Top 5 Wednesday: Books That Made Us Think

Welcome back to Top Five Wednesday! This week we talk about the books that made us think about… you know… stuff… deep stuff… mind thoughts. You get the idea.

These are the books that stuck with us and made us question our beliefs, our faith or even just our day to day lives. Whether these books were written with this in mind or it was just a happy accident doesn’t matter. The books that make you think and question what is considered the norm say a lot about a person. So, without further ado: here’s our list!

Top Five Wednesday is a book tag started by GingerReadsLainey. Join the goodreads group to get each week’s topic and participate yourselves!

1. THE ROAD – CORMAC MCCARTHY

This is a book that made me value a lot of things I take for granted. From the moment you start this novel you know that there is no way it will have a good outcome. The world is over, the future for those who have survived is bleak. You follow a father and son as they head south, hoping to find somewhere where they can survive.

When I finished this book, I just needed to walk outside. It was a beautiful summer day, the birds were chirping, the sun was shining and I just felt so cold and sad inside. I didn’t shake this book for a very long time. From now on, it’s the first book I recommend to people who want to read anything post apocalyptic.

2. THE LAST REPORT ON THE MIRACLES AT LITTLE NO HORSE – LOUISE ERDRICH

This was a book from the persective of the First Nations. It follows a woman who has escaped her life and is now masquerading as a male priest on a Reservation. The book made you think about the roles you take in life and how one path might not be the right path for most people but it might just be the path for you. It’s a book that really made Chelsey think and has stuck with her long past the time she was required to read it for class.

3. 1984 – GEORGE ORWELL

1984 terrified me. This is a totalitarian dystopian society where everyone is constantly being watched. Big Brother is watching you. Dystopian novels are common these days. What made 1984 stand out to me was the constant rewriting of history and the control of language. The main character works to rewrite history. Stuff will come in and he will be told to change the records. The first record will be burned and replaced with what he has made. The moment that he has re-written something. That is how it has always been. The first record never existed.

It blew my mind. History only exists in memory and this is a world where even your thoughts are controlled. If you haven’t read this novel do it. It’s still relevant today, almost more so.

4. HIS DARK MATERIALS – PHILIP PULLMAN

His Dark Materials delves deep into philosophy and the nature of the universe. The trilogy questions how we think about religion. The major spoiler for this series is that when the world was created and angel claimed to be God. Everyone and thing believed him. When Chelsey read this trilogy as a kid it made her question beliefs that she had always seen as static. It was the same for me, it’s something that I’ve been wanting to reread now that I’ve gotten older just to see all the little things that went over my head when I was a kid.

There was a film adaptation of The Golden Compass (the first book in the series) and it was okay. To save itself from a lot of contreversy the book managed to cut many of the religious themes from the novel. Instead of saving the film and guaranteeing the trilogy continued it was still attacked by religious groups and the fans of the book as well.

Check out our review of The Golden Compass here.

5. WORLD WAR Z – MAX BROOKS

If you haven’t read World War Z and have only seen the movie, go read the book because they are nothing alike. The book is a socio political look at what would happen to life if the zombie apocalypse actually happened. What was mind blowing about the book was that it was written like a true account. A reporter goes around and collects the stories of different people and how their experiences during the zombie outbreak were different. It blew our minds because of how detailed the book was and how realistic the reactions were.

There was this one account that made me think the most. It was about the people who went north and are hiding out in this trailer park. For the first couple of months it was like a great party but eventually the food starts running out. The narrator is this young girl who is progressively getting sicker due to malnutrition. One night she hears her parents arguing over something. When she wakes up there is meat and she can’t figured out where it came from. You figure out pretty quick where it came from, and then you start wondering. Are these people any better than the monsters they are hiding from?

Another one that stuck with Chelsey was how when the outbreak first happens people were trying to combat zombies like how you see in the movies, but it wasn’t working. The story critiqued how our styles of warfare and weaponry isn’t meant for zombies and how everything would need to be recalculated.

TO CONCLUDE:

After talking about all these books, both Chelsey and I want to go back and reread them now. What are the books that made you think. Are any of ours on your list? Tell us about them in the comments below. Until next week and next Wednesday… Happy Reading.

Chelsey and Alexandra have been posting book reviews by text or video for over 5 years now. When they're not reading and writing reviews they usually have a fantasy project in queue that they're working on. You can also catch them around town at cons and expos once or twice a year.

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