Bookishness, Getting to know me

Ten Most Unique Books I’ve Read

I know there isn’t supposed to be a superlative for unique, but anyways! This week with Top Ten Tuesday we discuss the most unique books we have read, be it because of the characters, the way it was written or the approach to the setting.

1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: well, the narrator is Death Incarnate. No, literally. And it is done so well.

2. Beauty’s Gift by Sindiwe Magona: it’s chick-lit about HIV. Maybe there are similar ones out there, but this is the only one of its kind that I have heard of.

3. Every Day by David Levithan: the main character is not a concrete person – every day, A wakes up in a different person’s body. Who thinks of that?? David Levithan, apparently (and it’s totally worth the read, by the way).

4. Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor – fantasy, magic, paranormal YA set in Nigeria. PLUS the MC has albinism. And it is not a poverty narrative. (Okorafor has also recently published a Sci-Fi novel set in Lagos, Lagoon, and I can’t wait to get my grubby little hands on it.)

5. Railsea by China Mieville – a dark and twisted world where the convoluted railways are akin to the ocean, and trains of all sorts haunt them, and men look for old treasures in the dangerous wasteland while others hunt for the giant moldywarpe. Again, WHO THINKS OF THIS?! (And again, fantastic read.)

Fan art by Robin Latkovich, click image for site

6. The Big Necessity by Rose George – it’s a book about toilets. How much more unique can you get? It’s also hands down one of the best non-fictions that I have read.

7. Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Green – the narrator is an imaginary friend, and I loved that!

8. Deadlands by Lily Herne – so zombies are nothing new, but zombies in South Africa are! And the twist is pretty unique too. Still need to read the rest of the series…

9. Life on the Refrigerator Door by Alice Kuipers – the whole book consists of notes between a mother and a daughter, posted on their refrigerator door. It is heart-rendering.

10. The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker – mixing two completely mythical creatures, one from Jewish mythology and the other Middle Eastern, was completely unprecedented in my mind. And bringing them together in New York, of all places.

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27 thoughts on “Ten Most Unique Books I’ve Read”

  1. I’m reading The Book Thief now and have to admit I’m a bit on the fence about it. I’m kinda wondering when the story’s going to start already.

    #3 – There was a television show in the eighties about just this: a guy who wakes up in a different body as a different person every day. At any point in Earth’s history.

    #5 sounds intriguing.

    Have you read The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes yet? I think it would also make your list.

    1. The Book Thief isn’t really the kind of book that starts and ends… I don’t know how to explain it. It might not be for everyone, but I hope you will find enjoyment in it.

      That TV show sounds similar and cool. Only difference is that this kid lives in chronological order – so he doesn’t go back into history for example – and he is limited by some extent to a certain distance (not sure what the radius is though).

      I’ve read Shining Girls and loved it! It nearly made this list.

  2. I just read a review The Golem and the Jinni that made me want to read it. It does sound interesting! Great list, I can’t say I’ve read many on it but definitely want to add a few to my TBR!

  3. The Book Thief is on so many lists 😀 Such a great choice. And I didn’t know what Railsea was about until now. I love the sound of it! I’m bumping it up on my wishlist right now.

    1. Railsea confused me too before I read it, and I actually read it on a whim. It’s great though, I hope you will enjoy it. I know it’s not for everyone but it definitely was for me.

  4. Those all sound so interesting! Seriously. I think you hit the nail on the head with “unique” here. The Book Thief is next on my list, and I’m really looking forward to it.

  5. Of these, I have only read The Book Thief. They sound really good. Especially “Life on the Refrigerator Door,” and “The Big Necessity.”

    1. Yes! Those are great. Life on the Refrigerator Door will go quite nicely for you (trust me on it, I don’t want to give any spoilers) but it does make one cry. And The Big Necessity is fantastic for anyone with an interest in public health and developing countries in general. Oh, but it talks about toilets in NYC and London too. If you read them, I hope you will love them!

    1. Yeah, I think compared to the things you usually read, this will definitely go quickly for you. I also think that it will be the kind of book that won’t be difficult to pick up after being interrupted. I do hope that you will enjoy it!

  6. Ooh, I’ve hardly read any of these, but so many are very intriguing! I agree that The Book THief and Life on the Refrigerator Door are both uniquely exquisite, and I’m very interested to try out Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend, because that’s such an interesting idea! Great list!

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