Top Ten Tuesday: Stepping out…

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…of your comfort zone. That’s the topic for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the good folks at The Broke and the Bookish. You can play along by clicking here, and then telling us all about the top ten books you read that were outside of your comfort zone. And since I’m almost caught up on my grading before the next barrage begins, here’s my top ten(ish) offering.

What is my comfort zone, first of all? I like to think I have a pretty big comfort zone, but probably all of us like to think that, don’t we? I generally like literary fiction, mysteries, historical fiction and some young adult.

1. The Reapers Are the Angels. Alden Bell. I reviewed this book here, and have talked about it quite a bit, so it will clearly be making my list of top ten books I read this year. Zombies are not usually in my comfort zone. I never finished Pride and Prejudice and Zombies because it just seemed, um, stupid? This book really transcends genres. I don’t know what you’d call it but I so loved it.

2. The Wednesday Sisters. Meg Waite Clayton. I would put this in the category of chick lit, or women’s fiction. I’m not up on my genre’s, but this was outside my comfort zone. And yet I enjoyed it quite a lot. This novel about a group of women finding themselves through writing was inspiring to me in a moment when I was considering taking up writing again.

3. Sabriel. Garth Nix. My husband kept looking at the cover of this book, as well as the next two in the series (Lirael and Abhorsen) and raising his eyebrow at me. I took this as an indication that he felt these books (based on their cover art) appeared to be considerably different from what I normally read. True, but enjoyable all the same.

4. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. N.K. Jemisin.  See above. Up until this year, fantasy was pretty outside of my comfort zone. But having discovered some very good stuff out there, I think my comfort zone might have changed.

5. The Sisters Brothers. I don’t know if you would qualify this as a Western, which is definitely outside of my comfort zone. It’s set in the West. There’s a gold rush and hired killers, as well as prostitutes and gun fights. But I loved the characters, the humor, the writing. DeWitt has a perfect touch.

6. The House of Prayer No. 2. Mark Richar. This is a memoir. And a memoir about childhood. And the childhood of someone with a disability. These are all things I normally avoid, but I really enjoyed this book.

7. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. Annie Dillard.  Ugh. A big long extended essay about an encounter with nature and the big questions in life. From the outside, I couldn’t imagine anything less attractive, but I loved this book.

At this point in my list, the Goodreads page collapsed, and without technological assistance, I cannot remember what I’ve read, let alone whether or not it was outside my comfort zone. Which I believe makes my list complete.

What luck have you had stepping outside your comfort zone?

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