Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Enjoyed That Are Outside of My Comfort Zone

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

I had some trouble coming up with all ten answers for this week’s prompt. Generally, I don’t bother finishing books that are truly outside of my comfort zone. These titles were were exceptions to that rule, and they make for an eclectic, if also shorter than usual, list.

Unwind by Neal Shusterman book cover. The word unwind appears to be shrink-wrapped.

1. Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Why it was outside of my comfort zone:

While I love science fiction in general, the process of Unwinding really freaked me out. That is a term I’m purposefully not explaining because of how graphic and disturbing it is. Feel free to google it at your own risk.  I’m glad I finished this tale, but I don’t know I could ever watch a film based on it.

2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Why it was outside of my comfort zone: 

Romance is a genre I don’t read much in general because, despite being married for a decent amount of time now, I am a rather unromantic person at heart. (Well, unless we’re talking about chocolate covered cherries because who doesn’t like chocolate-covered treats!?) The romance in this book happened between two selfish and emotionally unhealthy characters, so that pushed it even further outside of my comfort zone even though the plot itself was well done.

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry book cover. Boy stands on asteroid looking at stars.

3. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Why it was outside of my comfort zone: 

Some of the allegories in it make my brain hurt. I simultaneously love the poetic nature of it and desperately wish for a straightforward translation of what it’s trying to say.

The Crossover book cover by Kwame Alexander. Image of the outline of a black kid twirling a ball on the front of it.

4. The Crossover by Kwame Alexandre

Why it was outside of my comfort zone: 

I know nothing about sports and have no interest in learning about them. Despite that, this book of poetry about a kid who was obsessed with basketball and worried about his father’s poor health was incredibly well done.



Filed under Blog Hops

95 Responses to Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Enjoyed That Are Outside of My Comfort Zone

  1. Great list! One of these days I need to cross Unwind off my TBR – I’ve been meaning to read it for the longest time.

  2. Great list! I’ve been meaning to read Wuthering Heights at some point but it’s a little out of my comfort zone, too. One day!

    My TTT:

  3. A very eclectic list indeed — very cool!

  4. I get you about The Little Prince! I really enjoyed it, but it was a lot heavier than I first expected. And I love Wuthering Heights for how awful the characters are, it definitely makes it harder to get through a book when the characters are so unlikable.

    • I’m glad to hear that about The Little Prince. I tried so hard to love it! And totally agreed about unlikeable characters making it harder to get through a book.

  5. Great list. I recently reread The Little Prince and I didn’t enjoy it as much as I did the first. My rating is down from 5 to 4 stars. I still find the writing great but I felt like the author made it deeper than it should be. lol. I don’t know, I just don’t appreciate it as much as I used to. 🙂

    And I can’t bring myself to read Wuthering Heights for the same reason you mentioned. I’m into romance but I find the romance in it toxic.

  6. It’s funny how I’m also an unromantic person in real life but nevertheless enjoy reading romance genre. Haha.
    And I’ve always heard such great things about Little Prince but the whole allegorical nature of the book has always stopped me from picking it up.

  7. I think as your list shows sometimes reading outside your comfort zone can be unexpectedly rewarding or just confirm you know what you like 😁

  8. I have had Unwind on my TBR for a while now. It does sound really gruesome. Would probably be outside my comfort zone too, although I read some dark and disturbing stuff sometimes. I’ll probably still give it a go at some point.

    And I’m with you on books about sports. That’s usually a turn off for me as well, but I guess you found a good one!

  9. Unwind was definitely a hard one to finish for me too. Did you know it’s a series? I haven’t touched the other 3 because of how disturbing I found Unwind to be. Wuthering Heights is one of my favorites!

  10. amanda

    Okay, I love this list and have added them all to my TBR on goodreads. Unwind looks so good!! And I’ve been dying to read Wuthering Heights for a long time.

  11. Someone else talked about Unwind and yeah… the concept is super creepy and I’m so glad that it’s just a dystopia and not something that looks like it’s going to be true in the coming years.

  12. Good list. I remember my son had the Crossover for a project in high school.

  13. I forgot about Unwind! I heard about it a long time ago.

  14. I’ve got the Unwind series, but I still haven’t read them yet. I’m looking forward to them, but like you said, the whole idea behind it … *shudders* It’s pretty scary. I love The Little Prince so much, mostly because it does make you think and, on its surface, sounds like a normal kids story, but obviously has so many morals and little lessons along the way hidden under the surface. :3

    • I hope you like that series! I’ve only read the first book, but it definitely does have a unique (and chilling) premise.

      Have you ever seen the film version of The Little Prince? I saw the preview for it on Netflix a while back.

  15. I read UNWIND but didn’t go on and read the rest of the series, which I understand is pretty good. THE LITTLE PRINCE is a personal favorite. Thanks for visiting my blog.

  16. I couldn’t come up with 10 and struggled to come up with 5! I think it’s because I read such a variety of books and genres.

  17. I feel you on The Little Prince but at the same time I love it so much and it’s so beautiful.

  18. Unwind is on my TBR, and The Little Prince is a book I’ve loved since I read it the first time in high school! But I can totally see how they’d be outside of your comfort zone.

  19. When I read Wuthering Heights I thought it was a Victorian romance. Heathcliff is despicable. Bit of a surprise.

  20. I have Unwind on my shelf but for some reason just haven’t started it yet. Not even sure why! It does sound kinda gruesome. I am going to read it though.

    • I hope you like it! Yes, there are gruesome passages for sure, although the author did have good reasons for including them. It’s not horror for the sake of horror.

  21. Those are new to me ones! Though I have heard of The Little Prince!

    Thanks for visiting my TTT!

  22. ‘Wuthering Heights’ is such a weird book but I did like it – everyone’s so horrible to each other I loved seeing what they were going to do next, it was like no-one had any filter. Never thought it was that romantic though!

    • That’s so interesting. I somehow thought of it as a romance first and foremost. I really should go back and read it sometime.

      And, yeah, saying that no one had a filter is a great way to describe the characters in Wuthering Heights.

  23. Unwind is a very disturbing book. That’s why it’s so powerful!

  24. I absolutely love The Little Prince. It’s not outside my comfort zone, however. I also loved The Crossover, and that is a genre I rarely read.

    Thanks for sharing your list.

  25. Great list! I’ve had Unwind on my TBR for ages, and I also really need to read The Little Prince.

  26. You know what’s funny, I own The Little Prince, don’t know how I got it, and I’ve never read it. I’ll make it my new bedside book!

  27. RS

    “I […] desperately wish for a straightforward translation of what it’s trying to say.” — sounds like a book idea to me! Is it old enough to be opened up for retelling? Because this concept sounds fun even to someone who loves the book.

  28. Great list. I should definitely check out Shusterman’s novels.

  29. The Little Prince is the best, I can’t believe I forgot to put it on my list :). The whole boa-constrictor/hat thing always makes me crack up.

  30. I need to reread The Little Prince. I loved it as a kid.

  31. Okay, I’m so intrigued by what the concept of unwind means but I’m also picturing the most gory things in my head and I don’t know if I can stand to Google it. But I’m definitely curious about it and will head to Goodreads to check this one out. I’ve only read one series by Shusterman but it’s one of my faves! I found some of the allegories made my head spin in The Little Prince as well, but I really enjoyed it in the end. Great list, Lydia 🙂

  32. Great list! I definitely agree with what you said about Wuthering Heights 🙂

  33. Interesting list – I really wouldn’t describe Wuthering Heights as romance though 🤣 it’s more about revenge than anything else. I first read it at thirteen and loved it because I despised any romantic subplots at that point. I love Le Petit Prince but I liked it better in French – it was the first thing that I ever managed to read in the original language so it’s quite special to me. Unfamiliar with the other two … thanks for sharing 🙂

    • You’re welcome!

      If I knew French, I’d totally read that book in the original language. That must have been a pretty cool experience for you.

      And you’re not the only person who saw Wuthering Heights as something other than a romance. Ha! Maybe I need to reread it.

  34. I would like to read The Little Prince at some point!

  35. I haven’t read Wuthering Heights either. It’s more of a classic thing vs. a romance thing for me, though. That’s awesome you enjoyed it!

  36. Ah, but the beauty of The Little Prince is precisely that it goes deeper, and you have to dig into the symbolism of the images

  37. I’m definitely intrigued by Unwind… And I think I’m going to have to Google it now! The Little Prince has been on my list for a while, too! Great list!

  38. Unwind has been one that’s been on my TBR forever. It sounds super dark and unsettling which is right up my alley 😅 so I’m sure I’ll enjoy it. Great list 😀

  39. Oh The Little Prince! I remember reading the book when I was a kid but I wasn’t into it because I didn’t understand the story much. I might look into this again since one of the nieces is reading it and we share the same love for books so it’s interesting to know what an eight-year old might think.

  40. Interesting list! I feel the same way about Wuthering Heights. It was not even close to my usual kind of read, but the plot and those characters sucked me right in.

  41. I am the same way about DNF-ing, but I also do not often venture outside of my non-fiction zones. I have gotten a few great YA recs though, which have lead to a couple more…but I have to keep that under control or my TBR is going to absolutely explode.

  42. I still need to read The Little Prince. I’ve heard mostly good things.

  43. I haven’t read The Little Prince but the Netflix movie was amazing and emotional! I was bawling while watching that movie!

  44. Wuthering Heights is one of those I pick up every couple of years, start to read, and then immediately put down. I’ve probably read the first chapter 100 times by now. 😂

  45. Apart from “The Little Prince,” I don’t think I’ve heard of any you feature, Lydia. It’s always interesting to step outside our reading comfort zone, but for the most part, I’m happiest (and ok with this) inside mine. 🙂 Thanks so much for visiting Finding Wonderland last week.

  46. I’ve heard nothing but greatness about Unwind, but YES! It’s quite a freaky premise. Give me killer Scythes who are trained to end innocent people randomly all day long, unwinding though, I can’t.

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