Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Enjoyed That Were Outside My Comfort Zone

Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and is currently being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is “Halloween Freebie,” but I’ve been MIA when it comes to this meme and have a couple of these posts in my drafts, so I thought why not post one of these instead? Covers are linked to Goodreads.

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1. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo – I’ve spent years thinking poetry and I just don’t get along, but then this novel in verse came along and shattered all my assumptions. I credit The Poet X  for pushing me to pick up all the poetry I have over the course of the last year or so.

2. Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – If you’d asked me a few years ago if I would ever pick up a vampire novel after being burned by so many, I would have unequivocally said no. But then I read Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Certain Dark Things. I think all along I was just looking for more diverse voices to breathe new life into the vampire subgenre.

3. Her Body and Other Partied by Carmen Maria Machado – While I’m still not convinced short stories are my thing, this collection has me tons of curious about several. I loved how odd this one was and the horror elements were especially gripping. There are several short story collections on my TBR because of how much I enjoyed this one.

4. peluda by Melissa Lozada-Oliva – Can you believe I have a favorite poetry collection? It’s this one! Let me repeat that. I have a favorite poetry collection. Who would have thought?

5. Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina – My sweet spot is definitely fantasy, but in the last couple of years contemporary has been sharing the spotlight. What I don’t pick up a lot of is historical fiction and though it feels kind of weird to call a book that takes place in the 70s historical, that’s what this is.

6. Pitch Dark by Courtney Alameda – I consider horror novels to be kind of out of my comfort zone, not because I don’t enjoy them (I love horror movies), but because I don’t pick them up often enough and I haven’t found a rhythm with them. Most horror books aren’t scary enough for me. I decided to give this one a go and I loved it both for its horror elements but also for everything else. Latinxs in space!

7. An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson– Margaret Rogerson has become one of my favorite authors, but there was a time when I didn’t feel like I’d ever delve into fae books ever again (thanks sjm), but a glowing review from a trusted blogger made me change my mind and I am one of the biggest cheerleaders for this book now.

8. Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman – I think this still remains the only western I’ve picked up, but I was so impressed. I probably won’t pick up a ton like it in the future, but I’m glad I gave it a chance.

9. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin – Shout out to my reading partner for this one Annemieke @ A Dance With Books, without her I would have put this one off longer. I don’t pick up a ton of Adult fantasy and this one felt a bit dense, so although I owned it, I wasn’t sure when I was going to read it. Turns out it is fantastic and if you haven’t read N.K. Jemisin by now, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR???

10. The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Lee – I saw tons of praise for this one and it was entirely thanks to word of mouth from other bloggers that put it on my radar. It isn’t the kind of fantasy I would normally go for, but I gave it a go and my goodness, it was such a fun ride. We need more fantasy books like this that don’t take itself too seriously.

Are you also a fan of any of these? Which book that was outside of your comfort zone became a favorite? Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave me a link to your own TTT post, so I can visit.

23 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Enjoyed That Were Outside My Comfort Zone

  1. “I didn’t feel like I’d ever delve into fae books ever again (thanks sjm)” = relatable. Like everything you said about An Enchantment of Ravens.

    And I’m curious about Her Body and Other Parties! I read a short story by Carmen Maria Machado in the past and didn’t feel anything about it, but it was years ago and I probably wouldn’t feel the same way now. I’m trying to explore things from genres I don’t often reach for and this looks interesting.
    Great list!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I had the same experience with The Poet X. I didn’t add it to my TBR at first because I wasn’t interested in reading a book about poetry, but once it won the Printz award I decided to give it a try and I loved it!

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  3. Burn Baby Burn is the only one from your list I have read and didn’t think it was outside of my comfort zone – I picked it up exactly because I was reading a lot of historical fiction at that time, and I really enjoyed it. 🙂 The Epic Crush of Genie Lo I was super-scared of, because humorous books tend to disappoint me, but this worked really well for me, and I’m excited for the sequel. I’ve only recently read The Fifth Season, but OH MY GOD, it was amazing – albeit, YES, I was afraid of it, because I knew going in that it’s a pretty dense, slower fantasy. I can’t wait to read the sequels, I already bought them. Great post! 🙂

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  4. Oh, gosh, I LOVE that someone else adored “peluda”–it’s one of my favourite poetry collections as well! (Although, I”m a bit of a poetry junkie.) There’s just something so… fantastic about the prose in it. I love it so much.

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