This year I have stepped up my reading game by exploring genres that are out of my comfort zone. This has ultimately helped me diversify my reading and it’s helped me find some really amazing books along the way! Now I know reading genres that you don’t typically read may sound daunting, but it’s actually pretty easy. Reading out of our comfort zone can has a couple of great benefits such as encouraging us to learn new things, diversify our reading, and improving our emotional intelligence by learning to be more empathetic. Now you may be asking yourself, that sounds all great and dandy, but how do you actually do go about reading out of your comfort zone? Check out these helpful tips!
Read a book recommend by a friend or a loved one. Reaching out to trusted friends or loved ones on book recommendations are always a great way to start. Not only does the recommendation get you out of your comfort zone, but it gives a bit of comfort knowing that someone else liked this book and it ends up being a great discussion to have with the person who recommended the book.
For example, one of my friends recommended that I watch the Hulu limited series 11/22/63 and then read the book by Stephen King. I really liked this approach because horror isn’t really thing, but the recommendation of historical fiction and sci-fi intrigued me. Once I watched the series and read the book, we had a great discussion about what aspects we loved from both and if we liked the show or the book more.
Join a buddy read/read-along. Buddy reads on books that are out of your comfort zone are a perfect way to get a better perspective on what you’re reading. With buddy reads, there are some newbies who are reading the book for the first time and then there are others who are doing a re-read and have insights to share.
Buddy reads are super helpful to me especially for books that I wouldn’t typically pick up myself. The Jane Austen buddy reads that two of my friends hosted occasionally over the summer helped me develop my love for Jane Austen novels. Before that, I never thought I’d ever pick up a classic again because I was forced to read them for school and wasn’t sure how I felt about it. But I found buddy reads to be helpful because we were able to discuss how we felt about certain characters and interpretations of specific scenes.
Read a book from an author versus a genre. If you can’t bring yourself to read a specific genre because you don’t know where to start or are wary of it, I’d suggest to start with an author instead. For example, for horror, you could start with Stephen King or for romance, start with Colleen Hoover or Alisha Rai.
Fantasy is out of my comfort zone, but earlier this year, I wanted to try it out. I decided to start with Neil Gaiman because I’ve heard incredible things about his work so I was very excited to pick up his books. The first book I picked up was Coraline because I loved the movie so I thought that this would be a great segue to his work. Turned it was and it opened the door to other fantasy books for me. Now fantasy has become one of my favorite genres to read!
What’s one genre that’s typically out of your comfort zone?
Reading slumps…it happens to the best of us. Whether you are a professional reader or a novice, it happens to everyone at some point. Sometimes reading what would be passion then becomes a chore or something you dread. But never fear! Here are some helpful ways to get out of your slump.
What are other ways you try to get out of reading slumps? Share in the comments below.
I’ve been seeing this around Instagram and thought I’d attempt at the quarantine memoir challenge.
THE GREAT UNEXPECTED fell upon us and now we are living on this UNACCUSTOMED EARTH. I WONDER when we will be able to get back to living like NORMAL PEOPLE again. Now more than ever it’s great to see people sharing LOVE AND OTHER WORDS and reminding each other that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Though I’m staying at home, that hasn’t stopped me from having CONVERSATIONS WITH FRIENDS virtually to help through these unprecedented times. It also helps that stores are temporarily making PLASTIC bags free in California (they’re usually 10 cents or we have to bring our own bags). I’ve been trying to stay positive, but I must CONFESS that sometimes it feels like our lives have been FOREVER, INTERRUPTED and there is NO EXIT from this quarantine. EVERY BREATH feels like a year and it feels like February was MAYBE ANOTHER LIFE. I’ve wanted to wander out into THE SIMPLE WILD, but DON’T LOOK FOR ME because I’ll be at home. IF ONLY I COULD TELL YOU the number of times I’ve seen people not take this pandemic seriously infuriates me. Remember that this is temporary and that only NECESSARY PEOPLE like essential workers should be out and it helps if the rest of us are at home for the time being. On a lighter note, I’ve learned quite more than what I’d like to know about my neighbors especially THE FAMILY UPSTAIRS 😂. MAYBE SOMEDAY soon we will be able to enjoy THE SUN AND HER FLOWERS. We’ll look back at this and remember ALL THE UGLY AND WONDERFUL THINGS from this quarantine. -
Every bookish person I know has a never-ending TBR list. Sometimes looking at your TBR list can be quite daunting whether it’s a super long list on GoodReads or maybe you have huge piles of unread books at home staring at you and making you feel guilty. If your TBR list is causing you stress and turning you off from reading, then it’s time to clean it up a bit. Here are some tips to help cull down your TBR list and focus more on quality vs. quantity:
What tactics do you use to cull down your TBR list?
2019 has been a year of growth for me. I’ve learned so much about my reading preferences, stepped outside my comfort zone in exploring new genres, stepped up my blog and Instagram game, created my own book club, started going to author events, and have met some great bookish friends in the process.
Here were my 2019 goals:
GoodReads Reading Goal: Putting the goal at zero so I focus on books I truly want to read and not stress about getting to a specific number (updated as 1/8/19)
Join a book club I will enjoy and to meet new friends
Buy less books for myself – buy books for book swaps and utilize the library more
As for my GoodReads goal, I followed this and did not add a number I had to get to. Surprisingly, I surpassed the number of books I’ve read the past couple of years. However, I did notice that I put pressure on myself to try to read 12 books a month when I didn’t have to.
This past year I also learned the importance of DNF. I’m starting to get comfortable with the idea that if a book isn’t for me then it’s okay to not finish it. Life is too short to be wasted on a crummy book when there are so many great ones out there.
As for my second goal, I actually decided to create my own book club which I did back in August. So I’d say this one is accomplished as I met some great new friends and I enjoy my book club.
I pretty much failed my last goal as I ended up expanding my personal library. I also spent way more on books this year than I have in the past which is okay.
Going into 2020, I decided that I’m going to have one goal and it’s this:
Enjoy what I read.
I decided to have one simple goal for 2020 because I realized that reading is a hobby and it’s something I enjoy. I don’t want reading to become a task or something I dread. I look as reading as something to help me mentally unwind and destress and I’d like to keep it that way. There were a few times where I overwhelmed myself by committing to review books that I didn’t care for or didn’t have time to read. 2020 is going to be a year where I’ll take time to enjoy my reads. I want to make sure it’s quality over quantity and that I continue to get comfortable with the idea of DNF.
How was your 2019 reading year? What goals are you planning for 2020?
Disclaimer: I received a free finished copy of this book from St. Martin’s Press in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review, or rating.
GoodReads Synopsis: A twisty, compelling novel about one woman’s complicated relationship with her mother-in-law that ends in murder… From the moment Lucy met her husband’s mother, Diana, she was kept at arm’s length. Diana was exquisitely polite, and properly friendly, but Lucy knew that she was not what Diana envisioned. But who could fault Diana? She was a pillar of the community, an advocate for social justice who helped female refugees assimilate to their new country. Diana was happily married to Tom, and lived in wedded bliss for decades. Lucy wanted so much to please her new mother-in-law. That was five years ago. Now, Diana has been found dead, a suicide note near her body. Diana claims that she no longer wanted to live because of a battle with cancer. But the autopsy finds no cancer. The autopsy does find traces of poison and suffocation. Who could possibly want Diana dead? Why was her will changed at the eleventh hour to disinherit both of her adult children and their spouses? With Lucy’s secrets getting deeper and her relationship with her mother-in-law growing more complex as the pages turn, this new novel from Sally Hepworth is sure to add to her growing legion of fans.
Review: The Mother-In-Law is the first book I read from Sally Hepworth. I was surprised to discover that this was more of a contemporary mystery than a thriller. The writing style reminded me of Liane Moriarty books filled with mystery and family drama. The story alternates between Lucy (daughter-in-law) and Diane (mother-in-law). Overall, it was a decent read. I really liked Diane’s character, however, I found that there wasn’t much about the male characters in this story. The storyline was intriguing, but I found the mystery to be lackluster. If you’re a fan of Liane Moriarty novels, then this may be right up your alley.