Tuesday, April 11, 2017

TOP TEN TUESDAY: Most Unique Books I've Read (and loved!)

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted at The Broke and the Bookish each week. This week's topic is Most Unique Books I've Read.  This was my process and decision making - I looked for books I've loved (5 star or 4.5 from librarything) and then there was something about the book, that made me go - Is there more books like this? Why have I not read a book like this before? Sometimes there is not another book like this because this author has really been original and brilliant. Sometimes I am very disappointed by this fact. I was not, however, disappointed by any of these books!
I don't think I included any world building books, like Ready Player One by Ernest Cline or The Colours of Madeleine series by Jaclyn Moriarty or The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde, even though those are three of the most unique fantasy/scifi books I've read. 

Heads You Lose by Lisa Lutz + David Hayward

 Alternating chapters written by Lutz and her ex-boyfriend about a mystery which they begin to disagree in which direction the plot should take, and who should be killed. The connecting passages as they email back and forth make this book hilarious! The fighting between characters and chapters made this such a fun, meta book.

Here in Harlem by Walter Dean Myers

I listened to this from last summer's YA Sync give away. I'm really not a poetry fan, but poems as character studies of people living in Harlem was done very, very well.

Then We Came to an End by Joshua Ferris

First person plural narrator! I haven't found too many of those books since. It seemed like just a neat gimmick used to comment on work life and group think that happens in an office, but suddenly there was a story, a great story and characters. 

Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block

Modern day fairy tale, set in Los Angeles with early twenties characters finding their way. I've read other Block books, equally unique, lyrical and poetic with great parallels between modern issues and fairy tales.

The Frozen Thames by Helen Humphries

Taking factual events and times - the Thames River freezing over in London, and writing short stories to give life to the event. Often included art - photos and paintings. The closest I've found to a similar book is Imagined Lives: Portraits of Unknown People, a book of short biographies based on paintings in the National Portrait Gallery in London which I haven't read yet. Regardless, Humphries was already a favourite writer before this wonderful book.

The Book Thief by Marcus Zuzak
Death as narrator? Colours as emotions. A most wonderful and sad book set in Germany during WW2.

Finding Wonders: How 3 Girls Changed Science by Jeannine Atkins

I just read this last month, but it was wonderfully unique. Three biographies of girls through the ages who studied science and made great leaps in knowledge but written in blank verse. Next verse book will be Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

Not an illustrated book, but not a graphic novel. This book uses illustrations to further the story, but there are pages of written text as well. I had to wait for Selznick to write another book, Wonderstruck, to find another book as unique and wonderful as this one.

Einstein's Dreams by Alan Lightman

Philosophy and physics get all tangled up in Einstein's Dreams. Lightman imagines the dreams about time that Einstein might have grappled with before finishing his Theory of Relativity in which he reconfigures the idea of time. Also can be used as a classroom management technique when read aloud to a grade twelve physics class to start the class.

The Incident Report by Martha Baillie

I loved this little book which starts out as incident reports written by a librarian about things that have happened in her library. That so much is revealed about her by the end of the book is testament to some unique writing.