The Strange and Beautiful

Have you ever read a book that was super strange, and yet oddly moving? Well I have, plenty in fact. These books speak to a deeper side of our psyche, the side that is there lurking beneath the surface (well, for some.)

Here are some of The Strange and Beautiful books I’ve encountered:

(click any picture or title for more info.)
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
What better book to start with than Lewis Carroll’s strange and delightful story of Alice; who has some rather interesting adventures in Wonderland. This story is like a quirky silly bizarro dream. It is witty and charming, and full of intriguing characters to love. It may be a bit of an oddball, but it is beautiful!

“Have I gone mad?     I’m afraid so, but let me tell you something, the best people usually are.”

11eab24bb4ff8d59eeed4c5f997c274bRated: 4.3 on
Book Bean: Rose Tea
Steeped with cream and sugar to taste. 
Out of the Silent Planet
Another of C.S. Lewis’ treasures that I love. This book is so wonderfully strange. It is futuristic and prophetic, and thick with symbolism. There is a surreal ethereal like vibe to the story, that is captivating. I really enjoyed this book because well, it’s just so odd but so beautiful. As abstract as the book is, I felt it was very relate-able.

“The love of knowledge is a kind of madness.”

Vegan-Toasted-Coconut-Latte.jpgRated: 4.5 on
Bean: Cocomallow Steamer
Coconut milk concentrate and milk (to taste) heated and added to a blender, add a dab of cream marshmallow, blend til thick n’ frothy. MMM…


House of Leaves
The presentation of this book is bold and odd and crazy, and completely non-conventional. However, it somehow  works. Mark Z. Danielewski writes beautifully and with a daring one of a kind concept. It’s so interesting to read about how this book came to be in the world.

“We all create stories to protect ourselves.”

NF6zoQho-2400-2920 Rated: 4.0 on
Book Bean: Flat White
Use whole milk for your foam and pour over 2 ristretto (short) shots. Perfect blend, not to strong and not too creamy.
Green Eggs and Ham
Well it most certainly is an oddball story. Green eggs..? It’s silly and random and full of rhyme. There is so much to love! Dr. Seuss’ unique characters are so odd and weird, but so natural somehow… I love the poetic playfulness he weaves into his books so gently and generously, it’s beautiful.

You do no like them, so you say. Try them! Try them! And you may!

downloadRated: 4.8 on
Book Bean: Matcha Latte
Matcha is a powder made from finely grinding green tea leaves. Make a latte as you would usually but with the powder in place of your shots. It’s mild earthy flavor is lovely, and well, green. 🙂

Flowers For Algernon
This book truly is a beautiful story. I loved it so much. It’s unique writing style takes a bit to get used to, but in the end you realize the power in it. The perspective and feeling that the story generates is phenomenal. It’s interesting and fascinating, sad and brilliant.

“I am afraid. Not of life, or death, or nothingness, but of wasting it as if I had never been.”

images (1)Rated: 4.6 on
Book Bean: Caramel Hot Cocoa
Chocolate and steamed milk drizzled with rich caramel. Toss in some marshmallows if you desire.


The Neverending Story
This book is strange and magnificent, and full of magic. It is well written and has a great story line. Once again a book with a timeless aura. It is filled with superb characters, and interesting twists and turns. I love the beauty tangled in-between it’s pages. This is the book that you want to find a place hidden away from it all, and let it read you.

“Everything must be equal in your eyes, good and evil, beautiful and ugly, foolish and wise.”

download (1)Rated: 4.7 on
Book Bean: Maple Mocha
Stir together espresso, candied maple cubes, chocolate, and steamed milk. Top with whip,  chocolate drizzle, and maple crumbles (if you fancy.)

You know what book  I wanted to put on this? You guessed it “The Gargoyle,” but I didn’t, aren’t you proud? There are books I imagine could make it on, but I haven’t finished them yet “Midnight in The Garden of Good and Evil” and “What Dreams May Come,” maybe even Dante’s “Inferno” (I know, another shamefully unread classic.)

Have you read any of these books? What are your thoughts?
Tell about any books you’ve read that are Strange yet Beautiful.

96 thoughts on “The Strange and Beautiful

  1. For me one of the strangest and most beautiful books was Boris Vian’s “Foam of the Daze”: It’s written by a French author and it tells the story of a man who marries a woman, who develops an illness that can only be treated by surrounding her with flowers. Also, very strange and beautiful is Haruki Murakami’s “Norwegian Woods” – about love and coming of age.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Perhaps not that strange, but according to me, extremely beautiful: “Strange weather in Tokyo” by Hiromi Kawakami. It’s one of my favourite books, and definitely a special book to me.
    Also, I’m new to your blog, but I already love your posts- and your caffeine and book combinations are spot on!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Perdido Street Station by China Mieville! A very strange and beautiful book. Just wanted to give my suggestion too! 🙂 Was surprised to see Green Eggs and Ham thought, nice!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Favourites, (yes, I spelt it the UK way 🙂 ), from the above list are; Alice in Wonderland – or anything about Alice, actually – and The Neverending Story I absolutely LOVE! I also love that other C.S. Lewis classic series… Chronicles of Narnia 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I haven’t read out of the silent planet, I love Narnia and his style so I’ll have to look out for it in the future. Alice in Wonderland/through the looking glass is a great book, or books. I have a copy I got when I was little and love it, I got another copy and want to get the jabberwocky and other poems, it sounds like a great collection of poems.

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  6. I haven’t thought about House of Leaves in awhile! That book really was a trip and I haven’t seen anything like it again. Originally, I gravitated to it because I’m a fan of his sister. The musician, Poe… She put out this album “Haunted” and the artwork was from the book. The two kind of went together for me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s an excellent selection of books and I have read most of them. What struck me about the post first and foremost was I just saw the movie trailer for “Alice Through The Looking Glass” with (of course) Johnny Depp as The Mad Hatter. Wow. You talk about a strange looking film. I sometimes wonder who the target audiences are for these types of films…and on occasion, these books as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Always Alice in Wonderland! But being from the area of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil made it my favorite. And since I am from there, not a bit of the oddness felt odd to me. I know someone who resembles almost every character in that one. I read it at least once every year!

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  9. “The Lovely Bones” and “Gone Girl” are the two books that are coming to mind that were strange and beautiful. Unfortunately, I haven’t read any of the books you’ve listed but I have heard of them and heard the odd story of Alice Adventures in Wonderland. Talk about strange. lol

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Great choices! Books I’ve read this year that fit the bill include (but are not limited to, because I read a lot of strange books): Through the Woods by Emily Carroll; Echoes by Therin Knite; The Girl in Between by Laekan Zea Kemp; and The Glass Casket by McCormick Templeman!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Anything by Mark z. Danielewski is delightfully strange, good list. “The Red Book” by Carl Jung would be a kind of non-fiction entry to this list. More interesting than strange it is a cool book, try to find the illuminated version if you can, he illustrates his dreams and active imagination wanderings. A neat look for anyone interested in the history of psychology.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I love Flowers for Algernon and The Neverending Story. The latter is currently on my reread list. I try to that every few years or so. I just added House of Leaves. Surprisingly have never heard of that! It’s the only one on the list I’ve neither heard of nor read so I’m excited about that 🙂

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  13. Your site is really making me crave a coffee right now. 🙂 I just finished “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory” which certainly fit the “strange” category, but surprisingly had some beautiful sentiments throughout.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Alice in Wonderland, interesting that i should stop by your blog, within your thoughts about this strange and wonderful adventure..

    As hard is it may seem, my life run similar, as in strange and wonderful to this above book…

    i also see that you have stopped by for a read,

    where i’m truthfully grateful..

    i look forward to build our new relationship!

    hugs chris

    Liked by 1 person

  15. I love that “Green Eggs and Ham” made the list. You can’t help but sing it when you read it aloud.

    Thanks for recommending Out of the Silent Planet by CS Lewis. I see it can be accessed from Project Gutenberg. Will be checking it out!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Flowers for Algernon–yes! The books that come to mind for me are Connie Willis’ Doomsday Book and Tana French’s Into the Woods. And definitely agree with the comment about On the Beach by Nevil Shute.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Re-read narnia recently. Currently stuck with Saint-Exupéry’s “Courier Sud”. Re-read Narnia last year. Haven’t read flowers for Algernon, but I saw the movie when it was released eons ago. Saw it again a couple of years back. Fabulous. Currently reading non-fiction. Almost ready to start Houellebecque’s “Submission”. A bit scared in advance. Have you read Ruth Ozeki’s “A tale for the time being”?

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Just thought of another. Faulkner’s Sound and the Fury is wonderful but the Stream of Consciousness writing style is more difficult to get through than the usual style. Yet I loved being in everyone’s head, understanding their, for example, motivations, reasons for actions, thoughts, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

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