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 is a great theme – I try to read quite broadly (but often fall back on fantasy as my go-to genre). But there are still lots of books that I’ve enjoyed that have definitely pushed my normal limits/expectations.
I’ve trawled back through my Goodreads list from the past few years and here is a selection of books that I was pleasantly surprised by:
1. The Art of Taxidermy – Sharon Kernot
This is one of my more recent reads – I’ve read poems, and plenty of traditional novels, but I’ve never read a book in verse before. And I loved how well an emotive story could be told with relatively few words.
2. Stepsister – Jennifer Donnelly
I can be quite critical of retellings, and especially YA retellings, but this one BLEW MY MIND. I loved the twist on the Cinderella story, I loved the characters, the involvement of the gods, and I loved the encroaching threat.
3.&4. Spectacles – Sue Perkins, Toast – Nigel Slater
I’m not big on autobiography, and I avoid them as a whole. But I really enjoyed the dry wit of Spectacles, and the food-based adoration of Toast.
5. Territory of Light – Yuko Tsushima
I fear a book where very little happens. I need action, adventure, movement! Very little happened in Territory of Light but it was still heartfelt, lyrical and the common theme of light throughout this short novel was unexpectedly lovely.
6. Titus Groan (Gormenghast #1) – Mervyn Peake
I was anticipating putting myself through gothic misery in the name of reading a classic, instead I found a book that was long and HILARIOUS. It was ridiculous, made a mockery of generatons of English literature and unashamedly self-deprecating.
7. Perdido Street Station – China Mieville
I eventually caved to my boyfriend, who had been begging for me to read this. I knew fantasy, but wasn’t great with sci fi at the time. Now, I will praise this incredible and indepth book to anyone who will listen!
8. World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War – Max Brookes
I don’t read zombie books. But I do enjoy a bit of an end-of-the-world apocalypse. I was really pleasantly surprised by how poignant, considered and impresively detailed this book was – no wonder it became a film with some incredible action sequences!
Quite honestly I can’t think of any more that have wildly taken my out of my comfort zone, as I do try and read quite broadly …
🌟🌟🌟But I need your advice!🌟🌟🌟
I am both a reading snob and in desperate need of a good period Jane Austen retellings (you know, those ones where Charlotte Lucas ends up with Wickham, or what happened to Elizabeth and Darcy after they married). I’ve tried to step out of my comfort/snob zone to read one before, but I’ve always been disappointed.
Basically, can anyone hook me up with some good quality Pride and Prejudice fan fiction??
8 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Enjoyed that are Outside of My Comfort Zone”
I think Mieville is outside the comfort zone even for sci fi/fantasy readers. His books are so *weird!* I love them, but… strange, twisty books. 🙂 My TTT
I’ve read some books (like String City) who try to out-Mieville MIeville, but they just can’t quite manage them. I love that man’s brain!
Yeah, World War Z was a great book.
I was genuinely surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I don’t mind a film zombie, but normally I don’t bother with book-zs
The Age of Taxidermy was brilliant. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
Check out my TTT and my reviews of The Girl the Sea Gave Back and Loki
I’m still amazed by how much I loved it, which means that it’s on my lists for basically everything at the moment!
The Miéville and Tsushima are on my TBR!! My list is here: https://wordsandpeace.com/2019/09/03/top-ten-books-outside-my-comfort-zone/
I love your blog name!