Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday - Books I Read That Were Outside Of My Comfort Zone

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted at The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's topic is Top Books I Read That Were Outside Of My Comfort Zone:

10. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien - I read this years ago, thinking it was a book that I should read, but never being all that enthusiastic about the subject matter.  I ended up really enjoying it, and it made me want to pick up the Lord of the Rings trilogy (which, to this day, I've never been able to get into).

9. Inside Out & Back Again by Thanhha Lai - I know next to nothing about Vietnamese refugees and I'd never read a book in verse before, so this middle-grade book was pretty far out of my comfort zone.  But it ended up being one of my favourite reads in 2011.

8. Heat Wave by Richard Castle - I don't generally read adult mystery/thriller novels, and I was leery about reading something written by a fictional character.  To my surprise, the writing wasn't that bad, and as a fan of the Castle TV series, I quite enjoyed the story.

7. The Moon Is Down by John Steinbeck - I can't remember when I read this one, what might've possessed me to read it, or even what it was about.  But as what Wikipedia calls a "propaganda novella", it's pretty far outside of my reading comfort zone!

6. A Girl Named Disaster by Nancy Farmer - Books about Africa or that take place in Africa have never interested me all that much... so this story about a brave girl on the run from an arranged marriage was a pleasant surprise.

5. My Ántonia by Willa Cather - I think I read this when I was on a classics kick.  I can't remember anything about it, only that I enjoyed it.  At the time of reading, it might not have been outside of my comfort zone... but it certainly is now!

4. Word to Caesar by Geoffrey Trease - This was an assigned book when I was in Grade 7.  We started it at the end of the year and never got to finish.  I actually asked the teacher if I could borrow a copy so I could find out what happened!  At that time, most of my for-fun reading was series like The Babysitters Club, so historical fiction wasn't my usual go-to genre.

3. In the Forests of the Night by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes - This was the first book I ever read about vampires in the YA paranormal genre.  I went on to read the other books that Atwater-Rhodes had released at that time.  I guess she's partly to blame for my current comfort zone!

2. Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare - I never enjoyed reading Shakespeare in school.  We'd read A Midsummer Night's Dream, Julius Caesar, and Hamlet (twice... I got it in Grade 12 and in university) and I hadn't really liked any of them.  I did, however, enjoy the movie version of Much Ado About Nothing... so I picked up the book.  It's now one of my favourite classics.  It made Shakespeare accessible for me, and I even went on to read The Tempest on my own.

1. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë - I wasn't too thrilled when I was assigned this book in my university English class.  I thought it would be just another mind-numbingly dull classic.  But that was before I started reading it and realized how accessible it was, with its first-person narration and interesting storyline.  I probably never would have picked it up if not for that class.


  1. My Antonia. Someone told me I should read it, but I don't think I'd enjoy it.. Hmm. :/

    Jane Eyre is on my tbr. I loved Wuthering Heights, but that was another Bronte sister.. ._.'

    All the best,

  2. Obviously we both have the same comfort zone because other than Jane Eyre I haven't read any of these. ;)

  3. A very interesting and thoughtful list!

    I should have included The Hobbit on my list, too - not my usual type of book but my husband's all-time favorite. He and I read it aloud to each other when we were dating, and it was great!

    I loved Jane Eyre, too.

    And it looks like we read almost the same batch of Shakespeare in HS which I didn't love, either -maybe I should try Much Ado About Nothing.

    Great list - thanks for sharing it.


    Book By Book

  4. I really need to add some of your books to my list! So many good ones I haven't even read! Too many books, so little time!

  5. I picked up Heat Wave at the library without knowing it was written by a fictional character. I found that out afterward. I thought it made a decent story, even without that gimmick.

  6. I had a hard time getting into Lord of the Rings too. I think I may have given up on it a couple of times. And then I saw the movie and was finally able to picture it all in my head. After that I read and loved the books.