Bookshelf: Odd and Quirky Reads

img_2291Sometimes a book is just different. It surprises you, it confuses you, it makes you think, and perhaps leaves you scratching your head. But most of all it captures your attention and provides a unique reading experience. I love books like this. Looking at my bookshelf, there are five books that standout to me as odd and quirky reads that were surprising and confusing in all the best ways.

1. The Room by Jonas Karlsson
A story about a man named Björn who discovers a small, secret room that becomes his refuge from the open floor-plan office space and his co-workers. An amusing and wonderfully unique story.

2. The Blue Girl by Laurie Foos
Told through alternating perspectives of three mothers and three daughters, it tells the story of a time when a mysterious girl with blue skin was saved from drowning. After which, the mothers take turns visiting the blue girl and feeding her moon pies that contain their secrets. An odd concept but one that is very well executed.

3. The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips
Josephine is hired as one of many bureaucrats entering an endless amount of numbers into something only known as “The Database.” Her new position and her husband’s increasingly odd behaviour begins to take its toll, leading to an unsettling discovery.

4. All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders
A unique book with elements of magical realism, fantasy, and science-fiction. Patricia is a witch with a deep connection to nature, and Laurence is a genius when it comes to science and technology. They find friendship in the challenging times of their youth, but end up going their separate ways only to reunite as adults, at a time when the world is descending into chaos.

5. I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid
Told from the perspective of an unnamed woman who is taking a road trip with her boyfriend, Jake, to visit his parents’ farm.  The woman is unsure of her new relationship and is thinking of ending things.  However, the trip doesn’t go as she thought it would and things take a strange turn during an unexpected detour. Creepy and unsettling.

What are some of your favourite odd and quirky reads? 🙂

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

IMG_1080“Society is the choice between freedom on someone else’s terms and slavery on yours.”

All the Birds in the Sky is a unique book that takes elements of magical realism, fantasy, and science-fiction to create a page-turning story with memorable and endearing main characters.  We are introduced to Patricia who is a witch with a deep connection to nature, and Laurence who is a genius when it comes to science and technology.  They find friendship in the challenging times of their youth, but end up going their separate ways only to reunite as adults and at a time when the world is descending into chaos.

This book is different.  That is, it doesn’t neatly fit into any one genre and it’s not easy to describe.  It is a book that you need to dive into and just experience, preferably without a lot of prior knowledge about what the story consists of so I hesitate to say too much.  It explores themes of friendship and love with an impending apocalypse that examines the relationship and conflict between science and nature.  The story is well crafted and presented, diving into and interconnecting all of these different themes and aspects of the book as a whole.  What makes All the Birds in the Sky a stand out for me, is the depth of its main characters.  The author takes care and time to develop each character, so that we first get to know them as individuals, which sets the foundation of the story and allows us to fully understand their bond and connection.

At times sad, at times funny and undeniably charming, it is a story to get lost in.  A compelling read I recommend to anyone looking for something a little different.

“You know… no matter what you do, people are going to expect you to be someone you’re not.  But if you’re clever and lucky and work your butt off, then you get to be surrounded by people who expect you to be the person you wish you were.”