Sometimes as readers we pick up a book to get entertained but when the mood strikes, we need something with a bit more substance. These are 10 thought-provoking books you must read if you want to be a well-rounded reader.
I used to read books simply for the pleasure of reading, but lately I started reading with a little more purpose. I pay more attention to character development, plot, language used, and so on.
When you start to pay a little more attention to how you read, you start expanding your horizons, and you don’t mind stepping out of your comfort zone as much. I still have my preferred genre, but I noticed that lately I started to enjoy books I wouldn’t consider picking up years ago.
Here are 10 of some of my favorite thought provoking books you must read.
We Are Not Like Them by Christine Pride and Jo Piazza
This novel follows two friends, a black and a white woman whose friendship is altered following a heart wrenching event. The story is told from each woman’s perspective, which is followed throughout the entirety of the book. The bond they share is hard to break despite the different directions their lives took. A very contemporary novel that is highly relatable, I think it will make a great read for everyone.
The Nine Lives of Rose Napolitano by Donna Freitas
This is a great novel that makes every woman question herself on whether or not she wants to be a mother. Though a work of fiction, the questions Freitas brings up are valid. Is motherhood for everyone, or is society expecting women to bear children because of a sense of duty?
Told from none different perspectives and with varying endings, the book looks at Rose’s decision to have or not to have children.
As an academic she prioritizes her career, but she feels the pressure from those close to her to start a family. A well-written novel that makes you think about what women go through when debating one of the biggest decisions of their lives.
Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner
This book looks at the dynamics between two people who were in a committed relationship but are now going their separate ways. Divorce is hard, and the author dissects the two versions: his and hers, as well as their way of coping with the feelings that came up during this process. Although a work of fiction, she really goes deep into the way the split affects not only the two people involved, but also their children, families, and friends.
If you’re not so much into reading, there’s a TV adaptation of the book on Disney+, which I think is one of the best you can find.
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The title pretty much sums up this very short book. It may seem like a TED talk about feminism, but it really makes you think. If we as a society want things to improve and come to some sort of universal consensus on what it really means to be a woman in today’s world, we need to change the way we socialize our children.
Education begins at home, and the author relays the information she has personally experienced while living on three continents at different times in her life.
Very informative, I recommend it to all.
Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley
An interesting perspective from a very young author, this work of fiction tackles the problem young black people in America face. They have to struggle to survive and deal with being constantly on the lookout for the police.
Written with raw honesty and developing on a few major themes, the book is a great debut novel from a promising writer. It needs a few tweaks to be an amazing novel, but it is very emotional and thought provoking nonetheless. If you haven’t picked it up yet, I suggest you do so.
Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
Essentially, this book looks at racism issues in the US. It shows how quickly things can get misinterpreted and degenerate, when all it takes is a little compassion and understanding.
Wealthy blogger Alixa Chamberlain employs Emira Tucker to watch her young daughter after the birth of her second baby. Although she sees herself as an understanding, open-minded white woman, Alix has preconceived notions concerning her black nanny. For example, she makes Emira wear a uniform while on the job, and odd comments she makes every now and then concerning their racial differences.
Eye opening for sure, the book makes you aware of the unfairness black people in the US have to live with everyday.
The People We Keep by Allison Larkin
This was one of my favorite books of 2022, and it’s still on my mind today. It follows April, a young songwriter who is dreaming of a better life for herself. She lives in a motorhome her father won in a poker game, but he’s never there. He’s putting the new woman in his life before his daughter, and after a big fight, April decides to leave.
The book looks at the journey April makes and the bond she forms with her newfound family she creates. A coming of age story that makes you yearn to belong somewhere.
The Measure by Nikki Erlick
Out in June of last year, this book is an eye opener. The dilemma is like this: you find a wooden box outside your front door that contains your fate.
The book is centered around this big question: do you open the box and find out how long you have to live, or would you rather not know?
Very well written and engaging, the book will surely make you ask yourself the same question: how would you react? Emotional and heartbreaking, it definitely makes you think and question yourself on what you value most.
It was one of my favorite books of 2022, and hopefully you will also enjoy it!
The Candy House by Jennifer Egan
As I previously mentioned in my review, this is a book that made me feel less intelligent I thought I was.
It doesn’t happen too often, but this is one of those rare occurrences where it did. It is very cleverly written, but I’ll admit that it’s not for everyone. This novel is about our quest for authenticity, meaning, and privacy in a changing world. It follows a cast of characters that is hard to follow at first, but her style will capture your attention. Once you get the hang of it, it is hard to put down. The author has a very vivid imagination that will make you look at things differently. Grab a copy to understand what I mean for yourself.
Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan
One of my favorite books of this year, it is a very well written love story with a twist. If you’re a fan of Picoult, you know she goes very deep into any subject that she focuses her novels on. This one is no exception.
In my review I posted in a previous article I gave up some spoilers.
Maybe don’t read it if you still have the book on your to-be-read list. Although you probably have heard what it’s about already!
But better to go into it blind, it will have a different effect on you, guaranteed. All I’ll say now is that it is a very eye-opening and moving novel. It makes you wonder what it is that you should divulge, even to those closest to you, or whether you should keep some things private even from those you are intimate with.
These are the 10 thought-provoking books you must read if you want something a little deeper. They’re all different in their way, but they make you want to explore the particular topics that are tackled in these books..