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Books That Took Me Out Of My Comfort Zone – Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you by The Broke and The Bookish, and today’s topic is 10 books that took me out of my comfort zone.  This is our first week to participate and we’re so excited to join in the fun…

What takes me, Magan, out of my comfort zone?  Anything that shows me how incredibly broken this world is. Hate crimes. Paranormal and science-fiction stories. Death.

1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: I didn’t think there was ANY way I would be able to read a series that involved people intentionally having to kill other people. This series turned out to be one of my all time favorites that I’ve recommended to anyone who can read.  I had only read one other dystopia when I read these, and I was incredibly determined to find something else that could top or equal my love for Katniss, Peeta, and Gale.

2. Hourglass by Myra McEntire: Emerson sees apparitions that don’t really exist. This book was a mixture of paranormal and science-fiction that is doubly out of my comfort zone. I became addicted to Myra’s witty writing and the tension that existed between Emerson and Michael. I also now follow Myra on Twitter because she’s just. that. funny. and I can’t get enough of her.

3. Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma: I wouldn’t say that this book immediately struck me as something that was out of my comfort zone. A tragedy happens and two sisters are separated. Where the book went while I was reading it baffled me. The writing was beautiful and the concept completely original, but it had elements that were extremely unexpected.

4. Room by Emma Donoghue: This book is written from a five-year old’s perspective, which was a new concept to me. The uncomfortable aspect was that he and his mom have been locked inside a room for over five years – a room with no windows, no ability to leave, and a man who visits on an irregular basis to give them the bare necessities they need to survive. Yikes – this one had my stomach churning while I read.

5. Small Town Sinners by Melissa C. Walker: Lacey’s church has an annual Hell House on Halloween. The whole concept of Hell House was so outside my comfort zone. Definitely not my take on Christianity. I questioned the entire time I read this book if places like Lacey’s hometown actually exist. I come from Small-Town, Texas, but even this was a big stretch for me.

6. What Happened to Lani Garver by Carol Plum-Ucci:  I still haven’t been able to write a review for this book. I recommended it to Estelle because it was SO different from everything else I read – hate crimes, harassment, and a possible murder – all because Lani doesn’t look like or act like everyone else in the small town he moves to.

7. Wither by Lauren DeStefano:  This book is the epitome of taking me out of my comfort zone. No one lives over the age of 25. Women are being kidnapped and forced into polygamous marriages with men they do not know for the sole purpose of reproducing to avoid extinction.  Beautifully written, but incredibly heart-wrenching.

8. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: I’m confused by World War II. Why did it ever happen? When this book was released, I knew I wanted to read it, but the hard part was reading the story from Death’s perspective. I was in a book club at the time and all my girlfriends and I were emotional wrecks while we read this book.

9. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls: This was one of the first memoirs I ever read – so hard for me to know that this was someone’s real life story and it wasn’t made up. Now it stands as one of my favorite books of all time. This book is powerful, though an uncomfortable read – a drunk do-nothing father, a mother who can’t get her act together, children who eat moldy food…all bad things to the extent that the parents eventually choose homelessness.

10. Towelhead by Alicia Erian: I didn’t choose to read this book; it was another book club book. Totally 100% uncomfortable. So much hate. A creepy, pedophile next door neighbor. A girl too blinded by her sexual interest to see that her next door neighbor was doing something very, very wrong.


November 26, 2011 - 10:54 pm

Magan - Amber, I’m so glad you loved it! The sequel to Hourglass (called Timepiece) comes out on June 12, 2012. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy. I’m sure we’ll learn SO much more about all the talents. YAY! You made my night. 🙂

November 26, 2011 - 12:18 pm

Amber - Hourglass: I read this book in literally a day, thanks for the great suggestion! Although I was really disappointed that the story never went very far into Lily and her ‘talent.’ It was very much like a teenage girl’s version of X-men and I loved it!

November 8, 2011 - 10:50 pm

Magan - Megan, I haven’t read that book. Definitely going to find it on Goodreads so I can add it to my never-ending list!

Jamie! The list is pretty diverse; never until I typed this list did I realize how all over the place my reading choices are! Definitely look into Small Town Sinners and Towelhead. Be warned – Towelhead deals with serious stuff. :-/

La Coccinelle – Please read The Book Thief. It would be an injustice not to!

November 8, 2011 - 10:01 pm

La Coccinelle - I really liked Room, though it’s not the sort of thing I usually read. I’ve got The Book Thief in my TBR pile…

November 8, 2011 - 9:42 pm

Jamie - SO MANY OF MY FAVES ON HERE…The Book Thief, Wither and The Hunger Games! I own The Glass Castle but haven’t gotten to it yet..along with Room. I haven’t heard of Small Town Sinners and Towelhead but now you have me intrigued!!


November 8, 2011 - 6:13 pm

Megan - This is a great list! Have you read Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier? It’s time travel and historical fiction all wrapped up in a pretty little book. Here is my list http://wp.me/pzUn5-F9

November 8, 2011 - 4:38 pm

Magan - Same here, Alexa! I just read it this year, and after I finished it all I could think was Where have these been? How did I not know about them?!
Kit – I cried a lot while reading The Book Thief, too. Emotional roller coaster!
Nicole – YAY! So glad you found the list helpful! 🙂

November 8, 2011 - 2:44 pm

kit - The Hunger Games is on my list too, it’s not something I would ever have picked up normally but I’d read so many good things about it that I caved in the end!

I really enjoyed The Book Thief, although it did make me cry on a train, which was reasonably embarrassing… 🙂

November 8, 2011 - 2:25 pm

Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books - I really loved The Hunger Games trilogy, though I only got around to reading it this year 🙂

November 8, 2011 - 11:02 am

Nicole - Great list Magan, added some of this to mine to read too.

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