Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Top Ten Recent Books I've Enjoyed That Were Outside My Comfort Zone

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

I have to admit, try as I might, I tend to not stretch my reading as much as I should. I have favorite genres and I don't often leave them. However, every so often, I do find a book that isn't what I'd usually read that I just adore.

The Girls at the Kingfisher Club by Genevieve Valentine
This is a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses - with the princesses as flappers during prohibition in Manhattan.

While it's not unusual for me to read a retelling, this is the first one I've ever read - and one of the first books, ever, I've read - from this time period. Plus, the it's not about romance but about the girls coming into their own and finding themselves. And a lot about being sisters.

Heist Society by Ally Carter
I'm not one to read YA contemporary, so this tale about teen thieves was quite a surprise for me.

In fact, I'm not sure how many YA contemporaries I've read before this, but this book offered a lot of fun and quite likable characters. (Just wished I liked the second book as much as this one.)

Mercenary Instinct by Ruby Lionsdrake
Pretty sure this is the first ever romance/sci-fi book I've ever read. (Emphasis on the romance. Also, this is an adult book. It's like erotica-romance/sci-fi.)

At the very least, I know this was the first ever book of this time that I adored and it opened up a whole new genre to me.

Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
I'm not sure, exactly, how I survived high school without having to read Shakespeare, but somehow I did. (No, I was told to read Poe and Twain and Faulkner and all those other American authors whose writing I truly could not stand.)

The only Shakespeare I'd read before this was The Tempest (because Ariel!) and was only mildly entertained.

Literally Murder by Ali Brandon
There used to be a time that I read nothing but mysteries. That time is over ten years in the past and...I'm really not very good at picking out mysteries that I actually enjoy anymore.

However, this book - which I totally didn't pick out and was a birthday gift - was so much fun and made me want to try my hand at picking mysteries for myself again.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor
This is so not my type of book. Urban fantasy and I just don't get along. I've never cared for those stories where a whole other world is lurking just out of sight of ours.

And yet, I came really close to loving this book.

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan
Much like the last book, this one has so many elements that usually make me give a story a pass. It's a YA contemporary gothic mystery with strong times to the paranormal. Nothing about this genre description would make me give this book a second look.

I loved it, though, because of all those genres and because it's something so different for me.

That's only seven books and I kind of totally fail at reading outside my comfort zone - because I seldom like the books whenever I, so infrequently, do take the chance. However, all these books are ones that I really enjoyed.