Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, and feature lists related to all things bookish–characters, authors, titles, and favorites. They’re an excellent way to find new interesting books on a variety of topics, and to find bloggers that love the books you do.

Check out their blog for their top ten and lists of other bloggers who participate!

top ten sunset

April 8: Top Ten Most Unique Books I’ve Read (maybe the MC was really different, maybe it was the way it was written, a very unique spin on a genre or topic, etc.)

book thief

1.The Book Thief; Markus Zusak. Books have been narrated by Death  before,  but never like this–a very unique voice for a being ‘haunted by humans.’

city and the city

2. The City and The City; China Miéville. Two cities, which are geographically overlapping each other–but the citizens act as if they are separated by an ocean. Intentional blindness makes for some interesting characters.

cloud atlas

3. Cloud Atlas; David Mitchell. Stories layered on themselves, with each related by a complex web of coincidence and reincarnation.


4. Embassytown; China Miéville. A different way of looking at language–an alien species that has no abstract language, and how humans try to communicate with them.

extremely loud

5. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close; Jonathan Foer. Nine-year-old Oskar has a different way of looking at the world, and of telling his story. As he tries to find clues left behind by his father, he wends a very circuitous way through life.


6. House of Leaves; Mark Danielwski. Sideways, diagonal, colored print–words running every which way, mimicking the maze-like nature of the house.


7. Reboot; Amy Tintera. I’ve read quite a few zombie-related books before–virus spread by air or bite, zombies that aren’t actually dead, fast zombies, slow zombies… But never something quite like this, where the longer you stay dead, the better you are when you come back.


8. S.; J.J. Abrams. With handwritten notes in the margins, and postcards, notes, and photocopies tucked into the pages, this book is several stories at once.

south of the border

9. South of the Border, West of the Sun; Haruki Murakami. If it’s possible for books to be unique if they’re all different in the same way–as if they come from a peculiar world, with rules that don’t quite make sense–then all Murakami’s books are unique.

Stranger in a Strange Land

10. Stranger in a Strange Land; Robert Heinlein. Anything this weird has to stand by itself–proudly, proclaiming itself Martian, most likely.


About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

14 responses »

  1. lipsyy says:

    I’m surprised I haven’t seen S or Cloud Atlas on more lists this week. Very unique!

  2. Harliqueen says:

    Good list of books 🙂

  3. Anne says:

    I have Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close sitting on my bookshelf at home and keep forgetting about it! I also want to check out Cloud Atlas, although I heard that the movie just doesn’t do the book justice.

  4. Amy Sachs says:

    Definitely agree with The Book Thief and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close! Both have such different narrators definitely unlike any others I’ve read. Great list!

    • caitlinstern says:

      Yep. I love the voice for both of them, especially how the narrator in Book Thief tells you what’s going to happen, but it still an emotional impact when it does.

  5. Jen Pace says:

    The Book Thief was a good one! Haven’t read the others.

  6. Ashley says:

    Great list! Anne and I actually saw Amy Tintera at a book signing in MN. I have Reboot on my kindle, but have yet to read it.

  7. Thanks for your comment – glad we both like Cloud Atlas, I think it’s one of those books people either love or hate. And your list has definitely given me some reading ideas. I’ve been meaning to read some Melville for a while – any thoughts on which book would be best to start with?

    And S looks absolutely intriguing. I’m a committed e-book fan, but that seems like a reason to buy the hard copy if ever I saw one!

    • caitlinstern says:

      There’s some variety to Mieville’s books, so it depends on what you like. But these are my favorites:

      A series that starts with Perdido Street Station–loosely structured, dark, steampunk; about a city full of corruption and non-human species.

      Railsea is a stand-alone, a sort of dystopian Moby Dick with trains and moles instead of ships and whales.

      Un Lun Dun is stand-alone YA, about another version of London that’s magical and strange–this is probably one of the least mind-bending of his books.

      Kraken is another stand-alone, about a scientist who has a giant squid specimen, and it turns out it disappears–which ought to be impossible.

      I like e-books, too, but some things just don’t translate well. I got S from the library–my source for books I might or might not want to own–you might be able to, as well.

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