Is it November already? Where did October go? Alternatively, when will winter break be here? November always seems to get stuck in the middle, doesn’t it? Poor November, no love.
Not this month! Guys, I am SO PSYCHED that we are finally having a Stranger Things theme, and that we’re talking about weird books. I don’t know which direction all y’all are going to take this, with weird books you loved or weird books you hated, but I freaking love unusual books. More than I love reading them, I love talking about unusual books. The weirder a book is, the more there is to discuss! Am I right?!
I’ve been soul-searching all month trying to decide how I wanted to interpret this prompt. Because I’ve read some oddball books. Yet some of the strangest have become very mainstream, like American Gods or The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake. On the other hand, some of my favorites that are “strange” in a nobody-else-in-the-world-has-read-this-book way are actual fairly normal books. Mrs. Queen Takes the Train comes to mind. I also love odd-ball books that aren’t weird per se, but fit a really niche genre, like Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter or Hope Never Dies.
But when I look at the books on my bookshelf, two stand out as being particularly strange. The first, Wicked, I didn’t want to write about because *whispers* I don’t actually like it. But the second … man, buckle up. Because this book is WEIRD.
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
Eugenides is more widely known, perhaps, for The Virgin Suicides, however Middlesex is the more critically acclaimed, what with winning the Pulitzer and all. I don’t even know where to begin to describe all the ways this book is weird. For one thing, the narrator refers to his brother as Chapter Eleven. For the entire book. Without an explanation. There is an explanation, and google can explain it to you with little effort on your part, but it’s not even like an ironic nickname. It may as well be the character’s actual name. Very strange.
The subject matter of this book is definitely … unusual. The story follows three generations of Greek immigrants, following their history through incest, organized crime, and ultimately follows a hermaphrodite through discovering his sexuality and gender. All it takes is joining the circus as a mermaid. I told you, this book is odd. It’s utterly brilliant, and there’s a reason it was so well received, but it’s weird.
If you like literary fiction and/or LGBTQ books I highly recommend Middlesex, but content warning for incest. Yuuuup.
***It occurs to me that the word “hermaphrodite” may not be acceptable any longer. That’s the word used in the book, which was published in 2002. Now we possibly use intersex? Sorry, hope I haven’t caused any offense!
Strangest Book You’ve Ever Read
Middlesex – Katie (that’s me!) @ Never Not Reading
Etiquette and Espionage – Adrienne @ Darque Dreamer Reads
Wink Poppy Midnight – Ashley @ Inside My Minds
Dark Matter – Teri Polen
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Deanna @ Deanna Writes About
Assassination Classroom – Dani @ Mousai Books
Reincarnation Blues – Liz @ Stellar Kitten Reviews
Snotgirl – Flavia @ Flavia the Bibliophile
City of Dark Magic – Brittany @ Perfectly Tolerable
more coming soon!
Calendar Girls is a monthly blog event created by Melanie at MNBernard Books, and Flavia at Flavia the Bibliophile, and is now be hosted by me (!), Katie, and Adrienne at Darque Dreamer Reads. It is designed to ignite bookish discussions among readers, and was inspired by the 1961 Neil Sedaka song, Calendar Girl.
Just like the song, each month has a different theme. Each blogger picks their favorite book from the theme, and on the first Monday of the month reveals their pick in a Calendar Girls post. Make sure to post back to the hostess’s post, and I will make a master list for the month. The master lists allow everyone to see the other Calendar Girls’ picks and to pop on over to their blogs. Thus, we all get to chat about books and even make some new friends!