Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Most Unique Books

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted at The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's topic is Top Ten Most Unique Books.  The books on this list are all unique for different reasons: format, point of view, framing device, pictures...  I guess most books are unique in that they're all different... but I've tried to pick books that are really different:

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion - After reading a couple of zombie books, I wasn't sure I was into the genre.  But then I read this one, and I loved it; it was my favourite book of 2013.  What makes it unique is that it's told from the point of view of a zombie... and what a point of view that is.  All my preconceived notions of zombies went out the window with this one.  It's definitely worth a read, whether you're really into zombie novels or are just looking for a unique take on the genre.

Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder - A novel about the history of philosophy?  The premise will either appeal to you or make you shudder with anticipated boredom.  To be honest, I did get bogged down near the end and it took me a while to finish.  But I did ultimately enjoy this book, and it is unlike anything I've read before or since.

Room by Emma Donoghue - This book made my list because of the narrator.  Jack is five years old, and his telling of the story is charming.  What might have been just another (rather dark) contemporary novel about a mother and son being held captive becomes a thrilling tale as we see the events unfold through a small child's point of view.

The Princess Bride by William Goldman - I chose this one because I thought the idea that this was a book written by a fictional person was rather interesting.  While William Goldman is listed as the author, this book (and another of Goldman's works called The Silent Gondoliers) is supposedly by someone named S. Morgenstern.  It's a cute device, and it helps to frame the story.

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende - If you've seen the somewhat cheesy (but still entertaining) 1980s movie and liked it, you should read the book... and if you do, you must read the edition with the red and green typefaces.  The colours differentiate between Bastian's and Atreyu's stories, and it really helps the reader keep things straight (because the story can get wild and twisty at times).  The two-colour format is pretty unique; I haven't seen any other books like this.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs - One need only flip through this book to see what makes it so unique.  The old photographs tie in perfectly with this creepy, atmospheric story about some very odd goings-on in Wales.

God Went to Beauty School by Cynthia Rylant - How many books are there about God?  In verse?  (I mean, besides that one.)  I thought this unique book was thought provoking and different, and yet it still managed to be sweet and amusing.

Every Day by David Levithan - While I ultimately ended up disliking this book (due to the characters), I thought the premise was really interesting and unlike anything I'd read before.  Not only does the main character (named A) wake up every day in a different body, but A is a genderless entity.  I can't recall any other stories I've read where the main character is neither "he" nor "she"!  (That did make writing my review kind of tricky...)

The Dust of 100 Dogs by A. S. King - There are books about reincarnation, books about being trapped in a dog's body, and books told from a dog's point of view.  And then there's this novel, which somehow manages to incorporate all three.  Yes, it's a bit weird... but it works.

Dreamhunter by Elizabeth Knox - The premise of this book is what makes it so unique.  Set in a world that seems very much like ours (but in the 1910s or thereabouts), Dreamhunter uses the premise that dreams can be caught and performed for others for entertainment.  It's an interesting idea, and so different from many of the standard fantasy/paranormal YA offerings.


  1. I can't believe I missed Every Day! Great list.

  2. This is a great list! Room is one of the most unique books I have ever read, I need to add Dreamhunter to my list!

  3. I can't believe I still haven't read Every Day, and today when so many have listed it, it makes me want to read Every Day even more! Great list - I have quite many on my TBR list. :) Thanks for stopping by at my blog earlier!

  4. What great selections! I almost never see other people mention the Dreamhunter books, but I really did love both of them and thought the concept was so original. I'll have to check out the A. S. King book -- I've read 2 other books by her and liked them both very much. Totally agree about The Princess Bride and Miss Peregrine too!

  5. Dust of 100 Dogs! Loved that one--as well as a few others on your list.

  6. Room! I forgot about Room! Such a good book and such an interesting perspective. That still haunts me.

  7. Oh I love that you have Warm Bodies (my favorite "zombie romance) and Every Day (A is such a unique character) on your list. :) And yes, those creepy old photos make Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children stand out too.