I look at the Listmainia on Amazon sometimes. It’s interesting to see what other people like for a list of books on a topic or theme. I saw one a while back that I thought was good. It was called “Books that really make you think”. Here is the link:


It’s a bit of an eclectic list of forty books, but has a good mix of things and almost anyone can find something intriguing to read there. I can’t admit to have read them all, but perhaps close to half of them. I picked 10 that I did read off the list which I like:

1.  Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
4.  Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
6.  A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
8.  Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche
10.  Machiavelli’s The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
16.  Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions  by Edwin A. Abbott
19.  Mutant Message Down Under by Marlo Morgan
27.  Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
31.  Introduction to Special Relativity by Robert Resnick
35.  Animal Farm by George Orwell

Overall, they are all interesting books. Most of the ten I listed are not difficult reads, but provide lots of bang for the investment in time.  Nietzche’s book “beyond Good and Evil” is a challenge to be sure. Resnick’s book on Relativity is actually a text book, so it may not be for the mathematically challenged. I might recommend “Einstein’s Universe” by Nigel Calder or “The ABC of Relativity” by Bertrand Russell on this topic instead. These will make you think too, without the math.

This list probably could be extended at bit – perhaps to 50 books. Some I would add include the following:

1.) Lord of the Flies by William Golding
2.) Siddhartha  by Hermann Hesse
3.) The Hero With a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell
4.) The Myth of Sisyphus by Albert Camus
5.) Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
6.) Myths and Symbols in Indian Art and Civilization by Heinrich Zimmer
7.) The Closing of the American Mind by Alan Bloom
8.) Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
9.) Sound and Sense – An Introduction to Poetry by Laurence Perrine
10.) Darkness Visible by William Styron

At any rate, I thought this list was worth sharing. My additional suggestions are worth considering also. Some books can be difficult to read, but are rewarding for the effort. Generally non-fiction and philosophy books tend in this direction. Novels are often easier to get through, but still possess a power to invoke a great deal of thought. One of my favorite quotes about reading, which has relevance here is:

“Reading furnishes the mind only with the materials of knowledge; It is thinking that makes what we read ours.” ~ John Locke

A close second (favorite):

“Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside a dog it’s too dark to read.” ~ Groucho Marx.

As an addendum here, in humorous thought, I recently discovered a book that pokes fun at every country on the planet. It is called “Our Dumb World”. It’s the Onion’s Atlas of the Planet Earth and is perhaps politically incorrect, but very funny. It will not only make you think, but laugh out loud too. Here is a link for sampling:

May you expand in interesting directions…
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