Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Top Ten Books That Make You Think

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
by Robert M. Pirsig

A life-changing book for me, ZAMM is subtitled
"An Inquiry Into Values." And is it ever!
After I read this book in college,
I was relieved to discover I didn't have to be perfect.

Animal Farm
by George Orwell

We think we are making things better
by creating all these wonderful laws....

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
by Mildred Taylor

Talk about hitting close to home.
My dad grew up at the same time as author Mildred D. Taylor
a couple dozen miles from her.
This story, a fictionalized story of her life, could have been my dad's life,
had his family been black rather than white, in the Old South.

Bowling Alone: The Collapse of American Community
by Robert D. Putnam

We have lost something very important in America:
our sense of community.
We are spending our lives in our lovely air-conditioned homes
with the tv blaring, while inside we feel isolated and alone.

Civility:  Manners, Morals, and the Etiquette of Democracy
by Stephen L. Carter

I can think of a few talk show hosts and political campaign managers and
regular citizens who could stand to read this book about the
importance of being civil to each other in a democracy.

My Name is Asher Lev
by Chaim Potok

Creativity. Religion. Respect.
Lots to think about in this small book
about a man who is forced to decide
between becoming a devout Jew
or an artist.

Firegirl by Tony Abbott

With a difficult person.

The Giver by Lois Lowry
A perfect world?

A Short History of Nearly Everything
by Bill Bryson

The title tells it all:  a little bit about, well, everything.

How about you?  
Have you read and loved any of these?
What books made you think?

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND add your name to the Linky widget so that everyone can check out other bloggers lists! If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Have fun with it! It's a fun way to get to know your fellow bloggers.


  1. The Once and Future King by T.H. White made a deep impression on me years ago. I should re-read it now to see if I feel the same way.

    The Great Chain of Being: A Study of the History of an Idea by Arthur Lovejoy is another one that I thought was wonderful for ideas. I must also reread this one!

    1. Thank you for sharing these titles. Now I must be off to check out Great Chain of Being, a new-to-me title. Loved Once and Future King.

  2. Great list! I forgot to add Orwell's books to my list, I really enjoyed Animal Farm and 1984 and the parallels to Soviet Russia =)

    Here's my TTT for this week =)

  3. Interesting list of books. You're the second one I've seen with a Bryson book this morning. I enjoy his books and would agree with you that he does provide good thinking fodder.

  4. You have a very deep list! good job!

    Check out our TTT

  5. You listed Bryson! I love ALL his books!

    Yay, yay!!

    Happy Reading!! Here is my Top Ten post!

  6. Such good books! Of which I haven't read any. Animal Farm and A Short History of Nearly Everything are the ones I plan to read first, but all of the others look wonderful too.

  7. I've had Aasher Lev on my pile for a while, but I don't think I knew what it was about. Thanks for the list.

  8. Want to know something amazing? I've never once read The Giver. It's true, not once in my entire life. I've had a lot of people look at me with expressions of shock and scorn as a result.

    I remember reading Animal Farm in school as a teenager and being both horrified and enthralled at the same time by what I saw going on in that text. I should read it again sometime.

  9. Great post! I read Animal Farm, but I actually watched the cartoon movie as a young girl and it has haunted be ever since. I love The Giver as well. Thanks for stopping by our blog.

  10. I actually never heard any of those but I've heard of Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry. Great choices :) Thanks for stopping by!

  11. Thanks for stopping by to check out my TTT. I've read a couple from your list and will have to check out the others.

  12. Thanks for stopping by!

    Animal Farm is a great book and even though it was written for a specific time period I think it can be pretty relevant for even today.

    Awesome list.

    -Marybeth P.

  13. I thought about Animal Farm while making my list too. I haven't read it (yet), but from what I know about it, I feel that it would fit perfectly here.

  14. Thank you for your comment and for sharing your list. I remember reading Roll of Thunder, Hear Me Cry in school. I think other than that book, Animal Farm and The Giver, I'm not familiar with the others. But I'll definitely be adding some of them to my TBR list.

  15. Thank you for your comment and for sharing your list. I remember reading Roll of Thunder, Hear Me Cry in school. I think other than that book, Animal Farm and The Giver, I'm not familiar with the others. But I'll definitely be adding some of them to my TBR list.

  16. I had totally forgotten about My Name is Asher Lev, but I LOVED that book when we read it in school! It probably has a certain appeal to teens, as they struggle to define who they are in the face of the expectations of their parents and their communities. Would like to experience it again as an adult and see if it resonates quite the same way!

    1. It's one of the few books that I have read more than once.

  17. I've read Zen, Animal Farm, Roll of Thunder, Firegirl, and The Giver(5) of your titles and agree with there thoughtful qualities. I have read one other Bryson book and should read this one also. The Bowling Alone description has me very intrigued! We are all huddled in our homes, scanning the internet for interesting items when we should be outside exploring! I say that as I'm scanning the internet, blogging, at work!

    1. Yes, we always see our own flaws but fail to remedy them.

  18. I've always wanted to read Zen, but am intimidated by "philosophy." LOVED The Giver and want to reread it before the movie comes out. Bowling Alone has always caught my eye in the store. I read My Name is Asher Lev (pre-blogging days) and didn't care for it as much as I'd hoped. Same with Animal Farm (even on the second reading).

    If I had to name one book that made me think, it would be The Book Thief. Unforgettable.

  19. Animal Farms a fantastic Book & I enjoyed Zen &, when I read it as did he friend I lent it to, in fact he decided after reading it that he could fix his own moterbike's engine, with less than perfect results.

  20. Interesting. That's the first person I've ever heard of who took ZAMM so literally.

  21. I have read and loved several of these books, especially The Giver and A Short History of Nearly Everything. As for other books that have made me think, I can't help but "think" of Crime and Punishment and Moby Dick, just to name a couple.


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