Breathe To Read

Breathe To Read

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Have Enjoyed Outside My Comfort Zone

Top Ten Tuesdays are from the blog of The Artsy Reader.  Check her blog out HERE and join in the fun!

Today's theme is: Books I Have Enjoyed Outside My Comfort Zone

These one is a good one for me because it is what started all of my book challenges a few years ago.  I was stuck in the Dystopian Future genre and I realized I was probably missing so many terrific books because I was afraid to branch out.  I talked to a close friend who read even more than I do and she suggested a book challenge.  We did it together, and when we met up each week when our sons were in Karate class, we encouraged each other to keep moving through.  And I loved it.  Now 5 years later, I continue to make this the way I read so that I keep stretching my comfort zone larger and larger.  It has been freeing.

To find just 10 books that I have read outside my comfort zone to add to this list will be hard, so I will try to narrow it down to my favorites.  There will be in no particular order.

1) The Master and Margarita

         This was one of the hardest books I have read.  It is a Russian translation and it took me a long time to get through it.  But the book was really good.  I was proud of myself for reading it, and I think someday I would like to read it again to take it all in a little better.

2) Game of Thrones

        Of course this had to make the list.  And this is true.  I found the books very daunting, and the show never seemed like something I was interested in.  I actually started watching the show with my husband first, and then he recommended trying the books.  And I loved the books so much more than the show.

3) The Crucible

        I needed a play for a challenge one year, and this one was recommended by my sister in-law who is an English teacher.  I wasn't sure I was going to like it, but I really did.

4) Dracula

        I read this book just this year.  I used Dracula as my Read The World book for England.  It had been on my TBR list for a long time, but I never thought I would like Bram Stoker's writing style, but it was very well written.

5) The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

        My husband had this book on our shelf for a long time before I picked it up.  He is a geneticist and has actually met family members of Ms. Lacks in his line of work.  Someone gave him the book, and he really liked it and encouraged me to try it.  I don't know what I thought it was going to be about but the story was incredible.  Remains one of my favorite books to this day.

6) The Martian

        This is another shout out to my nerdy husband.  He read this book and just loved it.  It is a smart,  funnywell thought out novel and is an incredible read.  I have seen the movie as well and I think it does the book justice.

7) Touch The Top Of The World

        This book was given to me after my daughter - who is going blind from a genetic disease - was diagnosed.  I didn't pick it up for about a year after she was diagnosed because I didn't want to read how "fantastic" blind was.  But it wasn't like that.  It was empowering.  It was a great read.

8) What is the What

         I picked one of my favorite African books from this year.  It is probably neck and neck with "The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind".  There are 54 African countries and all the stories are daunting, or heroic, or depressing.  But most of them also very very good. 

9) Lemony Snicket

      This was a series I was never interested in.  I was sure they were going to be dumb.  And there are a ton of books.  So I never got into them.  A few years ago, my son wanted to read them, so we decided to read them together.  What a treat (on many levels).  I ended up loving them.

10) Catch 22

       I don't love the classics.  I will be the first to admit it.  That list of Top 100 books you should read in your life time - while I have read many, I have liked few.  This one is one of the few.  I really did enjoy it and the only reason I read it is because it fit into a challenge category.  Otherwise, I still probably wouldn't have.  But it was a great novel.

That is my list - what would be on yours?


  1. That's actually quite a nice little challenge to do with a friend! Happy you both enjoyed that and you now have other genres to choose from! xx

    I gotta say I don't typically reach out of my prefered genre too often ..once in a while i'd read a fantasy (which im not too sure of) and also sometimes when the summary looks good to me i'll tend to try it -- I did so with horror (still trying to get a good one..) and I've tried an historical who weren't too bad, in retrospection.
    I however haven't read any of those mentioned !

    Kristina @ Books-and-dachshunds

    1. Yes - I was really stuck. I loved, and still love, dystopian future -would read anything I could get my hands on. I am glad I branced out. I still sneak in some favorite genre books each year, but there were too many other things I was missing before.