Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Read Outside Your Comfort Zone Challenge

This is an interesting challenge, and I feel like I should do it. I tell anyone who asks that I will read anything interesting, and it's true - but there are definite exceptions: Westerns, religious-themed books, Nicholas Sparks-type books, romance novels, Civil War military biographies, non-Harry Potter books with dragons (I used to love them, but it's all over now), classic literature written before 1850, etc. I think I can definitely find many, many books that will break me out of my comfort zone! Here's the link to the challenge: I'm going to go all in at the highest level, Exploring the Unknown (16-20 books), what the heck. Should be fun!

1. Leah's Choice - Marta Perry (religious-themed romance novel)
2. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen (classic written before 1850)
3. Dealing with Dragons - Patricia C. Wrede (book with dragons)
4. How Dolly Parton Saved My Life - Charlotte Connors (chick lit type novel with pervasive religious content)
5. Home Fires - Candace Schuler (straight-up romance novel) (and yes, I originally typed "Fries" - ha!)
6. Gingerbread Girl - Paul Tobin and Colleen Coover (graphic novel)
7. Those Across the River - Christopher Buehlman (horror)
8. Taggart - Louis L'Amour (Western)
9. Confessions of a Shopaholic - Sophie Kinsella (chick lit type book)
10. The Notebook - Nicholas Sparks (Nicholas Sparks book)
11. A Princess of Mars - Edgar Rice Burroughs (sci-fi/fantasy)

Comment added Dec. 31, 2011: This was the only challenge that I "failed" this year. Apparently it is harder to read books outside of my comfort zone than I would have thought! I enjoyed most of the books I read for this challenge, so that was good - I was glad I could discover new books, including graphic novels, which I now appreciate, and some classics. I even confirmed that at least one book on the list was as uninteresting to me as I thought it would be :-) I was really hoping to get to at least 16 books, but I did manage 11, so it wasn't a total bust. In any case, this is a great way to approach reading, and to make sure that as a reader I am not passing up great books because they aren't something I would normally read. I will keep that in my mind as I read in 2012 and beyond.


  1. Thanks so much for joining up with the challenge! In terms of dragon books, have you read the Dealing with Dragons series by Patricia Wrede? They're light, humorous YA fantasy books. And good luck! I am trying to aim for the highest level too. *crosses fingers*

  2. gee - 16-20 books! :"o I am heading for three - but maybe.. ;") There is only one book I can think of that I could recommend to you which would fit you requirements: Wuthering Heights (1847) *hihi*

    Good luck with you goals!!

  3. Thank you, Danya, for hosting the challenge! I will try the Dealing with Dragons series, I used to read all sorts of dragon-themed books (Anne McCaffrey, etc.) but for some reason in the last few years I just can't manage them. That series sounds like it might work well :)

    Hi Frl. Irene, thank you also for the recommendation of Wuthering Heights - I will definitely try it. I have heard that it's really good, but I have never really read the British literature of this era, although I did manage to read Jane Eyre last year - but that was because I love Jasper Fforde :-D

    If either of you have (or need) any more recommendations, etc., please let me know! :-)