Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Outside the Zone

Today's topic over at The Broke and the Bookish for our top ten list... is what books have you read outside of your comfort zone.

Well, since my comfort zone is really quite large, I'm going to have to stretch a little to accomplish this list! But here's what I've come up with:

Ten Books I've Read Outside My Comfort Zone

1. Under the Dome by Stephen King... just finished and enjoyed this one, but I would say that anything by Stephen King is a bit outside the zone, just for the all round graphic nature of his books.

2. Truman by David McCullough.... a book read pre-blogging days and probably took me the whole summer.  Books this big AND political are not my norm. Fascinating stuff here though.

3. A Thief of Time by Tony Hillerman....a mystery. Not so much into them, but we read it for book club and guess what? I enjoyed it!

4. Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz.... a genre that I'm not especially familiar with, by a popular author I thought I'd probably never read. But thanks to Jenny, I tried it and liked it.

5. The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis... books pondering religion, not my favorite. But C.S. Lewis was worth the try.

6. Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand..... a memoir about horse racing? How boring! NOT! Turns out this is one of my all time favorite books. It may be that I'm more of a horse person than I thought.

7. All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy... a very strange author, and one to be a bit scared of, that is, until you become immersed, and then he's wonderful.

8. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert... a book about someone moaning about how horrible their life is... while they traipse around the world to find themselves? Not my normal thing, and I avoided it forever, but once again, there were parts I quite enjoyed. The writing was wonderful for one.

9. Beach Trip by Cathy Holton... a book I read for a blog tour, very chick lit-y, and I worried I wouldn't get it. But it also ended up one of my favorite books that year.

10. The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff... another blog tour book I read several years ago. I'm not a fan of polygamy books, they make crazy in all sorts of ways, but I got through this one just fine, with only a few moments of insanity.

Whew! I did it! Ten books outside the zone. I bet there's more, but I really do have to dig deep to decide if a book made me nervous much. 

How about you? What have you read that was outside your zone?


  1. I'm supposed to be reading All the Pretty Horses for class...I'm a little intimidated by it lol

  2. The only reason I read Eat, Pray, Love is because my book club chose it. I wasn't all that impressed with it. I did like The 19th Wife though!

  3. Nice to see Stephen King made your list - he did mine too! I love his books now, but I avoided them for ages before finally giving him a try.

  4. I'm always surprised how often a book out of my comfort zone becomes a new favorite.

    So is it time for me to start harassing you about reading the rest of the Odd Thomas books yet? ;)

  5. Seabiscuit really surprised me too. It was such a great story!

  6. Interesting list.

    Outside of my zone would include non-fiction. Not that I do not read non-fiction, I just do not read much and very rarely do I complete a book or read it from front to back.
    Stephen King would another outside of my zone. I do not like horror and war horribly frightened by The Shining when in high school. I avoid anything by him.
    Whining self-serving books such as Eat, Pray, Love are not in my zone either...tried reading that book and did not care much for it.

  7. Stephen King & Dean Koontz (Odd Thomas) are firmly within my comfort zone - so glad you liked them :-) I still can't bring myself to read Eat, Pray, Love and any other self-hlep type books. But maybe one day.

  8. I haven't read any of the books on your list, but some of them are on my TBR list to get to eventually.

    It's amazing how books that you read out of your comfort zone can open your eyes and end up becoming favorites. None of the ones that I listed are favorites of mine, but I definitely did enjoy most of them and I'm glad I read them.

  9. I love some of Stephen Kings books, but some I just can't read.
    Here's my Post

  10. I have to say that if I read any of these books it would be outside my comfort zone, too.

  11. Don't cha just love Book groups that push you and read-alongs that motivate?? Although the stretching is sometimes hard, I love how I've pushed myself out of my comfort zone at times.

    One of my book groups is reading Pultizer Prize books this year. Some have been so worthy of the prize while others have just merely been "meh" but I've done it! Wahoo!

    Great post and reflection.

  12. Andra: I hope you end up loving it!

    Reviews: We just never know what we'll like!

    Allison: Yeah, I've avoided forever, but I'm slowly warming up to him.

    Jenny: Not yet not yet! Too many other books ahead of them!

    Melissa: Yes, wasn't it though? I loved it.

    Ibeeeg: I thought about putting non fiction but decided it wasn't really outside my comfort zone, just not stuff I read very often. I guess there's a fine line.

    Tanya: I've read many lists today that are totally my comfort books. Cool that we are all so different, huh?

    Jenni: Ah, that TBR list! Isn't it fun?? :)

    GF Book Mom: Me either. I hear ya.

    Kailana: Really? We are on the same page pretty much?

    Inside: Wahoo! Yes, I do love book groups and the "forcing" of different books on us. It's awesome.

  13. "Dracula" (adapted children's version, though) and "The Elegance of the Hedgehog." Both were for a book group, and both discussions turned out to be interesting.

  14. Fabulous list! I'm with you on many of these (though, I'll probably never step far enough outside my zone to read King...)



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