Top Ten Tuesday | Unexpected Favorites

top ten tuesday 2

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday – a weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish – is all about books I ended up loving, even though they weren’t the kind of books I usually pick up. Over the past year or so, I’ve been making an effort to read books that are a bit outside my comfort zone. And there have been so many books that I was unsure of at first, but completely blew me away. Here are ten of them:

  1. Language of the Bear by Nathanael Green and Evan Ronan. While I studied colonial history in college, I can’t think of a single novel I’ve read outside of school that takes place in early America. Except this one. It’s definitely not my usual genre, but it’s also amazing. I loved the story and the writing, and am so glad I ended up reading it.
  2. The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner. This is a recent read that I wasn’t sure about at all. It’s a contemporary young adult novel following three friends in rural Tennessee. Lately, I’ve been more selective about contemporary YA, because I think I’m getting too old to identify with it like I used to (and there’s a lot of mediocre contemporary YA out there). This one is far from mediocre – it touches on a few important issues, but with an interesting twist. I’m still thinking about it.
  3. You by Caroline Kepnes. I only very occasionally read thrillers. But I couldn’t resist the premise of this one – it’s just so crazy. But it works. I couldn’t put it down!
  4. The Color Purple by Alice Walker. To be fair, I haven’t quite finished this one (but I’m close). Still, it’s something completely out of my comfort zone, and I wasn’t sure I was going to like it. But, I love it!
  5. On the Road by Gloria Steinem. Like The Color Purple, this is one of the books I’ve read for the Our Shared Shelf book club. I rarely read nonfiction, and when I do, it’s usually historical. But Steinem drew me in, and I definitely want to read more like it.
  6. Saga Vol. 1-4 by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples. I’m just now getting into graphic novels, so they’re not something I typically read, and I’m still not in the habit of picking them up. But I really enjoy this series, and am probably going to end up reading Vol. 5 soon.
  7. John Dies at the End by David Wong. I still don’t know how to describe this book. But I’m not usually one for bizarre literary experiments. Let me rephrase: I tend to pick them up because they sound interesting, or everyone is talking about them, but I don’t usually like them. This one I did. I think. It’s a weird book.
  8. The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell. This is a young adult picture book (also a short story in Gaiman’s Trigger Warning). I don’t know if it’s fair to say this type of book is outside my comfort zone, because this is the only one I know of. Literally the only reason I picked it up is Neil Gaiman, but the story exceeded my expectations, and went somewhere I wasn’t expecting but totally loved.
  9. The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton. This was a pick for my personal book club, chosen by someone who reads primarily historical romance. I went into it expecting historical romance, but it was so much more than that.
  10. The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt. This one made the list solely because it is a children’s book, which isn’t something I tend to pick up. But now that I’m the nanny to a baby who loves books (any books, including mine) even though he doesn’t understand them yet, I’ve been reading quite a few children books. This one’s clever and sarcastic, but still cute. I really enjoyed it!

Choosing those ten books was a bit harder than I’d thought – I need to pick up more books outside my comfort zone. But I’m glad I read these then, and I’m excited about a few more on my TBR.

What’s your favorite out of your comfort zone book?



7 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday | Unexpected Favorites

  1. I really loved “The Secret Keeper,” but that’s not an out-of-the-norm book for me since I read tons of historical fiction. “Saga” made my list too! There are several more graphic novel series on my radar to read after I finish volumes 4 and 5 of “Saga.” I really had no idea how awesome graphic novels could be!

    A co-worker recommended “John Dies at the End” and I’m glad to see you liked it too. And kids’ picture books — I LOVE them! One of the best parts of my job at the library is when I get to process the new picture books (and, of course, read them!). The artwork in some of those books is phenomenal!

    Liked by 1 person

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