Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Books Outside My Comfort Zone | Top Ten Tuesday #10

For the first time in over 2.5 years, I've felt like doing Top Ten Tuesday again, so here we are! Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl, where you can find topics and such! This week's topic is top ten books I enjoyed that are outside my comfort zone. For me this is pretty much anything outside YA and Fantasy, as almost all the books I read are in these genres. But of course, I've found some gems by branching out a little now and then, and that's what this post is all about. This list is in no particular order, but here are ten books I enjoyed that are outside my reading comfort zone.

1. OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon: Historical fiction is a genre I rarely reach for, and for this book the biggest reason I picked it up was because I watched the first season of the TV show and quite liked most of it. Although this giant of a book was quite intimidating to start, it sucked me in immediately, and I loved reading about Claire's adventures in 18th century Scotland. Although I don't plan on continuing with the series, this book was definitely a hit for me.

2. BECOMING by Michelle Obama: If I'm not a big historical fiction reader, I'm even less of a non-fiction reader. In fact, the non-ficiton books I've read can probably be counted on one hand, but two of them ended up making it onto this list. Becoming was a fantastic read, and it really gave me hope that managing a successful career and a family life is possible. Michelle Obama is a woman I truly admire and this book only fortified that opinion. 

3. THE SONG OF ACHILLES by Madeline Miller: Unlike a lot of people, mythological themes are not usually a great selling point for me. Although I admit I'm fascinated by the different gods and heroes, mythology is not something I specifically seek out in books. With The Song of Achilles, all the raving reviews basically made me read it, though. Add to that the fact that at least three people told me what a great book it was when I was looking at it at the bookstore, and I was sold. Luckily, the story truly lived up to the hype, and I am very happy that people pushed me to give this book outside my comfort zone a try.

4. MILK AND HONEY by Rupi Kaur: This is honestly the only poetry I've ever voluntarily read, but I really enjoyed it. It's made me want to try more modern poetry, but I'll have to admit it hasn't happened yet.

5. MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA by Arthur Golden: Another historical fiction novel, and again the TV made me read it. I fell in love with the movie Memoirs of a Geisha long before I ever picked up the book, but ended up enjoying the book just as much. 

6. THE STRANGE AND BEAUTIFUL SORROWS OF AVA LAVENDER by Leslye Walton: This book heavily features magical realism, something I didn't even know existed when I read Ava Lavender. I fell in love with this strange and beautiful story, but have yet to enjoy another magical realism book, not that I've read many. As such, Ava Lavender remains a unique favorite of mine, and thus deserves a spot on this list.

7. EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU by Celeste Ng: I absolutely loved both Everything I Never Told You as well as Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. Both made me feel quite frustrated, without hope and a little empty inside, but for some reason I loved it. The power of Celeste Ng's writing is truly a wonder to me, and I will continue to read her books even though they are definitely a little outside my comfort zone.

8. WONDER by R.J. Palacio: Although I read a ton of YA, Middle Grade is a genre I usually avoid. But with Wonder, the hype made me pick it up, and I wholeheartedly agree with the raving reviews I see everywhere. This book brought me tears of joy and pain, and it's definitely up there with my all time favorite books. So although outside my comfort zone genre-wise, I love it dearly.

9. THE CATCHER IN THE RYE by J.D. Salinger: The days when I read classics are sparse, trust me, and ones where I actually enjoy it are almost unheard of. With this book, however, something just clicked with me and although I can understand if it's not for everyone, it worked for me and it thus deserves a spot on this list.

10. IN ORDER TO LIVE: A NORTH KOREAN GIRL'S JOURNEY TO FREEDOM by Yeonmi Park: Last but not least, as promised, the second non-fiction book on this list. As expected, In Order to Live hit really hard and it was at times almost impossible to read. But it also really opened my eyes to how propaganda can influence people and the unthinkable things that are going on in our world.

So that's it for ten books outside my comfort zone that were a positive surprise for me. I would love to know what you think of these books and am excited to see everyone else's lists for today's topic!

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