Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week we are talking about reading outside our comfort zones. For the longest time my comfort zone was fiction. I stopped reading mysteries once I was finished with Nancy Drew, I read a few Stephen King novels for a bit of horror, and I felt that I had read enough classics in high school to get by. My go-to books were by John Irving, Barbara Kingsolver, and Nick Hornby. Science Fiction? I read A Wrinkle in Time…as a kid. Fantasy? No thank you. Except Harry Potter, of course. I willy-nilly read my way through stacks of books I found at my mom’s house as well as random selections from my library until I decided to become a librarian. While I still think it’s just fine to maintain a comfort zone, I also feel obligated to step out of it more often. The more I branch out, the better customer service I can provide to my patrons.
As a Teen Librarian, I absolutely have to be on top of what is going on in the world of YA literature. I love YA literature! On the other hand, I also need to be able to provide reader’s advisory to adult, so I can’t neglect all those fabulous “grown up” books either. This list is a perfect opportunity to celebrate all the wonderful books I read every time I stepped out of my comfort zone.
Nonfiction is the absolute last place I turn for a good book, and yet, the few times a year I pick up nonfiction I really enjoy it. Some of my favorite nonfiction finds:
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson
Bossypants by Tina Fey
Fantasy is also outside my normal comfort zone, but I have found some titles that I really love.
Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken
The Ranger’s Apprentice series by John Flanagan. The only reason I picked this book up was because I was running out of books that I had read that I could recommend to the guys. It turns out that I adore this series!
Blood Red Road by Moira Young
It also took me a while to warm up to historical fiction. Thank goodness I did or I may have missed these gems:
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
The Bloody Jack series by L.A.Meyer. Jacky Faber is my hero.
Wicked Girls by Stephanie Hemphill
Finally, it wasn’t until recently that I discovered that I LOVE graphic novels! I am currently working my way through this series:
Fables by Bill Willingham
Oh, wait. One more. I thought that I did not like fairies until I read this:
The Iron King by Julie Kagawa. I just finally finished The Iron Daughter and I am ready to move on to The Iron Queen.
I hope this encourages you to step out of your comfort zone more often!