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Top Ten Most Unique Books I’ve Read
(these are not in any particular order, all titles were unique in their special ways and I could not put them in any order from the most unique to less unique)
1. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
I went to this book without really knowing what it was about it. All I knew is that it was extremely hyped around blogosphere and booktube and that it had a lot of nerdy type of references. Once I started reading it I soon realized that it was definitely worth all the hype and that yes, it did have a lot of awesome nerdy references too. If you haven’t read this one, you really should. The image of future in this one is just so interestingly built.
If you go to school in Finland, you kind of grow up with this book. First they introduce us to “kid’s versions” of the stories, and eventually around 8th grade, you are introduced to the actual book itself. Kalevala is from the 19th century and basically it is a collection of epic poetry compiled by Elias Lonnrot from Finnish and Karelian folklore and mythology. It is a Finnish national epic and arguably one of the most important pieces of Finnish literature ever. It can also be argued to be one of the factors that led to Finnish independence by increasing the Finnish national identity and spirit.
I would really like to read this in English as some point, just to see how the verse works in a language different than Finnish.
3. William Shakespeare’s Star Wars by Ian Doescher
So, I love Star Wars. And I love Shakespeare. And in this one those two are put together. Basically it is the story of Star Wars written in Shakespearean language. The book also has awesome illustrations. And I think Darth Vader sounds even more badass when he talks like a Shakespearean character. The second book in the “series” by the author has just been published and it’s a Shakespearean adaptation of Empire Strikes Back.
4. Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
If I remember right, this was the first novel we read for my IB English class in high school. I remember not being super enthusiastic about this one when I read the synopsis – I had not really heard about this one before, and it totally didn’t sound like something I would enjoy (especially since back then I was mostly just reading books somehow related to Jane Austen’s work). But reading this book and discussing it in class really opened my eyes to a type of literature I had not really read before. I guess I could have included American Psycho in this list as well (kind of similar with Fight Club in some sense), but I went with Fight Club since I like it a bit more, and I have read it several times.
5. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling
I had not really read any other fantasy books before I read Harry Potter, so the magical world and the detail of it were completely new to me. Though this is not my favorite book of the series, I wanted to include it on the list, because it was the book that grasped my interest and wanted me to read more of these books, thus opening up a whole new, magical world for me.
6. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
I was not sure whether to choose this one or A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess to this list. I love both, but I probably like A Clockwork Orange more as a film than a book (I know, I probably shouldn’t, but that film is one of my favorites of all time, plus I’m a complete sucker for Kubrick). This one was so weird, imaginative and interesting read, and one that is definitely on my re-read list.
7. The Hours by Michael Cunningham
I saw the film adaptation based on this book, loved it and decided that I should read the book too. I loved how it focused on three women from different eras and walks of life; Virginia Woolf in 1923, Clarissa Vaughan in modern day New York and Laura Brown in 1949 L.A. I love to see how the stories intertwined and how these women formed a connection. The film is definitely a worth a watch too if you haven’t seen it.
8. Sudenmorsian by Aino Kallas
This again is one of those books I probably would not have picked if I would not have been “forced” to read it in school. Basically it is about a woman who is cursed and turns into a werewolf and starts living double life – during the day she is a young wife and during the night she is a werewolf with sexual desires and passion. The novel was written in late 1920s, so the language is “old” in relation to the modern Finnish – I’m not sure whether this has even been translated into English. The way the book establishes the attitude of the people towards Aalo (the werewolf) is interestingly done and the language used to describe Aalo as a werewolf is lyrical and beautifully done.
9. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garzia Marquez
Once again, a high school read and a one that I read in Finnish. I feel like I would maybe like this more in English, but despite the fact that I did not particularly enjoy it in Finnish, I wanted to include it on this list just because of the fact that it introduced me to magical realism. This was one of those books I did not really like at all while I was reading it, but once I was finished with it, I realized how genius it actually was in some ways. One day I hope I have time to read it again.
10. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
Not revolutionary or anything, but on this list because the twists and turns really did come out of nowhere and I definitely did not see them coming. I don’t want to say much about this book just because I don’t want to spoil it, but if you like YA mystery type of readers, you definitely should add this to your TBR/Wishlist.