Five Books to Make You Think

Five Books to Make You Think

Who says summer reading has to be light and fluffy? These picks, both fiction and non-fiction, are guaranteed to inspire deep thinking – and plenty of conversational gambits for your next patio cocktail party.

Middle Age: A Natural History by David Bainbridge

In his investigation of the middle years, veterinarian Bainbridge asks a lot of questions. Why does time speed up as you get older? Over the hill or in the prime of life? The end of sex? According to Bainbridge, middle age is a desirable state of being. Still doubtful? This book may change your mind.

We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo

An impressive debut novel (an extension of Bulawayo’s prize-winning short story “Hitting Budapest”), which takes us into the poverty-stricken world of a 10-year old girl, Darling, who is growing up in a shanty town called Paradise in Zimbabwe. When she is sent to live with an aunt in America, it seems her luck has turned. But adjusting to life in the U.S. doesn’t come easy. An engaging exploration of displacement and the quest for assimilation that makes for keen social commentary.

From the Ground Up: A Food Grower’s Education in Life, Love, and the Movement That’s Changing the Nation by Jeanne Nolan

Can solutions to some of the world’s problems be found in our own backyards? In Nolan’s inspiring account of her personal journey from disillusioned teen to a leader in the natural food movement,  she argues for the benefits of organic gardening – for the environment, our health, our wallets, our families and our communities.

The Son by Michel Rostain

This heartbreaking blend of fiction and memoir takes on one of the most tragic subjects – the loss of a child. The book follow Michel after the death of his 21-year-old son from a virulent strain of meningitis. What makes this meditation of grief so notable is that the narrative gives us Michel’s journey through the eyes of his dead son.

Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg

Sandberg’s examination of women in the workplace – which grew out of the Facebook COO’s provocative TEDTalk – looks at how society has changed through generations of feminism, how that society views women and, most importantly, how women view themselves. Her valuable insight into the continued obstacles women face is a call to action.