Reading Outside My Comfort Zone This Year {2 Surprise Finds}

This year, I rarely strayed beyond my comfort zone of genre and Speculative fiction. I gorged myself on mystery, fantasy, dark fiction and horror. But there were times when I read a few Contemporaries and they were absolutely brilliant.

Boy 21, Matthew Quick

This was such a refreshing read. This book has a lot of themes, but it’s wrapped up in a wonderful story of friendship, moving through loss, guilt and love. It’s about 2 high school aged boys – and this is probably the first book I’ve read where it’s described similar to reality – not just about white girls and cliques. Basketball features prominently – but trust me, you don’t need to care about sports at all to enjoy this book.

Basketball has always been an escape for Finley. He lives in gray, broken Bellmont, a town ruled by the Irish Mob, drugs, violence, and racially charged rivalries. At home, he takes care of his disabled grandfather, and at school he’s called “White Rabbit”, the only white kid on the varsity basketball team.

Russ has just moved to the neighborhood. A former teen basketball phenom from a privileged home, his life has been turned upside down by tragedy. Cut off from everyone he knows, he now answers only to the name Boy21—his former jersey number—and has an unusual obsession with outer space.

Mr Loverman, Bernadine Evaristo

This is a book about a 74 year old “dapper gent” Barrington Jeddiah Walker, who is married but has a long standing secret love affair with his childhood friend and soulmate Morris. Evaristo does a wonderful taking us through this story, and makes us switch loyalties frequently. The story unfolds as Barry’s wife  knows something is up and he goes through internal struggles with coming out – yes or no – acknowledging Morris, and changing at his age.

It’s a really beautifully written book – and certainly you don’t find too many stories like this one.


Did you try reading outside your comfort zone this year?

(Photo Credit: Marie-Sophie)


// Comments //

  1. I should try to read more out of my comfort zone. But I just don’t feel that overwhelming urge!

  2. Nish

    Dec 15

    Strictly within my comfort zone. Although recently I read One by Sarah Crossan, which is a book written in verse. Surprisingly readable and enjoyable!

  3. I normally do not read outside my comfort zone.

    Refreshing sounds like a reason to try something different. 🙂

    Thanks for sharing,

    I don’t read outside my comfort zone of historical fiction, mystery, and women’s fiction.

    I do like police mysteries and cozies too.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Silver’s Reviews
    My A Month of Faves

  4. Oh I really need to read the Evaristo. I was initially scared off by the title 😀 Loved today’s#AMonthofFaves topic! I read fantasy and YA this year, usually way outside my comfort zone.

    • Tanya Patrice

      Jan 04

      @Bina Mr. Loverman is awesome I hope you get to it.

  5. Katie in MA

    Dec 14

    Oh, I loved Boy 21, but wasn’t as impressed with the rest of his books. I thought it was a great read for adults (good crossover), and for tween boys – a group I always to struggle to find new recommendations for! And Mr. Loverman is definitely going on my TBR. Sounds really good!

  6. I was contemplating writing a post up for this one, as I’m home sick today and have some extra time…then I looked at my list and couldn’t find a thing I would define this way. I suppose my taste is pretty broad, but still, I don’t often read, say, westerns, mysteries, or romances, so those could have counted. Except I have read nothing of the sort. And I dub 2015 Year of Very Focused Reading.

    • Oh feel better soon! Also, now I will spend next year getting you to read mysteries ;P

    • Tanya Patrice

      Jan 04

      @nikki you do read a lot of genres which is pretty awesome!

  7. Beth F

    Dec 14

    I haven’t read either of these. I do try to stretch myself, but so often I turn to favorite genres and authors.

    • Tanya Patrice

      Jan 04

      @Beth it is sometimes so hard to turn away from the food old face authors 🙂

  8. I don’t often read outside my comfort zone…but I DID read I Am Malala this year!! And that is like waaaay different from the epic fantasy YA that I usually devour. xD So I was pretty proud of myself and I felt like I learnt a lot about Middle Eastern culture and politics. *nods*
    I loved Boy21 too!!
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

    • Tanya Patrice

      Jan 04

      @Cait yay Boy21 was epic so glad to see another fan 🙂

// Trackbacks & Pingbacks //

  1. […] did the author turn things upside down for me. In fact, I already shared that this is one of my surprise favorite reads this year. Boy21 is a book about friendship, love, depression, navigating life, hope and loss. The narrator […]

  2. […] check out other answers and say thanks to the ladies hosting this month of joy: Andi, Tamara, and Tanya. Thanks, […]