"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 10, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Unique Books (2)

Top Ten Tuesday: Most unique books I've read recently (since April 2014)

1. Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith
This raunchy, bizarre, smart and compelling sci-fi novel defies description – it's best to go into it with an open mind and allow yourself to be first drawn in, then blown away. ---Rolling Stone
2.  How to Tell Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You by Matthew Inman
If your cat is kneading you, that's not a sign of affection. Your cat is actually checking your internal organs for weakness. If your cat brings you a dead animal, this isn't a gift. It's a warning. How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You is an offering of cat comics, facts, and instructional guides from the creative wonderland at TheOatmeal.com.-Gooreads
3. The Alex Crow by Andrew Smith
The author of Printz Honor book Grasshopper Jungle returns with another genre-bending literary exploration of the absurd. Once again blending multiple story strands that transcend time and place, Grasshopper Jungle author Andrew Smith tells the story of 15-year-old Ariel, a refugee from the Middle East who is the sole survivor of an attack on his small village. Now living with an adoptive family in Sunday, West Virginia, Ariel's story of his summer at a boys' camp for tech detox is juxtaposed against those of a schizophrenic bomber and the diaries of a failed arctic expedition from the late nineteenth century. Oh, and there’s also a depressed bionic reincarnated crow. -Amazon.com
4.  Ishmael by Daniel Quinn
Ishmael is a half ton silverback gorilla. He is a student of ecology, life, freedom, and the human condition. He is also a teacher. He teaches that which all humans need to learn -- must learn -- if our species, and the rest of life on Earth as we know it, is to survive.- Ishmael.com
5.   The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
Díaz finds a miraculous balance. He cuts his barn-burning comic-book plots (escape, ruin, redemption) with honest, messy realism, and his narrator speaks in a dazzling hash of Spanish, English, slang, literary flourishes, and pure virginal dorkiness. —New York Magazine
6.  March: Book Three by John Lewis
"An incredible accomplishment. It is the history of John Lewis, the civil rights movement and his role in it... a book that explains -- more deeply than anything else I've ever read -- the methods and the moral foundations of the civil rights movement, how civil rights activists did what they did and won what they won, and how they had the strength to do it in the most difficult circumstances imaginable." -- Rachel Maddow
"The closest American peer to Maus has arrived." -- The Washington Post
7.  Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter
An enchantingly twisted modern fairy tale, perfect for those who prefer Grimm to Disney. Inventive, darkly magical, and beautifully written, it will stay with me for a long time.― Kendare Blake
8.  My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand
The comical, fantastical, romantical, (not) entirely true story of Lady Jane Grey. In My Lady Jane, coauthors Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows have created a one-of-a-kind fantasy in the tradition of The Princess Bride, featuring a reluctant king, an even more reluctant queen, a noble steed, and only a passing resemblance to actual history—because sometimes history needs a little help.---Goodreads
9.   Romeo and/or Juliet: A Chooseable-Path Adventure by Ryan North
Romeo loves Juliet. Or Rosaline. And Juliet loves Romeo. Or Viola. Or Orlando. It's Shakespeare as you've never played him before.  In this choose-your-own-path version of Romeo and Juliet, you choose where the story goes every time you read!---Amazon.com
10. Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War by Mary Roach
'America's funniest science writer' (Washington Post) Mary Roach explores the science of keeping human beings intact, awake, sane, uninfected, and uninfested in the bizarre and extreme circumstances of war.---Amazon.com

Peek below the line to look at the books I had on the list the last time TTT did this topic:

My 2014 List:
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 
11.  Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan 
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've seen How to Tell Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You in the bookstore before and it looked so funny! I also really loved Ready Player One and The Lover's Dictionary. The Lover's Dictionary has such amazing insight into monogamous relationships. I also want to read the "Choose Your Own Adventure" styled Romeo and Juliet Book! It's on my TBR, like everything else in the world!

  2. I still hope that someone will think to gift me How to Tell Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You one day.

  3. I love so many of these---Lover's Dictionary, God Went to Beauty School, March---that now I need to get a few of the others you have listed on these two lists.


  4. 1,2 and 6 from your last list--I enjoyed them very much. I remember how much I whined about having to read Couch, then loved it. :)

  5. Oh, Ishmael was a fabulous book. Nice choice there.

    Kaeley, I had the same response to How to Tell Your Cat is Plotting to Kill You. What a unique title.

    Here is my TTT

  6. I should pick up Andrew Smith's books. He does not circulate at my library at all. Even his "mainstream" Winger series had zero traction. I also loved the format of Lover's Dictionary which I thought was very cool.

  7. I so want to read Ryan Noth's book!! It sounds fabulous.

    Here's a link to my TTT post for this week:

  8. Oh my gosh, I need to check out How to Tell Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You. I'm positive that my cat is planning something big. He's always staring quietly at me from across the room. Very suspicious. Thanks for sharing.

  9. The choose your own adventure- Romeo and Juliet sounds like fun! I always liked those books growing up. ;)

  10. I'd say most Andrew Smith books could fit this week's topic! :)

    I had one of those How To Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting To Kill You calendars... sometimes I'd catch my cat looking at it - made me nervous!

    Lauren @ Always Me

  11. I LOVED Ready Player One - my favorite book read that year. I was really looking forward to listening to Grasshopper Jungle but I waited too long and my audio download expired :(

    My son was just assigned Ishmael for his freshman English class, and my husband and I told him how good it is. He didn't read a single word of it...and unfortunately, got an A on his paper on it!! I have one son who is a voracious reader and one who hates to read.

    Two great lists!!


    Book By Book


I look forward to your comments and interactions! Join in the conversation.