A while ago I was part of a little tag group on my writing blog called ‘Top 5 Wednesday’ (although I did it on Fridays). I thought I might start to dip in and out of it again. Or maybe even every week. They’re all book related, but hey, books are a pretty big part of my life.
Today’s topic was actually the first topic for July: Favourite Books Outside Your Comfort Zone.
I am, on the whole, a pretty diverse reader. I really enjoy most genres, but my favourites are undoubtedly fantasy and epic historical fiction, with a few sci-fi books forever in my list of top favourites. That said, let’s get onto my favourite books from other genres!
- Shiver, Nikki Gemmell. I first read Shiver when I was about twelve, because I’d read all my books and had to resort to raiding my dad’s bookshelf. I suppose it’s genre is ‘drama’ (or at least that’s what it would be if it was a film). It’s about a journalist who gets the opportunity to travel to Antartica and live within one of the communities of scientists and explorers working there. It’s part romance, part travel writing, and all fantastic. It stuck with me as a twelve year old (despite the coarse language and sexual references) and it still makes the list of one of my favourite books ever.
- The Picture of Dorian Grey, Oscar Wilde. My boyfriend introduced me to The Picture of Dorian Grey when we first met, before we even thought about dating. I was thirteen, and it was eye-opening. I’d never read many classics (and I’m still picky about which ones I read and enjoy), but Dorian Grey was just so amazing to read.
- Vivaldi’s Virgins, Barbara Quick. Vivaldi’s Virgin’s is historical fiction, but not the type of historical fiction I usually read, so I decided that it counts on this list. Another early teen years book, I remember reading this and being absolutely captivated. This book sparked my love affair with Venice even before The Thief Lord, another favourite book. As a classical music kid, delving into the world of Vivaldi was such a pleasure, and the story itself swept me up.
- Animal Farm, George Orwell. I read Nineteen Eighty Four before I read Animal Farm, and I opened the world of dystopian novels up to me. I would have put it on this list (as it is probably on my list of my top five books of all time) but in my mind it’s linked too closely to sci-fi for it to be fair. So I’ve gone with Animal Farm. Orwell’s allegory for the Soviet Union blew my mind when I read it in my early teens, and sparked my fascination with both dystopian worlds and the USSR. It’s just brilliant, that’s all I can say. Go and read it.
- And In The Morning, Graeme Hague. Another non-typical historical fiction novel I read in my early teens (there’s definitely a pattern). As a rule, I shy away from books/movies/most things about Australian soldier at war. I just can’t deal with it. And In The Morning is just that, an incredibly young adult novel about two Aussie brothers and a young woman who all find themselves caught up in World War I. I loved it so much that I kept rereading it, forgot to return it to my school library, and ended up keeping it after my parents had paid the fine for my losing it. Which is good because it’s pretty much IMPOSSIBLE to find anywhere.
So there you have it, my top five books that are out of my comfort zone (which could also be my top five books that stuck with me from my early teen years).
Have you read any of these books? Do you also love them?