to get on my list and stay there for awhile. Quitter is about following your dreams and being practical along the way. It’s not about quitting your day job to focus on your dream job, but instead on making that day job work and pursuing your dream job in the meantime. It’s an easy read, but full of challenge and direction.
A Monster Calls
Patrick Ness came out of nowhere with this one. I hadn’t heard of him and hadn’t heard of the book until I read about it on a blog. Reading it, though, changed me. It is a powerful story of the bond between a child and his mother. It is the story of coming to grip with death and disease. It is the story of finding the monster that lives inside you and demanding that he be faced and fought.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
The culmination of the series is one of my favorite books. I love how well Rowling ties the beginning to the end and reveals Harry’s ultimate responsibility and decisions. It is one of my favorite series, and I feel like this book ended everything just as it should. I still believe, 20 years from now, the Harry Potter series will be looked upon like The Chronicles of Narnia: an allegory about how love truly conquers all in the end.
The Giving Tree
The little book that could. I love this book. It is simple, sweet and carries with it a huge message. How much are you willing to give to the ones you love? How much do they take? And, what happens at the end, when neither of you have much left?