Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Wednesday Chatter: 5 Books Most Out Of My Comfort Zone I've Ever Read

Wednesday Chatter @ Ruby's Books

Wednesday Chatter is a weekly feature at Ruby's Books where we'll be talking about anything and everything related to books and reading. Click here if you want to see what we talked about in the previous weeks

WARNING: Some bad words might be used in the following post. Don't say I didn't warn you!

Hi everyone! I was rereading Evelina's discussion post about why we read certain books and it got me thinking about reading books that are out of my comfort zone, but most importantly why I read them. And since any thought can be turned into a discussion post, here we are.

Before I start, let me clarify something. Usually, as you've noticed throughout the years I've been blogging, I tend to stick to certain genres. I'm comfortable enough in my reading to know what I need to read at a certain point in my day-to-day life, and I tend to not deviate from those genres because I really don't want to be disappointed. That being said, I've had moments in my life where I felt like I "should" try something else, when I felt like because I was studying psychology I should try the most challenging stories ever, because most of my university colleagues were reading them. Fortunately some of these books were actually interesting enough that I managed to enjoy them, but some of them weren't such a good fit for me. I'm going to share a few of those books, along with who recommended them to me, and why I read them.

5 Books Most Out Of My Comfort Zone I've Ever Read
and why I read them

Why I read it: My grandmother and I don't always read the same books, but when we do, it's a glorious thing. We have our own two-person book club, and we discuss and debate the book we just read, and it's probably the only time I'll ever feel at ease in a book club. I remember when she came home one day from my baby cousin and she brought The Little Girl And The Cigarette with her, and she asked me if I wanted to read it. Since I knew she wouldn't give me a bad book to read, I decided to read it. The book was definitely out of my comfort zone. I read this book more than 10 years ago, so my memory of it isn't the best, but I do remember the discussion I had with her after reading it.

Would I read it now: Probably not, unless she was the one to propose I read it again. I honestly read it for her, as I read most of the books she recommends, because she in turn reads any book I recommend to her. I don't think she ever turned me down, so I didn't turn her down and I won't.


Why I read it: Back when I was studying for my bachelor's degree for General Psychology, I had one teacher who decided to talk to us about serial killers. He had an entire module in his personality disorders class dedicated to serial killers, mostly because we, his lovely students, begged him to talk to us about them. I can't speak for all psychology students, but most of my colleagues and I, we were obsessed with learning more and more about them. This, at some point, brought me to Psicokillers, a book written by a Spanish author and journalist, about some famous serial killers from all over the world. I don't remember if I picked up this book myself or if one of my best friends, Greenie, recommended it to me.

Would I read it now: Yes. I was actually thinking about rereading it, because I honestly loved this book. It delves into some really disturbed individuals, some I already knew of, and some I didn't know of. I do remember talking to Greenie after we both read it, and having some issues with how some details were written. But I do remember there were some funny bits as well, because the author had a bit of a dark humor, which I appreciated.


Why I read it: When I picked The Anatomist up I was in my first year of university. You probably will notice a trend, because the time I went really far out of my comfort zone with my reading was during my first 3 years of university. I picked this book up randomly while at my favorite book shop back home. I picked it up because it was short, and I saw the mention of Venice in the blurb, which is probably one of my favorite cities to visit. I learned so much from this book, mostly about things I took for granted. We forget that people didn't always know how our bodies work, so reading this book reminded me of that. It's also one of the hardest books I've ever read, in terms of language and writing style. I also convinced mom to read this book, and she liked it, so that's a plus.

Would I read it now: I honestly don't know. I want to say yes, but I'm just not sure. Maybe if I'm in the right mood.


Why I read it: I can't really say what prompted me to pick The Five People You Meet In Heaven. I know it was my second year in university, but I have no memory of how this book ended up in my grabby-grabby hands. I do remember that I passed this book off to everyone I knew, including Greenie, mom and grandma and it was a glorious time to be had. I do know that this is one of those books that has changed my life, and it will forever hold a very dear place to my heart. The reason this book was out of my comfort zone at the time is that I was fresh off my paranormal and urban fantasy reads, that was everything I knew at the time, with the occasional chick lit read.

Would I read it now: If I were to see this book for the first time in my life now I'd like to think that I would pick it up, but I'm not entirely sure. I want to believe that, much like last time, the mention of Heaven and anything dealing with the supernatural would be enough to make me want to read this book.


Why I read it: I read Castillos de cartón (Cardboard Castles) when I was fresh out of high school, in my first year of university. It was recommended to me by my dear high school friend Emily. I actually still remember how I found out about this book, I was sitting with her on the steps of our school when she had surveillance duty (a strange thing we had back in the day, I don't know if it's still used nowadays, where a number of kids from a class have surveillance duties on the floors of the school and sometimes you would have to go get the professors when parents would come at the school and stuff. It's strange but it gets you out of classes when you need it). Anyway. She was on this surveillance duty with another girl, and I was at the school because I needed to work on a uni project and I thought what better place to gather data than in my old high school, and we started talking about books. They started talking about this book, and later that evening I messaged Emily and she started giving me more details about this book, but she ended abruptly after telling me that one of the main character dies and she said "if you want to know more, you'll have to read it". The reason this book was out of my comfort zone wasn't because it was a menage book, it definitely wasn't, it wasn't even my first erotic book. Castillos de cartón is probably one of the most heartbreaking stories I read. You get to experience the story both in the past and in the present, and I still remember how anytime the story would shift from one timeline to another, I would feel the loss of that character. It's a great story, but a heartbreaking story nonetheless. 

Would I read it now: Absolutely yes. I would have to be told to read it, so I would again rely on my friend Emily to tell me about it, but I would read it with the same enthusiasm I did then. I would probably appreciate if I knew less about it than I did back then. Back then I knew about...50% of the story, but that's because I asked Em to tell me and she did. Now I probably would read it just because she said I should. Don't tell her I said that, though, because then she'll remember that I still haven't read American Psycho when she said I should (and I probably never will, but that's another story).


Looking at these books has brought back a lot of memories. I think the best part in making this post has been that I was reminded that once upon a time I was pretty brave in my reading. I don't know if I would appreciate these books now as I did back then, but I am happy that I read them. 

Let's talk. What are some of the books you read that were out of your comfort zone?
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