This week’s top ten list is a huge challenge for me. Sure, I read A LOT! But it’s so difficult to pick out ten books that stick to this weeks topic. The top ten topic for this week is: top ten of the most unique books I’ve ever read. Of course, most books tend to be unique, but finding something that really stands out is pretty hard. I’m very rarely completely wow-ed by something new or outstanding. But here goes.
1. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer – I know I’ve mentioned this one before, but this book for me was the first of it’s kind that I’d discovered. I love Foer’s incorporation of images along with content. It really helped me to better understand his protagonist, Oscar Schell, and to see the world through his eyes. It also established an emotionally connection with me because it brought the book to life and made things a lot more real that they would have been with only my imagination. I found this to be really unique and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
2. The Island of Dr. Moreau by H. G. Wells – I read this book for a modern British literature course in university and I was fascinated by it. I loved studying this book as a commentary on the fear of industrialization and the technological age. It was interesting to see the parallels between scientific and technological advancements in real life and the monstrous and corrupt topic of vivisection and human-animal alteration in the book. I also liked the themes of fear of the foreign/different and fear of brutality/animality throughout this book.
3. Molloy by Samuel Beckett – This one was also read for a course in university. It’s Beckett so, like many others, I’m not entirely sure what happened in this story, but I know that I enjoyed reading it. Beckett is really a fascinating writer and no one can argue that his writing isn’t truly unique.
4. Lost in the Funhouse by John Barth – This book is a prime example of a metafictional text. These postmodern stories follow narrators including a sperm and egg, a conception, and a boy’s experience in a funhouse. The stories are very self-aware. It was a complicated read, but it was filled with very intriguing stories.
5. Uglies by Scott Westerfield – This book, well series, was my first adventure into dystopian Y.A. fiction. I think that Westerfield created a very unique world that stood out from all the vampire and werewolf Y.A. that was prominent at the time. I haven’t read it in probably in 8 years now so I can’t say how I would like it now. But at the time, it was one of the coolest stories I’d read. It was a breath of fresh air for me during the vamp/were craze.
6. When Fox is a Thousand by Larissa Lai – I loved this book. It weaves together various voices and vastly different eras to create an enchanting story reminiscent of Chinese fairytales. It has a very mystical and fantastical feel to it. It explores ideas of time, faith, family, sexuality, history, and gender. Plus, it’s a Canadian book, which I love, because I definitely think that the world needs more Canadian books.
7. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov – This book was recommended to me and I don’t think I was quite prepared for it’s difficult subject matter. Although often disturbing in it’s topic, Nabokov’s writing is undeniably beautiful. This book really spoke to me like few books do. His diction and narrative style is beautiful as well as tragic.
8. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami – I was drawn to this book by it’s unique cover. I have the first edition hard cover. The book has images of two faces, one on the front cover and one on the back. The dust jacket is made of beautiful translucent paper with 1Q84 in transparent paper revealing the faces beneath. This story was so bizarre with reality and an alternate reality. The story has you questioning what is real and what isn’t. A lot of the plot elements seem otherworldly. I can’t say I loved it, but I didn’t dislike it either.
9. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke – This story is about a man who has a special gift; he can bring the characters of books to life when he reads them aloud. I love this concept and when I was younger, I loved this book. It brought my dreams to life and awakened my imagination in a way that most other books couldn’t. It was a great and absorbing young adult read.
10. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon – The protagonist, Christopher John Francis Boone, is hands down the most unique character that I’ve come across. He is autistic and extraordinarily intelligent. I enjoyed being inside his brain in this narrative because it was so fascinating to see and move about his world as he did. I wasn’t completely sold on the story, so I have to say that it is this character that makes this book very unique.