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: http://atapestryofwords.blogspot.com/p/read-outside-your-comfort-zone.html. 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.