Top Ten Books That Made Me Think

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted at my other blog — The Broke and the Bookish, is all about books that make you think!


Books make me think in different ways — they challenge my viewpoint, they ask different questions, they make me think about mankind and the world or they just have profound truths and thoughts that just beg me to ruminate on them a while.  I LOVE thinking books. Don’t get me wrong — I love FUN books or KISSING books or complete FLUFF books but I’ve always just love books and movies that make me think a bit!

1. Looking For Alaska by John Green: John Green’s books always leave me thinking  for long after I finish. This one had lots of thoughts about life, death  and the labyrinth that is suffering.  So thought provoking!

2. Paper Towns by John Green: Like I said above, John Green is one author who always makes me think. I felt like this one especially had me stopping every so often to take in the WORDS and the big pictures on the page.  I think this book has some of my most favorite quotes. It’s a good one for me because it made me think about people and how I see them.

3. Between Shades Of Grey by Ruta Sepetys: This book reduced me to tears. I think mostly because this had been glossed over in school for me. We all knew about Hitler’s Germany and what they did to the Jewish people but I just didn’t realize this ever happened. I thought a lot about those people. A lot. How brave they were and it made me sad that they had to face that. How moms had to watch their children starve and suffer. How families were separated. I couldn’t fathom it.

4. If I Stay by Gayle Forman: This book was another one that made me cry a lot. But it did make me think about what I would do if I lost everything in one swoop. I know the deep pain I felt when I lost my mother and how I wanted to give up so many times because it hurt so bad and because I couldn’t imagine life moving on without her. I kept wondering if there was a point in which I would give up if I lost the core people I loved. How would I move on? Would I be strong enough? You just never know when life is going to change in a moment. You have. And then you don’t. You are driving down the road on a normal day and then you aren’t.

5. Wither by Lauren DeStefano: This one, along with other dystopians, made me think how this isn’t too unthinkable. We have so many ways to alter our looks, change our bodies and prolong life. At what cost? You think about drugs from the 50’s they gave people and suddenly children were having birth defects and all sorts of things we find out are wrong. It just made me wonder how far we’ll go to “perfect” ourselves. For Darkness Shows The Stars also deals with similar themes.

6. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher: Most books about suicide make me think tremendously. About the whys. About if anything could have changed their mind. I just wonder how you can get to that point where that seems like your only viable option. Especially so young when you have the whole world to live. I just always wonder these things. I’ve seen my lowest and lows (when my mom died) and have contemplated life and death but never in a way that made me want to. I know how much pain I felt then so it hurts me to know how much pain people who choose suicide must bear. I lost a friend to suicide and I just couldn’t comprehend. This book just made me think.

7. The Geography Of Bliss by Eric Weiner: Part travelogue and part study of happiness around the world, this book really made me think about happiness and what it is and what it looks like. Especially around the world. It’s interesting how it differs but is also the same around the world.

8. 1984 by George Orwell: How could this NOT make you think? I remember being stopped in my tracks by this book in high school. I think I’m due for a reread.

9. Tuesday’s With Morrie by Mitch Albom: Learning some life lessons from a man who is dying is sure to make me think. I think I learned some of the greatest lessons about life during the years when my mom was sick and dying. I learned grace and how to let go of things and just all of the things and what’s important. I learned perspective. This book was that way for me too though not as profoundly as learning them from my mom. Just better articulated. So many amazing quotes in this one.

10. Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller: The tagline for this is “Non-religous thoughts on Christian Spirituality”. If you are at all interested in religion or are a Christian, I highly recommend this one. Challenges a lot of the BS that you see within the church that confuses people about Christianity is supposed to be. It was not preachy and it asked a lot of questions.


What about you? Tell me a book that’s not on my list that made you think! I’m always in the mood for a thinking book! Have you read any of these?

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. I can honestly say, I haven’t read any of these books though a few are on my TBR list. Every once in awhile, I just need to read something with substance and I’ve found that most of the books that make me think are the “classics.” Books like Animal Farm, To Kill A Mockingbird, Lord of the Flies, Catcher in the Rye, Othello—these are the ones that really get my brain working. And surprisingly, I found myself incredibly affected come the end of The Hunger Games trilogy. I don’t think I’ve read anything that’s affected me so profoundly by the end of it. It definitely took me by storm (perhaps b/c my focus in college was International Relations, more specifically, the cause/effects of war).

  2. I love Blue Like Jazz! You summed it up so well. Still on my to-read list: If I Stay and Thirteen Reasons Why, and maybe some of those John Greens, too.

    Also, the Geography of Bliss sounds really interesting! Here’s my top ten list

  3. Ok I love your list butttttt I just dont agree with looking for Alaska. this book made me angry. I just felt the ending was a cop out. Like I said though still a great list!

    Check out our TTT

  4. i just said YES! to most of these. Especially Between Shades of Grey, it has become my number one recommendation of books i read last year. So many of these are books with situations that make you think about what you would do in that situation or about a general concept or idea but BSoG is something that actually happened that most of us knew NOTHING about and for me that hits on a different level.

  5. John Green’s novels are certainly thought provokers. I remember finishing Looking for Alaska and thinking about it for days afterwards. The Fault in Our Stars did that to me as well. I love your lists and have read a number of books on it. I’m glad you added Wither, how could that book not make you think (even though I didn’t add it to my list).

    Here’s my Top Ten Tuesday

  6. I love your list – I added some to my to-read list and can’t wait to read them.

    A book that really made me think and cry and appreciate life was the Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I recommend that book for everyone. It’s about a young Jewish girl hiding away during the Holocaust, and you get to see inside the mind of Death himself and hear thoughts from his perspective. A wonderful book and a page-turner.

  7. Great list! If I Stay almost made my list and Thirteen Reasons Why & Wither are both on my to-buy/read lists. 🙂

  8. Great List, a lot of your books I have read or I’m planning too 🙂 Looking for Alaska has been a really popular choice. I have seen it but never read it, think I may need to now 🙂

    check out my list

  9. I really want to read wither! I bought the second book from a charity shope for one euro the other day…. now I just need to buy the first book xD
    Check out my TTT here;

  10. I have Between Shades of Grey on my Kindle now, waiting to be read.
    Haven’t heard of some of the others but i will be checking them out.
    Off the top of my head, one that made me think a lot was Still Alice. Sad and beautiful.

  11. It’s official…

    I really do need to read more of John Green’s work.

  12. Of your entire list I’ve read 1984 and Tuesday’s With Morrie. *sigh* I have like four others in my TBR pile though. I’ve heard amazing things about Looking For Alaska… so might have to bump that up the list soon. 😉

  13. blue like jazz is currently sitting in a donate pile. i started it in college and never finished it. maybe i should pull it out and give it another go?

  14. I’ve only read one book on your list – Paper Towns. I really did like that book, and I agree completely, John Green keeps you thinking long after finishing one of his books. I am planning on reading The Fault in Our Stars soon.

  15. I have Mitch Albom’s other book (Five People You Meet in Heaven) on my list. And I cannot BELIEVE that I forgot to include John Green on my list … his books are definitely thought-provoking, especially Paper Towns.

  16. This is a great list! But my eyes are immediately drawn to Blue Like Jazz because I’m a HUGE HUGE fangirl of Don Miller and I’ve read that book four times. Also, you know how I feel about the Chemical Garden books! Great list Jamie!!! <3

  17. Great list – several on this that I haven’t read yet. I would recommend ‘The Precious Present’ by Spencer Jonhson. But check out my Top Ten Thinks for more!

  18. I haven’t read any of these. Sheesh I need to get ON IT! Most are already on my goodreads to read list. But on a sidenote I finally read and thoroughly loved, Dash and Lily.

    marissa @ rae gun ramblings

  19. I had NO idea this was an Austen retelling, and so, this book hasn’t been on my radar. Persuasion is actually one of my top Austen novels, so I’m definitely going to have to pick this up. Thanks for the review… I cannot wait to read this novel now!

  20. Tuesdays with Morrie was unbelievable! After reading that, I immediately picked up The Five People You Meet in Heaven. Mitch Albom is a genius!

    I also can’t wait to read Between Shades of Gray. It sounds moving and compelling, as a someone who is Jewish, but does not knowingly have a relative who went through the Holocaust, I’m intrigued!

  21. Surprisingly, I’ve only read two of the books you mention on your list! I think I should remedy that, and quick, as all of the titles you mention are appealing in different ways!

  22. Between Shades of Gray… oh man, words can’t describe my feelings for that book. I still think about it and I read it over a year ago. Totally agree with Looking for Alaska/John Green as well – that man ALWAYS makes me think!

  23. Vanessa says:

    This is my Goodreads review of Thirsteen Reasons Why –

    A tough journey to take with Hannah and Clay. After reading this book my chest still feels tight because even though I know the end of the story before it began…I’ve was still screaming on the inside for someone…anyone to stop her. This book hit me so close to home…. I just wanted the end to magically change.
    It was amazingly written….and I just couldn’t put it down.

    I just added Between Shades of Grey & Wither to my list…I already had If I Stay.
    BTW…Love reading your reviews!