TTT: Books I liked that were out of my comfort zone



Today's TTT (hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl) is about books that might fall outside our normal sphere, but we've read and enjoyed them anyway. I've got to be honest, I don't really know what my comfort zone is when it comes to books. I like girly classics, and I re-read my old childhood and teenage favourites. That's it. Pretty much everything else is wary territory. But if the writing's good and I like the characters I'll read anything within reason. Here are a few that surprised me:



The Crucible by Arthur Miller

I wouldn't normally read it because... It's a play. Plays are for watching.
But I picked it up because... I was doing a witch-y thing for my dissertation. It was research.
And I liked it because... It was so gripping and just good. I read it in one sitting. It was very easy to read and really exciting



John by Cynthia Lennon

I wouldn't normally read it because... It's a biography. And I'm more of a Paul girl anyway.
But I picked it up because... I spotted it in work, and I'd really enjoyed the film Nowhere Boy.
And I liked it because... It was interesting because Cynthia was there for a lot of the fun, early stuff and I loved all the anecdotes that music industry types probably wouldn't think to put in. I also thought she seemed like a really nice, normal woman, which made for an easy read. You'd think a biography from the ex-wife would be full of bitterness, but it really wasn't.



The Sharpe Series by Bernard Cornwell

I wouldn't normally read it because... It's very much a series aimed at men.
But I picked it up because... I'd just finished uni and was trying to rekindle my reading life.
And I liked it because... I loved Sharpe, as a character. I read Sharpe's Eagle first (the first one written) and I was in deep. I read about ten one after the other and then I started to get a bit weary of them as they're all so similar. Just Waterloo and Devil still to go now!



Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

I wouldn't normally read it because... I don't read much chick-lit and I don't like weepies.
But I picked it up because... I bought it for my Auntie and we were going to see the film together!
And I liked it because... It was an easy, engrossing read, and I really liked Lou. Shame I couldn't stand Will. He was so patronising.



The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

I wouldn't normally read it because... I don't do crime.
But I picked it up because... It was on my 'detective fiction' module in third year.
And I liked it because... It was a stand alone Poirot so you didn't need to have read any of the others to follow it. And that twist!!! I read it again as soon as I finished it to see all the clues. It was so clever.


Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder

I wouldn't normally read it because... I don't read a lot of YA, other than the obvious stuff.
But I picked it up because... My sister made me.
And I liked it because... It was weird, but compelling. I thought the love interest was interesting and a bit different - although the way his clothes were described was very weird.



Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett

I wouldn't normally read it because... More Crime. Very male. 'Hard-Boiled.'
But I picked it up because... My Detective Fiction module again. I made an effort that semester!
And I liked it because... I was expecting it to be worse than the Raymond Chandler stuff, but I actually enjoyed it more. I can't remember why it was such a good read, I just know I was pleasantly surprised. Although, it was very violent.



Lydia by Natasha Farrant

I wouldn't normally read it because... Jane Austen fan-fic style books are usually so, so, bad.
But I picked it up because... I think it was a panic buy at the train station.
And I liked it because... It was fun! It didn't actually offend my sense of the characters much, the author didn't try too hard to write in Jane Austen's style and it didn't take itself to seriously. And Mr. Bennett didn't have a secret child with Hill (as in another book I could mention.)



Tamara Drewe by Posy Simmonds 

I wouldn't normally read it because... It's a graphic novel.
But I picked it up because... I liked the film, and I like Posy Simmons' illustrations.
And I liked it because... The illustrations were nice, and not all just girls with massive boobs, which seems to be the norm in a lot of graphic novels. It was thought provoking but also fun and nice to look at. Depressing in parts, but not overwhelmingly so.



The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

I wouldn't normally read it because... It's a short story about a man who gets turned into an insect. Very dark and literary and weird.
But I picked it up because... University again. Why else?
And I liked it because... It was just really well written and I needed to know what happened next. It was dark and sad but I was glad I read it.



Read any of these? What books have surprised you? 



Comments

  1. I love the way you formatted this post. It was so easy to read!

    My TTT.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I feel like I usually very quickly nope-out of books that are out of my comfort zone . . . or I discover that they ARE in my comfort zone after all. I'd say Hemingway is not my typical reading fare, but I also wouldn't say I fully enjoy his works either (his main characters all are rather psychopathic, and I must say, I think because he must have been since he can't seem to understand, I don't know, normal human emotions).

    I think My Family and Other Animals might fit this, I found in on your blog, not my typical book, but I enjoyed it greatly.

    I've only read the Agatha Christie one. And since I've read almost all her books, definitely in my comfort zone. I have the Crucible on my list, I've read Miller's Death of a Salesmen and that was definitely not my thing (actually, I seem to struggle generally with proper "grown-up" American classics, they are so depressing), but the Crucible is about such a significant event in U.S. History.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I need to read some Hemmingway, I read a short story once and I liked that (once someone explained to me what it meant, haha) Glad you liked My Family and Other Animals! I'm getting a bit more into non-fiction/biographical stuff although I wouldn't have touched them a few years ago. I've read/seen some other Arthur Miller I've not been keen on, but did love the Crucible. I still need to read more Agatha Christie!

      Delete
  3. You know, chick-lit is hit or miss for me, but I saw Me Before You all over the place, and the hype won. I did adore the book and went on to read the other two books as well. I am glad I did, because Lou was phenomenal character, and I was glad I met her.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I read the sequels too! I didn't love the second one (went a bit weird at the end) but I did enjoy both. Was definitely better than I expected!

      Delete
  4. Love the way you set up your list. I am a huge Cornwell fan but I haven’t gotten to Sharpe yet. I’ve read his Last Kingdom series which is also very much aimed at men and very much enjoyed it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! I saw a bit of the TV series of the Last Kingdom, I should give the books a go.

      Delete
  5. I feel like I need to read more Christie, I've read very little of her stuff, and as a classic mystery writer I'd like to try more of her books? I need to get on that I guess! I do think the John Lennon books sounds interesting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same I think I could actually get into Agatha Christie if I read a few! The John Lennon book was an easy read - and a bit of a different take.

      Delete

Post a comment

Popular posts