Top Ten Tuesday: Unique Books

Happy Tuesday!! Today’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is certainly an interesting one: I’ll be sharing the top ten unique books that I’ve read. I didn’t really have any criteria in my mind while making this list; rather, I chose the first ten books that popped into my head as being remarkably different for one reason or another. Some of these books are unique for their plots and characters, whereas others stand out due to their writing styles or overarching themes. Get ready for an eclectic list!

Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley

A supposedly extinct Lazarus woodpecker. A small town in Arkansas obsessed with said species of woodpecker. A young missionary whose story intertwines with that of the main character’s missing younger brother as these young people endeavor to figure out what in the world they’re supposed to be doing with their lives.

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

A literal watchdog named Tock. A trip to the Kingdom of Wisdom, which you can only reach via tollbooth. Princesses called Rhyme and Reason. Places with names like the Valley of Sound, Mountains of Ignorance, and the Island of Conclusions. SO. MANY. CLEVER. PUNS.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl by Ryan North & Erica Henderson

A superhero with the power of both girl and squirrel, who also happens to be a college student studying computer science. A talking squirrel named Tippy-Toe that acts as both sidekick and best friend to Squirrel Girl. The inclusion of online chats, hilarious footnotes in the smallest font possible, and references to countless other heroes and villains in the Marvel universe.

Vicious by V.E. Schwab

Two college roommates turn into morally ambiguous mad scientists with a plot to develop superhuman powers. A main character who is an anti-hero that you can’t help but root for– and who is aided by a young girl he finds on the road. (I know this book sounds strange, but I swear that it’s fantastic!)

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

The sprawling narrative of this novel is unlike anything else I have ever read. It is almost as though the chapters are irrelevant; instead, the story barrels straight on through without any pauses or hesitation. Elements of magical realism add an intriguing unpredictability to the narrative that keeps the audience on their toes at all times.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

One of the strangest combinations of childhood nostalgia, fantastical elements, and thrilling suspense… but somehow it ends up creating a short but striking novel characteristic of Neil Gaiman’s remarkably unique imagination.

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

An impressively interwoven blend of historical and science fiction that will both confuse and enlighten the reader (the confusion is definitely worth it!). A thin tightrope between reality and memory, spanning across that gray area that everyone dips their toes into at some point. Also, this novel has the best quirky (and meaningful) repeated mantra: So it goes. 

The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

An incredibly confusing (yet surprisingly captivating) narrative structure. Four distinct perspectives. Characters with the same names. A plot like a puzzle that has to be pieced together– though there will always be at least one piece missing.

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

An unsettling dystopian world centered around the reproductive roles of women in society. A story that is completely and disturbingly relevant in today’s world, especially regarding recent feminist movements and questions surrounding the relationship between politics, sex, and gender.

More Than This by Patrick Ness

Waking up in a strange place, completely alone and with no idea of what happened to anyone else. A scary figure on a mission to harm you in some way, though you can’t even imagine how so. This book is so unique that I don’t even want to describe it further for fear of spoiling anything!

Have you read any of these books? What are some unique books that you’ve read? Let me know in the comments section below!



46 Replies to “Top Ten Tuesday: Unique Books”

  1. Unfortunately I haven’t read any (I hope to fix that soon) But I tried More Than This and it just wasn’t for me. I’ve realized it’s because of the way Patrick Ness writes. It just doesn’t ring with me. But I do plan to read his book A Monster Calls soon. Just to give him one more chance 😛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel like I missed a lot of the point of Slaughterhouse Five as well, though I did enjoy the way it was written and the dark humor that Vonnegut injects into the story. Glad you love The Handmaid’s Tale, too! ❤


    1. I would love to reread One Hundred Years of Solitude as well. There’s so much layered into that novel that I feel as though you could read it ten times and still encounter something new on the eleventh visit back.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely need to read more by Patrick Ness– I’ve read More Than This, The Crane Wife, and The Rest of Us Just Live Here, but I’ve heard fantastic things about his other books as well.


    1. The Ocean at the End of the Lane was bizarre and a bit confusing at first, but the more I read the more I fell in love with its strange and charming story. That’s how I feel with most of Neil Gaiman’s books, actually 🙂


    1. The way The Sound and the Fury is narrated is absolutely brilliant (and quite confusing, but it’s totally worth it!!). I really want to reread it this summer, especially since I’ll hopefully be taking an entire course solely focusing on William Faulkner in the fall… fingers crossed! 🙂


  2. I ended up picking books for my list the same way… just whichever 10 books came to mind first as being unique for some reason or another. I’ve only read a couple of the books on your list. I’ll have to add a few more to the TBR list today. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! 🙂 I always end up making my TTT lists like that, so they end up being more of a reflection of what’s currently on my mind than anything else.


    1. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is so bizarre– but SO good. I remember that after I finished reading it I couldn’t stop thinking about it for days… Neil Gaiman’s stories always somehow managed to wedge their way into my mind!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I read The Phantom Tollbooth two years ago, and I thought I wouldn’t like it, but it was REALLY good! It was just so strange and clever — it was a really great read! And EEK I need to read Vicious!!! Along with AGOS and ACOL, but Vicious just sounds so dark and delicious. XD

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I felt the same way about The Phantom Tollbooth! I had never even heard about it before until last year when my roommate recommended it to me because it was one of her favorite books when she was younger. I expected to enjoy it a little, but I was taken aback by the incredibly clever and captivating story. The way Norton Juster plays with language is absolutely brilliant!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! The Phantom Tollbooth is such a lovely little book. The way Norton Juster plays with language in that story is incredibly clever. And the PUNS! 🙂


    1. I completely agree! I’m so excited that it’s being made into a television series. Hopefully this will help spark some more interest in the novel as well.


  4. Hooray for Phantom Tollbooth! I love that book. I’m seeing Patrick Ness on a few lists (mine as well). Ocean at the End of the Lane is also a great pick. You kind of expect a horror book but that’s really not what you get.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I felt the same way about The Ocean at the End of the Lane. At first I thought it was primarily going to be eerie and creepy, but I was taken aback by how charming and quaint the story could be at times. Neil Gaiman is always full of surprises! 🙂


  5. I’ve read The Handmaid’s Tale and More Than This. They were both so good but so creepy!! I didn’t read the blurb of More Than This or anything before I started it and it honestly is one of the weirdest but also best books I’ve ever read 🙂 🙂 I recently read The Handmaid’s Tale, and it was AMAZING. I really liked the last part which was like a historical commentary after ‘Gilead’ was destroyed? I think it made it really interesting how it played with oral histories, and the main character was so rich and complex. 🙂 Another book with unique formatting I’ve read is Miss. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar children, which uses weird and cool antique photos as part of the intensely creepy story. I haven’t finished the series though.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The ending of The Handmaid’s Tale literally made my jaw drop. Including a different perspective on the decline of Gilead was such a smart move on Atwood’s part. It’s such a clever way to talk about what happened to Offred after the main narrative without doing a traditional epilogue.

      I definitely should have included Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children on my list! I love how it incorporates creepy pictures in with the story, especially since many of the characters reflect the people in the photographs.

      Liked by 1 person

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