Now for something completely different!
Sherman Alexie is a real “different” kind of writer than Thoreau, and he engages my senses and my intellect in a different–but equally powerful–way. Alexie makes me laugh a lot more than Thoreau, and he makes me ponder different things than Thoreau makes me ponder; however, both writers set out to do (and succeed) the same thing: both of them, through the power of persuasive writing, enable their readers to think differently and ponder life deeply, which makes for great literature.
Alexie is, however, a heck of a lot easier to read. If you are “stumped” in any way, go here to learn more about the book, its major themes and character analysis.