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Books of the Bizarre, Odd, and Downright Weird

Looking for a read that's just a little bit... different? Check out these titles featuring off-beat characters and plots.

House of Leaves by Mark Z Danielewski

A story within a story, House of Leaves focuses on a family newly moved into a house on Ash Tree Lane, and a series of unforseen events and horrors is started when they discover that the house is larger on the inside than it is on the outside. Filled with colored words and vertical footnotes, this book is guaranteed to be like nothing you've read before.

The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall

Waking up with no memory of who or where he is, Eric Sanderson finds notes left to him from "the first" Eric Sanderson. Realizing he suffers from memory loss due to a painful lost love, Eric sets out on a journey where he discovers that his memory loss may be from something more sinister... and it may just be trying to consume him for good. Structured in a wholly unique way, Raw Shark Texts will dazzle and inspire any reader.

Also available in: e-book

It begins with Peter, a devoted man of faith, as he is called to the mission of a lifetime, one that takes him galaxies away from his wife, Bea. Peter becomes immersed in the mysteries of an astonishing new environment, overseen by an enigmatic corporation known only as USIC. His work introduces him to a seemingly friendly native population struggling with a dangerous illness and hungry for Peter's teachings--his Bible is their "book of strange new things." But Peter is rattled when Bea's letters from home become increasingly desperate: typhoons and earthquakes are devastating whole countries, and governments are crumbling.  Bea's faith, once the guiding light of their lives, begins to falter.

PopCo by Scarlett Thomas

Alice-slight introvert, crossword compositor- works at PopCo, a globally successful and slightly sinister toy company. Lured by their CEO to a Thought Camp out on the moors, PopCo's creatives must invent the ultimate product for teenage girls. Meanwhile, Alice receives bizarre, encrypted messages she suspects relate to her grandfather's decoding of a centuries-old manuscript that many-including her long-disappeared father-believe leads to buried treasure. Its key, she's sure, is engraved on the necklace she's been wearing since she was ten. Using the skills she learned from her grandparents and teaching us aspects of cryptanalysis, Alice discovers the source of these creepy codes. Will this lead her to the mysterious treasure or another, even more carefully guarded secret?

Lullaby : a novel by Chuck Palahniuk

A reporter investigating Sudden Infant Death Syndrome stumbles upon the realization that reading a particular poem from a particular book can cause immediate death - and may have been the cause of both his wife and child's deaths. On a mission with another victim of the poem, they set out to destroy every copy.

" Lullaby is a comedy/drama/tragedy. In that order. It may also be Chuck Palahniuk's best book yet." - Goodreads

"Still Life with Woodpecker is a sort of a love story that takes place inside a pack of Camel cigarettes. It reveals the purpose of the moon, explains the difference between criminals and outlaws, examines the conflict between social activism and romantic individualism, and paints a portrait of contemporary society that includes powerful Arabs, exiled royalty, and pregnant cheerleaders. It also deals with the problem of redheads." - Goodreads

John Dies at the End by David Wong
Also available in: video | e-video

David and best friend John unwittingly come upon a substance known as Soy Sauce, and it enables them to see another world lurking at the edge of ours. Now that they've seen it, they can't escape the horrors that lurk there. Filled with hilarity, this novel will have you chuckling and cringing.

"And watch out for Molly. See if she does anything unusual. There’s something I don’t trust about the way she exploded and then came back from the dead like that." (Excerpt)

Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
Also available in: e-audiobook | video

"First published 50 years ago, William S. Burroughs' novel Naked Lunch is a dark, wild ride through the terror of heroin addiction and withdrawal, filled with paranoia, erotica and drug-fueled hallucinations." - NPR

A Scanner Darkly by Philip K Dick
Also available in: audiobook | e-audiobook | video | e-music

A drug dealer of the future periodically moves away from his spaced-out world to become an informer for narcotics agents until he becomes unable to separate his two personalities.

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

Patrick Bateman moves among the young and trendy in 1980s Manhattan. Young, handsome, and well educated, Bateman earns his fortune on Wall Street by day while spending his nights in ways we cannot begin to fathom. Expressing his true self through torture and murder, Bateman prefigures an apocalyptic horror that no society could bear to confront.

Also available in: e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook | video | e-music

Arthur Dent, a refugee from the late planet Earth and his pal from the planet Betelgeuse, Ford Prefect, thumb their way thru comic misadventures throughout the Universe.

Also available in: e-audiobook

Everyone knows the stories of Jesus's adult life, but what about his childhood? In Lamb, an angel resurrects Jesus's childhood best friend, Biff, to tell of the adventures that they went on in their early life. Filled with stories of kung-fu, abominable snowmen, and a pretty girl named Mary (Magdalene), this is a hilarious take on the Savior's younger years while he explores what it means to be the messiah.

Boomsday by Christopher Buckley
Also available in: e-book | audiobook | e-audiobook

When a 29-year-old blogger casually suggests that baby boomers kill themselves by age 75 to help the country with the mounting social security debt, a politician hires her and tries to ride the suggestion to the White House.