Monday, January 9, 2017

DISCUSSION: Going Out Of My Comfort Zone

I didn't put this on my New Years' resolution post (maybe that was my subconscious way of not holding myself accountable or something), but one of my bookish goals for this year is to read outside my comfort zone.

Looking at my stats for last year, most of the books I read are young adult contemporary.

I love young adult books and I certainly don't plan on giving those up anytime soon. It's weird though because I read way more young adult fiction now than when I was actually a young adult. But I do feel like I want to spread my wings a bit and read some more books outside of my favorite genre.

There are just sooooo many books out there. Is it weird that I feel guilty for not reading everything I can get my hands on?
There are certain genres that I rarely read and I really want to change that.

Romance. Yes, I read plenty of contemporary books that have romance in them, but generally I ignore books that are 100% about the romance. And this goes for young adult or adult. I read a lot of romance when I was younger and I have read some romance as an adult, but not much of it. I am open to new adult or adult fiction.

Recent romance reads that I have added to my TBR
Nonfiction - This is probably the one genre that I read the least. Unless I am really interested in the subject, it's hard to get enough interest in nonfiction books to buy them. Actually, it's hard to generate enough interest in nonfiction books to buy them, even when I am interested in the subject. But I have discovered quite a few nonfiction books published last year that I really want to read.

Recent nonfiction reads that I have added to my TBR.
Classics - Am I the only one who has a hard time getting through the classics? The writing style is usually just so . . . antiquated. Nevertheless, I do want to read a lot of the more popular classics.

Classics on my TBR

Do you have any recommendations for me in any of these categories? Or any recommendations for books besides YA contemporary? What genres are outside of your comfort zone?


  1. I read almost equal amounts of fiction and nonfiction each year... It's difficult to recommend nonfiction as each persons interests are so unique.

    Here are some nonfiction book titles I've really enjoyed the past few years:

    The Assasination of the Archduke by Greg King & Sue Woolsman
    My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinman
    This Common Secret: My Journey as an Abortion Doctor by Susan Wicklund
    Stoned: Jewelry, Obsession, and How Desire Shapes the World by Aja Raden
    I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
    In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
    A Life In Parts by Bryan Cranston
    The Story of Sushi: An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and Rice by Trevor Corson
    Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
    The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
    The Soloist by Steve Lopez
    The Professor and the Madman by Simon Winchester

  2. I am like you in that I read mostly contemporaries - YA and adult. I want to try and branch out more too. Although me and classics don't mix I would like to read at least one! I am going to try audio for it though. For nonficton I also like to listen and mostly go with celebrity memoirs or topics I find interesting. Good luck branching out this year!

  3. I try to branch out to different genres too, but I always seem to be mostly drawn to contemporary novels. I am trying my best to read a variety though.
    I can only give you contemporary recs, so here are some good books to start with:

    - The Travis Family by Lisa Kleypas (Blue-Eyed Devil, Smooth Talking Stranger are my favorites)
    - Stiletto & Oxford by Lauren Layne - if you're reading these, read them in order!
    - Mechanics of Love by Megan Erickson
    - Brightwater Series by Lia Riley
    - Sustained by Emma Chase
    - Tessa Ever After, Paige in Progress by Brighton Walsh
    - Unspoken by Jen Frederick

    Good luck, Cynthia! :)

  4. Love that chart. Would want to do the same thing with mine just to see how I'm reading this year. I think I'm going to start charting mine since the year has only began.

    Thanks for sharing, Cynthia!

  5. I am still firmly set in my comfort zone bwhaha. No plans to leave, covering my eyes and pretending to not see this post ;) In seriousness, most of what I read was YA- I would say my chart would be even more disproportionate than yours, sadly. Last year, I think the ONLY non-YA book I read was Uprooted. Oh and Red Rising, I guess. And Feed. Still, a mess. Now, I am a bit better with not just reading contemporary but... non-fiction and classics and romance? Those SCARE ME TOO. It's because we are book twins. So I will let YOU read them and you can let me know if we like those at all ;)

  6. Most of what I read is YA too, but I've started reading less books set in high school and more high fantasy and sci-fi ones. Also, I've fallen in love with historical romances <3 I know most the covers are really cheesy and scream "These two are going to have seeeeex", but the books I've read so far, even though yes, they do have sex scenes have been funny, insightful, and endlessly entertaining. The romances are so well done! Stories set in England in the 1800's are my favorite. Love reading about the balls and gentlemen with honor, and people exchanging letters!

  7. I'm a lot like you. I tend to read mostly YA with some NA and a teensy bit of Adult thrown in. I keep telling myself I should try out a non-fiction book or two ... but it doesn't happen.

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  8. I'm trying to read a little more out of my comfort zone as well! I like historical non-fiction a lot even though I don't read it often, so that's one goal. And I know what you mean about classics; I like a lot of them but I think reading them in school helped. Little Women is a good choice! Peter Pan and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland are also great classics that are pretty easy to get into. For romance, my favorite NA series is the Off Campus series by Elle Kennedy (first book is The Deal). The character development is so awesome but it is definitely a romance haha. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne is amazing as well!

  9. I read almost entirely fantasy :P And, like you, I read WAY more YA now than I did when I was ACTUALLY a young adult. There's something about that genre, ya know? I've set goals for myself in the past to step outside of my comfort zone, and I typically end up with, like, 1 or 2 books that qualify by the end of the year. I'm notoriously bad at not finishing a book if I can't get into it right away. And I'm notorious for not getting into non-fantasy books quickly. -sigh-

    I would LOVE to start reading more classics, and Anna Karenina is actually on my TBR too :)

    ~ Michelle @ FaerieFits