Lists, Reviews

So You Have Issues…? A Top Ten List

Don’t we all.

This week’s top ten list? Books that deal with tough issues (as hosted by The Broke and the Bookish).


I happen to like the cover from a design perspective, but I also included anxiety and neurosis as the number one issue on my list – almost anything written by Roth qualifies. Rycroft was a post-Freudian psychoanalyst who had a much more reasoned approach to the interpretations of dreams (which I appreciate, given I dream extensively most nights).

10. White Oleander by Janet Fitch. Abandonment and adversity.

9. The Stand by Stephen King. Survival, the flu, and the evil machinations of the government.

8. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. Love and honesty.

7. The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells. Nature and technology (and aliens). I’ve mentioned that one of my greatest fears (of the scary movie sort) is aliens. I’ve also mentioned my fear of flying. Have you seen the previews for 7500? I won’t be seeing that.

6. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers. Quite depressing, but gives voice to the forgotten and the mistreated.

5. Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. Unmet expectations. Can you bear living a life you don’t want?

4. The Cider House Rules by John Irving. Abortion and women’s rights – it’s been 40 years since Roe v. Wade and it is still an incredibly divisive issue (in the US, at any rate).

3. Peyton Place by Grace Metalious. A close look at small town life (and the issues pertaining to a place where everyone knows everything), it’s like reading a novel by a cross between Stephen King and Harper Lee – in other words most excellent.

2. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. Suicide and the idea that you may never actually know why.

1. Letting Go by Philip Roth. Anxiety and Neurosis.

What issues do you enjoy reading about or, conversely, do not like reading about? I like reading about the issues above, but I don’t particularly enjoy books where infidelity and cheating are the primary issue (it doesn’t bother me as a secondary issue).

More importantly, doesn’t that cover look like it was created with a Spirograph? Please tell me someone else had a Spirograph when they were younger (and I’m not the only incredibly nerdy person who played with a geometric drawing toy that produces mathematical roulette curves).

Image found on the Sick Sad World Tumblr – original source unknown.

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