Top Ten Tuesday: Unique books

This is a post for Top Ten Tuesday, hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. You can find out more and follow along there!

I don’t know that any book is truly unique, but I’ll take this in the spirit it was probably meant and highlight some books that do interesting, different things. Granted this also kind of reads like a list of my favorite books, but that’s okay.

1. The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner. I mean, anything by Megan Whalen Turner, but especially the first book. I think partly it’s that many readers have guessed that something’s up, but no one I know of has actually figured it out.

2. The Oxford books by Connie Willis. I can’t think of another series where every book has different protagonists and is inspired by a different genre but which works.

3. Patricia McKillip, simply because her voice and books are so distinctive; it’s not so much that she does something revolutionary as that she’s just unmistakable.

4. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. If we’re going for twists and unreliable narrators and “wait, I have to read this book again to understand how she did it!”, this is the book.

5. Passion Blue by Victoria Strauss. I can’t think of another book that takes place in a Renaissance convent. No nun assassins here, just actual nuns, and a quiet, thoughtful look at a life most of us don’t understand.

6. A bit like Patricia McKillip, Frances Hardinge‘s books are so distinctive and wonderful. She weaves in politics, history, wild adventures, and coming-of-age stories, usually in one book.

7. Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn is the definition of twisty. But even more than that, it’s a tragic, hard, beautiful story.

8. Chime by Franny Billingsley. A divisive book, but one I love. The uniqueness comes from Briony’s narration.

9. I’m putting Archer’s Goon, by Diana Wynne Jones, on this list partly because it was one of the first fantasy books I ever read, back in middle school, and it was such a revelation to me.

10. It’s easy to overlook just how amazing Agatha Christie, because now she’s seen as a classic, and so many people have copied her plots and character types. But when you start to think about her detectives, the twists she uses, her brilliance becomes apparent.

11. Ultraviolet & Quicksilver by R.J. Anderson. YA Science fiction is perhaps a slightly underdeveloped genre to begin with, but what Anderson does with these two books is truly different than anything else I can think of, adult or YA.



Filed under bookish posts

9 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: Unique books

  1. I almost included Ultraviolet/Quicksilver on my list, and now I’m realizing I SHOULD have included Frances Hardinge. I’m also realizing that I need to borrow Fly by Night from the library again.

  2. Such a good list. I really need to try some McKillip ASAP. And I think Code Name Verity is special, not only for its plot twists and turns, but also for its focus on a really pure female friendship. That is so rare in YA lit and I think we need more of it!

    • Maureen Eichner

      Oh, I love McKillip! Ombria in Shadow might be my favorite, but almost all of her books are amazing.

      I completely agree about CNV–the emphasis on friendship and the way Wein plays with ideas of bravery and courage really set it apart.

  3. Almost, almost included CNV on my list–because really, I’ve never read another book like it, and I’ve read a lot of WWII books. 🙂

  4. You always write lists with a few books that I love and lots that I haven’t read… leading me to think that I should read so many more!

    • Maureen Eichner

      Oh, that’s very heartening! I always feel like I’m mentioning the same few books over and over.

      • Well, I do recognize a few from list to list – but as they’re often favorites of mine as well, it both makes me happy to see them and makes me think I’ll like the other ones as well. (um, maybe just like I was saying in my first comment.)

  5. This is pretty much what my list would have looked like if I had done it.

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