Uh...What Was That?

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Uh...What Was That?

Books that boggle the mind.

I've read a few books in my lifetime that, try as I might to stretch my imagination, I just can't get my head around. These are books that are so weird and so puzzling, I can't help but wonder if my reading comprehension is not what it used to be. By no means am I saying that the books are terrible. Quite the contrary. It's just whenever I think of the books, I end up with more questions than answers. Below are a list of books that I think are worth the read, but (cue Keanu Reeves:) "Whoa!"

Andrew's Brain - E.L. Doctorow
Poor Andrew. He is a man prone to disaster. Or is that what he wants us to think? Andrew's Brain is the story of a man (guess who?) told through his mind. Through tragedy mixed with comedy, the reader learns of Andrew's misadventures in love, parenthood, and life overall. Since this is told in Andrew's brain, the events in his life aren't told in chronological order and the reader has to rely solely on the main character's memory, which we all know can be very unreliable. Whoa! Whoa!

Geek LoveKatherine Dunn
A novel about a carny family. Nothing weird can happen there, right? The head of this circus household gives his wife various types of drugs and poisons (including arsenic) during her pregnancy which causes the children to be born with deformities that turn Papa Circus into a carnival success. There's Arty, the eldest son born with flippers for limbs who becomes a cult leader. Iphy and Elly are conjoined twins who become prostitutes. Oly is an albino hunchback, the least talented among her siblings, but extremely loyal. The youngest, Chick, is a seemingly "normal" boy... with telekinesis. How strange is this story you may ask? Well, (*spoiler alert*), Oly asks Chick to impregnate her with Arty's sperm. And succeeds! Yeah, I made that look, too. Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!

Squirrel Seeks ChipmunkDavid Sedaris
Anus-living parasites, bigot birds that fly south for the winter, a brown-nosing baboon, and many more crazy characters are in this book. As with all books by David Sedaris, fiction and nonfiction, I always end up questioning what I read, laughing out loud, then questioning it again. Whoa!

The Strange Library - Haruki Murakami
A teen boy takes a trip to the library in search of a particular book (what else would he be looking for?) and finds himself trapped in a cage, forced to read as many books as possible so his captor can eat his brains. What starts out as a typical day at the library turns into fight for survival. Haruki Murakami is an amazing writer with an amazing imagination, but this story is insane. Whoa! Whoa!

The Female ManJoanna Russ
This strange, feminist, satirical, science fiction novel is a timeless piece that will make you laugh, confuse you, and horrify you. Jeannine is waiting for her knight in shining armor. Joanna calls herself the "female man" because abandoning her given gender identity is the only way she can fit in a male-dominated society. Janet is from the future, where all the men have died out and only women remain. She is seen as the "rebel" in this novel and the character most comfortable in her own skin. Jael is from a time where  males and females are segregated. She is the most aggressive of the four, with talons that grow out of her old, wrinkly fingers. WHOA!


Books that almost made the list:
Lamb by Christopher Moore - Anyone who has read anything by Christopher Moore, knows he is funny and crazy, and this one got me right in the feels. Seriously, my sides hurt from so much laughing, but I did cry a little as well.

Raven Girl by Audrey Niffenegger  - A very moving story. It features an adult-sized Raven that had relations with a (human) postman and had a human child (via an egg) who thinks she's a raven trapped in a human body. Um...okay.

What books have you read that were strange to you? Please feel free to leave a comment on the library's Facebook and Goodreads pages.