#TopTenTuesday: Books I Enjoyed Outside My Comfort Zone

It’s that time of the week again, friends! We’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: books I enjoyed outside my comfort zone. If you’ve been following me for a little while, then I’m sure you’ll have come across my mentions of the genres that I don’t read often or are out of my comfort zone: non-fiction, horror and magical realism (I know that last one isn’t a genre, but never mind that lol). As I don’t read these genres often I don’t have that many books on my lists to list. I’m always trying to read more NF though, and I’m not entirely opposed to more magical realism if it’s the right book for me!

The Ocean At the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
I think Gaiman treads a very fine line between fantasy and magical realism and sometimes I honestly don’t know which to classify his books by. Most of the time I just say it’s fantasy though because the stories are too fantastical to be otherwise. I think The Ocean falls onto the magical realism side of the spectrum. Set in the English countryside, this is one of the eeriest children’s stories I’ve read!

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
I’ve tried reading Cloud Atlas a dozen times but have struggled hard to keep going. I didn’t think Mitchell’s writing was for me, so I don’t know why I picked up The Bone Clocks. I think I was looking for something outside the box and this fit the bill. It was incredibly weird, but Mitchell’s writing quickly sucked me in and I found myself growing very fond of the characters! This has a heavier dose of magical realism than I normally enjoy, so I’m surprised that I absolutely loved it!

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
I’m pretty sure that I’ve mentioned this book a million times by now but it’s honestly one of my favorite non-fictions (disregarding the fact I hardly read NF so the list is short). It read like fiction and sucked me in completely. Never did I think I’d read a NF so fast (one night) but I couldn’t put it down!

Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come by Jessica Pan
I read this e-ARC earlier this year and it was a joy to read! It was a bit like chatting to a friend and listening to them regale their mishaps and triumphs over the last year that you haven’t seen them. Pan is absolutely hilarious, and I found myself clutching my stomach with laughter at the situations she found herself in and most especially, the thoughts that ran through her head (because same). As a (sh)introvert I related to this so much and would 100% recommend it! Check out my review.

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan
I really don’t know how I didn’t realize this book had magical realism in it but I’m glad I didn’t because otherwise I would’ve put off reading it and I would’ve missed a beautiful & heartbreaking story. I loved the Asian representation, and the exploration of grief, acceptance and healing. It was touching!

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay
This book… Was just. This book! It’s an uncomfortable and difficult read as Gay is brutally honest and doesn’t hold back in the telling of her story. But so many of her words felt like a punch in the gut with how much they hit home. Really one of the best I’ve read this year! Check out my review.

Naturally Tan by Tan France
I love Queer Eye. Like, I would do things for that show! It’s hilarious, it’s heartwarming, it’s like free therapy and I’m HERE FOR IT. With that out of the way, I’m so glad that I read Tan France’s memoir. It was funny AF and pretty inspirational. If you’re curious about Tan and want to know more about how this Brit came to be in America in QE or if you’re just looking for a light NF read, go to the bookstore and get this one now!

Born A Crime: Stories from A South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
This was my first audiobook and it blew me away. Everything about listening to Trevor Noah tell his story was perfection. I love his comedy so deciding to listen to his book wasn’t a hard decision. His stories were terrifying, hilarious, and astounding, and it was very inspiring to see how far he’s come!

Sourdough by Robin Sloan
This book brought me a surprising amount of joy! I loved Mr. Penumbra’s, my first Sloan book, but I didn’t have (m)any expectations about this one. I didn’t think I’d fall in love with the incredibly quirky characters and events, or with the weird but oddly charming elements of magical realism!

The Ruins by Scott Smith
This book was bloody terrifying. Like, I didn’t look at nature the same way again for quite a while. Despite knowing I’ll be shit scared, I’m a sucker for stories set in Mexican jungle cause you just know bad shit is gonna happen. This was gruesome and horrifying and while it’s maybe not a favorite, I can’t believe I still managed to enjoy it (while being simultaneously super duper creeped out)!

What are books you enjoyed outside your comfort zone?
If you’ve done a TTT for today, please leave your links in the comments so I can mosey over to your blog and check it out! ๐Ÿ™‚

24 thoughts on “#TopTenTuesday: Books I Enjoyed Outside My Comfort Zone

  1. I soooo agree with The Ocean at the End of the Lane! I feel like it’s more magical realism, and it was super creepy. But in a good way. Gaiman is really good at that. I totally loved The Astonishing Color of After, too, even if it totally broke my heart and made me cry like a baby. It was such a heart-wrenching book, but it was so beautiful and I’m glad I read it. I really want to listen to Trevor Noah’s book on audiobook, but it looks like I’m going to have to buy it. Was really hoping my library would get it on Overdrive, but noooo. xD Great list!

    Here’s my TTT post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Omg Ocean was a lot more creepy than I expected it to be. I honestly don’t think I’d classify it was a book for kids (even though I’ve heard it was). Gaiman is definitely good at getting under the skin lol
      Astonishing Color had me bawling really hard too! Once the dam broke I just literally couldn’t stop lol it was such a beautiful read though.
      Would defo recommend Noah’s audio! If you’re not sure if you’d like it you can sample it but if you’re a fan of Noah then I’d go for it! He’s hilarious ๐Ÿ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Coraline is the same way. It’s obviously a kid’s book/movie, but man is it so fantastically dark and creepy. xD

        Oh, I already know for sure I’ll like it. I’ve loved Trevor Noah’s stand-up for a long time now, and his voice is just fabulous.


    • yeah i don’t know what prompted me to buy and pick it up but i did haha no regrets even though every time i felt something (like the wind) brushing across any part of me I’d freak out hahaha


    • The title was 80% why I requested the ARC and it didn’t disappoint! Pan is hilarious ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you enjoy Sourdough whenever you get to it. Sloan’s characters/stories are so lovably quirky!


  2. I knew The Astonishing Color of After was magical realism, and for a long time it put me off even adding it to my TBR at all. When I started to see all the rave reviews though, I decided to give it a chance and it was definitely worth it!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been wanting to read a book by Neal Gaiman for a while now but have been a bit unsure where to start. The Ocean at the End of the Lane sounds really interesting! I’ve added it to my TBR ๐Ÿ™‚


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s