Advocate and bookstagrammar Anvita Harish recommends her favourite unconventional books that divert from the usual but fascinate you nevertheless.
Books, in general, impact people, but some books genuinely leave a mark on your mind forever. Among these books are the unconventional ones, be it with their content, writing, topic of conversation, story, or more. It is these books that leave a lasting impact on you because even if you cannot remember the content fully, you can always remember how the book made you feel and the things it made you think about. Anvita Harish is an advocate by profession, but a full-time reader by passion. Her favourite genres of books are crime fiction and historical fiction. Today, she recommends some books that in her view, are unconventional where some elements, whether the writing, storyline, or more are diverted from the usual and have left a lasting impression on her.
Check them out!
The Travelling Cat Chronicles - Hiro Arikawa
A book on the story of Nana (a cat) and his human pal Satoru, The Travelling Cat Chronicles is an unconventional book because it narrates a story not just from a human perspective, but from a cat’s perspective too. Stories about the bond between humans and animals are common, but this book's narration from the animal's point of view makes it extremely unique. The tender and precious bond that humans and animals share is beautifully portrayed, and left me, a dog-lover, wishing I could have a pet cat! Keep a box of tissues handy, because this one will leave you sobbing or at least teary-eyed.
1984 - George Orwell
A list of unconventional books truly cannot be complete without this classic dystopian fiction. A book like no other, one that will wholly consume you, 1984 is set in a chilling dystopian world that everyone will dread. Through this story, Orwell takes us through a world of full surveillance and totalitarianism. On politics, power, and people, the book will get you thinking not only about the world it’s set in but also about the world we live in today.
Totto–Chan: The Little Girl at the Window - Tetsuko Kuroyanagi
Originally written in Japanese and translated into English, Totto Chan is a collection of stories from the author’s childhood at her school, Tomoe Gakuen. What makes this book unconventional is the very content itself, as it deals with a system of schooling that is so different from the mainstream, but so effective nonetheless. The teacher of the school, Mr. Sosaku Kobayashi, had a brilliant perspective on education and the school imparted knowledge, wisdom, manners, and more,. The stories show you how impactful unconventional methods of education are and how important it is to have freedom of expression and activity. I will recommend it to people of all ages. It will not disappoint.
Dancing at the Pity Party - Tyler Feder
One of the very first graphic novels I read and fell in love with, Dancing at the Pity Party takes a topic that is widely written about - grief. And it has such an unconventional take on it. Everyone imagines grief with black, or extremely dark colours, but this book has the most beautiful and vibrant graphics. It has a humorous/ comical narration, one that makes you both cry and laugh. It is raw, heartfelt, and comforting. If you wish to start exploring the world of graphic novels, you should consider picking up this honest and vulnerable memoir!
The Stranger - Albert Camus
You cannot talk about unconventional books without talking about the insanity that this book is, especially with its iconic opening and closing lines. The Stranger is a book based on the Absurdist school of thought and is one that’s hard to forget. You will find yourself, just like I did, shaking your head because you just will not be able to predict how the protagonist thinks. The plot is seemingly simple but gets worse and worse as you progress and it turns unexpected and shocking. This book made me immediately look up different schools of thought like Absurdism, Nihilism, and Extremism. I am sure it will definitely push you into this world too!
Tomb of Sand - Geetanjali Shree
The topic of India's partition is spoken about repeatedly but I have never come across a book such as this. Everything about this book, to me, is unconventional. Be it the lyrical and playful prose, the unforgettable characters, or the sensibility with which the story of the borders is narrated – everything stands out. A tale of love, motherhood, partition, gender, sacrifice, and feminism, this book is utterly original. While it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, I can say that I have never come across something like this before.
Which book has intrigued you the most? Tell us in the comments below
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