Friday, 9 October 2015

Reading Outside of My Comfort Zone

If you’re a regular reader of this blog then you’ll know that the main pool of books that I like to luxuriate in is YA but in 2015 I’ve found myself dipping my toes into new to me genres. Because I mainly talk about YA on here I thought that I’d share with you some of the gems I’ve been finding in other genres and how my reading tastes have evolved over the past year.

Middle Grade
I re-discovered Middle Grade as an adult when I won a copy of Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens from the lovely Michelle’s twitter giveaway. A lot of my blog friends who enjoy Middle Grade as well as YA had been raving about this book and so I wanted to see what the fuss was about before the second book Arsenic for Tea came out.

Sadly my dog died shortly after the book arrived on my birthday and I needed something to sweep me away to a time when life was simpler, I craved that childhood oblivion again and so I reached for Murder Most Unladylike. I fell in love with the friendship between Hazel and Daisy as the book swept me away to a boarding school set in the 1930s. I feel like I owe my sanity at that time to this series and it has even gone on to inspire me to write my own Middle Grade story.

Graphic Novels 
Graphic Novels have never been something that interested me before this year. I used to think that it was all Marvel and DC Comics – which I am a fan of when it comes to the movies and TV shows but didn’t necessarily want to read about.

Then I noticed more and more people hauling graphic novels that weren’t all about superheroes, no, they covered pretty much every topic imaginable. I was sucked in by glossy artwork and intriguing synopses and decided to check out a little series called Saga which so many people were reading and loving. To my surprise I was swept away to an epic space opera and devoured the series pretty much back to back. I’ve now become a little bit obsessed with graphic novels and am enjoying trying out different art styles and stories to figure out what works for me.

I tried listening to my first audiobook a year ago but didn’t get through it because, my poor logic at the time, was that I’d rather be reading a physical book. Then when I got a free trial for Audible I decided to try audiobooks again but this time listen to them during the times when I couldn’t be physically reading. I listened when I was getting ready in the mornings, washing up, and on car rides and loved the fact that I could listen to a book at a time when I couldn’t otherwise be reading.

I started to get through more books a month because of the bonus non-reading time spent listening to a book. Audiobooks can be hit and miss for me based on how I get on with the narrator but for the most part I’ve been enjoying what I’ve listened to. My best find has been The Song of Achilles which has gone on to become one of my favourite books and is probably not something I would have picked up otherwise if the audiobook version was not recommended to me by my blogger friend Sophie.

High Fantasy 
While I am a massive YA fantasy fan I’ve always been intimidated by those big chunky epic fantasy books mainly because of the sheer size and number of books that can belong to a series. Being a book blogger I always have a massive TBR pile to get through so can never justify dedicating a lot of time to a big series.

The Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson had been on my must read list for such a long time and I finally decided to read it when Lucy at The Book Belle hosted Mistborn Mondays and I’m so, so glad that I finally picked it up! Reading a big series such as Mistborn feels so much less intimidating when you’re reading it alongside other people and the deadlines to read each book by made me stick to it because I am awful at not completing series. I haven’t read anything quite on the same epic scope as Mistborn since Harry Potter and I loved discovering a new all-time favourite series and an author who I’ve become such a fangirl over and who I will now read anything they write.

This year I have been more diverse and open with my reading choices and it has certainly paid off! The books that I have mentioned in this post have gone on to become some of my favourites of this year. I’m looking forward to delving further into all of these genres and discovering more books to love. In the future I’ll not be so hesitant to pick something up that is a little outside my comfort zone. 

I’d love to know which books outside of your comfort zone did you pick up and end up loving?
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