Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Out of the Comfort Zone

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday is an original bookish meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a
new top ten topic is posted for followers to write about. This week we're to list our Top Ten Books Read Outside Our Comfort Zone.

To start, here's a list of things really outside my comfort zone: True Crime, Thrillers (psychological nail biters, serial killers, children in danger, etc.), Young Adult, anything modern with a zombie or a vampire in it--particularly the sparkly kind; shoot, most anything modern--1990+, most romance novels--particularly the bodice ripper type, Medieval Lit (Shakespeare's about how far my comfort zone stretches), stream-of-consciousness writing, and most American fiction.

What I'm comfy with: Mysteries--Vintage mysteries (pre-1960ish), Academic mysteries, cozies, British mysteries, and historical mysteries; classic literature (with a preference for 18th C through WWII era and, again, I'm a Brit lit girl); science fiction--with a preference for 1980s and earlier; historical novels (see classic lit time period preferences).

And my Top Ten for today (in no particular order and clickable titles for reviews if you're interested):

1. The Deathday Letter by Shaun David Hutchinson: One of the best Young Adult novels I've read.
2. Intruder in the Dust by William Faulkner. Lots of strikes against him: American and stream-of-consciousness writing being the major two. Terrific book.
3. Katherine by Anya Seton: One of my favorite medieval time period books. There aren't many.
4. The Divine Comedy by Dante
Alighieri (Hell, Purgatory & Paradise). Again, classic lit way out of my comfort time periods. But good stuff!
5. One Step Behind by Henning Mankell. Serial Killer. But a good read.
6. The Cabinet of Curiosities (no review--read before blogging) by Douglas Preston &Lincoln Child:
I don't normally do this kind of thriller but it kept me gripped and on the edge of my seat the whole time. It features a 20th-century NYC struck by killings that duplicate earlier murders, with the victims' spinal cords ripped away and clues pointing to a 19th-century scientist who sought the secret of immortality. Featuring fabulous locales, colorful characters, pointed riffs on city and museum politics, cool forensic and paleontological speculation and several gripping set pieces including an extended white-knuckle climax.
7. Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean: romance novel. But takes place during a good time period and well-written.
8. The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell: modern novel, but historical.
A haunting, disturbing, multi-layered novel. It tells the story of Esme (Euphemia) Lennox, a woman who has been locked away in a mental institution for over sixty years.
9. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: Young Adult. But a very moving book. And I would never have read it if I hadn't joined the blogging community.
10. Blameless by Gail Carriger (the whole Parasol Protectorate series, actually): Vampires, Werewolves, Steampunk. Definitely not my usual. But I love this series.


Trish said...

I felt the same way about The Book Thief. I don't normally read YA but this was an exception I'm glad I made.

Jennifer said...

Yes, I must confess that I wouldn't have expected you to read vampires and werewolves, let alone enjoy them. :) An exception to every rule, eh? I'd love to read some Steampunk; I'd just like it without my two least favorite mythological creatures.

Patricia said...

The last two are books I plan to read.. although they're out of my comfort-zone. Kind of.


LBC said...

I love Faulkner although it took me a while to get into it.

Laura @ The Scarlet Letter.