Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Julia's Top Ten Books I Read That Were Outside Of My Comfort Zone


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Good *insert time of day* everyone! Julia here. Now it is time for a foray into books that we read, for one reason or another, that were outside of our comfort zone in...

Top Ten Books I Read That Were Outside Of My Comfort Zone

Before I begin, I figure I should define my comfort zone, as they are going to be different for everyone. If I have a stack of books in front of me and am looking to snuggle up after a long day of work, I reach for romance. If not romance, I go historical fiction. I guess you can also throw in the odd non-fiction book about language in here, too. Oh, and I guess YA...

1. The Name of the Wind - Patrick Rothfuss
There is a reason I don't normally read Fantasy. I don't feel like I get that "I just completed a book" warm fuzzy, because they never wrap up nicely. Well, I was told to read this book over and over again. I finally did, and it was awesome.

2. Fatherland - Robert Harris
For high school Western Civ class, we had to read two fiction books about history. My teacher had a list, and this one was on it. School books are not usually something I read for "fun" This was my first foray into Alternate History as well. It was awesome.

3. The Golden Compass - Philip Pullman
This was recommended to me by a teacher that had recommended a horrid book to me previously. It sounded a little too fantasy for my taste, but after reading it, I realized it was awesome.

4. The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkein
Another fantasy novel. AND a classic at that. I think the "movie" got me through The Two Towers section, but Return of the King, awesome.

5. 12 Angry Men - Reginald Rose
I don't normally read plays, and thus I was not looking forward to this book (it was forced upon me). But it turned out to be really interesting and highly enjoyable. It also comes along with an awesome movie.

6. The Brothers Karamazov - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
I also read this for a class, but it was of my own choosing. I was going through a slight love affair with Russian romance novels... or romance novels set in Russia, and decided to actually try some Russian lit. Outside of approximately 30 pages of completely random that had nothing to do with the plot, it was awesome. :) (sick of that word yet? there is four more )

7. The Lords of Discipline - Pat Conroy
This is a military fiction book. I .. no not willingly. But it was forced upon me and it was pleasantly surprising. The story telling quality was especially awesome, especially tied in with the characterization.

8. Darkly Dreaming Dexter - Jeff Lindsay
I found this in the library WAY before the Showtime show. I don't normally read horror or mystery, and this was an awesome mix of both. Who can say that it is in the comfort zone for someone to read via that first person narrative of a serial killer?

9. Much Ado About Nothing - William Shakespeare
Hilarious! WS is not on my "Oh I must read that!" shelf. But this was such a fun read. Especially with the helpful guide of ol' timey words. This one also comes with an awesome movie with some surprise stars. I think this is the Shakespeare one should read if one finds Shakespeare too hard/cumbersome. At least out of the ones I read.

10. Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste and Style - Tim Gunn
Yeah. I am not really a girly girl, but I love my Tim Gunn. So reading a book on style? Outside that comfort zone. This book was really good though. I am pretty sure there is a new one I need to read. Awesome tidbit? Every time that I walk up stairs in heels, I hear Tim Gunn's voice telling me to put the whole shoe on the stair and not hang off the heel. :)

BONUS: Book that I want to read that is out of my comfort zone: Paradise Lost

So what's yours?

38 comments :

  1. I really enjoyed Lord Of The Rings. And I love Tim Gunn on Project Runway. I think reading outside my comfort zone really broadens my reader and in many cases has lead to me reading more of those genres

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  2. This is a great list! A lot of these are on my TBR pile or I have heard of. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. I actually had a hard time coming up with ten YA titles this week! Kinda goes to show that I probably have stayed reading in my comfort zone too much!

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  4. I should have read your list before I created mine because it helped me to think outside the box on my selections. I love it when someone pushes us to read a book outside the comfort zone and we finally "get it."

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  5. The Name of the Wind is one of my absolute all time favorite books, I'm thrilled it made your list!

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  6. I haven't reac any of these lol I did try lord of the rings once but it just wasn't working for me

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  7. A lot of people seem to have Harry Potter and Hunger Games on their list. I'm a little scared, I have all the books but I have yet to read them. Hopefully these posts won't cloud my judgment.

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  8. Dostoyevski made my list, too. I'll have to Brother's K a try.

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  9. I read 12 ANGRY MEN in high school and loved it! Also saw the movie on TV and went to see the play! Glad you liked it too!

    Wish this Top Ten linky was on some other day since Tuesday Teaser is already on Tuesday.

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  10. This is a great list! I am looking forward to The Name of the Wind even though it is kind of outside my comfort zone.

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  11. great list and it seems to me you are pretty open minded.

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  12. Lord of the Rings was hard to get through, not because it wasn't good, I guess it was just a lot. But I really loved it. I would also love to read Tim Gunn's book. I love him!

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  13. I've got The Picture of Dorian Grey on my TBR list, it has been there for a while and is definitely out of my comfort zone. I think reading books you don't normally go for can really open you up to some great things though, like your list illustrates.

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  14. I barely got through LOTR - I just don't like really descriptive world-building. And the songs. Didn't like those either.

    My TTT

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  15. Lord of the Rings would be out of my comfort zone too (and it's on my TBR--someday--list). I like Science Fiction, but I'm not a big fantasy fan.

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  16. Lord of the Rings is sat on my tbr pile...and it's completely out of my comfort zone and I'm almost scared to read it! Lame, I know, but I can't help it!

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  17. WOW. So awesome to see how different our lists are. I have only read The Lord of the Rings from your list. LOVED this week's topic, btw!

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  18. I had picked up Dexter AFTER the show was on the air, but never got around to reading it. This was a good topic! Really got me thinking. :)

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  19. Great list this week!! I have to agree with your choice o Lord of the Rings, I was thinking the same thing! The movie definitely vexed me a bit while I was reading them, lol. I tried to read the Golden Compas and I think I never finished to tell the truth; I might have to give it another try! lol.

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  20. I'm glad you enjoyed The Golden Compass. It's one of my favorites. Have you read the other two in the series yet?

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  21. I love the Dexter series on Showtime, but I've never read the books. Loved this week's question - it really made me think.

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  22. I've heard of the Tim Gunn book, but I hadn't really looked at it to see if it would be of interest. Crazy, since I love Tim Gunn. I'll be looking this one up!

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  23. Is it bad that I've not read a single book on your list? O.o

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  24. My grandma gave me The Golden Compass when I was younger and some aspects creeped me out so I didn't finish... but i would love to go back now and read it again

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  25. I will definitely need to check out The Name of the Wind. I've heard of the author, but wasn't sure it would be a book I'd be interested in. But "awesome" books I <3.

    I was hooked on Dostoyevsky for awhile when I was in school. And I know what you mean about the random stuff, but yeah, the book was pretty great.

    What a great and varied selection of out of your comfort zone reads.

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  26. I love Much Ado About Nothing - it's definitely one of my favourite Shakespeare plays!

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  27. I wasn't all that impressed with the Golden Compass. I like the Hobbit, though!

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  28. The Golden Compass and the rest of the series was difficult to read, but I did end up enjoying it. Same goes for Lord of the Rings!

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  29. There's some great stuff on here. I loved The Name of the Wind, Tolkien, Pullman and Dostoyevsky. In fact, I'm about to reread The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings for some client work I'm doing!

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  30. Difficult topic for me this week. My comfort zone is huge.

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  31. I totally agree with you about Much Ado About Nothing. Who knew Shakespeare could be so much fun?

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  32. this week's topic was so difficult for me!!

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  33. I LOVE this weeks List! Its so fun to see what everyone wrote. I never realized how many I read outside my comfort zone until I was forced it think about. I realized I do it a lot.

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  34. I didn't participate this week but I will for sure next week! Great topic, it would have been hard for me to narrow it down to just ten since I can be pretty predictable and therefore, there's lots outside my "comfort" zone.

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  35. I loved The Golden Compass (and Lord of the Rings, of course)! Glad to hear you enjoyed them, even though they weren't in the realm of normal for you!

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  36. I just joined in on the Top Ten Tuesday meme. Thanks for the great idea.

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  37. Hi, new follower joining for my first TTT. Putting it up now! Thanks for hosting.

    Teresa
    http://www.theduchessmommyreads.blogspot.com

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  38. You have some great books on your list! Many of us are guilty of buying more than we can read, or simply having to much to read. I just can't stop buying books!

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