Wednesday, March 19, 2014

In Need Of A Recommendation..I Know I Can Count On You Guys!

I just posted today over at my personal blog about how I'm a mood reader and the ways it affects me! With that, I often will be looking for a specific book to fit a mood. Sometimes I want something that is cute and fun or sometimes I want something dark or something that will make me cry. Right now I'm feeling like I want to read something specific and I need your help!

I really, really am in the mood for a book that will make me think. I want something that kind of changes my life. Something with amazing tidbits of truth/astute observations about life and humanity in the midst of a good story. Does this make sense? I hope so. I just want something that is just profound and moving and earth shattering. It's a tall order...I know. And maybe a confusing one?

Also, YA or Adult. Any genre. Doesn't matter.

So basically I just want some recommendations for books that changed your life, made you think, blew your mind with profound truths/amazing commentary on humanity. 



69 comments:

  1. The Golem and the Jinni really stuck with me after I read it. The characters are just all so well developed, and it was a sweet story.

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  2. Siddhartha - Herman Hesse
    Veronika Decides to Die - Paulo Coelho
    Five People you Meet in Heaven - Mitch Albom
    Still Alice - Lisa Genova
    A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty Smith

    All relatively popular but fantastic if you haven't read them yet

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    1. I have A Tree Grows In Brooklyn! Thanks for the suggestions!

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    2. Can I second A Tree Grows in Brooklyn?

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    3. Thirding A Tree…It's my favorite book & i reread it every year since I was 11 :)

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    4. "Fourthing" A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and Seconding Five People you Meet in Heaven!

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  3. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
    The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman
    Never Let Me Go - Kazou Ishiguro

    All amazing books that make you look at the world a little differently afterwards :)

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    1. LOVED Never Let Me Go and The Virgin Suicides!! Must check out the Gaiman book! Thanks!

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    2. I have to second The Virgin Suicides. That's one of my all time favorite books and it is very haunting.

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  4. I'm going to second Camilla's recommendations of "Never Let Me Go" and "Ocean at the End of the Lane". Also, "Burial Rites", "The Children of Men","Life After Life".Good luck!

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  5. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown, Another Alice by Alice Peterson. I hope you'll find what you're looking for!

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  6. If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch. Hands down the best book I read last year.

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  7. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides and She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb are oldies but goodies. :)

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  8. Still Alice by Lisa Genova as a PP said. Its amazing.

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  9. Not fiction, unfortunately, but We Wish To Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed by Philip Gourevitch was powerful and has stayed with me..

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    1. That was powerful indeed.

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  10. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell is also really thought-provoking, if you haven't read it yet.

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  11. Every Day by David Levithan.
    White Oleander by Janet Fitch.

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  12. I'll throw my hat into the ring with The Time of Our Singing by Richard Powers. A really stunning novel. However Never Let Me Go and Cloud Atlas would get a vote from me too!

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  13. Have you read Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons?

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  14. Have you read 1984 by George Orwell? If not you should! It's exactly what you're looking for!

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  15. I am reading Sylvia Plath's journals at the moment and it is changing and affecting me in ways I haven't experienced for years. I saw on GR that you really liked The Bell Jar (so did I!) so maybe you'd love her journals just as much, if not more :)

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  16. Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You by Peter Cameron. Be forewarned: the ending is terrible, but the middle is lovely. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty is also really good, and The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold.

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    1. Lovely Bones is good but after I read it I couldn't stop thinking about it for days, really messed with my head for a bit.

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  17. The only MG/YA books that I've ever read that actually changed how I look at things are "Stargirl" and the sequel "Love Stargirl". "Hamlet" made me think, and I loved that! My all time favorite book, "Loving Soren", made me think AND changed my opinions on certain things (it's a Religious book, but it's not that preachy. It's just thought provoking). The only other book I can think of that literally BLEW MY MIND is a murder mystery called "The Unexpected Guest". If you read this one, trust me, you will be shocked speechless!

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  18. If you want observations about humanity, you should try The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore by Benjamin Hale. Its sort of Adult-Contemporary/Literary--- About a chimpanzee who wants to be human. @Get Lost in Lit

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  19. I came on to recommend two and they were both already listed. So I'm here to second them--"Burial Rites" and "The Golem and The Jinni." Both brought tears to my eyes at points, and make great observations about humanity. Good luck!

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  20. A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. Definitely.

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  21. The Giver series- First movie comes out this summer.

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  22. First of all, I second Danielle's suggestion of Middlesex by Jeffery Eugenides. As for my own recommendations, you may well have read all of these but..:

    Marcelo In The Real World by Francisco X Stork
    When God Was A Rabbit by Sarah Winman
    Tell The Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

    I also just finished One More Thing by B.J Novak. They're short stories but most of them made me laugh then go "oh? hmm..." for a long time afterwards.

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  23. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. Great story, and perfect mix of heavy and light. This book had me thinking about some really big life stuff for WEEKS afterward.

    Also, Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein. (The sequel/companion to Code Name Verity.) Number one best book I've read this year. Really engrossing, and powerful.

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  24. Extremely loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathon Safran Foer
    The Time Travellers Wife
    Ender's Game

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  25. I'm not sure it changed my life but "The Alchemist" by Paul Coelho definately changed the way I look at life and got me thinking for a long time. And it's rather short (140 p) so you can easily squeeze it in somewhere (both space and timewise)

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  26. The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay (adult historical fiction) is one of my top 2 favorite books ever and I feel like I get new epiphanies every time I read it and I've read it at least 10 times.

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  27. I second (or third) Life After Life by Kate Atkinson, Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell and 'Rose Under Fire'. To that group I'd add 'Boy, Snow, Bird' by Helen Oyeyemi and 'Americanah' by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and 'Behind the Beautiful Forevers' by Katherine Boo (not fiction, but readable, thought-provoking and moving).

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  28. I just recently finished an astounding piece by Alice Hoffman called The Museum of Extraordinary Things. It was so amazing. There's so much depth in her characters and in the world building. It's up there with The Golem and the Jinni, which is also an amazing story. Both books I would recommend, they both were pretty profound and lovely in my eyes. Here's a quote from The Museum of Extraordinary Things that I thought stood out:
    "My father called them wonders, but to the world they were freaks. They hid their features so that there would be no stones flung, no sheriff's men called in, no children crying out in terror and surprise. In the streets of New York they were considered abominations, and because there were no laws to protect them, they were often ill used. I hoped that on our porch, beneath the shade of the pear tree, they would find some peace."
    Hope you find what your looking for Jamie! ♥
    Book Hangovers Blabs Books

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  29. Unorthodox by Deborah Feldman is a well-told story that sheds a light on certain Orthodox Jewish communities.

    If you are looking to become a vegetarian, I'd recommend Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer.

    For cosmologically inspiring, try The Theory of Everything by Stephen Hawking.

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  30. Here are some of mine:

    -Hate List by Jennifer Brown
    -1984 by George Orwell
    -Villette by Charlotte Bronte

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  31. Its not what most people would just pick up and read but I'd highly recommend Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry

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  32. I'm going to agree with cherrytree and throw in a vote for Ender's Game! It deals with a lot of issues like the morality of child soldiers and genocide. It has a YA feel to it, since it's told from the perspective of a child, but at the same time the writing style is highly complex. It's one of my favorites!

    And you may have read it because of school booklists, but Fahrenheit 451 is another that makes you really think about how people process information and what books mean to society.

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  33. The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer is the first one that came to mind. It made me think about friendship and how life always goes on. It's a fairly long piece of literature, but for me, as a slow reader it went by quick and even though it wasn't amazing, it made me think about life. It was also my first foray into adult literature! A good summer read.

    Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen is a good middle grade one! It made me cry. If you were sentimental in childhood-that's a good one to read!

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  34. I 2nd 'The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman'

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  35. I would recommend any A.S.King and I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak. I hope you let us know what you end up reading! ~Megan

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  36. I think that you should read The Night Circus, I thought that it was excellent but not exactly life-changing. However, this book definitely makes you think and think again; it is a fantasy-fiction kindof novel, but this book exceeds all expectations.

    -Maia

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  37. The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood. I also saw a recommendation for 1984 which is awesome.

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  38. Have you read The Coldest Girl in Coldtown? I really really loved it!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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    1. I second this all the way!!!

      -maia

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  39. You could not go wrong with "The Signature of All Things" by Gilbert. It is a thinker. It will help you formulate your own thoughts about life based on the protagonists life as a woman that strives for independence and intellectual conversation in a man's world.

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  40. 1984 and Animal Farm are both great books for thinking. :)

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  41. Unwind by Neal Shusterman is a gritty but scarily realistic near-future YA dystopian, and the start of a series. Haven't read the sequels, but this one was a gut-wrenching thinker for me.

    Ender's Game was another game-changer (so punny) for me, but its sequels Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, and Children of the Mind are even more thought-provoking and morality/logic pressing than the first. Try for a library copy if you can't stand supporting the author, though.

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  42. I'm reading The Secret Side of Empty by Marie E. Andreu and it's really impacting. It's about a girl who grew up in America, but is an illegal immigrant and is not sure if she can ever go to college or what her future looks like.

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  43. Life of Pi by Yann Martel left me thinking for DAYS after finishing. I definitely recommend it.

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  44. I love this! East of Eden by John Steinbeck (talks about evil, fate vs freewill), Of Mice and Men (also Steinbeck), A Tale for the Time Being (Ozeki), and Homecoming by Cynthia Voight.

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  45. A book(series) that breaks my heart, makes me believe in love, and makes me want to live in the world of the book, even during the miserable parts: Paullina Simons' The Bronze Horseman.

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  46. You've probably already read some of these, but here are ones I'd suggest:
    The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick (worth reading even if you've seen the movie) and I haven't read it yet, but heard good things about Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by the same author.

    I just read Thirteen Reasons Why and Being Henry David, both YA but lingered with me a bit. Neither was perfect, but pretty good. Also if you haven't read The Fault In Our Stars, I think it's my fave in the last year. Lots of hype, I know, so you've probably either already read it or purposely not, but it was a hugely impactful book for me. Also Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan and John Green.

    When I was younger I read a bunch of John Irving's books, and though they are usually pretty dark, they're amazingly written and draw you in so slowly, so gently, that by the time you get to the dark bits you can't even consider stopping reading. A Prayer for Owen Meany (which I barely even remember now) was one book that changed my world view.

    I might be back later when I think of about 12 more! :)

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  47. The Lover's Dictionary, The Stranger, and The Bronze Horseman are my picks. I am loving all the comments on this post too. Definitely giving me some great ideas!

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  48. The Book Thief-Marcus Zusak (the first book, as an adult, that I've underlined passages and written in)

    The Sky is Everywhere-Jandy Nelson (even though it's a sad story, this book makes me want to create and LIVE)

    Kitchen-Banana Yoshimoto (I don't even know how to describe this book, but this is my favorite quote: "The sensation that my brain cells were multiplying was exhilarating.")

    Cannery Row & Sweet Thursday-John Steinbeck (if you've never read Steinbeck, you are missing out on something big. If you've only read Of Mice & Men or The Pearl, try these two instead.)

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  49. I loved The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer. A great story, great characters….and posed a few large and realistic questions about life and friendship.

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  50. I suggest Life of Pi. Fantastic book!

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  51. I keep a list of my "mind-blowing" reads on goodreads so that I can remember which ones really made my mind turn! Some of the titles on that list:
    Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley (Realistic YA)
    The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult (Contemporary/historical fiction, not the typical Jodi Picoult novel)
    Genesis by Bernard Beckett (Sci-Fi, short, but REALLY makes you think!)

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  52. so I'm way down the comment list, but I wanted to suggest an non-fiction that really impacted my life. "The Happyness Project" by Gretchen Reuben. I never read so called self help books, but this one was different. Not a book about how to be happy but more like how to recognize happiness in your life and make the most of your life. I can't recomend it enough. She did tons of research and has a fun sense of humor. Good luck on your quest

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  53. Ok, I know this may seem bizarre but Orleans by Sherri L. Smith! Holy moly! I am STILL thinking about that one over a year later! It is just plain WOW! It's hard to read, but read...and makes so much sense as a possibility...and it makes you think and think and think! Of course, Delirium made me do that to since it's basically a society w/o emotions which fascinated me.

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  54. Half of a Yellow Sun, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight, Alexandra Fuller; Bel Canto, Ann Patchett; Rumors of Peace, Ella Leffland; and in a much lighter vein, but bittersweet and filled with astute observation, I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith (yes, the author of 101 Dalmations).

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  55. I like something that can keep me on the edge of my seat and leave me speechless. I just read a fantastic novel, “Human Source Code” by author Lubos Borik (www.lubosborik.com). The book focuses on main character Detective Klapman and his discovery of an organization that knows how to manipulate human’s DNA and control their behavior. The book is a fast paced read riddled with murder, mystery, and excitement! It will keep you hooked throughout and gives some scary insight on the age old question of nature vs. nurture. The writing and character development is top notch as is the very unique storyline. This one will leave you with many questions and could be a frightening real prediction for the actual future!!! Hope you will check it out

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