Lists, Reviews

Superlatives: A Top Ten List

This week’s list? Most unique books I’ve read (as hosted by The Broke and The Bookish). Mentally, I file the word unique right beside quirky. I don’t like quirky as I feel quirky has become synonymous with hipster and hipster is a term that now describes a sub-culture that was initially intended to value independent thought and progressive politics, but instead describes intentional mainstream obscurism.  So…

That being said, weird is rad.

As it happens, “most unique” brings me straight back to middle and high school superlatives (would it surprise anyone to learn I was voted most likely to succeed (in middle school)?) and that format is the inspiration behind this for this list.

Unique Books


In no particular order (and inclusion and endorsement are two very different things):

10. Fun Camp by Gabe Durham. I haven’t read this one, but I fully trust this review (“Well that was odd…”)

09. The Untold by Courtney Collins (previously released as The Burial in Australia/UK). Most unique narrator: This novel is told from the perspective of the protagonist’s dead baby.

08. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson. Most unique road trip.

07. Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion. Most unique romance: yep, a living breathing human girl falls for a dead man – zombie – whatever. This is the warm and fuzzy version of Lizzie.

(It was probably  only a matter of time before someone went there. Way to up the stakes on the zombie genre.)

06. The Small Assassin by Ray Bradbury. Most unique killer: this may make you rethink how cute babies are. Though honestly, pretty much every single person I know is reproducing right now and I may have a small case of baby fever.

05. Taken by the T-Rex by Christie Sims and Alara Branwen. Most unique  partnering: Dinosaur erotica. Confession? I haven’t read this one, but I did get a play by play from someone who has.

04. Horns by Joe Hill. Most unique superpower: Invisible horns that force people to tell their deepest, darkest secrets…

03. Hope: A Tragedy by Shalom Auslander. Most unique roommate: a foul-mouthed, bitter shrew living in the attic. Also known as an elderly Anne Frank.

02. Crooked Little Vein by Warren Ellis. Most unique fetish: yes, there are Godzilla bukakke fetishists out there. This novel is not for the easily offended.

01. The Monk by Matthew Lewis. Most unique classic: A gothic novel written in a two months by a teenager boy – with pretty much everything a teenage boy would throw into a book in the eighteenth century – cross-dressers, Satan, monks, pregnant nuns, etc. Ridiculous. Good. Ridiculously good?

What made your most unique list?

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  • Lianne @

    The Monk was…really something, lol. I had no idea Matthew Lewis was that young when he wrote it.

    The Untold sounds quite unique, I may have heard of it in passing under the other title.

    My TTT

    • Rory

      The Monk. There really aren’t any words for it. The Untold releases this May!

  • Christine @ BookishlyB

    Fear and Loathing is seventeen more times unique then On the Road, that’s for sure.

    • Rory

      Yep, it’s trippy.


  • Angie @Angela’s Anxious Life

    Loved Horns so much!!! That is actually the only book I have read on your list. Though I really do want to read Warm Bodies!! I hear there is a sequel coming for that one.

    Top Ten Unique Books

    • Rory

      I kind of got the impression Warm Bodies would have a sequel, I don’t think I’ll read it though. It was a good one time experience.

  • Kate @ booksaremyfavouriteandbest

    Apart from Fun Camp, I’ve only read Fear and Loathing… and it so long ago that I feel I can hardly count it. I have Hope A Tragedy in my reading stack. I read somewhere that it was very sad (which I like…) but your summary is making me think maybe not?!

    • Rory

      Looking back, my review of it wasn’t half bad (sometimes I cringe at my early reviews). It’s not meant to be too melancholy, but it’s definitely black humor.

      The important part of my review: “It is a bitter and hilarious dark comedy about the tragedy of optimism and guilt. The main character, who hopes to suffocate to death in a house fire (because, hey, he’s an optimist), is a well-adjusted neurotic, morbid, bundle of nerves experiencing an ever increasing onslaught of troubles (financial, marital, maternal, and professional to name a few). If you think you can find humor in tragedy and take Auslander’s revision of history with a grain of salt, I would highly recommend his witty debut novel.”

  • April @ The Steadfast Reader

    Fear and Loathing, definitely. I love Horns too, great choices this week!

    • Rory

      Thank you 🙂

  • Chrissi Reads

    I really want to read Warm Bodies. I’ve heard such great things about it. Fantastic list!

    • Rory

      It’s a cute book and the movie’s not half bad either.

  • Allison (Allure of Books)

    I’m intrigued by that Ray Bradbury collection – I’d never heard of it!

    Horns is definitely a unique one, we’re agreed there.

    • Rory

      The Ray Bradbury collection is an essential early sci-fi short story collection. I highly recommend it. It’s not TOO badly dated.

  • Shannon @ River City Reading

    I saw this and was like “Ahhh, you’ve read Fun Camp!?!” I’m dying to read that book. Hope: A Tragedy was a finalist in my college’s first novelist award last year and I’ve been wanting to read it since, so I’m glad to see it here!

    • Rory

      Hope: A Tragedy is very different, it’s funny if you can get past the bitterness.

      Fun Camp sounds interesting. Plus, I always wanted to go to summer camp.

  • Nish

    Now this is an unusual list. I haven’t read any of the books you have on here, but the one liner synopsis is quite convincing that these books are really unusual.

    • Rory

      Thanks, I think so!

  • Daphne Trumps

    thanks, i’ve added a couple to my tbr 🙂

    • Rory

      Then my job is done.

  • Laura Frey

    Ooh you’ve read The Monk! Yeah it was pretty weird.

    Godzilla bukkake… oh dear, the search terms you’re going to get…

    • Rory

      I feel like Lewis just put every scandalous thing he could think of in the book.

      I’m looking forward to it – it’ll keep things interesting.

  • Acid Free Pulp

    If you liked The Monk, I think you’ll dig The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner (although, the latter is far better written). In the ways of unique books, probably anything by Donald Antrim.

    Oh, dear. I read about the dinosaur erotica a few months back. The very first sentence on Amazon’s description.. “Warning: This is a tale of beast sex.”

    • Rory

      I’ll have to check them out (and Donald Antrim). I like different. If I wanted formula I would just pick up a James Patterson novel.

      And the authors are charging quite a bit for that very short book (3.99, I think). If it was .99 I might buy it for a laugh and because for the life of me I can’t quite figure out how that scenario is going to work. There’s a girl on the front, implying there is T-Rex/Girl relations – I’m pretty creative, but I’ll admit I’m stumped…

  • Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies

    Gah! I still need to read Horns! I usually love Joe Hill, and can’t believe I still haven’t gotten to that one. It’s been a long time since I’ve read Hunter S. Thompson, but “unique” is definitely a good word for him!

    • Rory

      Horns is very different from his other work but I really did love it.

      And HST was definitely had a different view of the American Dream.

  • Liesel Hill

    Great list! Haven’t read many of those, but I’ll have to check a few of them out. Happy Tuesday! 😀
    My TTT

    • Rory

      Happy Wednesday!

  • Words for Worms

    Oooooh, I have a copy of The Untold on my kindle and I’m now extra super excited about it!!!

    • Rory

      I haven’t finished it yet, but what I’ve read I really enjoyed. I love when things take a different approach.

  • Laura

    Oh man, The Monk is such a crazy book. I remember reading it for a Gothic Lit class, expecting to be a little bit bored, and being totally surprised that it ended up being a perfect book for reading my the pool.

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