Today, the bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish have asked us to list the ten most unusual books I’ve ever read.
- This was the first book that jumped into my brain when I started writing this list – Hard Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World by Haruki Murakami. Hands down, this is one of the strangest, and weirdest, but still fun book that I’ve ever read.
- The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. I read this series when I was a teen and I was just in stitches at the very thought of a hapless Arthur Dent traveling through the universe with his trusty little towel. Even the titles of the books are so random and never fail to bring a smile to my face:
- The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
- The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
- Life, the Universe, and Everything
- So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish
- Mostly Harmless
- Another very unique series that I love is Asimov’s Robot series. Please don’t go by those random movies, read the books. Mind-blowing. Actually, I take that back – practically anything Asimov wrote blew my mind. I love the Robot series in particular, with the Foundation series being another firm favorite.
- The Hobbit by J.R.R.Tolkien. This was my first Fantasy book and I loved the story, the concepts, the map (very important, the map 😉 ) and everything basically. I’d never read anything like this before and my mind was blown, just blown by this book. I have been a hardcore Fantasy buff ever since.
- Talking about Fantasy, I have to include A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R.Martin. He took the stock Fantasy tropes and turned them on their heads. I’ve never read books that combine Fantasy creatures with regular politicking and governance.
- Changing genres once again to include Catch-22 by Joseph Heller on the list. A war novel that is funny? Yup, unique indeed, and that brings me to the next book on my list.
- Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. I think this was the first book that I read that was written in a non-linear style and the very fact that the book combines a war story with time travel makes it one very unique read indeed.
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kasey. This was the first book I read that was set in a mental institution and was unusual and disturbing all at the same time.
- Another unusual book that is set in a mental institution is Dennis Lehane’s Shutter Island. Most thrillers tend to stick to the formula, but this one was quite a different read.
- I am ending this list with one of my favorite classic thriller/mysteries from the Grand Dame Agatha Christie herself – And Then There Were None. I’m usually very good at guessing mysteries but this book had me flummoxed and scratching my head. There was no way I or the detectives would have got the bad guy without Christie being so kind enough as to send a message in a bottle with a full confession from the murderer.
Looking back on my list, it seems odd that the most unusual books are the ones that I read during my teenage years. Does that mean I haven’t read anything unique/unusual lately, or does that mean I am growing older and nothing feels as unique anymore? If it’s the latter, then I am really sad 🙁 .
Which are your top ten unique/unusual books?