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April 11: Top Ten Of The Most Unique Books I’ve Read (topic originally done 4/14) Some variations: top ten unique sounding books on my TBR, top ten most unique books I’ve read in X genre, etc

I’m going for Top Ten Most Unique Books I’ve Read. Some are unique for their form, others for their content.

1. S.; J.J. Abrahms. A library book someone wrote notes in, and then someone responded to those notes, stuffed with marginalia and postcards, longer letters, etc.

2. Good Omens; Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett. There can’t be too many books where the hero is the anti-Christ.

3. House of Leaves; Mark Danielewski. A story within a story within a story, occasionally trapped in little boxes, or other elements to reflect the action.

4. The Familiar; Mark Danielewski. Normally I wouldn’t put two different books by the same author on a list, but The Familiar’s complicated multiple interweaving points of view, interesting presentations–some sideways on the page, or arranged in circles, is very unique.

5. Johannes Cabal; Jonathan L. Howard. The story starts with the protagonist having sold his soul–and deciding to get it back. Add in that the protagonist is a necromancer, and an anti-hero at best, and this is amusingly unique.

6. Cloud Atlas; David Mitchell. These points of view skip across time, and each character’s story is split, so you jump back and forth between them.

7. The Stupidest Angel; Christopher Moore. How many books begin with an angel granting a terrible Christmas miracle? At least one.

8. Resenting the Hero; Moira Moore. It’s rare to find a book where the female protagonist isn’t smitten with the golden boy male protagonist, much less one where she sees his faults.

9. 1Q84; Haruki Murakami. Most of his books could go on this list, but this epic reality-jumping monster is a favorite of mine.

10. The Diamond Age; Neal Stephenson. A futuristic setting, but also Victorian.


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.

11 responses »

  1. Marcia says:

    As always, interesting selections. I would definitely count the Johannes Cabal books among the most unusual books I’ve ever read. Not the subject, but the antihero, and the way they are written. Some of the funniest lines I’ve ever read! I can’t get enough of them. (BTW, it’s actually Jonathan L. Howard, in case anyone tries to look it up via author.) I’d forgotten I wanted to read House of Leaves, too. It sounds delightfully quirky.

  2. tiareleine says:

    I love the concept of S. I managed to get a copy a while ago, but it’s so daunting (I don’t know whether to read the internal story and then go back for the notes or try to read it all at once or what) and I never feel like I have time to sit down and read it!

    Great list! 🙂

    • Yeah, it is complicated! If it helps, I read the story and the marginalia as I reached it–this note applies to this paragraph sort of thing–and the inserts at the end of each page. Because the notes relate to the story, instead of being separate from it.

  3. Wow! So many books I haven’t heard of. I love that. Unique books are awesome!

  4. suicidesamblog says:

    Great list! I love how you added a Murakami book too 🙂

    Also, I added Resenting the Hero to my TBR. It sounds amazing!

  5. I’ve been looking for my next Neil Gaiman read, and it looks like you have just revealed it to me 🙂

  6. thesassygeek says:

    Great list! I have both Good Omens and House of Leaves on my TBR so I’m glad to see you liked them, I think House of Leaves seems both very unique and creepy. 🙂

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