Does fiction make you think?

I like books that make me think. I'm rather fond of serious tomes on my favorite topics - Bible, science, history, math, how to write better, etc. But I'm totally addicted to fiction. I'm the sort of person who walks around the house with a book in her hand, while other books reside beside the bed, on the dining-room table, in the newly refurbished library (aka son's bedroom, but he's moved out)... and I'll be reading them all. But what I like most is fiction that makes me think. I'll usually only read one "thinking" book at once - a factual book that fills my mind with knowledge, or a fictional novel that makes me ask questions and ponder ... hmmm ... Is informed pondering the beginning of wisdom? If so, I'm somewhere near the beginning and loving it.

22: the biography of a gun by Christopher Geoffrey McPherson certainly made me think when I read it this week. I like the novel's unique construction, like a series of short stories linked by the travels of a gun - so I suppose I spend some time thinking on and appreciating the idea. But most of all, I love the way the stories take me into very real lives in a future not very far from here. Guns are controlled. People... maybe not so. But is it guns or people who kill? What would happen if the gun in question didn't "happen" to be there? Definitely a book to make you think. A must-read in any world with guns and people, and a thoroughly fascinating, absorbing tale, to be enjoyed with a suitably complex four-star cup of coffee.

Defending Jacob by William Landay is another thought-provoking tale, as a father well-versed in the law finds his son accused of murder. Balancing details of social awkwardness, bullying, the online lives of children, and the genetic inheritance of violence, together with believable investigation and haunting family drama, it's a novel that haunts the reader long after the final page. Enjoy with another complex four-star cup of coffee.

Chris Knopf's eight Sam Acquillo Hampton's Mystery, Tango Down, is another thought-provoking tale, filled with action, adventure, great characters, very different kinds of terror, and a real sense for the real world's complications. Exploring the place of illegal immigrants in society, American interference in foreign politcs, and medical intervention in human ailments, it's a gorgeously constructed tale to be enjoyed with another four-star complex coffee.

With a very different focus, Isaiah’s Daughter by Mesu Andrews recreates a historical Biblical world and invites the reader to think about the meaning and implications of prophecy. Where does prophecy end and intuition begin? And how far does God's faithfulness go when a leader loses faith? Looking at history and faith through very human, female eyes, and revisiting familiar quotes through ears that heard the words when new... this is a truly enticing historical romance, honestly faithful, and faithfully thought-provoking. Enjoy with some more four-star complex coffee.

Finally, Christmas in Icicle Falls by Sheila Roberts, while being a much more cozy and comfortable read, has its own thought-provoking message in the redeeming of an ugly Christmas tree. Just possibly, ugly relationships can also be healed, and ugly misunderstandings made clear in brighter light. Enjoy this lighter read with some lighter easy-drinking two-star coffee.

So... what will you think about as you read.


Jean Harkin said…
THe newest WM Journal doesn't show up on your blog yet. I liked your review of "Defending Jacob."

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