Put on weekly by The Broke and the Bookish, this week’s topic is an interesting one. Books that made me think. Hmm, well here’s a list of books I’ve loved, books I’ve hated, and books that have left me raw. All of them have made me think, or changed me in some way.

1) The Fionavar Tapestry by Guy Gavriel Kay. This trilogy was my first foray into fantasy. The first time I realized other worlds existed in novels. Up until this point I’d been reading R.L Stine’s fear street sagas, or Pike’s works, I had recently graduated to Koontz and King, but I hadn’t really found what I was looking for. Suddenly there were elves and dwarves and evil overlords. Good was battling evil and in the middle of it all were these characters that were discovering a new world at the same time I was. I’ve never looked back.

2) The Chrysalids by John Windham. This was the first book I hated. I hated the bigotry, the anger, and even the hate lobbed at those who were different. Ultimately this book did exactly what it was supposed to do, it made me angry at how easy it was to follow a crowd, how dangerous it was to let narrow thinking cloud what is right. Maybe I have an over developed sense of justice. I was bullied as a child, and I get very touchy at the idea of others being mocked, or made outcasts by those with power. I think I need to read this book again. I still has application in todays climate. Also I’m so very happy that although I was angry with the selection at the time I was given this book to read as part of my high school curriculum.

3)  Good Omens By Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. This book is just plain awesome, and while it’s fun and entertaining and a helluva ride it did make me think. Mostly about preconceived notions of the end of the world, religion and religious dogma. And the idea that good and evil aren’t that different from one another.

4) Ender’s Game  By Orson Scott Card. First book by Card I’ve ever read and it was. . . different. Excellent, thought provoking, exciting in places and disturbing in others. All things a good book needs to be. This novel not only raises the issue of over population (albeit briefly), it really addresses the evolution of war as our technology continues to advance.

5) The Count of Monte Cristo by Alenandre Dumas So much better than the movie. Seriously, this book not only delves into idea of vengeance but also the dangers behind it. It was a very good read and while not hollywood satisfying ending it was honest for the novel.

6) Firebrand by Marion Zimmer Bradley. Bradley’s retelling of the Iliad is wonderful and gives new dimension to the women who, although considered central to the ancient tale were given a backseat to the men. Bradley highlights how the women of this story shaped and were shaped by the events that surrounded them. Excellent book on the power of women as individuals and as a group.

7) Harry Potter And the Prisoner of Azkaban By J.K. Rowling. This series changed me, but if I had to pick one that made me think, I would pick this one. Rowling delves into the idea that public opinion is not all that it seems. Those who think they are in the know, really have no clue as to what’s going on under the surface. She also addresses that sometimes no matter what we do, injustice will still occur, but so long as there are people in the world willing to do what it takes to make things right, we’re not nearly so bad off as it seems.

8) Dune By Frank Herbert. Trade relations, feuds, war, spice, it’s all here, and it all makes you think. Each reading brings out a new facet. Also, the sister is really creepy.

9) To Kill a Mockingbird By Harper Lee. I read this because my cousin told me it would be required reading when I hit high school. I figured I would just get it out of the way, but it turns out I really enjoyed it. The novel is wonderful and really delves into civil rights, and really just the basic idea of right and wrong.

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