Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Top Ten Tuesday - Ten Most Unique Books
It's time for the Top Ten Tuesday linkup with The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is Top Ten unique books. This one gave me some trouble as until recently I never read much out of my comfort zone. Also, I tend to overthink which led to many arguments in my head over what the word "unique" really meant.
2. Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie - This is the book that made Christie truly famous. It's another take on the locked room murder with a twist that is so unexpected there was public outcry.
3. The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keen - With this book we meet Nancy Drew. Before Nancy there was no adventure type character for girls.
4. The Tyrant's Daughter by J.C. Carleson (review) - The POV on this was completely different than anything I've ever read. The story is told by teenage girl who was the daughter of a king in an unnamed Middle Eastern country. This is her story as she, her brother and her mother flee their country after a coup and the murder of her father. We see her deal with that, the sudden availability of media and the realization of what public opinion about her country and her father really are as well as having to fit into an American high school as a normal teenage girl. This book is fascinating and probably stuck with me longer than any book I've ever read.
5. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynne - I've never read a book quite like this and to be honest I'm not entirely sure I want to again. The way the story unraveled, and watching the characters become more and more flawed was very well done and not something I've seen before.
6. Rilla of Ingleside by L.M. Montgomery (review) - Of course I can't have a list without a Montgomery! This one truly is unique due to the POV. We first meet Rilla in Anne of Ingleside when she is born but in Rilla she is a young woman growing up as everyone she knows is swept up in World War 1. Most novels involving war are told through soldier's or politician's eyes. This one is told by a teenage girl stuck in a little town on a little island in Canada as everyone she knows goes off to Europe. Many don't come back and those that do are changed forever. I openly wept through most of this book.
7. Mangle Street Murder by M.R.C. Kasasian (review) - This may get the award for the strangest book I've ever read. I was expecting a British procedural and got instead a Holmesian maze of oddness. I like that while the detective takes the main character on as a ward out of duty he has no affection for her. At the end he has a little respect for her but they're not friends and probably never will be. This isn't a heartwarming story but a complex mystery.
8. The Birds and Other Stories by Daphne du Maurier (review) - Books normally don't scare me. I've read my share of pretty awful crime books (early Patricia Cornwall was a favorite) but the fear doesn't stick with me. This is a handy trick given my penchant for crime shows. However, this book - oh my. I will never look at birds again. du Maurier does a fantastic job at taking an innocent, harmless everyday animal and makes it more and more terrifying. The other stories in this collection are very good too. du Maurier has perfected dread.
9. Cocaine Blues by Kerry Greenwood (review) - The MC in this book is a new type for me. She's smart, rich, loves clothes but was also desperately poor at one point of her life. She fits in beautifully with English aristocrats but is new enough that she has an outsider's POV. This book also primarily takes place in Australia in the 1920s which is a first for me.
10. American Afterlife by Kate Sweeney (review) - The subject of this book is not something I've come across before. I've read Stiff by Mary Roach and several books by former medical examiners discussing what happens to bodies or how crimes are uncovered. This book is more about the living and how the living deal with death. She discusses the evolution of mourning, the funeral industry and how grief is expressed historically and currently. I haven't looked at a cemetery or roadside memorial the same since reading it.