Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books That Make You Think. 09.11.2012

Top 10 Tuesday

Top 10 Things That Make You Think (About the World, People, Life…)

09.11.2012

By Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez / @ZaraAlexis

1. The Holy Bible

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2. The Secular Grail by Christopher Dewdney

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Christopher Dewdney regards the modern world with fresh eyes. A collection of prose and thoughts on western culture, The Secular Grail investigates the nature of contemporary reality. Writing on everything from sexual variations to rock videos, memory and dreams to Eternal Return, this is a guidebook to the incredible changes the human race is undergoing. – From Chapters-Indigo

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3. The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood

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In a world driven by shadowy, corrupt corporations and the uncontrolled development of new, gene-spliced life forms, a man-made pandemic occurs, obliterating human life. Two people find they have unexpectedly survived: Ren, a young dancer locked inside the high-end sex club Scales and Tails (the cleanest dirty girls in town), and Toby, solitary and determined, who has barricaded herself inside a luxurious spa, watching and waiting. The women have to decide on their next move – they can’t stay hidden forever.  But is anyone else out there? – From Chapters-Indigo

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4. Blizzard of One: Poems by Mark Strand

BLIZZARD OF ONE by Mark Strand. Pulitzer Prize winner.

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Strand”s poems occupy a place that exists between abstraction and the sensuous particulars of experience. It is a place created by a voice that moves with unerring ease between the commonplace and the sublime. The poems are filled with “the weather of leavetaking,” but they are also unexpectedly funny. The erasure of self and the depredations of time are seen as sources of sorrow, but also as grounds for celebration. This is one of the difficult truths these poems dramatize with stoicism and wit. The winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, Blizzard of One is an extraordinary book–the summation of the work of a lifetime by one of our very few true masters of the art of poetry. – From Chapters-Indigo

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5. Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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On the eve of World War I, an all-female society is discovered somewhere in the distant reaches of the earth by three male explorers who are now forced to re-examine their assumptions about women”s roles in society. – From Chapters-Indigo

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6. Night by Elie Wiesel

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Elie Wiesel”s masterpiece, a candid, horrific, and deeply poignant autobiographical account of his survival as a teenager in the Nazi death camps. This new translation by Marion Wiesel, Elie”s wife and frequent translator, presents this seminal memoir in the language and spirit truest to the author”s original intent. And in a substantive new preface, Elie reflects on the enduring importance of Night and his lifelong, passionate dedication to ensuring that the world never forgets man”s capacity for inhumanity to man.
“””Night” offers much more than a litany of the daily terrors, everyday perversions, and rampant sadism at Auschwitz and Buchenwald; it also eloquently addresses many of the philosophical as well as personal questions implicit in any serious consideration of what the Holocaust was, what it meant, and what its legacy is and will be. – From Chapters-Indigo

7. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

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Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank”s remarkable diary has since become a world classic-a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the “Secret Annex” of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death. In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and amusing, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short. – From Chapters-Indigo

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8. Say You’re One of Them by Uwem Akpan

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Each story in this jubilantly acclaimed collection pays testament to the wisdom and resilience of children, even in the face of the most agonizing circumstances.

A family living in a makeshift shanty in urban Kenya scurries to find gifts of any kind for the impending Christmas holiday. A Rwandan girl relates her family”s struggles to maintain a facade of normalcy amid unspeakable acts. A young brother and sister cope with their uncle”s attempt to sell them into slavery. Aboard a bus filled with refugees-a microcosm of today”s Africa-a Muslim boy summons his faith to bear a treacherous ride across Nigeria. Through the eyes of childhood friends the emotional toll of religious conflict in Ethiopia becomes viscerally clear.  – From Chapters-Indigo

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9. I Am Forbidden by Anouk Markovits

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The extraordinary story of a sister who believes and a sister who rebels, set inside the most insular Hasidic sect, the Satmar.

Spanning four generations, from pre-World War II Transylvania, to 1960s Paris, to contemporary New York, Markovits” masterful novel shows what happens when unwavering love and unyielding law clash–a rabbi will save himself while his followers perish; a Gentile maid will be commanded to give up the boy she rescued because he is not of her faith; two devoted sisters will be forced apart when one begins to question their religion”s ancient doctrine. One sister embraces and finds comfort in the constraints of the world she”s always known, while the other knows she will suffocate in a life without intellectual freedom. Separated by the rules of their community, the two sisters are brought together again when a family secret threatens to make pariahs of them all. Dark, powerful, and utterly compelling, I Am Forbidden takes us deep inside the minds of those who leave their restrictive environments, and deep into the souls of those who struggle to stay. – From Chapters-Indigo

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10. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

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The year is 1984. Aomame is riding in a taxi on the expressway, in a hurry to carry out an assignment. Her work is not the kind that can be discussed in public. When they get tied up in traffic, the taxi driver suggests a bizarre ”proposal” to her. Having no other choice she agrees, but as a result of her actions she starts to feel as though she is gradually becoming detached from the real world. She has been on a top secret mission, and her next job leads her to encounter the superhuman founder of a religious cult. Meanwhile, Tengo is leading a nondescript life but wishes to become a writer. He inadvertently becomes involved in a strange disturbance that develops over a literary prize. While Aomame and Tengo impact on each other in various ways, at times by accident and at times intentionally, they come closer and closer to meeting. Eventually the two of them notice that they are indispensable to each other. Is it possible for them to ever meet in the real world? – From Chapters-Indigo

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What are the top 10 books you’ve read that make you really think?

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7 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books That Make You Think. 09.11.2012”

  1. There are many books that make me think (differently or books that open my eyes to see something I didn’t see before), but the books by Paulo Coelho (author for example of the book called the Alchemist) have became favorites of mine from the first book I’ve ever read from him (the book was By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept). Very different from everything I had read before that. Have you read any of his books?

  2. I’m a fan of Haruki Murakami but I still haven’t read 1Q84. I Am Forbidden by Anouk Markovits sounds really good. The only book on your list that I’ve read is Anne Frank. And some parts of the Bible. I intend to read the whole book one day, though.

    1. Like you, I also intend on finishing the entirety of he Bible. I’ve completed the New Testament, but have yet to finish the Old Testament. A worthy book to read, definitely.

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