Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Original Books I've Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly linkup of book bloggers hosted by The Broke and The Bookish! This week's topic is original books. When I think of books that are original, I think of books that are kind of the first of their kind or kicked off a trend. I don't tend to read a lot of books that fall into any sort of avant-garde category, so there are the books I've read that I think changed up the landscape for what came after them (and some that are just kind of offbeat).

Lord of the Rings: Forget just books, I think most high fantasy movies and video games owe a significant debt to J.R.R. Tolkien's masterwork. My husband loves playing the Elder Scrolls video games, and I couldn't believe he hadn't seen the LOTR movies beforehand because they have so much in common.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo: While the book itself is certainly an enjoyable twisty mystery, it's really here for the amazing character of Lisbeth Salander. Usually a slight female is the victim, but she turns all that on its head and is a brutal force to be reckoned with in her own right.

Gone Girl: Besides some genuinely shocking twists and a depiction of a compelling female sociopath (a rare creature indeed), this book propelled a boom in domestic thrillers. How many times have you seen something labeled "the next Gone Girl"? Exactly.

Life of Pi: I can't think of another book that tells a story quite like this one: a teenage boy trapped on a lifeboat with a variety of zoo animals, including a Bengal tiger, floating in the Pacific Ocean. Or was he trapped with any animals at all?

In Cold Blood: Truman Capote's incredible work basically created new genre: the non-fiction novel. Pretty darn original.

Bridget Jones' Diary: This hysterically funny book kicked off a boom in "chick lit" with flawed, quirky heroines. None of them were quite as much fun to spend time with as Bridget.

Moby-Dick: When I read this a few years ago on a classics binge, I was expecting something boring. But it's actually very modern, interspersing its revenge saga with details about whales and whaling that made it surprisingly enjoyable.

American Gods: Gaiman's incredible book manages to juggle multiple threads and characters along with an incredible main story about a clash between the gods people brought to the US from "the Old World" and the ones they've raised in the New. There's nothing quite like it that I've read.

A Wrinkle In Time: Maybe it's not nearly as special as I remember it, but to this day I don't know that I've ever come across as defiantly prickly a character as Meg Murray in a YA book...when I was a prickly girl myself, discovering Meg felt like a revelation.

Flowers for Algernon: I don't think I've ever read another book quite like this one, with its trajectory of genius found and lost. It's a heart-ripper.


  1. Great list, Gabby! I love American Gods, and I can't wait for the TV adaptation later this year. =) I haven't read Gone Girl, but I did really enjoy Dark Places.

    1. I am SO stoked for the American Gods series! I haven't read any other Gillian Flynn, but I have both of her other books on my TBR

  2. Great picks! I thought about putting Life of Pi on my list, and American Gods is also a great one for this category. I can't say I share your love of Moby Dick's tangents on whaling, though! :)

    1. I was honestly surprised by how much I liked Moby Dick! I can see how it's a divisive one, though