Books out of my comfort zone I’m interested in reading | #TopTenTuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly post hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic was actually ‘new releases you’re on the fence about’ but I don’t really want to write that post. First, I don’t want to write a post negatively talking about new releases. There’s nothing wrong with that at all because our reading preferences and interests are different after all, but I just feel uncomfortable writing that at the moment.

Instead, I thought I’d talk about some books I want to read that are out of my reading comfort zone. Books I am interested in, but hesitant to buy full price because I’m not sure I’d like them. The ones you look for in the library or secondhand stores to limit the amount of money you spend on them. At times, picking up these books can result in the discovery of a new favorite. Other times, you’ll find yourself wondering why you just spent hours reading this book. Here are some books I do want to read, but am hesitant to pick up because they’re definitely out of my comfort zone.

If I had to define my comfort zone, it would probably include fantasy and science fiction. I find that I stray more easily out those genres with YA, but not with adult fiction.


The Housekeeper + The Professor by Yoko Ogawa
This is out of my comfort zone for two reasons. First, I don’t read a lot of general adult fiction. That is something I’ve been trying to increase in the past few years, but I just find them a lot harder to get into than genres such as fantasy and science fiction. It takes me far longer to feel that click with the story. Second, I tend to dislike a story that’s based on amnesia or memory loss. I don’t really know why, if I’m being honest. This is the story of a professor and his housekeeper – never would’ve guessed that – who develop a relationship even though the professor lives with only 80 minutes of short term memory.

The Name of Death by Klester Cavalcanti
I think this is a true crime book – which I do love but almost never read, for some reason – about a Brazilian boy who becomes the biggest professional killer known to the world. I think this sounds really intriguing, but I’ll need a little push to actually pick it up.

Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage
Horror is another genre I haven’t read much of. I think I’m more easily scared by TV shows and movies than by books, so I haven’t been feeling like picking up a horror book. This one sounds terrifying though, because it’s about a little girl who wants to get rid of her mom so she can have her dad for herself. Children can already be somewhat creepy (fight me, they really can) so I think I’ll be horrified by this read.

The Gene by Siddharta Mukherjee
This book is so intimidating. I haven’t read that much nonfiction, and the genre as a whole still scares me. The Gene is a very large book that talks about the history of the gene, which I find fascinating. Every time I see it in a store, I’m tempted to buy it. Then I take a look at the page count, and am too intimidated.

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
Memoirs are out of my comfort zone as well, because I still feel weird knowing so much about someone’s life – and having to rate the book afterwards. I do want to read Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime though because he talks about growing up in South Africa during apartheid.


From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata
In the past few years, I’ve less significantly less romance books than before. Mostly because I’ve become a more critical reader and can actually identify toxic and unhealthy behavior now, and have been scared to be disappointed. This one sounds really good though, especially since it follows a figure skater.

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil DeGrasse Tyson
The word physics usually makes me run in the other direction faster than I thought possible. I do not have good memories of high school physics classes… However, I want to give this book a try. I’ve heard pretty good things about it, and I’m sure it’ll be targeted to an audience unfamiliar with the subject.

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
Another one that gets me running in the other direction: classics. I don’t have a very good track record with them, so I usually steer clear of the genre. Les Misérables is such a famous book though, and it being from a French author makes me even more intrigued. I’ve never seen the movie or musical either, although I have sung the songs before since I was part of a choir as a teenager.

There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé by Morgan Parker
Poetry… Also don’t have a great track record with poetry. Leena Norms recommended this collection in her top books of the year, which makes me actually excited to read it. I will find some poetry collections to love!

Freedom Swimmer by Wai Chim
While I have read some historical fiction, I wouldn’t say I’m well versed in the genre. This is a historical fiction novel set in China and involves the Communist Party and their re-education program. I’m genuinely excited to read this.

These 10 books are definitely out of my comfort zone, each for a different reason. Have you read any of these books? Which books you want to give a try are out of your comfort zone?


27 thoughts on “Books out of my comfort zone I’m interested in reading | #TopTenTuesday

  1. I absolutely loved Les Mis. It took me a full week to read it without doing anything else really. But if ye read it then be prepared for lots of story tangents that don’t further the plot. Like the history of the Paris sewer systems. Fascinating to me but might not be yer thing. Arrr!
    x The Captain


  2. I have astrophysics for people in a hurry and tried to read it but I had a hard time grasping it. Maybe that was just my mood. But I might be better off reading it in Dutch since science isn’t really my thing to begin with when it comes to comprehending haha. I think it was translated.


  3. I’m curious about Baby Teeth myself. I’ve seen really good reviews of it, but horror doesn’t often work out for me. Les Miserable is such a thick book. I used to own it and thought once upon a time I’d read it, but it’s massive. I’m going to just stick to singing songs from the musical myself. I hope you enjoy any of these you read!


  4. Les Miserables. Sigh. Ruined my 10th grade honors English Lit class. I wish I had more encouraging words for you but I don’t ever plan to give it another try. Great list anyway!


      1. I’m sorry I wasn’t trying to be discouraging! To be fair- I was in high school and I didn’t like any of the books we read that year. Lots of people love it.


  5. I applaud your efforts to read out of your comfort zone. When I try, sometimes I think “why did I bother” while sometimes I think “that was surprisingly good.” Good luck.


  6. I really liked Astrophysics for People in a Hurry. Definitely do check that one out when you have the time.

    Les Miserables wasn’t so interesting to me, unfortunately.

    This is my Top Ten Tuesday post.


  7. Baby Teeth was great! I don’t have kids so it was scary to read. If I did have kids, it might be more of an issue because I think parents sometimes wake up to their kids standing over them normally and that would be creepy when you’re reading the book lol


  8. Great twist on this week’s topic! I read There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé last year and enjoyed it. I’m no expert, but if you’re new to poetry I’d recommend Megan Beech, too – she does a lot of spoken word poetry that’s really fun to read aloud.


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