Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
This Week’s Theme: Ten Books I Enjoyed That Are Outside of My Comfort Zone
Getting back to blogging means posting a Top Ten Tuesday on a day that’s not Tuesday, right? Cool. I promise I had good intentions and was planning for this post to go up last night, but then I got distracted by an AFL documentary and before I knew it, it was 11pm and I needed to go to bed.
Anyway, until I started blogging I never really read ANY books outside of my comfort zone? I would stick to YA and usually only standalones that were contemporary based. Then being part of the book community made me realise that I didn’t need to be scared to try new things and it was okay if I didn’t always like or completely understand them. I’m so glad I took the leap and read some of these books because they’ve become all time favourites!!
Six of Crows & Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo || I get intimidated by fantasy and along with the size of these books and the fact that I hadn’t read the Grishaverse books before them I was really scared to start them. I absolutely loved Six of Crows though, even if the fantasy elements did get lost on me. I loved the characters so much. I then put off Crooked Kingdom for SO LONG because I was scared of how it would “end” and again the size of the book, but like I’m so happy I finally read it. Even though it ruined me.
Bear Town by Fredrik Backman || Adult literary fiction will always intimidate me, but I decided to give this one a go because it was centred around a sports team and dealt with rape culture. This book was also out of my comfort zone because even though I love watching sports I don’t really know a lot about hockey so I thought it would confuse me a lot. I actually read this book this year and it was when I wasn’t reading at all and I’m so glad I did because it’s now one of my all time favourite books. It destroyed me, but I loved it. I have the next book from the library and I’m hoping to read it this month! [cw: rape, homophobia, racism, suicide, self-harm, body image, violence, misogyny, guns]
The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman || As someone who didn’t have experience with classics in high school they are one of the “genres” that intimidate me the most. I feel like I’m not educated enough to understand them. However, I decided to give this one a go because of the premise and I’m eternally grateful. I connected to it on such a personal level and it’s going to stay with me forever. I also learnt that it’s totally okay to not understand things and that there’s always the opportunity to learn when you’re reading something new! I’m still not GREAT at reading classics, but I’m trying! [cw: depression]
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi || Adult literay fiction mixed with historical fiction? Couldn’t get more out of my comfort zone. I read this because it was a group book for the first round of DiverseAThon a couple years ago because I realised my reading was not diverse enough and I needed to change that. Again, I’m so glad I did. This book was so beautiful and so important. It’s what made me want to read more literay fiction. This book is so underrated and I’ll forever try and make sure EVERYONE reads it. So, please read it if you haven’t!! [cw: violence, sexual abuse, rape, murder, death of children, slavery, racism]
Uzumaki by Junji Ito || Even though I’m familiar with comics and graphic novels I had never picked up manga before because I felt really intimidated by it. I didn’t know where to start and I wasn’t sure how I’d go with the reading format. I think I read this for a readathon where you had to read something in a format that you hadn’t had much experience with so I figured it was a good time to try a manga! This was so unsettling and creepy. I loved it. It’s definitely made me want to read more mangas too. [cw: horror]
Nevernight by Jay Kristoff || I mentioned before that fantasy intimidates me and adult fantasy? I never in my LIFE thought I’d read an adult fantasy book, but here we are. Again I didn’t understand everything, but I was so enthralled by this book. It was so dark and brutal. I couldn’t put it down. I HAVEN’T read the rest of the series (yet) because like I’m scared. There’s so many pages and like fantasy is not my strong suit, but I will. I promise. (Side note: there are issues with this book and how it appropriated Maori culture so please keep that in mind!) [cw: everything you can think of]
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston || Of all the genres that intimidate me one I thought I’d NEVER actually read is romance. Shout out to hype and Casey McQuiston for changing that. I feel like I don’t even need to say anything about this book. It was SO GOOD and I’m glad I gave it a chance because even though it was romance-heavy there was an AMAZING friendship group and it was just overall such a wonderful experience and it definitely helped me get out of my reading slump. I mean it was a queer romance so that helped too, but still. Defs out of my comfort zone.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid || Another book I didn’t think would be for Me. Again, I thought this was going to be very romance heavy plus it had historical elements (even if it was modern/recent history) and it was adult fiction. I’m glad I listened to the hype again though because it’s now one of my favourite books ever and Taylor Jenkins Reid has become a new favourite author of mine. It ruined me in the best way. It definitely opened me up to a whole new genre of books and definitely helped in me reading Red, White & Royal Blue. [cw: sexual assault, statutory rape, abuse, cheating, homophobia, biphobia, alcoholism, death, illnesses, mentions of suicide]
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak || It took me FOREVER to read this book. A literary historical fiction about World War II was so, so intimidating to me. Mixed with the size, I never thought I’d read this book even though the entire world was yelling about how incredible it was. To be honest I’m not even sure WHY I finally read this? I think it was for a Make Me Read It, readathon? It broke me into a million pieces and I think I spent 90% of it crying, but wow y’all were right. The writing style was BEAUTIFUL. For some reason I thought the writing would be really dry, but it was so lyrical and stunning. The Book Thief is definitely the book that made me realise the judgements I had about adult fiction were mostly all wrong and it brought a lot of amazing new books into my life. [cw: war, death]
Have you read any of the books I’ve mentioned? I’d love to hear your thoughts! What are some books outside of your comfort zone that you’ve loved?
Feel free to link your own Top Ten Tuesday post down below. I’d love to check it out!
I hope you’re all having a fantastic day.