"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Monday, April 7, 2014

TTT: Unique/Quirky books

Hosted by Broke and Bookish
This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic is about unique books. I tell people that I like quirky books with quirky characters so my list replaces the word "unique" with "quirky", though they may end up being the same thing.

1. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.
By 2045, the exhaustion of Earth's fossil fuels has led to longstanding global scarcity and violent unrest. People take refuge in the OASIS, a massively multiplayer online virtual reality simulation that dominates all human activity. Its creator James Halliday had died five years earlier. His fortune and controlling ownership of the OASIS will be awarded to the first person to find an Easter egg inside the simulation, which he has hidden behind a series of three gates unlocked by hidden keys. Those searching for the Egg are referred to as "gunters". Gunters become devotees of 1980s pop culture, with which Halliday had been obsessed. -Wikipedia
2.  The Couch by Benjamin Parzybok
Instead of an epic journey with a ring, this book starts in Portland, Oregon when a few fellows have to move a couch from their apartment to Goodwill. A trip to Goodwill never happens because they find themselves leaving town with the couch and all kinds of unexpected adventures happen on and because of the couch. I laughed my way through this quirky book but it got me thinking, too.
3. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
This is the funniest, silliest, zaniest Science Fiction book I've ever read. It is Monty-Python-laugh-out-loud-funny and one of my favorite books to recommend to those senior boys who are tired of the kid stuff I have in the library.
4. A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
Stuffed full of the quirkiest set of characters in all literature this book is a must-read for anyone who likes unique/quirky reads. Ignatius J. Riley is the most despicable, gross character but his voice is unique and contagious. Oh my gawd, you have to read this book because of quotes like this: “I am at the moment writing a lengthy indictment against our century. When my brain begins to reel from my literary labors, I make an occasional cheese dip.”
5. Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick
'Have you ever had the feeling that you've lived another life? Been somewhere that has felt totally familiar, even though you've never been there before, or felt that you know someone well, even though you are meeting them for the first time? It happens.'-Goodreads. This book is seven interconnected stories which tie together with ever tightening threads. More unique than quirky.
6. Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore combines elements of fantasy, mystery, friendship and adventure as a way of looking at the modern conflict and transition between new technology (electronic) and old (print books). The main protagonist is a laid off Silicon Valley tech worker who begins working at a dusty bookstore with very few customers, only to start discovering one secret after another. The mysterious old books, along with the store's owner, lead to a 500 year old secret society.-Wikipedia
7. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fford
Welcome to a surreal version of Great Britain, circa 1985, where time travel is routine, cloning is a reality, and literature is taken very, very seriously. England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem, militant Baconians heckle performances of Hamlet, and forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. All this is business as usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary detection, until someone begins kidnapping characters from works of literature. When Jane Eyre is plucked from the pages of Brontë's novel, Thursday must track down the villain and enter the novel herself to avert a heinous act of literary homicide. -Goodreads (This is the first book in an 8 book series.)
8. God Went to Beauty School by Cynthia Rylant
A book full of poems about God as if he were present in our everyday lives and actions, like going to the beauty parlor. This book has been recently reworked and republished with a new title: God Got a Dog.
9. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
Milo mopes in black ink sketches, until he assembles a tollbooth and drives through. He jumps to the island of Conclusions. But brothers King Azaz of Dictionopolis and the Mathemagician of Digitopolis war over words and numbers. Joined by ticking watchdog Tock and adult-size Humbug, Milo rescues the Princesses of Rhyme and Reason, and learns to enjoy life.- Goodreads 
10. Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan
Through a series of captivating and sophisticated illustrated stories, Tan explores the precious strangeness of our existence.-Goodreads 
*  Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan (Jamie over at Perpetual Page-Turner reminded me of this one!)
Here's one of the things I said in my review of this book that makes it really fit this TTT post:
uniquen., adj.      I have never read a book like it before.  It is the sole example of a tale written as if by a dictionary, to my knowledge. 


  1. I enjoyed #1, felt enriched by #2(remember them carrying the couch through Portland? That was an amazing section) and adored #6. Great list!

    1. I laugh whenever I think of the zany Couch book. It was funny in an unexpected way.

  2. A Confederacy of Dunces definitely has a unique narrator.

    1. So many parts of the book are so disgusting, but hilarious at the same time.

  3. Ready Player One, Hitchhiker's Guide and Phantom Tollbooth are such great choices - wish I had thought of them! I think I am drawn to the absurd when trying to identify "unique" books for whatever reason.

  4. Ready Player One is one of my all time favorite books!!! YES!! A friend of mine just met Norton Juster. I am so jealous of her. Great choices here!

    Top Ten Unique Books

    1. I am jealous, too. Norton Juster! Wow, what a phenom!

  5. Confederacy of Dunces! Great choice!

  6. I should've added the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy as well! I loved that book with its dry, British humour. :) Great list!

  7. I really want to read The Lover's Dictionary after seeing it around a lot this week!

  8. I really need to read Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was a close contender for my list. LOVE that book.

  9. I love your list. These all sound so interesting. I'm going to have to check these books out. Thank you for sharing.

    My TTT

  10. Great list! I forgot to add Hitchhiker's to my list, it was certainly a unique read :) You also mentioned a number of titles I want to read, like Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, Ready Player One, etc. :)

    Thanks for dropping by my TTT

  11. How could I forget to list Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?! That is such a unique book!

  12. Several of these are on my TBR list! I bought Midwinterblood when it won the Printz and I've got Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore next up on my audible wish list. But, UGH, I should have put Ready Player One on my list! I love that book and you are right, such an incredible and unique book!

  13. Sadly, I haven't read the books you listed here, but I heard Mr. Penumbra's 24 hour Bookstore is a great read! :D
    my top ten tuesday http://wp.me/p3v5T1-nq

  14. Nice quote on Confederacy of Dunces. Funny. I liked that book so glad you put it on the list!

  15. I am about to read Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore and I'm really excited! I also realized that the book glows in the dark. Pretty cool, huh?

  16. I really need to check out God Went to Beauty School Again. I remember loving it so much the last time I read it.

    Lots to add to my wish list! Thank you, Anne!


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