Happy Tuesday, all! Hope it’s been a good one for you so far…
Top Ten Tuesday is, as always, the creation of The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is ‘top ten books I enjoyed recently that weren’t my typical genre/were out of my comfort zone’, with recently equating to the past year. I like to think of myself as being willing to read anything, which means that my ‘comfort zone’ is pretty large, but I’ve just about been able to scrape ten. I think the biggest genre outside of my comfort zone is romance/erotica novels, which I rarely read (actually I haven’t read any erotica!) but I’ve been rather liberal with what I consider to be ‘outside of my comfort zone’ in order to get ten – for example, choosing genres that I do read yet are not maybe my first choice, or anything which is not my stereotypical fantasy/sci-fi/YA/popular literary fiction choices.
- ‘The Wicked and the Divine Volume 1: The Faust Act’ by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie – I have never been a big reader of graphic novels/comic books, and yet when I read this one back in January, I really enjoyed it. It sparked a want to read more of the genre, which I had previously not ventured into. Read my review here.
- ‘The Lady in the Van’ by Alan Bennett – An autobiographical short story by Alan Bennett about a homeless lady who parks her van outside his house, this lovely story is not necessarily of a genre I avoid, it is just that I do not read all that much autobiographical stuff, and yet this stood out to me when I read it in December.
- ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’ by Helen Fielding – Rom-coms are never my go-to in books, movies or TV, and yet when I read this last summer, I truly did enjoy it. I must finish watching the film, as I have never seen it the whole way through.
- ‘The Alchemist’ by Paulo Coelho – I’m not entirely sure why I categorise this as ‘out of my comfort one’ but it just seemed like the kind of thing I would not typically have read when I finished this one last year (my tastes have changed since and perhaps this is now more my thing). I adored most of the book, although there was one part that started chipping away at my Goodreads rating.
- ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen – A classic love story. I was so adamant before I read this (for an exam) that I would hate it, as it is the epitome of what is out of my comfort zone. I started it, stopped, realised I had to read it ASAP, and found it becoming one of my favourites of 2015.
- ‘The Selection’ by Kiera Cass – Before reading this one, I was certain that it simply was not my thing. I knew that the dystopian setting was a deception, and that it was more than anything a romance focused on princes and pretty dresses. My friend made me read it, and I was pleasantly surprised: I did enjoy it. I read all three of the original trilogy in a week, and while it went downhill with every book, I did still quite like the first.
- ‘Death of a Salesman’ by Arthur Miller – I’m in two minds about American literature of this variety, which makes sweeping judgements the society across the early-mid 20th century: ‘Of Mice and Men’ and ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ are two of my favourites, and yet I detest ‘The Great Gatsby’. Having previously read Miller’s ‘The Crucible’ and loved it, I suppose it is not all that much of a surprise that I enjoyed this, but I was sceptical given that sometimes, this kind of story falls flat for me.
- ‘The Awakening’ by Kate Chopin – An 1899 American feminist novel, this is not really my typical holiday read, and yet I truly did enjoy it when I read it in Greece last summer.
- ‘The Russian Revolution: History in an Hour’ by Rupert Colley – While I adore history and historical texts and memoirs, rarely do I sit down and read a whole non-fiction history text cover to cover – I dip in and out. So to have read the entirety of this one and enjoyed it was a new experience in a way. Read my review here.
- ‘Shaking Hands with Death’ by Terry Pratchett – Now, I love reading essays and other people’s view on the world, but it was only because of this that I started to get into them. This very emotional and moving speech on the right to die and Alzheimer’s is a (very short) must-read.