Monday, April 7, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday - Unique Books

Top Ten Unique Books

1. House of Leaves - Mark Danielewski
How many lists am I going to see this on today? I'm thinking more than half. House of Leaves is a story within a story with a side story going on. There are footnotes that lead to nothing and footnotes that lead to shapes. There are pages that are blank, pages that are upside down, and pages where the text is in spirals so you have to turn the book to read it. Plus it's mostly about a house that is bigger on the inside that it is on the outside. Oh, and the word house is always in blue. 

2.Hyperbole and a Half - Allie Brosh
I've always been a fan of Allie. Her blog got me through some long college nights. Her book perfectly captures everything that Hyperbole and a Half is. It's full of crazy comics and crazier stories. It's these comics and stories that make it so unique. How many places can you read about a monster goose or an intelligently challenged dog? Her stories are very real, and it's very hard to find anything that honest in modern publishing.

3. Life After Life - Kate Atkinson
 Life After Life was easily the most innovative book that came out last year. Kate Atkinson plays with time and reality in a way that is mesmerizing and completely fresh. You see Ursala Todd dies. She dies a lot. But she also finds a way to live. 

4. Her Fearful Symmetry - Audrey Niffenegger
If we were making a list of most unique authors Niffenegger would be at the top of my list. Not only does she tell amazing stories, she uses different mediums and also does her own book binding and art. Her Fearful Symmetry is her often forgotten second novel. It's about twin sisters who go to live in decided aunt's apartment overlooking London's Highgate cemetery. It's supernatural, it's a coming of age story, it's in parts a love story. I've always thought it was a story only Niffenegger could tell, and everything about it is so fresh.

5. One Day - David Nicholls
I think the reason this novel was so big a few years ago was because of it's unique set up. We only seem Emma and Dexter one day of the  year. It could come off as gimmicky, and sometimes it does, but this very narrow timeframe helps to keep Nicholls romance interesting.

6. Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell
I just finished Fangirl. You can call me one of the converted. I absolutely adored it. Cath's character is so unique to literature, which is kind of upsetting because I know plenty of girls like her. She's socially awkward, but that's fine. She's okay with having internet friends. She's not seeking out boys or trying to change to impress anyone. She's a part of the tumblr generation. She knows fanfiction. She grew up on the internet and I can't wait to see more girls like her.

7. Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore - Robin Sloan
Books about bookish things aren't exactly new. That being said Sloan creates an archaic bookstore in a Google world. There are secret societies but also coding. The combination is wonderful and different.

8. Tree of Codes - Jonathan Safron Foer
 Tree of Codes is more art that story. Foer took Bruno Schuiz book - The Street of Crocodiles and cut it up - literally. Instead of blackout poetry the book is bound with pages that are more holes than ink. It's an amazing experience. The story doesn't really stick out but it's worth it just for the way you have to read it.
9. The Book Thief - Marcus Zuzak
Who lets death narrate a book? Who lets death narrate a book aimed at kids and teens? Who decided it would be a good idea to let death tell the most heart wrenching story about World War II that we've seen in recent years?

10. The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde
In 2014 Dorian Gray seems a bit old hat. It's full of homosexual undertones but then again so is everything from Supernatural to Sherlock. It's vain, but you're reading this list on the internet. You found me because you also run a blog. It's got a magic picture...okay I'm having a hard time coming up with a suitable comparison for that...But Wilde didn't write in 2014. The 19th century wasn't kind on his debauchery. I can't imagine Victorian's reading about Lord Henry without a little shock.


Angela's Anxious Life said...

I have seen House of Leaves a lot and that makes me realize I need to be reading this book!! #7 is also a book I have been interested in reading for a while now.

Top Ten Unique Books

Crini said...

I wanted to read House of Leaves for so long now. I actually started it a few years ago but wasn't in the mood for a book like that and somehow never got back to it.

Penumbra made my list too! I love that book. It combined all the things I love!


Caitie F said...

This list is great! I totally agree with One Day - it was so cleverly done.

Sofia T said...

I can't believe I forgot to include One Day - it really has a unique way to give the readers insight to Em and Dexter's life. :) I'm going to read Fangirl next, hopefully I'll like it as much as you did! Thanks for stopping by at my blog earlier. :)

Obsessive Compulsive Reader said...

Just finished The Book Thief and definitely thought it's a highly unique book. Great list!

Thanks for stopping by my post earlier :)

Obsessive Compulsive Reader