I took a chance on a book recently, and I’m glad that I did. I read the author’s first novel, and while I enjoyed it as a whole, there was one section in particular that rubbed me the wrong way. It wasn’t so bad that I wished I hadn’t read it, but it was bad enough that I didn’t recommend the novel to anyone else. Strange reaction, I know. So the new novel comes along and it’s getting good reviews, so I add it to my library list. When it comes in, I realize (oh no!) that this novel has odd passages, and I have a history of not liking books with these types of interspersed, alternate-story passages. But I took a leap of faith, trusted the reviews of bloggers I like, and dove into the book. I was glad that I did.
Reading out of my comfort zone isn’t something that I tend to do often. I have a fairly tightly drawn box that I read within. I read all of the classics in college and grad school (and I do mean all of them). In recent years, I’ve been reading a lot of YA, MG, supernatural, mysteries, science fiction, and dystopia. Mix in some edgier literary fiction, and that’s pretty much it. I tend to steer clear of family dramas (although I may make an exception for Freedom), romances (unless there’s a vampire or werewolf involved, natch), or humor (unless it’s Hornby). A book has to be fairly extraordinary — or get extraordinary buzz, like Freedom — to get my reading attention. I took a chance this time on a book that I wasn’t sure I would like, and I am grateful for it.
So I thought I should try reading yet another book that’s out of my comfort zone. Freedom seems a bit too obvious. Maybe Anthony Bourdain’s new book? What do you read when you want to read outside your norm?