5 Favourite Books Outside My Comfort Zone

It’s a bit late to do a T5W, especially to post it to youtube. So, you lucky few people will have the luck to read it here. Except it’s Saturday… and I’m writing it, not speaking it. Yup.

The topic for last Wednesday was “Top 5 Books outside your comfort zone” or, “outside your regular genre”. It’s obvious that my favourite “genre” is manga. Although whether manga should be considered a genre is another thing in itself.

Here are 5 favourite books from 5 alternate genres than comicbooks or graphic novels.


  1.  Klee Wyck by Emily Carr


You might not know this about me, but I studied art history in University. There’s something about Emily Carr that struck a chord with me. She’s definitely my favourite Canadian artist… and I might even say my favourite Canadian writer. Plus, the cartoons that she drew are a scream. This particular book of hers remind me so much of how I imagine my grandmother lived. Maybe Emily Carr just feels like family. But, at any rate, I love this book and recommend you give it a try.


2.  The Wheel on the School, by Meindert deJong


I can’t tell you how much I love this children’s book. It features a small Dutch fishing village and a group of students who want to get storks to come and nest there once more. So, they scour the village looking for something the stork’s could use to nest on.

This is beyond charming. Plus, it has the added bonus of the nostalgia due to being one of my mother’s favourite bedtime reads.


3.  Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte


I do love a good gothic novel, and this is still the best I’ve read. The charm is in the injurious lead-up to the action. More than half of the book is taken up by developing Jane’s character through childhood. It’s the brilliance of this introduction that leads to such a rich story and romance. You know exactly how she’ll respond to everything before you’re told… and you know why she reacts the way she does. It’s personally some of the best writing I’ve ever read.


4.  Trickster’s Choice (and Trickster’s Queen) by Tamora Pierce


I didn’t actually get into YA novels until I was well into my 20s. But, of the titles I read, this is my favourite. It’s actually a duology (which apparently isn’t a real word) – which just means there are two books in the series.

This follows the daughter of the Lioness, Tamora Pierce’s famous gender-bending fan favourite heroine. Alianne takes on all of the traits of her parents, and thanks to her childhood and education is brilliant at the craft of spying. But, she is kidnapped by pirates and by design of the “Trickster god” is sold as a slave to a family who just happen to have ties to the royal line of the Copper Isles.

This is a brilliantly crafted and constructed novel. Every action explained, every secret revealed through a twist and turn of events. It keeps you guessing, but is still an intelligent and thoughtful read containing a considerable conversation about race relations and the impacts of slavery.


5. Popular Hits of the Showa Era by Ryu Murakami


A dark comedy about rivalling gangs. One consisting of obaasan, and the other of  hikkikomori. Basically middle aged aunties versus 20 year old male shut-ins. It’s weird and dark…but I can’t help but love it. Especially the one-upmanship that happens throughout.


Top 5 Wednesday is a GoodReads group. Click here to join or find out more.


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