So I went on a quest recently, on a quest for uniqueness in the world of books. And I found 13 unique books you will want right now!! I know I do! Some I knew from earlier but had never gotten around to reading them, others are new discoveries for me as well; and I have since added all of them to my get-it-for-myself or read-it-soon lists…
Stephen King said that “Books are a uniquely portable magic.” And these books are even more so!! Some of these books are unique or weird because of their writing style; others because of how they look; and still others, well, you just have to see for yourself….
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So, without further ado, here is the list of the
13 Unique Books You Will Want Right Now
Expendable chapters, various narrative techniques, and an author’s note suggesting how to hopscotch your way across Hopscotch. He provides various options on how to read the book; chapters 1 – 56 and skip the rest, or chapters 1 – 155 (yes!!); or navigate using the series provided; or maybe, be unique and make your own pattern of reading.
The unconventional reading makes this book unique indeed; for those who tend to skip pages, or go back and forth, this one will seem cool!!
Wish me luck as I have begun attempting to read this one….
Uniqueness Factor: Writing
This Book Is a Planetarium: And Other Extraordinary Pop-Up Contraptions
I have loved popup books for a looooonng time; I recall having one tiny 3 * 4 inch sized popup when I was a tot. It had a nursery rhyme on each page – Humpty Dumpty, Twinkle Twinkle and the like! As far as I recall (or I am guessing), someone gifted it when my brother was born.
This book is a popup for all ages; and one adults will delight in!! All of five pages long, it includes six tools we can actually use…(My gift for myself this Christmas!)
Uniqueness Factor: The physical book
The Miniature Book of Miniature Golf
While I am not a golfer, I do enjoy getting those tiny table-top games every once in a while. They make perfect white-elephant gifts too, don’t you think? You know, the tiny baseball, billiard or bowling games you can set up anywhere and play!
This book is exactly that. You can play a game of golf as you turn the pages of the book. And I have a couple of avid golfers among friends and family who will enjoy this book, so I know what to gift them next.
And if you are looking for something like this for younger audiences, Train by the same author will delight little ones for sure!
Uniqueness Factor: The physical book
Ella Minnow Pea
Imagine a world where letters of the alphabet start disappearing; and you can’t use them anymore. Like the whole novel Gadsby written without the letter E (and I used that letter 12, well 17 times in this sentence)! That is what this unique sounding novel is all about.
This is set in the fictional world of Nollop named after Nevil Nollop, who coined the famous pangram ‘the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog.’
When letter tiles start falling for no reason from Nollop’s statue, the council decides to start banning the use of the fallen letters, with defiance leading to drastic consequences. Ella Minnow Pea, a girl living on this island, strives to fight against this absurd totalitarianism and fight for the freedom of expression.
And to add to the reader’s delight, those letters also start disappearing from the novel itself! I know I am reading this, and soon..
If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler
A cool experimental writing style that is all about the reader. If I enjoy this book half as much as I enjoyed its Goodreads reviews, that will be more than enough for me.
From the book’s description online: If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler turns out to be not one novel but ten, each with a different plot, style, ambience, and author, and each interrupted at a moment of suspense. Together they form a labyrinth of literatures, known and unknown, alive and extinct, through which two readers, a male and a female, pursue both the story lines that intrigue them and one another.
I recall hearing about this for the first time when the movie based on this was released. While I think I saw the movie, I am not too sure now. So I can safely try to read this book, as if for the first time.
Likened to the Matryoshka Russian dolls placed one inside the other some times, this book takes the reader on a series of interlocked tales across time and space, and heading back to the beginning. As I started reading this (also, along with Hopscotch and other reads already on), I wondered why I did not read this earlier. The first page has me hooked…
Classic Fairytale Pop-up Books
I first noticed these books on one of my favorite places to find unique gifts on the web, on the Uncommon Goods website. And I am always awed by Robert Sabuda’s work. One of the first books I read (had bought as a gift for a dino-fan) was his Encyclopedia Prehistorica Dinosaurs : The Definitive Pop-Up. And this collection of books is based on popular fairy tales, including Alice in Wonderland, Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
I first read about this book sometime last year when I was working on a writing assignment for a class; and I was fascinated with the concept and its format. I was awed by the author’s attempt to write purely in alliteration throughout the book. In short, 52 chapters each devoted to one letter, with all the words in each chapter beginning with only the featured letter. The first 26 chapters take the reader from A to Z and then in reverse.
The Eyre Affair
Another unique book that a book lover will devour. The protagonist of this book – Thursday Next – is a literary detective; she enters literary worlds to solve, and in this case, to stop a literary crime from happening. The premise sounds fascinating enough for me to add this to my next set of reading.
Long Way Down
Jason Reynolds, a novel in verse, multiple-award-winner: these are just some of the reasons to pick up this book. And then the fact that it is all about just sixty seconds. That long way down lasts all of sixty seconds…
House of Leaves
This book is on virtually every list of weird books, and I recall seeing it a few years back. The only reason I have not yet added it to my TBR is the genre of the book; one I rarely read. So while the formatting/writing style intrigue me, the genre and the size keep me away, for now.
Flip Book Fan: A Breezy Little Book
I recall spending endless summer hours making flip books to simply enjoy them; and yes, for cooling down during those hot Indian summers. This takes both those uses for a flip book literally, and oh so creatively!! A fun book to have and to gift. Like the GoodReads description says at the start: Literally the coolest book ever.
Not sure what I can say about this book that hasn’t been said already. Needless to say, the concept and the formatting of this book make it a must-read indeed! Don’t forget to read the footnotes and the margins in this book! And I look forward to getting this one in the mail (complete with 22 inserts including notes, letters, and more). (The marginalized notes of a book within a book also reminded me of my recent read – The Library of Lost Things)
As Abrams himself says in an interview in The New Yorker, “It’s intended to be a celebration of the analog, of the physical object.”
From the book’s description: S. , conceived by filmmaker J. J. Abrams and written by award-winning novelist Doug Dorst, is the chronicle of two readers finding each other in the margins of a book and enmeshing themselves in a deadly struggle between forces they don’t understand. It is also Abrams and Dorst’s love letter to the written word.
And one bonus (though I had many more!)
My Miniature Library
While I had hoped to buy it for myself and review this it eons ago, I never did. I bought it as a gift for a niece and will do so for myself soon. I do love miniature books, simply because!! So, here is to adding another item to my holiday wishlist for myself…
And if you still want more, here you go
More lists of books that are cool, unique, weird, and so on
- 18 MOST CREATIVE BOOKS FROM THE PAST AND PRESENT (ebookfriendly)
- 39 Weird Books That Really Exist (MentalFloss)
- These Books Are Totally Strange. Read Them Anyway. (Bustle). This list includes a couple of books and stories I did enjoy, including H.G.Wells The Island of Dr. Moreau and Rajesh Parameswaran’s collection I Am An Executioner: Love Stories
- I GOT YOUR WEIRD RIGHT HERE: 100 MUST-READ STRANGE AND UNUSUAL NOVELS (BookRiot)
And Now, the End of This Post
Dear reader, have you read any of these books? Your thoughts on them? And do you have any recommendations for unusual books? I would love to add them to the list..Also, what do you think makes a book unique?