Aug 232010

Time for a Top 5 list.  Haven’t done one of these in a while now.  Challenge is…Top 5 books (must be fiction…and no…the bible does NOT count) that have made you think.  Something that has challenged you, taught you, confronted you…or just made you go ‘hmmmmmm’.

Start thinkin’.

 Posted by at 10:23 pm

  4 Responses to “Top 5 – Novels (Fiction) That Make You Think”

  1. Here goes…

    (aside from Number 1, in no particular order)

    1 Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand) – C’mon…you all know me by now. This was so BLATANTLY obvious. An absolute masterwork in every sense. Anyone who disagrees…is wrong. 😉

    2 The Little Prince (Antoine de St. Exupery) – I’ll bet a bunch of you are nodding and smiling right now.

    3 Foucault’s Pendulum (Umberto Eco) – Absolutely the most overwhelmingly stimulating and challenging piece of fiction I have forged through. Tough read full of minutiae.

    4 The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand) – Another no-brainer for me. I adore Ayn Rand and everything she told us we could be.

    5 Anything by Tom Robbins. Ummmm…how ’bout Another Roadside Attraction.

    HMs go to: Anything by Vonnegut, State Of Fear (Crichton), Sophie’s World (Gaarder) and Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance.

  2. I went downstairs into my library to take a look and spent some time just remembering old favourite and why I have them; frankly, there’s not much that meets the criteria, because I do most of my really deep thinking from the non-fiction side of the shelves; but here, in no order, is what I can come up with:

    (a) Tales of the Mountains & Steppes: “Jamilya”. This haunting Kyrgyz love story set in the 1940s can be interpreted as a simple metaphor about choice and individuality, but every time I read it, I find different interpretations and see myself in another way.

    (b) Yes, Ayn Rand makes it with “Atlas Shrugged”. Dense, sprawling, detailed, philosophical and thought provoking. It’s only weakness is that it doesn’t have a sense of humour.

    (c) “State of Fear” by Michael Crichton encapsulated, analyzed and dissected much of what has led to my own misgivings about the hysteria surrounding global warming that had been coalescing in my mind, and nailed it.

    (d) “The Lions of Al Rassan”. If any one work by Guy Gavriel Kaye manifests his deep blend of historical re-interpretative fiction, fantasy, humanism, compassion, tragedy and humour, it’s this one. “The Fionavar Tapestry” is longer and deeper and maybe better, but more deeply rooted in Tolkienesque fantasy: Al Rassan is a one stop shop for history buffs, fantasy fanboys, philosophers and lovers of a terrific adventure.

    (e) Harry Potter might be a strange entry under “makes me think” but it addresses in thrilling form, many themes often felt in life: loss, loneliness, alienation, a fish-out-of-water lifestyle, a feeling of comfort in strange places. Add to that the tongue in cheek references to current and ancient mythology, pop culture and my mind is engaged on all levels.

  3. Come on, you cerebrally challenged cretins…put yer thinkin’ caps on!!

  4. 1) “The Jesus Incident” by Frank Herbert. Addresses the qusetion, What is worship? on a runaway spaceship that has been given sentiece and thenks its God. Maybe it is.

    2) “The Chronicles of Narnia”, by C.s. Lewis. Okay not a book but a series of short books with another strong religious overtone. The final book, “The Last Battle,” addresses the issue of a young man who followed the wrong God for all the right reasions. Does he deserve salvation?

    3) “Starship Troopers”, by Robert Heinlein. Who deserves to vote? What is the responibility of citizenship? Many people did’t like Heinlein’s answers but the story is one of Science Fictions Best.

    4)”The World of Null A” by A.E. Van Vogt. A seriously flawed novel which nonetheless broke the barriers between pulp literature and serious literature. It was the first science fiction Novel to be taken from the pulp magazines to be published by a major publisher and went on to win a literary award. The theme is general schematics and a society based upon a new holistic thinking process.

    5) “To Tame a Land”, by Loius Lamour. This novel is all about doing the right thing because it is the right thing. It is about loyalty, responsibility and honour, common themes in Lamour’s novels. But what do you do when the one who has been your mentor is the one who must be stopped. I was always unhappy with the ending of this book which is why it made me think so much.

    Anyway these lists are fun. Thanks Guys!

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