Top Ten Tuesday: Most Unique Books


The topic for today’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is Top Ten Most Unique Books I’ve Read. It’s really easy to get comfortable, to get into reading ruts, but some of the most rewarding reading experiences I’ve had have been with books that play with form and genre, that take me by the shoulders and shake me out of those ruts.

This one was hard. So hard, I could only come up with five!

1742157Graham Rawle- Woman’s World 

The text of this novel is entirely assembled from scraps cut out of vintage women’s magazines. It’s visually stunning, and like nothing I have ever seen before or since.

Seth Grahame-Smith- Pride & Prejudice & Zombies 


This trend got old really, really fast. It’s certainly not original anymore to take a classic (aka public domain) work and mash it up with the supernatural. But all trends have to start somewhere, and when I first heard that Pride & Prejudice was being mashed up with a zombie tale while still using the original text, I was totally excited about it. Plus: that cover, omg.

49628David Mitchell- Cloud Atlas (and pretty much everything else he’s ever written.)

David Mitchell is the author who taught me to appreciate form, to see beauty in unusual structure, that the shape of things is important. Cloud Atlas, with it’s nesting doll structure, is the most potent example of this.

Ryan North- To Be Or Not To Be 17938417

I think this was the most successful Kickstarter project, ever. And it’s pretty hilarious. Hamlet as an epic choose-your-own adventure novel in North’s signature quirky style, with some great art by the best comics artists around right now. It’s definitely more interactive than most books, a new twist on the mash-ups I talked about above.

11515328Caitlin R. Keirnan- The Drowning Girl

The narrator of The Drowning Girl is schizophrenic. The story is atmospheric and haunting enough when she’s lucid, but when she decides to stop her medication it fractures and becomes an altogether unusual story. There’s a mermaid story and a ghost story and a werewolf story, and it’s all the same story. The narrator is wholly unreliable, and the book left me in knots.

What are the most unique books you have read?


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