The best books with a unique narrator perspective

Who am I?

I’m a Canadian author who has been fascinated with how others see the world since I was a child. I was captivated by Charlotte’s Web. If pigs and spiders could be having unheard conversations, what else was I missing? I delight in stories that invite me into the distinct world of the narrator, so it’s no surprise that my novel, Entitled, is written from a unique perspective—that of a book. When done well, these stories let us see life through the eyes of someone else. If we all experienced our surroundings, just for a minute, as others did, perhaps there would be more humanity in this world. 

I wrote...

Entitled: Life isn't easy when you're a book

By Cookie Boyle,

Book cover of Entitled: Life isn't easy when you're a book

What is my book about?

The extraordinary adventures of an extraordinary book.

Entitled is a charming, humorous novel told from the perspective of a book seeking to find a home. As it is read, misplaced, loaned, and abandoned, our book, like its Readers, discovers love and heartbreak, loneliness and friendship, and ultimately becomes the author of its own journey. In the end, Entitled reveals the pull between the story we are born with and the one we wish to create for ourselves.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Why did I love this book?

As a long-time fan of detective fiction and Sherlock Holmes, it was the title of this novel that first caught my interest. Once I started reading the book, the narrator’s distinct voice grabbed me and didn’t let me go. The honest first-person voice of a 15-year-old boy who, while never described as such, is presumed to be on the spectrum, took me on a journey into the character’s mind and thinking. Seeing the world, his challenges, and choices through his eyes allowed me a small insight into the life of those with autism. The novel was at times funny, intriguing and heartrending. It is narrator-driven storytelling at its best. 

By Mark Haddon,

Why should I read it?

19 authors picked The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Winner of the Whitbread Book of the Year

'Outstanding...a stunningly good read' Observer

'Mark Haddon's portrayal of an emotionally dissociated mind is a superb achievement... Wise and bleakly funny' Ian McEwan

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a murder mystery novel like no other. The detective, and narrator, is Christopher Boone. Christopher is fifteen and has Asperger's Syndrome. He knows a very great deal about maths and very little about human beings. He loves lists, patterns and the truth. He hates the colours yellow and brown and being touched. He has never gone further than the…

Book cover of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine

Why did I love this book?

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine provides another entry into the viewpoint of a distinct character. As the first-person narrator, Eleanor takes you through her days, her thoughts, and her perspectives on the small and not-so-small details of her life. What the narrator is and is not saying makes this novel a master class in backstory reveal. How the author peels away layers of the main character, through her own words and actions to allow us to learn the truth is exceptionally well done. The first-person narrative gave me empathy for this unique character and again, showed me how many ways there are to view the world. 

By Gail Honeyman,

Why should I read it?

20 authors picked Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


A Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

"Beautifully written and incredibly funny, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is about the importance of friendship and human connection. I fell in love with Eleanor, an eccentric and regimented loner whose life beautifully unfolds after a chance encounter with a stranger; I think you will fall in love, too!" -Reese Witherspoon

No one's ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine.

Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she's thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of…

Book cover of The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4

Why did I love this book?

No list of narrator-driven novels would be complete without at least one diary entry. Yet this one holds a particular place in my heart. The struggles of a 13 and ¾-year-old boy who believes he is an intellectual and therefore doesn’t fit in, is rich with humor. Adrian doesn’t understand much of what is happening around him. His innocence is revealed perfectly through his diary entries. His naïveté is charming and hilarious, and transported me back to my own youth, thinking I knew so much, yet understanding so little. A joy to read and re-read. 

By Sue Townsend,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A humorous story first published in 1982, which chronicles the daily life of a teenage boy and all his problems.

Travels with My Aunt

By Graham Greene,

Book cover of Travels with My Aunt

Why did I love this book?

Henry Pulling, a reluctantly retired bank manager, meets his 70-ish-year-old Aunt Augusta for the first time in more than 50 years at his mother’s funeral. His Aunt is vibrant, even outrageous, and he is anything but—a man whose only hobby is growing dahlias. An Aunt myself, I love a story about a wild, non-traditional Aunt, and her relationship with her nephew. As the title suggests, the story is told through the eyes of Henry. His views of his life and their travels are filled with humor and insight. The joy of this novel follows the challenges that arise when two generations confront their expectations of each other and themselvesexpectations that are never more alive than when we travel. 

By Graham Greene,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Travels with My Aunt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Henry Pulling, a retired bank manager, meets his septuagenarian Aunt Augusta for the first time in over fifty years at his mother's funeral. Soon after, she persuades Henry to abandon Southwood, his dahlias and the Major next door to travel her way, through Brighton, Paris, Istanbul, Paraguay... Accompanying his aunt, Henry joins a shiftless, twilight society: mixing with hippies, war criminals, CIA men; smoking pot, breaking all the currency regulations and eventually coming alive after a dull suburban lifetime.

The List of Last Chances

By Christina Myers,

Book cover of The List of Last Chances

Why did I love this book?

A road trip provides a reliable narrative structure. But what makes each journey distinct is what the travellers see, do and learn along the way. This charming, funny book follows Ruthie, a recently single, down-on-her-luck 38-year-old as she accompanies Kay (70s) across Canada from Prince Edward Island to Vancouver, where Kay’s son wishes her to relocate. Kay doesn’t want to move, but if she is going to Vancouver, she has a list of ‘last chances’ for her and Ruthie to experience along the way. And thus an improbable friendship begins. Told from Ruthie’s perspective, this book reminded me of how much there is to discover on a road trip—the places we see, the people we meet along the way, and the person the journey inspires us to become. 

By Christina Myers,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The List of Last Chances as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

At thirty-eight years old, Ruthie finds herself newly unemployed, freshly single, sleeping on a friend’s couch and downing a bottle of wine each night. Having overstayed her welcome and desperate for a job, Ruthie responds to David’s ad: he’s looking for someone to drive his aging mother, Kay, and her belongings from PEI to Vancouver. Ruthie thinks it’s the perfect chance for a brief escape and a much-needed boost for her empty bank account. But once they’re on the road, Kay reveals that she’s got a list of stops along the way that’s equal parts sightseeing tour, sexual bucket-list, and…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in isolation, Vancouver Canada, and autism?

9,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about isolation, Vancouver Canada, and autism.

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