Since getting more reading done was one of my New Year’s resolutions, I’ve been on a bit of a reading kick lately. And after reading mostly YA novels all autumn, I found myself craving for some more serious and thought-provoking reads. Some of these books have been recommended by you (thanks Kelsey!), while some have just made such a splash that I had to pick them up.
5 THOUGHT-PROVOKING READS
This book is not something I would’ve picked up by myself, since it’s set on a desolate little island with a lighthouse. However, I was surprised as this book and its moral dilemmas kept me in its grip all the way to the end. Tom and Isabel have already lost two children, when one day a baby washes up to the shore of their island. And their lives are forever changed by the choices they make. It’s a hauntingly beautiful, tragic story that’s so eloquently written, that I actually had to dip into a dictionary a few times while reading it. I haven’t read a book like that in a long time.
I’ve read quite a few books about the Second World War (All the Light We Cannot See being my favourite). But it’s rare to find a war book written entirely from the point of view of women. The Nightingale is a story of two French sisters, one fighting with the resistance and one being forced to house a Nazi officer. It’s a brilliant description of the horrors of war. But also of the exceptional strength and bravery shown by people who refused to surrender. The only thing that bothered me, was the cover blurb of “Two sisters. One must be brave. One should be afraid.”. I spent the whole novel trying to figure out which is which.
This book is so beautiful, that’s it’s nearly impossible to put it into words. Just read it. For me truly great poetry is all about being able to express complex and difficult concepts in a simple and beautiful way, and this book does that perfectly. It’s not complicated or overly metaphorical, but simple and pure. The poems deal with things that we can all relate to. And have a heavy emphasis on heartache and the joys and sorrows of being a woman. It’s divided into four parts called the hurting, the loving, the breaking and the healing. The love chapter was naturally my favourite.
I was probably the last person on Earth to read this book, but I just wasn’t interested in the premise. However, I was hooked as soon as a picked it up. Based on true events, Wild is the story of a young woman who loses her way after losing her mother. To put herself back together she decides to embark on a three month long hike across America. From the first pages on this book is raw, even brutal at times, but there’s also something beautifully peaceful about it. Reading one woman’s inner monologue of when she tries to put the pieces of her life together was both heartbreaking and inspirational.
This book rocked my world, and it’s definitely not one I’ll be forgetting any time soon. When I first read the introduction that was full of praises for both Paul’s person & prose, I thought that there’s no way the book could live up to it. But it did even more than that. Paul Kalanithi was a neurosurgeon, literature enthusiast, an exceptional writer and, based on this book, an exceptional human being. When Breath Becomes Air is his experience of being both a doctor and a cancer patient. It’s a beautifully written memoir filled with his ponderings on the meaning of life & death.
Have you read any great thought-provoking reads lately?