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? 🙂

The Beautiful Bureaucrat by Helen Phillips

BLOG“The person who interviewed her had no face.  Under other circumstances – if the job market hadn’t been so bleak for so long, if the summer hadn’t been so glum and muggy – this might have discouraged Josephine from stepping through the door of that office in the first place.  But as things were, her initial thought was: Oh, perfect, the interviewer’s appearance probably deterred other applicants!”  

Josephine has gone through a difficult period of unemployment and hopelessness.  The big move to the city was meant to be an exciting new start for her and her husband, but it proves to be more of a challenge than anything.  So when Josephine is hired as another bureaucrat entering an endless amount of numbers into something only known as “The Database,” she accepts it and sets aside the many unanswered questions.  But her new position and her husband’s increasingly odd behaviour begins to take its toll, leading to an unsettling discovery.

Intriguing indeed.  The Beautiful Bureaucrat has a surreal, almost dream-like feel to it.  It’s well written and quite odd, in a way that works.  I felt Josephine’s struggle and the blandness and desperation of her life.  There is nothing outside Josephine’s world that is explored, so we get immersed in her experience.  I wouldn’t consider this to be a thriller and it’s not a book that is action packed, rather it focuses more on the individual frustrations and emotions.  Many of the mysterious aspects of the book I found to be easily guessed before they occurred, however it was still interesting nonetheless.  If you enjoy a weird and off-beat story, The Beautiful Bureaucrat is just that.

Check out the book trailer for The Beautiful Bureaucrat here.