Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (2)

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and features different book related themes each week. This week the theme is:

Top Ten Books Dealing with Tough Subjects

I have always found books that deal with abuse (substance, physical, sexual, etc.), grief, and mental disorders to be interesting. Maybe it's the Psychology major in me. Perhaps it's my own issues with wishing to help those in need. Whatever the reason, there are always books on the subject readily available. Some of them are more disturbing than words. These are some of the books dealing with uncomfortable situations and subject matter that I found to be the best as both a method of coping with issues within our own personal lives or just as a tearjerker for those who need a good cry:

1. A Child Called It by Dave Peltzer - This is an autobiographical book about a boy who grew up in an abusive home. I read this book some time ago and it absolutely devastated me that someone actually went through this sort of existence. Dave Peltzer has chronicled his life in various other books along the way, but this book is a must read.

2. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold - I don't want to give too much away but, this book was a lot more disturbing than the movie. The movie glosses over the disturbing situations so as not to upset it's audience (I imagine). Read the book. You will see what I mean.

3. Lord of the Flies by William Golding - Adolescent boys learning to survive on their own with no semblance of order leads to more tough subject matter than you would realize. 

4. Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis - Throughout the book and the subsequent movie starring Robert Downey Jr, there are numerous references to drug and alcohol abuse. It shows the deterioration of a person's life through the use of drugs. Drug addicts will do anything and say anything to do their next fix. It's not pretty and may be something Robert Downey Jr. looks back on as strangely similar to his own reality (at least his recent past).

5. She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb - I referenced this in my last Top Ten Tuesday and looking back, maybe it's not so light and fun as I would imagine. It is about a girl who overcomes obstacles while struggling with obesity. Another tough situation that not a lot of people think about. 

6. Sybil by Flora Rheta Schreiber - I am sure everyone has heard about the multiple personality case of Sybil. Mental illness is a subject often not talked about because it is so personal. Sybil is a story of not just a mental disorder but the abuse suffered that resulted in the split in personalities.

7. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson - This book touches on taboo subjects such as rape and even a bit on bullying.

8. Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews - I read "Flowers in the Attic" when I was in my early teens and it was not something that I should have been reading. Not only is there abuse but there is also a hint of incest in it. 

9. Carrie by Stephen King - I have never seen the movie and I refuse to see the movie. I am not a horror fan and aside from the witchy powers of Carrie this book upset me because of the way Carrie's classmates treated her. Bullying in all it's glory.

10. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl - You wouldn't think this would have any sort of disturbing material in it, but as I list bullying books it just keeps ringing out in my head (probably because I just read it). The way that the townspeople treated Lena never sat well with me. I wanted to shake them throughout my reading.

These are all off the top of my head and may not be the same as others would provide, but they are what I think of when I think of disturbing subject matter. Bullying, abuse, rape, and mental illness are just a few of topics that can make people shift uncomfortably in their seats. While all these books were tough reads, they were brilliant. I would recommend all of them.

What are some books that tackle tough subject you've read?

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