The best books with weird writing styles

McKenna Miller Author Of Wyrforra (Wyrforra Wars)
By McKenna Miller

The Books I Picked & Why

Bats of the Republic: An Illuminated Novel

By Zachary Thomas Dodson

Book cover of Bats of the Republic: An Illuminated Novel

Why this book?

Bats of the Republic is by far one of the most engaging, unique reading experiences I have ever had the delight to enjoy. The breathtaking art decorating every page (and I do mean every page, from the copyright page to the back of the dust jacket) enhances a deep and intriguing story.

One of my favorite parts of this book is that every piece of writing you encounter comes from one of the characters in the story. This makes for a completely immersive experience as you flip through maps, examine drawings of new animal species, and even uncover a few secret messages. Dodson’s incredible art and one-of-a-kind narrative style create a complex, deep world that I couldn’t help but fall in love with.

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A Prayer for the Dying

By Stewart O'Nan

Book cover of A Prayer for the Dying

Why this book?

A Prayer for the Dying is the only full-length novel I’ve ever read entirely in second-person perspective—which makes for a white-knuckle-grip adventure as the narrator drags the reader along a dark, haunted path, which is also a little bit on fire.

This ghost story full of living people (at first) follows a hard-working and dedicated protagonist who tries to protect his little town of Friendship as it faces disaster after horrible disaster. The narrative of the story unfurls like a tidal wave—terrifying, yet impossible to look away from as it sweeps away everything in its path. This scary story is definitely not for the faint of heart.

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The Amulet of Samarkand

By Jonathan Stroud

Book cover of The Amulet of Samarkand

Why this book?

Jonathan Stroud’s Bartimaeus Sequence, consisting of a trilogy and prequel novel, was one of the founding books for my love of fantasy. This is mostly due to the unique and engaging dialogue of one of the books’ protagonists: the ancient demon Bartimaeus.

Bartimaeus’s witty and hilarious interjections to the story come in the form of footnotes, which leave delightful little bits of information for the reader to enjoy throughout the narrative. These footnotes contain worldbuilding info, situational commentary, or even (my favorite) demon jokes.

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This Is How You Lose the Time War

By Amal El-Mohtar, Max Gladstone

Book cover of This Is How You Lose the Time War

Why this book?

Have you ever read a book made up of notes between two interesting people? What about if those people were time-traveling agents of rival time-travel agencies sent to destroy each other? And what if their means of communicating was a little bit more interesting than the typical snail-mail correspondence—like manipulating tree rings over a hundred years to scrawl a message in code?

No matter what way you slice it—as a creative sci-fi/spy thriller or budding sapphic romance—This is How You Lose the Time War is a fantastically fun read.

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A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent

By Marie Brennan

Book cover of A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent

Why this book?

Due to my short attention span, I was hesitant to read this book at first, due to the words “History” and “Memoir” in the title; however, “Dragons” sold me, and I’m very glad it did.

This book reads like a classic Victorian travel narrative, following an intelligent and likable protagonist in her quest to learn more about the natural life around her—namely, dragons. The way this genre-bending novel treats dragons, showing them in scientific diagrams and field drawings, makes for an interesting semi-fantasy world that’s exciting to step into and so much fun to explore.

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