Some recent great reads that were out of my comfort zone



 Ten Book I Enjoyed Recently (last yearish) That Weren’t My Typical Genre/Type of Book (or that was out of your comfort zone)

  1. Harbinger – Joshua Dysart, Khari Evans, Lewis LaRosa

Now I know you’re gonna say, how can a comic be out of my comfort zone? Well, that’s because I don’t read much in terms of superhero-style comics. While I do love watching X-Men movies (and my love for X-Men began when I was a kid watching the cartoon series!), Avengers movies, and especially the Thor movies (Tom Hiddleston! Chris Hemsworth!), I don’t really read much of those comics.

But I really wanted to read Harbinger after I learnt that Valiant was making a comic about a plus-sized superhero Faith, who was originally in Harbinger. And in the end, I really did like Harbinger. It had some mean superpowered superhumans, one of which was trying to take over the world more or less – and not just via his powers, but also through his conglomerate and shell companies. And the guy in the hoodie is trying to stop all of it, with a bit of a motley crew of course.


2. A Manual for Cleaning Women – Lucia Berlin

I don’t read much short stories, something I know I need to change, but I really liked this collection of Berlin’s stories. It feels like she’s telling them to you, as you sit across the booth at the corner diner, drinking coffee, she’s smoking a cigarette though that’s not allowed but it’s all good because she’s Lucia Berlin.

3. The Mankioka Sisters -Junichiro Tanizaki

I do read Japanese literature, of course I do. But that’s more of the contemporary stuff, I’ve not read any Japanese classics and while I’ve been wanting to read this for a few years now, I kept hesitating. Why why? It is such a wonderful book! I loved diving into Osaka in the 1940s, into this family of four sisters, all the traditions and their culture, all the worrying for their third unmarried sister and all that she has to go through when meeting prospective husbands. It was fascinating and kind of beautiful.



4. Hunger makes me a modern girl – Carrie Brownstein

It is not so much the topic of the book but more of how I am reading it, which is as an audiobook. I have always found audiobooks a bit difficult to pay attention to, but just concentrating on this one while I take a walk, listening to Carrie Brownstein’s voice as she narrates her own childhood stories, I really have been liking it. I’m still only a few chapters in but this audiobook is definitely one for me.


5. The Royal We – Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

So not something I typically read. I tend to run far from ‘chick lit’ type books. But this was a lot of fun!


6. The Good House – Tananarive Due

I’m no stranger to horror but it’s not something I read much of because of the creepies. As in that skin-crawling, looking-over-your-shoulder, hoping-that-noise-isn’t-what-you-think-it-is kind of feeling. So I reserve the scary stuff for RIP only. Once a year is plenty and this was definitely an icky read.


7. Dumplin’ – Julie Murphy

YA? Some love it, some don’t. I’m kind of neutral about it but I think that with all that YA out there, it’s hard to find a really good one. And I thought that this was a really good one.

So right. That’s not TEN. It might be because I tend to be a bit of an eclectic (eccentric?) reader and dabble in a variety of genres. Or maybe I just didn’t’ really read outside of my comfort zone very much last year. What is out of my comfort zone? Romance. ‘Chick lit’ or ‘women’s fiction’. Horror (except for during RIP). But do I really want to read any of that? I don’t know. 

What are some of your favourite outside-of-your-comfort-zone reads?





  1. ‘A Manual for Cleaning Women’ has been crossing my path way too often these days. I must pick it up soon. I love this list. Thank you for sharing. Also, I tried an audiobook yesterday, and struggled hard to focus. So, I stopped after a page. I am going to try a few months later. Which was the first audiobook that you tried? How did you feel? 🙂


    1. Well I don’t remember the first audiobook I tried as it was a while ago but it may have been a collection of shorts. It obviously wasn’t memorable. I really didn’t do well with audiobooks then. And I still don’t really. But I’ve started going on longer daily walks (after being sick for most of 2016 so far!) and a way to reward myself on these walks is to listen to an audiobook. What works for me with this one is that it’s read by the author. And while I’m not really familiar w her music or her TV show, I was certainly familiar with that passion she had as a teen about music. And for me it’s really worked out great as an audiobook, to hear her read her own story about her life. But also I have to listen while on a walk because I can’t concentrate otherwise!

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  2. Comic books are far, far away from my comfort zone. I have only dipped my toe into graphic novels. Romance and chick lit are also not really my thing, but I surprised myself this year by really enjoying not one but two of Liane Moriarty’s novels. I also don’t read a lot of YA for the very reason you mention–it can be difficult to sort through all the bad to find the gems.


  3. Funnily enough as someone who doesn’t shy away from chicklit, I couldn’t read beyond the first chapter of The Royal We! Funny the things we like, and don’t like! 🙂

    Have you read Daughters of the Samurai by Janice P. Nimura? I’ve been eyeing that one for some time.


  4. Oh, and thanks for mentioning the Carrie Brownstein book. My husband loves comedy (even though he’s not a big fan of Portlandia!)and had great fun reading Judd Apatow’s Sick In The Head. I’m going to suggest this one to him.


  5. I had no idea Tananarive Due had written any novels! For some reason I had it in my head she was just a short-story author (for now). And now come to find out she not only has a novel but it appears to be about a haunted house? This is magical.

    I have always been glad when I made myself read outside my comfort zone. I usually do it because someone has recommended an especially sterling example of that genre, and finding one good one makes me more likely to read the next one that comes down the pike. Like I still don’t read a ton of chick lit, but I’m wayyyy more open to it than I used to be. Sometimes it’s the only thing I’m in the mood for!


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