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.


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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. ‘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.

  10. “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.

  11. 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 🙂

  12. 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.

  13. 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!

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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