I’ve read some fairly unique titles over the last thirty years, but I have to say … it’s the last six years or so, especially those I’ve been blogging, that I’ve really started to expand and read new and different things. From interesting narrative styles to strange characters, this list quickly turned out to be one of my favorites among the lists I’ve made since starting to join the Top Ten Tuesday movement. I hope you enjoy it as well.
1. Every Day by David Levithan
I’m a relatively new fan of David Levithan and I have this book to thank for it. The narrator, simply named “A,” is not trapped by any identity. Gender, Sex, Sexual Orientation, Affiliation … you name it, it’s up for grabs with A. The result is Levithan is able to get to a deeper story, one that doesn’t feel a need to be confined by human-imposed limitations.
2. Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Green
This book is an example of another narrator that lives just outside of the tangible world. The story by Matthew Green is told by a creature imagined by the boy the story is about. It’ll tug at your heartstrings in a way that few books do.
3. Three Years on Doreen’s Sofa by Lee Cataluna
One of the things I’ve loved most about my time here on the island is learning about the culture – from language and phrases to interesting foods to standing outside and loving the warmth and love of our neighbors, it’s been an adventure. I think Cataluna captures a perfect look at the flawed system here and the captivating imperfections of the life of a kama’aina.
4. Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
This book remains one of my favorites of all time. There’s a very unique, very interesting gimmick that is used and… trust me, it makes reading this book well worth your time.
5. Night Film by Marisha Pessl
Night Film is quite the brilliant thriller. Marisha Pessl draws on every resource available to her in the modern technology age to really make reading this book quite the immersive experience.
6. Unclean Jobs for Women and Children by Alissa Nutting
This book of short stories is not for the faint of heart. It will completely put you off at some point (if the opening story doesn’t do it for you) but I encourage you to push past it. There’s some interesting morals to be told, and who knows, I bet Grimm’s Fairy Tales were received in the same way back in their day.
7. Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
I struggled on whether to choose this book or Nnedi’s short stories, Kabu Kabu, because both are pretty damn unique. Ultimately, I decided on Who Fears Death because it was my first look into science fiction/fantasy that does not include Western or Western European themes. When I put down Who Fears Death I immediately began craving more and Okorafor is one of my first go-tos. She has a new novel, Lagoon, being released soon and I can’t wait to get my hands on it. (Plus, I think she is pretty awesome and love following her twitter feed.)
8. Crazy by Han Nolan
The narrative style in this one is out of this world. I loved exploring the world of Jason through the storytelling of the voices inside of his head. This book hit me heart and even though it’s been years since I read it, I still remember so much of it that it seems like just yesterday I put it down.
9. The Way to Rainy Mountain by N. Scott Momaday
There are no words to describe how beautiful this book is. I read it four times (yes four) before I put it down. It can be read straight through, or in three different ways (lore, historical, or personal). Please check it out.
10. The Arrival by Shaun Tan
The Arrival was on my list last week, and it still belongs here this week. It’s unique in that the story is told in pictures and it still moved me to tears. Well worth reading, especially for those who are feeling out of place or like they don’t belong somewhere.
What are some of the most unique books you’ve read?