Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Enjoyed Outside My Comfort Zone

Guys! Guess what! I’m actually getting a blog post up! This would not usually be a big deal, but the last few weeks have been crazy, crazy, crazy at work, school, and home. So reading and writing have kind of taken a back seat.

This topic was initially difficult for me, because I love reading a wide variety of books, so not many things are outside my comfort zone. But I managed to pick a few 🙂

The Housewife and the Actor — Shannon Hale

This was a recent read for me and pretty far out of my comfort zone in a few ways. I have read a lot of Hale’s YA books and really like her, but this is an adult book (SEE THIS: definitely an adult book. Not for kids who like Hale). I don’t read a lot of adult fiction. This one is sort of a romance (long story, hopefully coming to a post near you), which is also not typical for me. It was a good read, but requires a lot of processing.

Jurassic Park — Michael Crichton

I don’t typically read thriller/horror, which is why this was out of my comfort zone. Lo and behold, I loved it! So that was new. But I’m still a pretty tame thriller/adventure reader. I tried Crichton’s Micro and couldn’t handle all the blood.

Dodger — Terry Pratchett

Dodger was my first Pratchett read and it was delightful. Counts as out of my comfort zone because it was a new author. Also, I don’t often read MG historical fiction. It was hilarious though and Pratchett’s grasp of language is brilliant.

Winter Town — Stephen Emond

I think, although do not remember for sure, that this was a random pick from browsing my library. It is a short novel with some lovely graphic elements (as in, graphic novel, not graphic like shocking). So out of my comfort zone with new author and somewhat new format. I do like browsing for books, but am very selective about grabbing something completely new to me.

Two Years, Eight Months, and Twenty-Eight Days
Crazy — Salman Rushdie

I’m seeing a pattern here–this was also my first Rushdie read. In the sense that it’s a mythology/fantasy read, it wasn’t new. But it’s much more literary than my usual reads, so it was pleasantly challenging.

Return of the Native — Thomas Hardy

This choice is less because Hardy was outside my comfort zone and more because I actually liked this book. If you don’t know, Hardy tends to be really depressing. I don’t normally like depressing books. But this one has some engaging characters and really captivating descriptions. I recommend reading by audio, which makes it more interesting.

Hard Times — Charles Dickens

I don’t like Dickens much. But Hard Times was surprisingly funny. So here it is. I probably won’t read Dickens for another 3-5 years.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo — Stieg Larsson

I’m not much of a thriller/mystery reader and also not good about reading international authors, so this was new for me. I liked it a lot and I’ve read more adventure/thrillers recently, so that’s more in my comfort zone now.


Most of these were successful excursions. I liked all of these reasonably well, even if I don’t love the genre or author. I’d love your suggestions for other books outside my comfort zone!

3 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Enjoyed Outside My Comfort Zone

  1. Three of these are unofficially on my to-read list: the Hardy (I’ve read a couple others by him), Dickens (unapologetically read most of him and love it!), and the Pratchett (admittedly because it’s about the Dodger/Dickens, but I’ve heard his Discworld series is awesome, too). Your take makes me want to get on them!

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