Top Ten Reads for Deep Thinkers

For Top Ten Tuesday, I thought I'd let you know about Ten of my most thought-provoking reads. These are books that made me look at life through a new lens, revived a dead genre for me, or just made me sit back and say, "Huh..."

TOP TEN TUESDAY

K. D. Reid

2021-10-26 6 min read

Top Ten Reads for Deep Thinkers

It's Top Ten Tuesday, so I thought I'd find ten books to brag about this week. These books are reads that reinvigorated once-loved genres or made me rethink life. If you or one of your reading friends is a deep thinker, these would make great book recommendations.

So You Want to Talk About Race

Even though this is nonfiction, it's a personal narrative, so it reads like a story. Through her life experiences, Ijeoma Oluo gives her thoughts on everything from appropriation to privilege. Several parts of this book made me laugh, but I still learned so much from it. It's a book that can give you a personable perspective on the struggles of Black and Brown communities.  

The Blade Itself

I am recommending this book 100% based on the audiobook. If you can't find it through your local library, you can still listen to it for free on YouTube! Narrator Steven Pacey has a plethora of unique voices, and he uses them to bring every character in this book to life. Add insidious political discourse, morally gray characters, and a dash of magic, and there you have it. It's infinitely entertaining, and if you're interested in philosophical issues concerning hierarchy and post-wartime fantasy narratives, this is for you. There are TW's abound in this one. It's grimdark, so if torture, graphic violence, and quite frankly, some really fucked up shit aren't your idea of a good book, give this one a pass. With that in mind, a naked wizard pwns an entire room of the younger generation, and that scene is glorious.

Love, Death & Rare Books

This one made me cry. Like ugly cry. A lot. So maybe not a read for the doctor's office waiting room, but if you're in the mood for a cozy contemporary with protagonists who age from their childhood until their retirement, here ya go. One of the most fascinating parts of this book to me was the look at how much publishing and booksellers have changed throughout the years. And of course, the unrequited love that becomes love that becomes heartbreak that becomes love again. I'm not gonna lie. This one got me thinking about my end-of-life planning a lot more than I was comfortable with. TW's for spousal death and cancer.

The Mystwick School of Musicraft

Again, this is a great audiobook. There's an exclusive track in the background of this story about music as magic. The young protagonist is dealing with imposter syndrome and grief alongside the typical middle-grade plot drivers like friendship and fitting in. If you've got kids, you can easily make this a family listen. I was so ecstatic when Jessica Khoury announced the second installment of this series. I fell absolutely in love with the best friend duo-become-trio and arch nemeses to best friends. This story also takes a good hard look at educational elitism and tells it where to go. TW for parental death.

Treasure Island

This story is fun as hell, but I have to recommend the audio for this one too. Particularly the fully voice-acted version. My kids enjoyed this one on the way from Kentucky to West Virginia to visit the grandparents. They cackled at the parrot's voice and loved the pirate shenanigans that came with it. It's adventurous, it's a classic, and it addresses the small-town protagonist has big dreams trope in a way that's foundational to a lot of the adventure stories I've loved over the years. Perfect \reading for someone who likes to question the ideals surrounding "good" and "bad" people, if you ask me. 

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch

I don't feel like I should have to sell you on Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, but just in case, the character juxtaposition in this book is what I fell in love with. Aziraphael and Crawley have been acquainted since the Garden of Eden. Even though they're an angel and a demon, they both have a soft spot for humanity, and that tends to cause them some trouble. A lot of trouble. And that's just two of the extensive cast of quirky characters in this book. I highly recommend reading the book before you watch the show. Classic, right? But here me out. If you watch the show first, at least in my opinion, the book is ruined. I can't get over David Tennant and Michael Sheen's on-screen chemistry, and because Gaiman had his hands in the pot while the filming took place, it's very true to the story. So in this case, I actually like the film better than the book.

SuperFreakonomics: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes And Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance

I'm gonna call this one an oldie but goodie, and if you've not read the first Freakonomics book, you should give it a go too. No reason to read them in order, though. I just really loved all the weird bits of information I've gotten from this series, and it opened my mind to a new kind of critical thinking. Lots of good, healthy brain food here. I also enjoyed how it's told in episodic narrative, so it bypasses that whole boring, nonfiction, facts at your face thing.

Under the Never Sky

YA usually isn't for me, but the Opposite Side of the Tracks trope will get me every damn time. You can totally just read the first one if you wanted, but if you end up loving it as much as I did, you'll devour the entire trilogy before season's end. Aria and Perry, our two love interests and protagonists, blaze a path of angst and significant social life choices, all of which fall on the younger generation's shoulders (as it usually does in YA.) My favorite character is Roar, though. Read it and you'll know why. 

The Land: Founding: Chaos Seeds #1

If you didn't know this about me, I'm a bit of a video game geek. I used to play WoW when I was younger, and this book definitely brought back that nostalgia. Other than that, this book is absolutely hilarious. There's a small-person elf who ends up befriending a human who has transcended dimensions and fallen into a video game. Do. No. Skip. The. Prologue. Please. I still need to continue with this series. So if you decide to pick this up and you like it, let me know, and we'll buddy read hte second one, okay? 

Snow by Mikayla Elliot

I read this book when I was a reviewer over at Paperbacks and Pinot, and I'll be honest with you… I almost didn't read it when I saw it was about vampires. I was in high school when Twilight exploded with the glitter vamps, okay? I had an unpleasant taste in my mouth from how mainstream it all became. Mikayla Elliot showed me, though! Her take on vampires differs completely from anything I've read before (and I used to read vampires like... well, like a teen goth/emo girl read vampires in the early 2000s.) There's also romance and adventure and gore and a high-stakes timey-wimey conflict. Plenty to keep enquiring minds entertained! 

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Have any reading recommendations for me? I'd love to hear them! 

Take care of yourself,

Kat

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