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Books that Blew Your Mind

Have you ever read a book that you could not put down...that once you finish you stare straight ahead, knowing something has changed. This is a list of those kind of books compiled by our librarians.

King, Stephen
The Long Walk
The winner of the long walk will win the ultimate prize: a chance to have his every wish fulfilled...and all he has to do is keep walking. But every time he stops, every time he even slows down, his chance diminishes. And if he slows down three times, not only will he be out of the race, he'll be dead. The last man (or boy -- all the participants are under eighteen) walking is the winner. But who has the strongest will to survive? Who can walk hundreds of miles without stopping? The long walk is much more than a race: it's a fight to the end, and for the participants it rapidly becomes a way of life. The Long Walk, besides being an engrossing story, will make you rethink your life. What's imporant to you? What matters the most? And would you risk your life to get it?
 
Kosinski, Jerzi
The Painted Bird
This is the darkest expose of human nature that you will ever read. A boy stranded in the middle of Eastern Europe during WWII witnesses and survives the collateral horrors of war. The lessons learned are hard. Security is an illusion; love, a trap.
 
Orwell, George
1984
Big Brother is always watching you, and the Thought Police can read your mind in this distopic novel about authoritarianism run amok in a not-so-distant future. But is the future Orwell imagined in 1948 really so far-fetched? How much of what he describes is happening now? Why have words and phrases introduced by the novel, such as newspeak, doublethink, and thoughtcrime, become so commonplace in our daily vocabulary? Though grim, 1984 remains alarmingly relevant nearly 60 years after its initial publication, and will leave readers questioning the extent to which conformity and indoctrination are driving forces in society today.
 
Styron, William
Sophie's Choice
How can one describe Sophie's Choice? It is the story of three people from three different backgrounds. There is the narrator Stingo: a young, struggling author recently moved from the genteel south, to post-war New York. There is Nathan: a frenetic character imbued with magic. Then there is Sophie: a Polish immigrant bearing the mark of Nazi cruelty in every part of her being. You become full of these characters--of their trials, their hopes and their complexity. You become part of the haunting sadness and dark humor that fills every page. Sophie's Choice is a book you can never forget.
 
Welsh, Irvine
Marabou Stork Nightmares
Take a disturbing little trip with Roy Strang as he relives scenes from his immediate and distant pasts, including the circumstances that led to his current comatose state. The genius of this novel lies in the skillful way in which Welsh gradually reveals the unreliable nature of his narrator, and forces the reader to confront potentially sickening issues from the perspective of a twisted perpetrator. The novel's end is the type you'll be tempted to flip ahead to see, but its true horror only kicks in after many side trips through Roy's head. Chilling. Eerie. Totally genius.
 

Updated:06/08/2009