Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: The Murky Fringes Of My Comfort Zone

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Once again, I’m going to be a rebel and not completely follow the prompt. I think I’m supposed to be listing ten recent reads that are out of my comfort zone. Instead, I’m going to list the genres that are at the edges of my comfort zone. I’m comfortable with reading these genres, but I don’t go out of my way to seek them out. If you have any awesome recommendations for books in these genres, I’d love to hear them.

10 Genres At The Fringes Of My Comfort Zone

1. Fantasy: There are some fantasy novels that I obsess over (such as Harry Potter), but fantasy books tend to have a lot of stuff going on. There are a bunch of characters whose strange names I can’t remember because I’m terrible with names. There are new worlds that I have to understand. Also, I’m bothered by anything illogical, so if the magical worlds don’t make perfect sense, I rage a little.

2. Memoir: I have a love/hate relationship with these. Some of my favorite books ever are memoirs, but so many memoirs feel like an author’s self-indulgent ramblings. Most people’s lives just aren’t that interesting.

3. Poetry: Okay, confession time. I’ve spent the last six years working as an editor for literary journals and anthologies. I read poetry every single weekday. I like poetry, but I don’t love it enough to read a ton of it in my free time. I am trying to change this. I’m just extremely picky about my poetry.

4. Plays: When I read plays, I tend to like them. I don’t know why I don’t read more of them. I usually only read 2-3 plays a year.

5. Graphic novels: I started reading these last year. I wasn’t sure if I’d like them, but now I want to read all of the graphic novels.

6. Nonfiction: I’ve read tons of nonfiction, and I own shelves and shelves of it, but almost all of my nonfiction books are about religion or cults. I guess non-cult-nonfiction would be at the edges of my comfort zone? I do occasionally read nonfiction about non-religious things.

7. Series: Am I the only one who’s biased against series? When I see that a book is #1 of a series, I’m reluctant to read it. I do try to read 1-2 finished series a year, but series are big time commitments. I’d rather read standalones.

8. Children’s/Middlegrade: I read these genres because I’m getting a master’s degree in children’s lit., but I’m more comfortable at the YA end of the children’s lit. spectrum.

9. Romance: Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda made me reconsider my hatred of book romances. I still have a hard time finding romancey (that’s totally a word) books I like. I want a romance that isn’t tropey, isn’t too fluffy, isn’t pointlessly angsty, isn’t abusive, and doesn’t instantly fix all of the characters’ problems in life. Is that too much to ask?

10: LGBT: I started reading this genre last year. I found a few books I like, but books in this genre tend to be romancey, so I have the same problem as #9.

Which genres are at the fringes of your comfort zone?


  1. I like the way you phrased this! I think fantasy, non fiction, science fiction are on the fringes of my comfort zone. They aren't ones I grab for but do read.

  2. Great post! Genres at the edge of my comfort zone... I've never thought about this. I love all books! However, I'm hesitant to read romance anymore. I think I read around 50 romance novels in a 2 year span, and I got burnt out. They all started to sound the same. I don't read horror much because it can be horribly disgusting just for "fun" without much story, though some of my favorite stories fall within that genre. I detest reading plays because they're meant to be a visual art and I don't understand reading something you're meant to see.

    Oh, and I have to say that I love a series. Love. :)
    My fledgling blog: https://jthornburgwriting.wordpress.com/

  3. I feel the same way about memoirs. But I do LOVE series. :)

  4. Hahaha, #9 is sooo true! I have to disagree with you on series, though. I love when I finish a really good book and then discover that there are five more. I have mixed feelings about trilogies, though, because saggy middle syndrome. Don't write a trilogy just to write a trilogy -- use however many (or few) books you need.

  5. I've never really thought about this because I like to try a lot of different genres. I would never read a solely romance based book just because a lot of romance in books bothers me. I love series though as when I fall in love with a set of characters, I just want to read more about them and fantasy is my go to genre because it espouses everything I love about reading, being able to escape into a world that's totally different from my own.
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2016/02/23/top-ten-tuesday-45/

  6. I don't tend to read much fantasy but I have to say the ones that I have dived into have been pretty darn good. I want to step out my comfort zone in that area and read more.

  7. We share a lot of these genres in common. I can't seem to get into a lot of memoirs although I have found a few I've really enjoyed. Great list!

    Here are my Top Ten!

  8. I agree completely with plays, I really enjoy them when I pick one up but I don't pick them up often. Also romance, I find it hard to get into books where romance is the main selling point. My TTT

  9. I'm with you on shying away from series! It just feels like too big a commitment, especially if the plot has a cliffhanger but I'm not that into the writing/characters etc. It just seems like a recipe for frustration. I don't think I've read a series since Harry Potter...

  10. Nice list! I would have to say that many of these genres are not ones that I tend to pick up either. I can't remember the last time I read a play or poetry. I rarely read memoirs, non-fiction, or graphic novels. I do love a great series and fantasy is one of my favorites.

  11. I've actually only read one graphic novel..like in my whole entire life. And i literally just read it a few days ago, but I really enjoyed it so I definitely want to read more.
    I used to read a lot of Middle Grade but now that I'm older, I keep thinking that I've outgrown it?? I don't know, I just haven't picked any up in so long -- I probably should try MG books again.

    Great post!
    Cari @ My Addiction: Books

  12. I agree with other commenters that you found a great phrase to describe this! Horror is on my fringe--I would claim to hate it, but I've read some pretty creepy stuff and enjoyed it, like Let the Right One In or Stephen King's short story collections. Sci Fi for sure--Ursula le Guin is one of my favorite authors of all times, I loved the Lunar Chronicles, but if it gets too tech-y, I'm out. I like some MG, but often get bored (which again, since I teach 7th and 8th grade is kind of not a good thing--I'm always handing kids books their parents might not approve of). And while I am 100% okay with romance in a book, I would never pick up a book in the Romance section. No bare chests and insufficient bodices on the cover, please!