Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!
Each week we will post a new Top Ten list complete with one of our bloggers’ answers. Everyone is welcome to join. All we ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post AND post a comment on our post with a link to your Top Ten Tuesday post to share with us and all those who are participating. If you don't have a blog, just post your answers as a comment.
Ten Books That I Read That Were Outside Of My Comfort Zone (whether you liked them or not)
1. Anything Shakespeare: I know…how dare I call myself an English Major when I don’t like Shakespeare? Well, whatever…in my opinion, old English can suck it. I’m not saying the guy couldn’t write a good story, but even with my relatively advanced education, I hate reading Shakespeare. If you want to actually understand what you’re reading, it takes like 3 hours to read a page and a half. In my Shakespeare class in college I frequently read along with a movie, or just sparknoted it…Shakespeare is WAY outside my comfort zone to deal with.

2. Angels and Demons by Dan Brown: I am EXTREMELY hesitant to pick up books that deal directly with religious figures. I actually thought this book was literally about angels and demons or I would never have picked it up. Religion, especially Christianity, makes me really uncomfortable to read about. It’s difficult to make a book about religion that doesn’t come off preachy. I spent the majority of my time reading A&D waiting to be preached at so I spent the entire book on edge…luckily it was much better than I feared and I actually did enjoy it near the end.

3. Desperation by Stephen King: This wasn’t my first Stephen King book, but somehow it seemed so much more graphic and terrifying than the others that I read. Pet Sematary and ‘Salem’s Lot don’t have anything compared to the violence and depravity in this book. I was simultaneously disturbed and entranced by King’s storytelling. Regardless…it was definitely out of my comfort zone.

4. A Love Story Staring My Dead Best Friend by Emily Horner: This was my first book that dealt directly with homosexual themes. Sure I’ve read a ton of books that have gay characters or deal with prejudice and things, but this was the first book that was pretty much exclusively about a gay character and her choices and decisions. It was a fantastic book, but it was very much outside of my comfort zone. I even had a hard time reading some of the scenes because I felt so odd. Glad I got through it though because it had such a powerful message.

5. Beloved by Toni Morrison: Don’t get me wrong, this was a fantastic book. Call it whatever you want, but I hate reading books about slavery or that revolve around race. I am of the breed of folks who just doesn’t care about skin color, race, whatever. It bugs me to see people discriminate against each other based on race, and that goes both (all) ways. I know we shouldn’t just forget that slavery happened; it is a huge part of the history of this country, and we don’t ever want that history to repeat itself. At the same time, I just want to read a book about an African American main character that doesn’t talk about slavery…at all…

6. Shiver by Maggie Stiefever: I love paranormal books, particularly paranormal YA. This book just didn’t do it for me. I felt like it was a weak imitation of many YA books out there and that even though I loved the way Maggie wrote, there was nothing of merit in the series whatsoever. It may sound harsh, but I feel like it will be forgotten in a few years while others in the genre will last for much longer. I was uncomfortable reading this because I couldn’t figure out why there was so much hype over something I thought was so terrible…

7. The Meredith Gentry series by Laurell K. Hamilton: I first read this series when I was 14 and that was probably a terrible choice. It was my first books with literal sex in them, and I dove right into the adult world with stories about sex with multiple men. Not just multiple men, but orgies with men, or ménage a trois, or straight up tentacle and claw sex…an interesting way to spend the years of your sexual awakening…but for better or worse, LKH was my initiation into the adult world :P

8. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo: I don’t know if it was the translation from Swedish or whatever, but I found no way of connecting to this book. I really wanted to, but I would barely be able to make it 3 pages or so. I’m hoping that when the movie comes out I will be intrigued enough to give it another go, but until then, I remain too uncomfortable with it to try it again.

9. Erotica…of any kind: I love a good sex scene in a romance novel or whatever…but usually there is an emotional build up to accompany it. On the other hand, erotica seems to be the literary equivalent of porn. It’s cool…sometimes you just want that toe curling, holy-hotness, omg swoon moment…but for me, without knowing the characters very well, all that hotness falls kind of flat. Plus I am SO uncomfortable reading it in public. Even on my e-reader, I keep thinking people are looking over my shoulder and are reading the dirty things that I am and judging…lol

10. The Two Towers by Tolkien: I loved the Hobbit, I liked Lord of the Rings….but then I hit The Two Towers and was stuck. There was so much …bull crap…to be honest, it was some of the driest reading I’ve had. And I study literary analysis texts. I feel like I should push myself through so that I can get to Return of the King, which I have heard awesome things about. At the same time, I have so much reading on my plate that I really don’t want to waste the time…I’ll just stick with the movies and Orlando Bloom’s hard, intense, penetrating—gaze…


  1. I am the same about erotica dont get me wrong i love smut lol romance, paranormal romance etc but I dont know.. I feel a book that just throws sex in where ever it can w/o much of a story or link to characters is lacking

  2. Dragon Tattoo was horribly translated - I didn't finish it either. The movie could be good, though.

  3. I pushed through LOTR, but I'm not sure why - I really didn't enjoy it.

    I did love Shiver and the Dragon Tattoo series - I hope when (if) you give it another try, you find you like it better!

    My TTT

  4. Great list. I'm so with you on the erotica thing, that's way outside my comfort zone. King is as well. I've only read one or two of his books, but they always freak me out.

  5. I love some of Stephen King, and others I just can't read.
    Here's my post

  6. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo was such a difficult book to read - and I ended up not enjoying it. But at least I tried! ;)

  7. Great list! And it is tough to read Shakespeare if you're trying to really understand what he's saying. In theatre classes, you just had to be able to say the lines, without fully grasping what you were saying, so it made it much more pleasant. Though I do like some of his works.

    I'm the same. I don't like reading things heavily influenced by religion. I haven't read the Dan Brown books because of that. Even though they were so popular.

    And Desperation, I think it was that way because it was a flip side look at The Regulators, which he wrote as "Richard Bachman" I believe. Those two books were definitely disturbing.

    Love your top ten.

  8. I wasn't really impressed with Shiver, either. The writing was fine, but the story was very slow for me.

  9. I feel the way you feel about "Desperation" about "Intensity" by Dean Koontz. I LOVE most of Koontz's books I've read (and I've read more then a few), but that one was SO graphically violent and disgusting, frankly, that it remains one of the least comfortable books I've ever read.

    Two Towers, oddly enough is my favorite of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Fellowship of the Ring was sort of slow and had too much singing, and Return of the King felt too rushed, and I felt like so many opportunities were wasted.

    Good list, it made me think about about books I've read.