Monday, April 18, 2011

Mixing it Up: Reading Outside Your Comfort Zone

I guess it's no secret that romance novels are my favorite type of book (shock!), but of course, I do read other things, too, including a lot of nonfiction. Also, I'm not sure if it's the result of having been a teacher, the fact that I haven't yet grown up or just because there are so many talented children's and young adult book authors, but I frequently delve into books written with a younger audience in mind. Right now I'm reading the last book in Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson Olympians series. It's a fun and interesting series based on mythology (if you haven't read any of them). Here's the first book, The Lightning Thief:

Still, that's well within my comfort zone, the type of thing I would normally choose. But not long ago, I heard a lot of people talking about The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and how it wasn't what they would usually read but they were, nonetheless, reading it and enjoying it. That intrigued me, and I had to pick up a copy. They were right. It was very different from anything I had read. (If you haven't read it, it's the first book in a 3-book young adult series based in a dystopian society and it's very dark, so dark that I was a bit surprised that it had been written for young adults). But it sucked me in completely. I read the entire series in a matter of a week and a half and I was sorry when it ended.

So, how about you? What types of books do you usually read and do you ever venture outside that comfort zone? If so, what have you read and what was your reaction?

Happy Reading!


Mary Preston said...

I love anything historical. I will venture outside my comfort zone for favourite authors or a great review.


Virginia C said...

I read a wide variety of genres, and Historical Western Romance is my all-time favorite. These last few years have been a "Reading Renaissance" for me, and at times I have stepped far outside my "fiction box". I have found some wonderful new authors and genres, and I have also confirmed that hype does not guarantee a great read. Look for those hidden gems! I read a terrific book by Crea Jones called "Rally Fever". Don't let that title fool you! It's true, the setting of the book is a notorious mega-motorcycle rally held in rugged South Dakota. However, this is a very well-written romantic suspense story. It has all the elements of a highly touted historical romantic mystery: a dashing rogue reformed by the love of the sweetly innocent heroine, an abandoned child, murder and mayhem, and betrayal and forgiveness. If you really let your imagination run with this skillfully told tale, you will see that the fully-developed characters and detailed story line could take place in any era. I look forward to reading more works by Crea Jones!

Colleen said...

Romance books are what I mostly read... some suspense and scifi/fantasy too. This past year I started reading some YA... I liked the movie for The Lightning Thief... have not decided if I want to read the books yet.

Susan said...

I have HUNGER GAMES on my nightstand!

I don't often read outside my comfort zone, but I have a big comfort zone. LOL

I love non-fiction. Oddly. And I read almost any kind of romance. And science fiction. If HUNGER GAMES goes well I might just find myself reading YA, too. :)

susan meier