Reading outside of my comfort zone (eg not YA)

I bet you never thought you would see a post like this from Flowers in the Brain. I am an avid young adult fiction reader, with the occasional contemporary fiction. I was always embarrassed about adoring these genres, until I realised just to appreciate what I love! Recently though, I have thought about expanding out. Not because I don’t love YA , but to broaden my knowledge.

The first book I read was called ‘The Elephant Tree’ by R.D Ronald. I am a wimp when it comes to anything even slightly scary, so this was a big jump for me. It was a little anxiety provoking, as the book follows a drug dealer, and violence plays a part in that. I read the book in 1 day, but I can’t say I enjoyed it, but am glad I read it. Anyone who has read ‘The Elephant Tree’? Did you notice there was lots of grammatical and spellings mistakes. Or maybe it was just my copy.

I also read ’84 Charing Cross Road’, which I think is non-fiction. I have had this book a while, I bought it for my boyfriend who likes visibly old/vintage looking books. This book was adorable! It was about the correspondence of letters between a bookstore owner in London, and a writer in America. I really enjoyed this book. I could feel and smell the bookstore at 84 Charing Cross Road. I would describe this book as warm!

I am currently reading the very popular ‘Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. I remember beginning this book in my preteens (all those years ago haha) and found it difficult to read. It is probably a good sign I didn’t read this whilst young, and the story isn’t one for the innocent. I have only just started this book, so will comment no more. Although I may do a review depending .on my thoughts on completion.

Next on my ‘outside my comfort one’ book is ‘1984’, ‘To kill a mocking bird, and Go set a watchman’ and ‘Farenheit 451’. I’d love recommendations in the comment! Do stick to your favourite genre when choosing what to read next?


  1. I find that while I am personally someone who loves to be hidden quiet places, books have made me more bold as they allow me to jump into another world or someone else’s life and experience anything from the safety of my safe place. Books are a special gateway to the world. Keep reading!

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  2. A while ago I started reading books from Modern Library’s 100 best novels list, and a number of the ones you mentioned are on that list. I really enjoy going out of my comfort zone and reading something that I normally wouldn’t have. Lolita was a hard one to read but I don’t regret it, and 1984 is a favorite. Another I would recommend would be Brave New World by Aldous Huxley.

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  3. Non-fiction is also outside of my usual genre/comfort zone, but also books with magical realism! One of my favorite NF books is Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann. I read it last year and I never thought I’d ever finish a NF book in one night but I couldn’t put it down. It’s written like fiction and so compelling. I hope you enjoy all of these reads outside your comfort zone 🙂

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  4. I just read my first horror novel and that’s out of my usual genre and comfort zone, but I found I really enjoyed it! I find I usually read books from all genres and like bouncing around from serious to light and funny. I want to read more YA myself, I love it and find I don’t read it enough!!

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