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Today’s topic on A Month of Favorites, hosted by Traveling with T, Estella’s Revenge, and GirlXOXO is “Reading Outside My Comfort Zone.” Being really honest, I have to say that this isn’t something I do a lot of. I have a pretty clear picture of the types of books I like and usually try to stick to those. Occasionally, I’ll be in the mood for something different, read about a book that piques my interest, or get a recommendation so good I can’t ignore it. Then I’ll read outside my comfort zone! Today I’m sharing three books in this category that I really, really enjoyed.
Youngblood by Matt Gallagher – This story of a young lieutenant trying to lead and do what he feels is right was a great surprise to me. I tend to hesitate when it comes to war stories, but I saw a lot written about the book, and was intrigued enough to give it a try. Gallagher did a brilliant job with the setting of this novel. I felt like I was in Iraq, walking the streets with Lieutenant Porter. The tension in the story made it hard to put down.
I’m Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid – I was actually uncomfortable much of the time I was reading I’m Thinking of Ending Things. The story centered on a couple going to meet his parents, but as they are traveling she is considering ending the relationship and from there the story got more and more strange. This book was full of mystery and nerve-wracking psychological suspense. The ending was not a neatly tied package. It left me wondering and thinking a lot. At first I wasn’t even sure I liked it, but when you can’t stop thinking about a book, it’s a great book!
Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance – I am not a big nonfiction reader and when I do read nonfiction, I want it to read like fiction. Hillbilly Elegy, recommended to me by Sarah from Sarah’s Book Shelves, didn’t quite do that, but I loved it anyway. I learned so much from reading Vance’s story of growing up in the “hillbilly” culture of Kentucky and Ohio. He showed me what it is like to be a member of the working-class poor and how hard it is to climb out of that. This book explained a lot of things about this country that we all need to be more aware of.
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Sarah's Book Shelves says
I’m like you on reading outside of my comfort zone…don’t do it all that much. But, I do try books that are out of my comfort zone if they’re a recommendation I can’t ignore (i.e. The Martian was like that).
Glad to see Hillybilly Elegy on there!
Elizabeth @ Silver's Reviews says
I almost never read outside my comfort zone.
There were a few books that “hid” some paranormal in them but not enough to make me stop reading.
I love my genres: historical fiction, women’s fiction, and mystery.
I am reading a really good mystery right now: EVERYTHING YOU WANT ME TO BE by Mindy Mejia.
ENJOY your week, and Merry Christmas.
When does Christmas break start?
My A Month of Faves
Susie | Novel Visits says
I’m on break now through the 2nd. Yay!!! Time to get ahead on my reading. Yay!!!
Have a wonderful Christmas!
Tara @ The Librarian Who Doesn't Say Shhh! says
High fives to you for reading out of your element! I’ll have to check out I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS because it sounds like something I’d love. That’s such a cool cover, too. Thanks for sharing!
Have never likes a nonfiction book and I chose them well I think (they were crime-related) :/ I guess I love fiction too much
Tanya Patrice says
I didn’t read much outside my comfort zone last year – usually I think reading challenges help force me to, but I didn’t do any in 2016. I love the sound of Hillbilly Elegy and I’m Thinking of Finding Things.
Tamara @ Traveling With T says
I have been hearing good things about I’m Thinking of Ending Things!
There are just so many great books, within my comfort zone, to read that I always feel like I’m wasting time if I spend it on something I may not enjoy; having said that, there have been some good ones that I only took a chance on because I was trying to do something different – ha! I am really intrigued by your description of I’m Thinking of Ending Things – wow!
I recently picked up Youngblood even though “war stories” don’t usually do it for me because I’ve heard so many good things about it! I hope I like it as much as you did!