1. Skin by Ilka Tampke
This book is set in Britain AD 43 just before and during the Roman Siege. It’s kind of… like a literary Asterix and Obelix with a lot more gender equality and a kick-ass female protagonist.
Why it was out of my comfort-zone: For some reason I have always struggled with British historical fiction. (Granted it’s usually regency-era stuff that I’ve tried.) The few times that I have read books that dealt with Pagan traditions they have also seemed very biased.
Skin was one of a kind: it is beautifully written, haunting, gripping, and the element of magical realism blends right in.
2. The Girl With All The Gifts by M.R. Carey
Why it was out of my comfort-zone: I’ve never really read an adult-paranormal book. They tend to be overly-sexualised and poorly-plotted. And this wasn’t. ALSO, my dad and I listened to it on Audible, and it was also a HUGE jump for him. His typical reads are contemporary or historical fiction and this was the first time he ever read something like this!
3. Lactivism by Courtney Jung
This book promises to expose the myths and politics behind the “breast is best” movement.
Why it was out of my comfort-zone: I typically don’t read books that claim to expose inaccuracies in modern medicine because they tend to be bullshit… but to my surprise it was well-researched, well-written, and open-minded.
4. My Year of Running Dangerously by Tom Foreman
Why it was out of my comfort-zone: I am (used to be?) the least sporty person in all my social circles, and I had never even been tempted to read a sports-memoir of any kind. Not only did I enjoy this, but it inspired me to run my first marathon, and enter for the Two Oceans Ultra Marathon.
5. The Future of Sex by Lexi Maxxwell
This erotica novel is set in the world of The Beam (another sci-fi novel). It is sci-fi erotica, and it was kind of out there – but I enjoyed it!
Why it was out of my comfort-zone: I rarely read erotica because I find the writing to be of such poor quality. I hate the characters, I hate the writing, everything about it makes me want to be sick. Lexi Maxwell actually managed to avoid most of the pitfalls.
6. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
It’s labelled a classic and satire, two works that I tend to have difficulty with. I struggled with this, but it was a good experience.
7. Doll Bones by Holly Black
Middle Grade Horror – I don’t often read MG, and I am a huge scaredy-cat!
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It turns out I can’t really think of any recent reads that were out of my comfort-zone. This either means I’m not challenging myself enough, or that my reading choices are already so eclectic that I don’t have much of a comfort zone.