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Thought-Provoking Books to Read Before the End of 2023

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

As a child, my favorite pastime was reading. While that hobby continued into adulthood, I, unfortunately, do not have the luxury of spending hours curled up with my latest read. However, once I discovered the joy of a well-narrated audiobook, there was nothing to hold me back.

2023 has been a year of personal growth for me, and part of that growth is thanks to several books I have had the pleasure of reading/listening to. While I have enjoyed nearly every book I have picked up this year, there are three that have impacted me in one way or another.

Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup | Narrated by Louis Gosset JR

A good work of historical value is like a fine wine, and a biography that allows us a window into the past is even better. Mr. Northup's story of being sold into bondage and his time in the South as a slave gives the reader an uncensored view of a dark piece of our history as a nation. Why this was never required reading while I was in school, I do not know.

I recommend this book be one that everyone reads, regardless of sex, religion, political background, or race. And if you are like me and time is not always something that is available, the version narrated by Louis Gosset JR is fantastic. Mr. Gosset breathes life into Mr. Northup's harrowing tale.

Enchantress of Numbers by Jennifer Chiaverini

This was a book I would read on breaks at work and before bed. The story of Lady Ada Lovelace, while a fictionalized account, is a fantastic example of the academic struggles faced by women during the Victorian era. Despite her brilliant mind and contribution to science and mathematics, she was still discriminated against based on her sex.

Despite the complexity of the theme, the author explores it with delicacy and taste. It is a fantastic read that anyone who enjoys historical fiction will love.

American Radical by Tamer Elnoury and Kevin Maurer | Narrated by Peter Ganim

As a lover of True Crime, I was recommended this audiobook adaptation after finishing Robert Ressler's Whoever Fights Monsters. This audiobook promised an intriguing plot, and it did not disappoint.

Taking place after the events of 9/11, American Radical is a true account of a Muslim FBI agent that goes undercover to prevent another catastrophic terrorist attack. Not only does the author give us a look into what it takes to bring down a terrorist cell, but also the viewpoint of an individual whose religion was used as a motive to conduct one of the most horrific events in US history.

2023 is not yet over, and I expect to read many more thought-provoking books. However, these three allowed me a fresh look into our history, expanded my knowledge, and gave me a deeper understanding of humanity. It is my hope that by sharing these titles with you that you will enjoy these stories just as much as I have.

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