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Three of the Most Bizarre Books You Will Ever Read

Authors who thought outside the box.

By Sam H ArnoldPublished 8 months ago 4 min read

As a writer, you have to read, which is good for me because I am a bookworm. All types of books appeal to me; true crime, crime fiction, dystopian and classics are the books I gravitate towards.

Throughout my time of being an avid reader, three books have stood out for me. Not just for the brilliant writing but because they are strange all on their own.

They are set out or use formatting that has never been seen before. The author has thought outside the box.

Miss Peregrines Home for Peculiar Children — Ransom Riggs

This book is for young adults, but I never let that stop me. I was attracted to the books because of an interview with the author, Ransom Riggs. He stated in the interview that he had collected strange, old photos for years. Images that make you stop and look again.

He searched through these photos and took his favourites, making them into a story. The pictures from years ago became characters in his book. They were as much a part of the book as the group of children that readers followed.

Jacob travels with his father to a mysterious island. Once there, he stumbles across an abandoned orphanage, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As he explores, he gets the impression that the children who lived there were dangerous.

As the story progresses, he discovers that these children are alive and have powers. They live in a strange time loop, experiencing the same day repeatedly. This is a spine-tingling fantasy ride where the pictures fit into the story. It is a must-read.

Identical — Ellen Hopkins

Hopkins is another writer that thinks outside of the box and has designed unique books. Most of her books are almost poetry that tells a tale. She has written many books. If this story isn’t for you, there are many to choose from.

This mix of poetry, prose and short sentences tells an engaging and entertaining story. Hopkins has a cult following; I can see why. If you like her writing style, you will enjoy all of her books.

Identical tells the story of identical girls Kaeleigh and Raeanne. As daughters of a district-court judge father and a politician mother, they are an all-American family — on the surface. Behind the facade, each sister has her dark secret, where their differences begin.

The plot twists and turns to a dramatic end that I am sure most will not see coming.

House of Leaves — Mark Z.

House of Leaves is an intimidating novel that defies genre and traditional structure. It is my favourite among these three. It is a book that has lived with me ever since I read it.

I love watching book groups debate it as everyone has a different experience. That is because there is nothing on the market like this; it is unique.

The book’s uniqueness means that every reader will have a unique reading experience. Just look at some of the pages.

The first thing to say about this book is you must have a hard copy. This does not work on eReader or audiobooks. I imagine it will be a nightmare in any of these formats.

The book is three stories in one. The first narrative is Johnny, a man whose mental health is failing. He finds his landlord dead, surrounded by papers. We follow Johnny’s journey as he uncovers the papers whilst losing himself.

The second narrative is from the dead landlord, Zampano, a documentary maker who made a film about the Navidson family. In the books are notes from him and research he has carried out.

The third narrative is about the Navidson family who moves into a house and finds a hidden passage. This hidden passage has its secret; you follow the family as you explore.

The clever part of this book is that all three narratives are told individually but on the same page. As a result, it is a book you may have to visit time and time again to get the whole story. You may even skip passages on your first read-through.

Books where the author has done something different, have always attracted me. It shows that they have thought about their readers and tried encouraging new ones.

We live in a world where so many books are published weekly; to stand out as a writer, you must do something different. These authors have taken that concept and made it their own.

Do you have any more recommendations for bizarre books?

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About the Creator

Sam H Arnold

I know where the bodies are buried and I’m not afraid to tell you - author of True Crime, History and Fiction. Find me on Twitter [email protected]

Or find my crime magazine here -

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Comments (5)

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  • NJ Gallegos 8 months ago

    I have House of Leaves on my bookshelf... haven't mustered up the gumption to tackle it yet though! I've heard amazing things.

  • Just Daniel8 months ago

    Thank you for these suggestions! I have read Miss Peregrine's but not the other two. When I have time, I will be sure to give them a read or several! ^^

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  • Rachel Deeming8 months ago

    I am intrigued by "House of Leaves", having never come across it. Strange concept but I might have to check it out.

  • Kendall Defoe8 months ago

    I have heard so much about "House of Leaves". May have to read it now... 🤔 And have you ever read Georges Perec? He might surprise you...

  • CJ Miller8 months ago

    When I saw your title, I was hoping House of Leaves would make the list. 🙂 It stands out for sure! Quite memorable. Thank you for the other suggestions. I'm not familiar with Identical but will pick it up.

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