"That's deep."
November 9, 2010 9:52 PM   Subscribe

Books that "hint" at life lessons or realizations about life?

I'm looking for recommendations of books/comic books that tend to leave the reader really pondering about that one line pertaining to a certain concept of life every now and then. The Watchmen comic book, for example, is full of these and I loved it oh so much.

Any novels recommended, I would prefer to have them be <500 pages. I have enough reading to do for my English courses.

Hopefully I haven't been too vague in what I'm asking for here.
posted by Evernix to Media & Arts (26 answers total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
The Alchemist
Tuesdays with Morrie
Autobiography of a Yogi
Twilight (haha, just kidding, unless you feel like pondering the hysteria surrounding romance novels of that particular ilk)

This is a great question. I'm looking forward to seeing what other people have to say.
posted by patronuscharms at 9:54 PM on November 9, 2010

The Little Prince
posted by pseudonick at 10:20 PM on November 9, 2010 [2 favorites]

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
posted by chicainthecity at 11:10 PM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

Breakfast of Champions.
posted by Bromius at 11:23 PM on November 9, 2010

Taking Watchmen as a clue that you might prefer comic book / SF&F recommendations, I suggest Neil Gaiman's The Sandman (particularly later volumes), Terry Pratchett's mid/late Discworld novels such as Reaper Man, Tom Holt's The Walled Orchard (including Goatsong), Patricia McKillip's The Forgotten Beasts of Eld, Zenna Henderson's Ingathering, or Jonathan Carroll's From the Teeth of Angels. None are explicitly wisdom texts, but neither is Watchmen, so I reckon that's what you're looking for.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 11:27 PM on November 9, 2010

Franny & Zooey by J.D. Salinger
posted by him at 1:46 AM on November 10, 2010 [2 favorites]

Forrest Gump.
posted by Ahab at 2:28 AM on November 10, 2010

Almost anything by Paolo Coehlo fits nicely into this category. As patronuscharms mentionned, The Alchemist is the best example, but most of his other books are along these lines. The Zahir is a personal favorite.
posted by hasna at 4:47 AM on November 10, 2010

^ Paulo Coelho. As many times as I've typed his name, I can never get it right.
posted by hasna at 4:49 AM on November 10, 2010

The Magus
The Illuminatus Trilogy
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:04 AM on November 10, 2010

The Razors Edge
posted by Busmick at 5:25 AM on November 10, 2010

Awesome, guys. I'm liking these suggestions.
posted by Evernix at 6:07 AM on November 10, 2010

Many of the stories in Alice Munro's Something I've Been Meaning to Tell You.
posted by Beardman at 6:23 AM on November 10, 2010

The Border Trilogy - Cormac Mccarthy
posted by Giant luck at 6:23 AM on November 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

The Bridge Across Forever
posted by fairmettle at 6:25 AM on November 10, 2010

Dandelion Wine
posted by keeo at 6:51 AM on November 10, 2010

The Elegance of the Hedgehog
posted by kaybdc at 7:02 AM on November 10, 2010

A Wizard of Earthsea and its two sequels
posted by wenestvedt at 8:12 AM on November 10, 2010

The Life of Pi by Yann Martel.
posted by ottereroticist at 8:34 AM on November 10, 2010

Actually, don't follow the link above for Life of Pi -- it's full of spoilers. Look here instead.
posted by ottereroticist at 8:35 AM on November 10, 2010

+1 for the Boarder Trilogy by Cormac McCarthy. Especially books one and two. Shook me to the core.
posted by brisbane at 11:35 AM on November 10, 2010

nthing Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, as it's the first thing that came to mind for me.
posted by Ryogen at 2:42 PM on November 10, 2010

I agree with those who think Cormac McCarthy fits your bill, but I would start with his later works like No Country for Old Men and especially The Road. They're shorter, more accessible, and, at least in my opinion, more compelling than the Border Trilogy.

As far as comic books go, Grant Morrison's work if rife with these (for better or worse), but his 90s stuff like The Invisibles is probably a good start.
posted by charleskinbote at 3:10 PM on November 10, 2010

Thanks, all. I got a pretty good list going here so far.
posted by Evernix at 5:54 PM on November 10, 2010

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