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Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books That I Read That Were Outside Of My Comfort Zone

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I love today’s question because in college I was forced to read a bunch of books I NEVER would have picked up before, and it taught me so much about myself and about the world.

Ten Books That I Read That Were Outside Of My Comfort Zone

going after cacciato tim obrien

1 The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison— At UCF, I minored in literature and in my senior year took a Toni Morrison class. Except for 2 books, I’ve read all of Morrison’s works. This entire list could have been just her books, actually- they’re challenging, terrifying and incredibly moving.

2Reservation Blues by Sherman Alexi—Alexi is a fantastic writer, and I loved the depiction of his culture in this book.

3The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut—I think anything by Vonnegut could have make this list too. His representation of religion pushed me to take another look at how others view spirituality and especially Christianity.

4The Stranger by Robert Campus— I read this in high school and probably didn’t “read between the lines” as well as my teacher suggested we do. But, I was introduced to existentialism because of this book.

5Going After Cacciato by Tim O’Brien- Ugh, war. Gross, bloody gory war. This book was extremely difficult to get through.

6One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey— Sexual references and tripped out episodes abound. Again, another book that pushed my boundaries and got me thinking.

7Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky— Murder! And, terrible decision making! This was a truly painful novel, but one I’m glad I read.

8One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez— Wow- this book took me 100 lightyears away from my comfort zone. There’s so much pain and hardship throughout every page and every chapter of this novel.

9Beloved by Toni Morrison— Phew, this book involved rape, death and so many other utterly brutal things. It is amazingly-written though and absolutely stunning.

10My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok— This book is about religion and art and their terrible and potentially-dangerous mix.

What books have taken you out of your comfort zone?

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • Trish

    Crime and Punishment made my list, too! Great list. It seems we have similar taste in books 🙂 I’ve got some Toni Morrison on my TBR shelf that I am quite looking forward to reading.

  • Crime and Punishment? I am impressed! I’m mostly pretty wary of Russian novels because I know what a time commitment they are. I managed to read The Idiot last year and am still patting myself on the back, ha.

  • Crime and Punishment was good!! 🙂 I needed to read it in high school and we usually didn’t like books we must had read for school, but this book was really great 🙂

  • Bookgoonie

    Great list of books. Really need to pick up a Sherman Alexi book.

  • Ems

    Anna Karenina was one for me, along with Heart of Darkness. Or maybe that one made the list just because I hated it. Who knows!? I ended up liking AK though, and kept my copy rather than giving it away. Yay for expanding comfort zones and branching out!

  • My Name is Asher Lev is a book I plan to read. It will also be out of my comfort zone. But, I have a great interest in the Jewish culture.

  • It’s Raining books

    I was never able to finish Beloved. It was so cruel. Here’s my post

  • I loved One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – I’d seen the film already but there was so much more in the book, I wasn’t expecting the narration or his hallucinations.

    I have a couple of Morrison books to read; it’s good to know what to expect sometimes!

    My list.