My parents came to visit last weekend (which is why I didn’t get a list up) and she, C, M, and I were going the rounds about Daughter of Smoke & Bone, and she mentioned that she only read books with Meaning in them. I said, kind of off-hand, that I must have low standards, because that’s not what I immediately look for in a book. But then, Hubby jumped in and mentioned that that’s the first thing I talk about when I talk about Hunger Games: how it’s a commentary on reality TV. So, I thought I’d make a list of good books that I’ve read where the Meaning in them has stood out.
1. All the Truth That’s In Me, by Julie Berry: It’s about how we can transcend adversity, and find strength within ourselves to withstand. Especially when we know we’re on the right side.
2. Between Shades of Gray, by Ruta Septys: About keeping hope in the face of dire situations, and how humans and survive — if only barely — the worst of atrocities.
3. The Giver, by Lois Lowry: C actually suggested this one. It’s about choice and freedom and what each of those mean.
4. The Elegance of the Hedgehog, by Muriel Barbery: Honestly, I don’t remember much about this, except that I liked it a lot. I’m assuming that since I wrote in my review that it was “full of Philosophy and Art and the Meaning of Life” that it has some sort of Meaning to it.
5. A Song for Summer, by Eva Ibbotson: A story about Beauty and Art and how it brings us together as people.
6. The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green: John is the King of Meaning; most of his novels are about Something. I call this the cancer book, but it’s really about living life, and not being afraid of what comes after.
7. Life of Pi, by Yann Martel: It’s been a long time since I’ve read this, but what I remember it’s about Truth and how we can know — or at least believe — what is and isn’t True.
8. The Prince Who Fell From the Sky, by John Claude Bemis: Shades of classic animal stories (“Watership Down” and “Jungle Book”) and the fierce protective nature of a mother shows for her child lend a human-ness to this story.
9. A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness: It’s another cancer book, one in which we learn the power of stories. Which I think it a good Meaning in itself.
10. Marcelo in the Real World, by Francisco X. Stork: It’s Marcelo who is acting the questions, and exploring the meaning of life and religion. I said this: “It’s a deep book, one full of difficult questions and tough answers. And yet, as I finished it, I was surprised at the love and the hope that radiated from it, which brought tears to my eyes.”
What do you think? Any meaningful fiction books that I missed?