Most Unique Books I've Read
Photo Credit: sumthinblue.com
Regarding the Fountain "...tells the entire story through notes, memos, letters, and other documents."
This is Not a Book
Much like Keri Smith's earlier book, Wreck This Journal, this is a book that requires a reader/writer to fill it. Take a look at the author's website...if you have the secret code.
Encyclopedia of Ordinary Life
An autobiography told as entries to an encyclopedia. Here are some excerpts.
The Pursuit of Happiness by Maira Kalman "Celebrated illustrator Maira Kalman traveled to Washington, D.C., launching a year-long investigation of American democracy and its workings. The result is an artist’s idiosyncratic vision of history and contemporary politics."
The Gold Bug Variations by Richard Powers "...demands that a reader make connections between such diversities as the genetic code and musical notation, Flemish art and biological nomenclature, the logic of computer systems and the Dewey decimal classification, cartography and chemistry." For a glimpse of how complex this novel is, take a look at this video interpretation of the book commissioned by the University of Illinois.
ABC3D by Marion Bataille
Here's the whole book in an authorized video. Trust me, it won't keep you from buying a real copy.
The Interrogative Mood is a "...book fashioned solely as a series of questions beginning with his limpid first: Are your emotions pure? and ending with his prickly last: Are you leaving now? Would you? Would you mind?" The author, Padgett Powell, reads from his book here.
The Tattooed Map "Somewhere in Northern Africa, an intrepid traveler awakens with a mysterious mark on her hand that soon develops into a detailed, macabre map spreading across her skin. As Lydia's private journal entries unfold complete with fold-out maps, photographs, drawings, and handwritten notes the reader becomes as drawn into the conundrum of the tattooed map as Lydia herself."
Press Here by Herve TulletA book trailer for Press Here is here.
Anagrams The main character "...hides from us, from herself behind imaginary identities, relationships, and scenarios in which elements of character and action are transposed like the letters of those anagrams she scribbles on napkins. Her fantasies are offered as straight narrative along with a stream of wisecracks...."
The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami "In a Tokyo suburb a young man named Toru Okada searches for his wife's missing cat. Soon he finds himself looking for his wife as well in a netherworld that lies beneath the placid surface of Tokyo."
Griffin & Sabine: An Extraordinary Correspondence is "...told through a series of removable letters and postcards between the two main characters...."
Tales from Outer Suburbia "Fifteen short texts, each accompanied by Tan's signature black-and-white and full-color artwork, take the mundane world and transform it into a place of magical wonders."
Monster at the End of the Book is a beloved Golden book in which "...lovable, furry old Grover begs the reader not to turn the page . . . for a monster is at the end of the book! But, of course, the monster is none other than Grover himself."
People by Peter Spier is a compendium of "...minutely detailed and exquisite paintings of human beings on all four continents."
Material World is an experiment; "...sixteen of the world’s foremost photographers traveled to thirty nations around the globe to live for a week with families that were statistically average for that nation. At the end of each visit, photographer and family collaborated on a remarkable portrait of the family members outside their home, surrounded by all of their possessions."
Photo Credit: fivebirdsonparade.com
Life-Size Zoo "Acclaimed wildlife photographer Toyofumi Fukuda visited Japan's premier zoos to capture remarkably vivid and detailed close-up photographs of 21 animals, from pandas and meerkats to giraffes, rhinos, and elephants...."
Ella Minnow Pea The subtitle of the hardback version of this book tells all: "a progressively lipogrammatic epistolary fable." From Amazon: "Ella finds herself acting to save her friends, family, and fellow citizens from the encroaching totalitarianism of the island’s Council, which has banned the use of certain letters of the alphabet as they fall from a memorial statue of Nevin Nollop. As the letters progressively drop from the statue they also disappear from the novel."
Ten Thousand Stories "Every page is divided into four turnable mini-pages that mix and match to create 10,000 different story combinations, each with its own quirky watercolor illustration." The husband-and-wife/author-and-illustrator talk about their book here.
Building Stories is "...a huge box containing 14 differently sized, formatted, and bound pieces: books, pamphlets, broadsheets, scraps, and even a unfoldable board that would be at home in a Monopoly box."
A Void by Georges Perec "A Void is a metaphysical whodunit, a story chock-full of plots and subplots, of trails in pursuit of trails, all of which afford Perec occasion to display his virtuosity as a verbal magician, acrobat, and sad-eyed clown. It is also an outrageous verbal stunt: a 300-page novel that never once employs the letter E."
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