38 BOOKS THAT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND
There are always reading materials that will leave you stunned, flabbergasted or just simply left you in absolute awe. This list of books carries such objectives, to blow your mind and leave you wanting for more. We covered both classics and quite recent titles for you to explore, and we’re pretty confident a big number of them below will most definitely ring a bell.
This list is GetFreeEbooks’ favorite books that guarantees great mind-expanding activities, to take you into unfamiliar territory or imaginative worlds. The next time you’re looking for a riveting read, consider picking up one of these 38 mind-blowing books.
1. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
World War II experiences and journeys through time of Billy Pilgrim, from his time as an American soldier and chaplain’s assistant, to postwar and early years.
2. Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
The book summarizes research that Kahneman conducted over decades, often in collaboration with Amos Tversky. It covers all three phases of his career: his early days working on cognitive biases, his work on prospect theory, and his later work on happiness.
3. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
The story of Victor Frankenstein, a young scientist who creates a grotesque but sapient creature in an unorthodox scientific experiment.
4. Ender’s Game Series by Orson Scott Card
The series is set in a future where mankind is facing annihilation by an aggressive alien society, an insect-like race known formally as “Formics”, but more colloquially as “Buggers”. The series protagonist, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, is one of the child soldiers trained at Battle School (and eventually Command School) to be the future leaders for the protection of Earth.
5. The Trial by Franz Kafka
It tells the story of a man arrested and prosecuted by a remote, inaccessible authority, with the nature of his crime revealed neither to him nor to the reader.
6. Neuromancer by William Gibson
Case had been the sharpest data-thief in the business, until vengeful former employers crippled his nervous system. But now a new and very mysterious employer recruits him for a last-chance run. The target: an unthinkably powerful artificial intelligence orbiting Earth in service of the sinister Tessier-Ashpool business clan.
7. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
Maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher, or a colleague. Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, helped you see the world as a more profound place, gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it. For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly twenty years ago.
8. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
This novel is set during World War II, from 1942 to 1944. It mainly follows the life of Captain John Yossarian, a U.S. Army Air Forces B-25 bombardier. Most of the events in the book occur while the fictional 256th Squadron is based on the island of Pianosa, in the Mediterranean Sea, west of Italy. The novel looks into the experiences of Yossarian and the other airmen in the camp, who attempt to maintain their sanity while fulfilling their service requirements so that they may return home.
9. Watchmen by Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons
This Hugo Award-winning graphic novel chronicles the fall from grace of a group of super-heroes plagued by all-too-human failings. Along the way, the concept of the super-hero is dissected as the heroes are stalked by an unknown assassin.
10. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
The eponymous Algernon is a laboratory mouse who has undergone surgery to increase his intelligence by artificial means. The story is told by a series of progress reports written by Charlie Gordon, the first human test subject for the surgery, and it touches upon many different ethical and moral themes such as the treatment of the mentally disabled.
11. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
Set in an Oregon psychiatric hospital, the narrative serves as a study of the institutional processes and the human mind as well as a critique of behaviorism and a celebration of humanistic principles.
12. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Seconds before Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.
13. The Man In The High Castle by Philip K. Dick
Set in 1962, fifteen years after an alternative ending to World War II, the novel concerns intrigues between the victorious Axis Powers — primarily, Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany — as they rule over the former United States, as well as daily life under the resulting totalitarian rule.
14. Night by Elie Wiesel
Night (1960) is a work by Elie Wiesel about his experience with his father in the Nazi German concentration camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald in 1944–1945, at the height of the Holocaust toward the end of the Second World War.
15. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
A Clockwork Orange is a dystopian novel by Anthony Burgess published in 1962. Set in a near future English society featuring a subculture of extreme youth violence, the teenage protagonist, Alex, narrates his violent exploits and his experiences with state authorities intent on reforming him.
16. The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
A historical murder mystery set in an Italian monastery, in the year 1327, an intellectual mystery combining semiotics in fiction, biblical analysis, medieval studies and literary theory.
17. 1984 by George Orwell
Set in Airstrip One (formerly known as Great Britain), a province of the superstate Oceania in a world of perpetual war, omnipresent government surveillance, and public manipulation. The superstate and its residents are dictated to by a political regime euphemistically named English Socialism.
18. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
It details the 1959 murders of four members of the Herbert Clutter family in the small farming community of Holcomb, Kansas. When Capote learned of the quadruple murder, before the killers were captured, he decided to travel to Kansas and write about the crime. He was accompanied by his childhood friend and fellow author Harper Lee, and together they interviewed local residents and investigators assigned to the case and took thousands of pages of notes.
19. Citizen of the Galaxy by Robert A. Heinlein
In a distant galaxy, the atrocity of slavery was alive and well, and young Thorby was just another orphaned boy sold at auction. But his new owner, Baslim, is not the disabled beggar he appears to be: adopting Thorby as his son, he fights relentlessly as an abolitionist spy. When the authorities close in on Baslim, Thorby must ride with the Free Traders…
20. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
Set in a post-apocalyptic San Francisco, where Earth’s life has been greatly damaged by nuclear global war. Most animal species are endangered or extinct from extreme radiation poisoning, so that owning an animal is now a sign of status and empathy, an attitude encouraged towards animals. This book served as the primary basis for the 1982 film Blade Runner.
21. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
The book’s premise focuses on a group of British boys stranded on an uninhabited island and their attempt to govern themselves, with disastrous results.
22. The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K. Dick
The novel takes place some time in the 21st century. Under United Nations authority, humankind has colonized every habitable planet and moon in the solar system. Features several layers of reality and unreality and philosophical ideas.
23. The Stranger by Albert Camus
A man attends his mother’s funeral. A few days later he kills an Arab man in French Algiers, who was involved in a conflict with a friend. He is tried and sentenced to death.
24. Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer
Participatory journalism in the world of competitive memorization and attempts to delineate the capacity of the human mind. It covers the scientific basis of memory creation and historical attitudes towards memory, including its negative reputation in the Western educational system.
25. Animal Farm by George Orwell
One night on an English farm, Major the boar recounts his vision of a utopia where his fellow creatures own the land along with the means of production and are no longer the slaves of humans. Before long his dream comes true, and for a short while all animals really are equal. But the clever pigs educate themselves and soon learn how to extend their own power, inevitably at the expense of the rest of the community. This well-loved tale is, of course, a satire on the Soviet Communist system that still remains a powerful warning despite the changes in world politics since “Animal Farm” was first published.
26. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Follows the journey of an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago. Believing a recurring dream to be prophetic, he decides to travel to a Romani fortune-teller in a nearby town to discover its meaning. The woman interprets the dream as a prophecy telling the boy that there is a treasure in the pyramids in Egypt.
27. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
In Outliers, Gladwell examines the factors that contribute to high levels of success. To support his thesis, he examines the causes of why the majority of Canadian ice hockey players are born in the first few months of the calendar year, how Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates achieved his extreme wealth, how The Beatles became one of the most successful musical acts in human history, how cultural differences play a large part in perceived intelligence and rational decision making…
28. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Gods and mythological creatures exist because people believe in them. Immigrants to the United States brought with them spirits and gods. The power of these mythological beings has diminished as people’s beliefs wane. New gods have arisen, reflecting America’s obsessions with media, celebrity, technology, and drugs, among other things.
29. A Condeferacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
Its central character, Ignatius J. Reilly, is an educated but slothful 30-year-old man living with his mother in the Uptown neighborhood of early-1960s New Orleans who, in his quest for employment, has various adventures with colorful French Quarter characters.
30. House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski
A blind old man, a young apprentice working in a tattoo shop, and a mad woman haunting an Ohio institute narrate this story of a family that encounters an endlessly shifting series of hallways in their new home, eventually coming face to face with the awful darkness lying at its heart.
31. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
It tells the story of Valentine Michael Smith, a human who comes to Earth in early adulthood after being born on the planet Mars and raised by Martians. The novel explores his interaction with — and eventual transformation of — terrestrial culture. In 2012, the US Library of Congress named it one of 88 “Books that Shaped America”.
32. Ubik by Philip K. Dick
The novel takes place in the “North American Confederation” of 1992, where civilians regularly travel to the Moon, and psi phenomena are common. The novel’s protagonist, Joe Chip, is a debt-ridden technician for Glen Runciter’s “prudence organization”, which employs people with the ability to block psychic powers (like an anti-telepath, preventing a telepath from reading a mind) to help enforce privacy.
33. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
The Things They Carried depicts the men of Alpha Company and the character Tim O’Brien, who has survived his tour in Vietnam to become a father and writer at the age of 43. They carried malaria tablets, love letters, 28-pound mine detectors, dope, illustrated bibles, each other. And if they made it home alive, they carried unrelenting images of a nightmarish war that history is only beginning to absorb.
34. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume
Life with his little brother, Fudge, makes Peter Hatcher feel like a fourth grade nothing. Whether Fudge is throwing a temper tantrum in a shoe store, smearing mashed potatoes on the walls at Hamburger Heaven, or trying to fly, he’s never far from trouble.
35. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
Story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty is the author’s most popular work. The tale of Dorian Gray’s moral disintegration caused a scandal when it first appeared in 1890, but though Wilde was attacked for the novel’s corrupting influence, he responded that there is, in fact, “a terrible moral in Dorian Gray.”
36. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein
It is the year 2076, and the Moon is a penal colony for the rebellious and the unwanted of Earth. The exiles have created a libertarian society in order to survive in their harsh and unforgiving environment. Looming over them is the Luna Authority, the heavy-handed Earth administration, who trades life necessities to the “Loonies” in exchange for grain shipments to the starving populations of Earth.
37. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. Even so, Montag is unhappy; there is discord in his marriage. Are books hidden in his house? The Mechanical Hound of the Fire Department, armed with a lethal hypodermic, escorted by helicopters, is ready to track down those dissidents who defy society to preserve and read books.
38. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Far in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs, all its members are happy consumers. Bernard Marx seems alone harbouring an ill-defined longing to break free. A visit to one of the few remaining Savage Reservations, where the old, imperfect life still continues, may be the cure for his distress…