This week’s TTT topic is “Books I Enjoyed That Are Outside of My Comfort Zone”. So for me, this essentially just means any book that’s not YA and/or fantasy. Comfort zone might not be the right word, since I do branch into other genres somewhat frequently, so I guess this is more like “Books I Enjoyed from Genres I’m Under-read In”. Another note is that all of these books are ones that I’ve read in the last year or so.
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
1. The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager
Okay yes, I’ve been screaming about this book all summer ever since I read it in the beginning of June, BUT GUYS, I NEVER EXPECTED TO GET SO INVESTED IN A THRILLER!!?!?!!
If anyone has thriller suggestions for a beginner thriller reader like me, please let me know!
2. In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez
Ohmygodthisbook, I think a part of me is still crying. Taking place during Trujillo’s dictatorship in the Dominican Republic, this book follows the lives of the Mirabel sisters and the later-murdered rebels known as Las Mariposas. Alvarez’s writing is lyrical and haunting. If you haven’t already picked this book up yet, I 100% recommend doing so.
3. The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani
I will never tire of fairy tale inspired stories, but rarely do I look for them in MG books. I really need to integrate more MG books into my reading life.
The one thing I am disappointed with in this find is that I’ve not heard great things about the sequels, so I don’t think I’m likely to continue on with the series. Thoughts?
4. The Wonderling by Mira Bartók
This book is so cute and whimsical! It’s a chunky monkey for a MG book, but it’s so worth it. And the drawings–so adorable! I can’t wait till the author visits my school later this fall.
5. Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee
This was a such a fun sci-fi fantasy! And set in space too, which is something I tend to be disinterested in. I loved the mythology woven into it, and I definitely need more MG books like it in my life.
Short Story Collections:
6. What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky by Lesley Nneka Arimah
This stories are like candy: so easy to consume and addicting. And yet, they’re also hard-hitting and thought-provoking. The stories are a mix of sci-fi, realistic fiction, and fantasy. Honestly, I’m already ready to go back and read them again.
7. Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich
Erdrich’s writing is fricking brillant. I’m actually reading another book by her right now, tho this one is more MG, and I’m enjoying it so much. I definitely need to dive back into the Love Medicine series at some point.
8. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
Both this and the collection above are books I read for my creative writing class last fall. These collections are both really cool in that they contain independent, but interconnected stories. Both of these books put me in awe.
9. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby
Bauby suffered from Locked-In Syndrome, where he was paralyzed from head to toe, so he wrote and edited this entire memoir IN HIS HEAD and communicated it by BLINKING HIS LEFT EYELID! His prose is gorgeous and I can only dream about writing this well.
10. Mothers of Sparta by Dawn Davies
Dawn Davies’s memoir is such a gem–so witty, hilarious, and still raw. One of my favorite reads of the year so far and has definitely motivated me to seek out more memoirs!