11 September 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Head Scratchers

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.  At first I wasn't sure what to include on this week's list: TOP TEN BOOKS THAT MAKE YOU THINK (ABOUT THE WORLD, LIFE, ETC). But, I think I've got it...In chronological order.


10. Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah: This was the first real "philosophical" novel that I read, and it really rocked by eighth grade world.  I was kind of an evangelist for this one for a little while.

9. Peter Berger, Invitation to Sociology: A Humanistic Perspective: Sociology was one of the first courses that I took in college, and the worldview that it presented really expanded my thinking beyond what I had learned in my earlier education.

8. Jean Paul Sartre, Nausea: I wasn't so much inspired by the ideas in this particular book as by existentialism in general.  It was really the first philosophy that I found super appealing as a way of looking at the world.

7. James Joyce, Dubliners : I don't enjoy reading Joyce; however, learning about the language puzzles that inhabit each of these seemingly simple stories is one of the things that inspired me to read closely as a career.

6. George Ritzer, The McDonaldization of Society: I remember wanting all of my friends to read this book when I read it in my Social Theory class.

5: Jacques Lacan, Ecrits : I went to graduate school because of Lacan.  When I read it in my senior year literary theory class, I realized that I liked to read things that were hard, and I wanted to spend my time trying to see them in new ways.

4 Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man : This is a wonderful book, and it grows in complexity on each read.

3. Alain Badiou, Ethics: An Essay on the Understanding of Evil : Like when I read Sartre for the first time, Badiou opened up a world of new interests for me (set theory?), and changed the way that I approached Literature.

2. Barack Obama, The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream : Although I was old enough to, and did, vote in 2000 and 2004, the 2008 election marked a period in my life where I felt really engaged in the political landscape.  I also read DFW's essay, McCain's Promise: Aboard the Straight Talk Express with John McCain and a Whole Bunch of Actual Reporters, Thinking about Hope around the same time.

1. T.R. Reid, The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care:
As a child, I was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Although I am better now, I have dealt with heath insurance all my life.  This is very readable guide to universal healthcare systems around the world.

Honorable Mentions:
Don Delillo, White Noise
Harriett Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
Kathleen O'Shea, Women on the Row : Revelations From Both Sides of the Bars
Michael Pollan, In Defense of Food

What have you read that made you look at something in a different way?  What types of books do you read to expand your thinking?

8 comments:

  1. Awesome list! To be honest I have not read any of those books but some of them sound really interesting, will have to check them out at GoodReads!

    Here's my TTT for this week =)

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  2. Wow, these are some impressive reads. I haven't read any of them... I tried reading Obama's "Dreams of my father" but didn't really enjoy it at the time. "Dubliners" sounds particularly appealing!

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  3. Ooh, thanks! I added a couple of these (Ritzer, Reid) to my TBR list. I was just thinking as I wrote my list that it has been too long since I've read a good thinker!

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  4. I've liked most of Michael Pollan's books, but my favorite is the one you've listed. I felt the Omnivore's Dilemma was a bit extreme (I don't know that I would ever harvest my own salt...). You might want to check out Animal, Vegetable, Mineral if you haven't read it already...

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  5. I'm trying to remember if I've read Nausea or not, and I'm not sure... But I've read some Satre, and I'm definitely like 'ooooh...' and thinky about his stuff.

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  6. Such a good list of clever reads. As always from you. You read books that inspire me to read more challenging books. Thank you.

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  7. I actually found the most beautiful edition of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man the other day at a used book store, and I can't wait to get my hands on it. Joyce knows how to kick some literary butt.

    PS: Please don't be timid about checking out my Totally Top Ten Tuesday! post here.

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I love your comments. Thanks for making me a happy blogger.

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