Top 10 Tuesday - Books That Made You Think

This weeks Top Ten Tuesday Theme is:
Books That Made You Think

Since one of my goals this week is to review my summer reading list, this seemed like a great time for me to join in on this meme.  :-)  More of the memes I am looking at can be found here:

Like just about everything on this blog, and in my life, the page is "in progress".  :-)

Ten Books That Made Me Think:
(in reverse order of when I read them, because that was the easiest way to copy them from goodreads)

1.  The Dirty Life by Kristin Kimball
The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love
A book about the beginnings of a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture - you buy a "share" of the farm or gardens produce for the year) and the difficulties of farming in general. 
 Think: Buy Fresh, Buy Local. 
 My Take Away: I'm so lazy - I could do so much more with our farm!  
My Review

2. Born To Run by Christopher McDougall
Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
I've struggled so much with running over the years, yet it is something I really want to do well.  Just for a bit - just to prove to myself that I CAN.  This book was amazing - one of my favorite reads this year.  It's a story of the authors journey to run with a hidden tribe of super runners, but mixed in between the chapters of the story are chapters of in depth research (not boring facts) and stories of super athletes accomplishments.  
Think: We were born to run.
My Take Away: I want to try running with LESS supportive shoes  - maybe the toe shoes that have become so popular...  (the book talks about how Nike started - and it wasn't based on how to make people run better...)

3 & 4 The Greater Journey, Americans In Paris by David McCullough
The House I Loved By Tatiana Rosnay
The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris
David McCullough is one of my all time favorite authors.  His books bring history to life, in great detail.  
Think: About History - Artists used to actually set up easels and copy the great works in museums in Paris.  I read 
The House I Loved
shortly after The Greater Journey, and although I may not have loved The House I Loved all that much on it's own, reading to the two back to back was awesome.  After being immersed in the old Paris in McCulloughs book, it made the story in The House I Loved so vivid and real - as Paris was being modernized, and homes were being torn down to widen streets.

Take Away: I want to go to Paris.  But preferably in a time machine.  :-)  More realistically, I want to try my hand at charcoal drawings. I don't expect to be really good at it - it's just something I want to try.

5. The Bible In 90 Days
The Bible in 90 Days: Cover to Cover in 12 Pages a Day (New International Version)
I try to read the bible in 90 days at least once a year.
Think: Reading the bible in this time frame gives me such a context of how everything fits together.  It really surprised me how, after reading the bible many times over the years, I had missed by reading it piecemeal.
Take Away: I can read this book 10 dozen times, and still learn something new, usually lists of something new, every single time.  It's amazing.

6. Reshaping It All by Candace Cameron Bure
Reshaping It All: Motivation for Physical and Spiritual Fitness
The best diet book, ever.  Because it's not really about a diet.  It's about our choices.
I read this last year, and I know I need to reread it this year...
Think: We are who we choose to be.  One tiny choice at a time.
Take Away: I can lose this weight.  I can. It will not be easy.

7. Little Princes By Conor Grennan
Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal
One of my favorite books, of all time.
To describe it would take up too much space here - go to the goodreads page above.  It's basically about how one college kid volunteered for something he knew almost nothing about, mainly to make his actual goal sound more impressive to others,  and how it changed his life forever. It changed his life, because he changed others lives.   
Think: This life is so much more than our bubble
Take Away: When I grow up (inside joke) I want to be more like Mr Grennan.  In the meantime, I can do more, with my checkbook.

8 & 9 Wild by Cheryl Strayed
A Walk In The Woods by Bill Bryson
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
I almost didn't include this one, I skipped over it when going down my list.  Because I didn't really like this book.  Bill Bryson wrote about a similar journey, hiking on the other side of the United States:
A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail

I loved Bryson's book.  Maybe I loved it because he didn't even finish the hike.  And he was so honest - it's BORING.  I love to hike, but the Appalachian trail is, for the most part, all about looking at one very narrow path at your feet.  There are some amazing views, but mostly, it's about looking at where you are going to step next.  He's honest, and funny, and at the end I wasn't inspired to tackle the Appalachian  Trail.  (I have hiked very small sections of it here in PA)

Strayed's book made me shake my head the entire way through.  I raised two eagle scouts, with a 3rd working on his Eagle project this summer. That made reading  her exploits with too heavy backpacks, the wrong footwear, and hiking alone as a woman...  painful.  But it did make me think. In the end I did appreciate that with all the ways she could have handled her messed up life, she chose to go hike for weeks on end.  She knew she was a mess, and she took steps, literally, to make a change.  That is awesome.  Even if she was an idiot, she recognized that she was an idiot, which I guess, makes her a lot less of an idiot than I often am...

Think: Nature is good for us.
Take Away: I should hike more.  But not on the Appalachian trail  :-)  I should definitely hike the Ricketts Glen trail more often...

10. Moonwalking With Einstein by Joshua Foer
Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything
This book is similar to #2, Born to Run.  Different themes completely, but the same journey, and same style.  In Born to Run, McDougal is struggling with his running and ends up running with an unknown tribe of superathletes in a once in a life time race.  In Moonwalking With Einstein Foer starts out a normal guy with a poor memory, and ends up competing in the World Memory Championships.  Both books weave old stories and facts into the story of their journey.  I would love to fill my bookshelves with books just like these two.  They make you think, without making the thinking tedious.
Think: All of our electronics have cheated us out of learning old, valuable, skills for making our brains work.
Take Away: Find more books like these!


  1. This is such a great list. I am gonna check out the ones I have not heard/read!

    Happy Reading!! Here is my Top Ten post!

  2. I'm ashamed to say I haven't read any of the books you listed. Great list though.


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