Top Ten Tuesday (#6) – Top Ten Books Dealing with Tough Subjects

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish, where the writers, like me, are particularly fond of lists.
This week’s topic is…Top Ten Books Dealing with Tough Subjects.

This is a really difficult topic, but looking back at my reading history I realised a lot of the books I included I read at a young age, and so were often my first exposure to the difficult subjects they spoke about.

1. Junk by Melvin Burgess
I read this book soon after its release in 1997, and it was really hard hitting and just brilliantly written, dealing with the tough subject of drug addiction.

2. We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
One of my favourite books, the issue of school killings isn’t as big over here in Britain as it is in America, but this book still caught me. The question of whether people are born bad or made bad was an interesting one, and I was left as conflicted at the end of the book as Kevin’s mother.

3. 10 Rillington Place by Ludovic Kennedy
I’m firmly against capital punishment, whatever the crime. This true story about an innocent man hanged for murders his neighbour committed, which I read while at school, only cemented my position on capital punishment.

4. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
Jodi Picoult tends to churn books out like a butter factory, but My Sister‘s Keeper is a brilliant read, and one that poses really difficult questions about organ donation, keeping someone alive when they may not want to live, and family relationships.

5. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
While this book is heartbreaking and deals very realistically with cancer, I still found it uplifting at moments, something that shows just how skilled a writer Green is.

6. Wasted: A Memory of Anorexia and Bulimia by Marya Hornbacher
I was quite young when I read this book, probably too young. Hornbacher’s experiences of battling eating disorders were tough to read about, but I guess that was the point.

7.  The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
A relatively short book, this was another one I read while I was at school. Every moment of The Virgin Suicides is full of heartbreak and confusion as to why the characters would take the action they did.

8. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne
The fact that this book doesn’t spell out the despicable things the Nazis did or the horror of the concentration camps makes it all the more sadder.

9. Tully by Paulina Simons
A novel that deals with abuse at the hands of family members, as well as a host of other things, I found this a compelling read.

10. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
On the surface Kazuo Ishiguro’s book is about one thing, but what it’s actually about is the tough subjects of love, loss, memory, loyalty and what happens when you know you only have a finite amount of time left to live.

12 Comments Add yours

  1. Becca Bee says:

    I'm kind of afraid to read My Sister's Keeper; sad novels usually don't scare me off, but the synopsis of the book is so dang sad. Anyways, thanks for stopping by my TTT. 🙂


  2. I didn't realise it was going to be quite so sad, and read it on a plane, which resulted in me having to hold back tears so people wouldn't think I was stupid. It's definitely worth a read.



  3. I have the Virgin Suicides on my list, too. My Sister's Keeper had me sobbing! I don't think I could hold back tears on that one, not even on a plane. The ending was so unexpectedly sad. I haven't seen the movie, have you? I heard they change the ending which is so stupid. The perfect Hollywood twist was built right into the story! Great list!
    Natflix&Books' TTT


  4. Trish Hannon says:

    TBITSP broke my heart, simple and so poignanT which made the ending all the more powerful. MSK is a big favourite of mine too,the only JP that I would actually reread. Great list!

    BookishTrish @ Between the Lines


  5. Adriana C says:

    Great list! I´m a little bit scared about reading some of this books.
    Here is My Top 10 Tuesday


  6. I've not seen the film either, I just don't think it could recreate the emotion of the book, even if they'd kept the ending the same.



  7. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas hit me so much harder than I thought it would, perhaps because the telling was so deceptively simple.



  8. Don't be scared! The only one I probably wouldn't read again is Wasted, because I remember finding it really tough. However, I was about 13 when I read it so that probably had something to do with it.



  9. I really need to read The Fault in Our Stars. All my friends love it and I see it on so many TTT posts practically every week. I have no excuse!

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!


  10. It took me ages to get round to reading it, but once I did, I couldn't believe I'd waited so long. I really need to read more of his work.



  11. The Virgin Suicides and The Boy In the Striped Pyjamas great picks! Have you seen the film for Virgin? It was pretty amazing.

    Thanks for visiting!
    Stephanie (Go Flash Go) @ Read, Rinse, Repeat


  12. I have seen the film for The Virgin Suicides, a long, long time ago when I loved Josh Hartnett! It's actually a pretty good adaptation of the book.



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