Top Ten Tuesday: Outside My Genre Comfort Zone

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Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Ten Books I Enjoyed Recently (or in the last year or so) That Weren’t My Typical Genre/Type of Book.

Reading this blog you may have noticed that my typical genre tends to veer towards anything fantasy or scifi. I occasionally try to step out of that comfort zone and try new things, which is one of the reasons I’m trying to keep up with Emma Watson’s book club this year, because I really want to experience new genres. I couldn’t come up with a complete list of 10, but here are some of the books I’ve tried in the past year:

  1. Is Fat Bob Dead Yet by Stephen Dobyns – This was a book my boyfriend talked me into reading. He had read it and would occasionally supply me with anecdotes and quotes that made it sound hilarious. I hope to write an actual review for it soon, but this was a mystery unlike any I have ever read, and something I never would have picked up on my own.
  2. My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem – The first book of Emma Watson’s book club was one I really enjoyed. I have never read anything by Steinem before, and now I really want to find more of her writing. I found her anecdotes about her life fascinating.
  3. Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen – I read a lot of YA literature, but I usually stick to the fantasy/scifi side of things. However, I picked up an ARC of this and decided to give it a chance. The plot of the novel was enjoyable enough, however I wasn’t very impressed with Dessen’s writing. It was kind of exactly what I expected, which wasn’t much. But it was entertaining enough.
  4. Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon – Another YA book that didn’t fit my normal reading habits. I was hesitant about this one because the plot reminded me a little of The Fault in Our Stars and I was afraid it would be too depressing. However, I ended up really enjoying this novel, even more so than TFIOS.
  5. Vintage Hughes by Langston Hughes – I keep trying to read more poetry, because I’m not really a poetry reader and I’d like to be. I do however enjoy Langston Hughes because I like the rhythm of his writing.
  6. My Heart is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots by John Guy– I enjoy reading memoirs; I think there’s something more interesting about reading about a person’s life when written in their own voice than a biography written by someone else. However, I attempted a reading challenge (and ended up failing it) where I would read a different genre each month. January was biography and I had picked this one up in Scotland because I was fascinated by Queen Mary. I actually found this book to be rather interesting, though still a little bit of a slow read.
  7. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon – I am not a fan of romance or historical fiction older than the last century but after seeing the first half of season 1 of Outlander I had to read the novel too. I really enjoyed this first book and kept reading up to book 5. I’ll probably catch up with the rest of the series someday.
  8. The Witches by Stacey Schiff  – I don’t read a lot of historical nonfiction, but this was a topic that I am extremely fascinated in, mostly because I am related to two of the women executed during the Salem Witch Trials. This is probably the first history book I’ve read in a very long time and I found Schiff’s writing engaging and interesting. I really enjoyed this book.

So there are the books I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone and tried in the past year. I’ve discovered that for most of them, I actually enjoyed them when I gave them a chance and may like to find more along those lines. It’s good to try new things once in a while. What books outside your comfort Zone have you read lately?

13 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Outside My Genre Comfort Zone

    Book Club Mom said:
    February 24, 2016 at 6:51 am

    This is a good exercise and a great way to discover new genres. We all lean toward one or two personal choices, but I am often surprised and impressed when I break out. One example is Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick – great nonfiction!


    Allyson said:
    February 23, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    Outlander made my blog mate’s list this week 🙂 It has made quite a few lists! Glad to see people branching out 🙂

    My TTT.

    Also, feel free to check out the last week of our giveaway!


    mki52 said:
    February 23, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    Some of these sound really interesting – Is Fat Bob Dead Yet, Everything, Everything, and The Witches are going on my tbr list 🙂 That’s really cool too that you were related to two of the witched that were executed.
    I didn’t know that Emma Watson had a book club, she’s such an interesting and inspiring person, I’m going to have to look it up!

    Liked by 1 person

      CJ Dawn responded:
      February 25, 2016 at 8:57 am

      I meant to include a link to the book club in my original post, then forgot about it. There’s a group on Goodreads (Here’s the link) I love Emma Watson too and am really looking forward to what books she chooses.


    Nicole.Ilene said:
    February 23, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    Sounds like quite the interesting reads … when I first read the title Is Fat Bob Dead Yet, for some reason I went straight to a scene about a Bob character in Fight Club. Great list 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      CJ Dawn responded:
      February 25, 2016 at 8:54 am

      Haha! I love the title of Is Fat Bob Dead Yet, it’s so random you can’t help but pick it up and find out more about it.

      Liked by 1 person

    Brown Books and Green Tea said:
    February 23, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    Great list! I really want to read Gloria Steinems book, but I’m on a strict book buying ban right now. When its over, I’m racing to go get it.

    Liked by 1 person

      CJ Dawn responded:
      February 25, 2016 at 8:54 am

      I wish I had the self control for a book buying ban. I was doing really well, then bought 5 books in the past week. *facepalm* On the bright side, all were bargain/used books and boyfriend bought one and I used a gift card for another, so … yay? lol.

      Liked by 1 person

        Brown Books and Green Tea said:
        February 25, 2016 at 8:56 am

        I think that’s progress! It’s so hard, but financially, I really needed to save some money. You dont realize how much you’re spending on books until you try to stop!


    Amanda said:
    February 23, 2016 at 11:10 am

    Schiff’s Cleopatra was fantastic when you’re in the mood for another nonfiction! Poetry is definitely outside my comfort zone to read – brave choice!

    Liked by 1 person

      CJ Dawn responded:
      February 23, 2016 at 11:14 am

      I have a copy of Cleopatra that’s been on my summer reading list the last two years in a row. I’m hoping to actually get to it this year!

      Liked by 1 person

    Carrie said:
    February 23, 2016 at 10:53 am

    I’ve heard such great things about Everything, Everything – it’s one I’m gonna have to read for sure! Thanks for stopping by my blog 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    bftreviews said:
    February 23, 2016 at 10:39 am

    You picked some really good choices! I thought about reading the book for Emma’s book club but I really didn’t think I’d enjoy it. I’m glad to see you did though!

    Liked by 1 person

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