Depending upon the individual, books can serve many purposes. It can be a source of entertainment, joy or a source of knowledge. With the progress of the world, literature too, is advancing in introducing new genres. Today, depending on our need, mood and want, a variety of options are present at our disposal. Even no need for real books, just a click on your phone or tab and you are welcome to fantasy, fiction, or the historical world.
One common thing that can be attributed to this whole treasure of books, is that they are products of human thinking and they demand the triggering of thinking faculty on behalf of a reader, too. Whether the thoughts are positive, negative or something else, it’s debatable. Even the book that is considered bad challenges thinking faculty of those who thinks
Thus, one thing is sure, books are food for thought. What kind of thought they culminate in, depends both on books and readers. Writers and books that have been praised universally are the ones which ask for critical thinking. The ones that challenge your mind or your beliefs. There are a number of books, but I have prepared a list of books that I found thought provoking and a must read once in life. It includes different genres. Similarly, they have been highly acclaimed throughout the centuries.
1۔Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
February 12, 2019
Who doesn’t know about Trevor Noah’s witty talk show. He is a nightmare for white supremacy. An only son of white man and black woman, born under curfew and raised under unimaginable conditions. Drawing on his personal experience, Noah with the help of humor describes his childhood stories. The book, with a deep sense of honesty, describes the struggles of being a black man in a world where he was never wanted. Besides, the book also motivates readers by narrating the success story of the writer.
2۔Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World by Adam Grant
February 7, 2017
It takes a lot of courage not to follow the herd. Unfortunately, out of fear and doubts most of us unwillingly surrender to conformity. Adam Grant in his book Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World not only advocates original ideas but provides practical solutions of how to be a non-conformist. Drawing examples from a variety of fields like athletics, business, entertainment, etc, he encourages parents to inculcate critical thinking in their children. If you are someone who believes in change with the help of creative ideas then this is your must pick.
3۔Bullshit Jobs: A Theory by David Graeber
May 7, 2019
How many of us really love our jobs? Every one of us considers their department and job bullshit. It seems extremely boring, irritating and meaningless. David Graber extending his essay of 2013 in this book, explains why we are stuck in our bullshit jobs. Beside addressing this question, he puts forth the idea of creative ideas and work. This book, I believe, is highly thought provoking and based on a highly demanding theme.
4۔Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman by Anne Helen Petersen
August 7, 2018
Anne Helen, just like the celebrities she has discussed in her book, is too brave and courageous. Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud: The Rise and Reign of the Unruly Woman examines the society’s psyche of love and hate relationship with famous public celebrities. She examines the celebrities with a peculiar perspective. Following their private lives, they are not what they seem to be in public. From a feminist perspective, it’s a very thought provoking read.
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5۔ The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
March 8, 2011
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot is a story of a girl whose sacrifice in the field of medicine is unpayable. Her immortal cells have been used in vaccines and life saving medicines, however, her name has never been known. Being a black slave, her family was also exploited. The book explores the horrendous crimes of exploitation thrusted upon black people.
6۔The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat: And Other Clinical Tales by Oliver Sacks
April 2, 1998
Oliver Sacks, through his book The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat: And Other Clinical Tales narrates an emotional tale of people with gifted abilities yet regarded mentally impaired by society. The book gives insight into those peoples’ lives who are suffering from some kind of mental problems. The book demands sympathies on readers behalf. Besides, the book provides thought provoking insight into neurology, too. In addition, the book has a great healing effect.
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7۔ Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys’ Club of Silicon Valley by Emily Chan
March 5, 2019
It’s 2023 but we are still stuck in gender discrimination, not giving women their due rights, and obviously harassment culture. However, one would never expect such culture from silicon valley. Unfortunately, Emily Chan through her book Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys’ Club of Silicon Valley brings forth proof of the existence of such harsh realities. Drawing on the experience of her friends being working there, she exposes the ideals of silicon valley. This book shows the hypocrisy of our so-called sophisticated and civilized world. The book calls for quick attention to an alarming state.
8۔ The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple by Jeff Guinn
April 10, 2018
Jim Jones, a famous cult minister of the 1950s is a dark spot in the history of humankind. The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple by Jeff Guinn examines the whole journey of Jim Jones, from a young minister of Indiana to becoming a cult that killed hundreds of people. with authentic new information. Besides, the book also highlights the support system and manipulating strategies of Jim Jones.
9۔ Caste (Oprah’s Book Club): The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
August 4, 2020
There are some apparent standards of society which not only divide people into groups but give one the power to exploit the other. Isabela Wikerson in her book Caste (Oprah’s Book Club): The Origins of Our Discontents unravels a secret caste system which has been used by high states and nations like Nazis to destroy the opponent. These hierarchies existed everywhere including America. We all know about the caste system of race and economic state but the author analyzes an invisible caste system. It’s an important book if you want to understand exploitation at a higher level.
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10۔ On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder
February 28, 2017
Past is not a good place to dwell aimlessly but a good enough experience to learn from. Timothy Snyder in his books On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century explores past regimes, especially of fascism and provides a thorough analysis. The analysis could be used to form strategies without committing those blunders which have been done in the past. The knowledge presented in the book is highly significant and relevant with today’s world. The examples used are from the past but our present situation is no way different from them.