I posted my reading challenges for 2022 at the beginning of January, but already a couple weeks later I’m back, desperate to add just one more challenge in there. I came across the Out of Your Comfort Zone Reading Challenge by the amazing Caro @ bookcheshirecat, and the challenge looks so fun that I cannot not take part!
I’m a keen fantasy reader, but I would like to broaden my horizons to ward off reading slumps and keep me engaged. So the challenge is perfect for me! (also Caro made such CUTE graphics and badges and everything that it would be a crime not to take part) In this post I’ll outline which genres I want to expand on and what I hope to achieve during 2022 for the challenge!
You can find the announcement post right here: Out of Your Comfort Zone 2022 Reading Challenge Announcement by Caro @ bookcheshirecat Find all the graphics, banners, challenges, tips and tricks there, in addition to a sign up form!
Let’s get into it!
My goals and plans
Below I have listed some genres and age-ranges outside of my comfort zone and which I would like to read more of! Overall, I’ll be shooting for the Explorer badge and try to read 20 books outside of my comfort zone – but I definitely wouldn’t object to reaching the Adventurer badge (40 books). There are other badges too, but I think it will be fun to try and ‘accidentally’ get them simply by reading books outside of my comfort zone 😊
I’m really intrigued to dive into more middle grade, but I feel like it’s difficult to get started. There have been so many great middle grade releases and I would love to get on the hype train too!
Here’s some options that I have been interested in:
Starfish by Lisa Fipps
- Fat positive and fierce main character!
- written in verse, contemporary
The Girl who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
- This one has been on my TBR for ages!
- A middle grade fantasy with monsters and a tiny dragon
Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend
- Everyone seems to be raving about this one!
- A cursed girl is whisked away to a magical kingdom
As a chicken, I have never been good with horror movies or thrilling reads. However, over the past few years I have gotten increasingly intrigued by the genre, and I can’t help but want to dip my toe into it. I have been particularly interested in these books:
For Your Own Good by Samantha Downing
- A tale of a terrifying professor who wants students to reach their potential by any means necessary
- Just reading the synopsis gives me chills
When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole
- A thriller about gentrification? I’m confident that this one will pack both important social commentary and an addictive story
Key in the Lock by Ruth Ware
- Ruth Ware’s books have been all over my timeline and I have been intrigued to pick one up for so long! I have no idea if this one is a good one to start with but it does look good.
Reading more nonfiction has been on my list for years, and I have gotten pretty good at reading memoirs. In fact, I have already read 3 different memoirs in 2022 but I haven’t even thought about picking up any other nonfiction. Nonfiction that sits in the popular science and social justice categories feels a bit heavy to read, but there are so many I would love to read! Also, reading science-y nonfiction does wonders for my own academic scribbles, and honestly, all help is accepted right now because I’m about to start writing my PhD dissertation (insert me screaming).
Here are some titles that I have been very intrigued by:
When We Cease to Understand the World by Benjamin Labatut
- A peculiar nonfiction about the faint line between genius and madness
- This one was nominated for the International Booker Prize, and after watching the author’s interview last summer I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it
Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty
- A detailed nature observation written by a 13-year-old
- I have a feeling that this book could have the power to change my way of thinking too, and make me stop in nature to appreciate small things
- Also I’m just really curious, a 13-year-old wrote a critically acclaimed book?? That’s really cool!
Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli
- Let’s learn physics! I know next to nothing about physics as I always zoned out in physics classes and then jumped on an opportunity in my acting oriented high school to switch some physics into acting classes like the forward thinking teenager that I was 😅
- I would really like to know more and I have gotten increasingly fascinated by astrophysics in particular. This one seems accessible and fun!
Science fiction has always been a slightly scary genre to take up. I easily zone out when there is too much technical detail, and some scifi books are heavy handed in describing motors and ships and planets and electricity systems and all that stuff. Regardless, I have already found scifi that I absolutely love (looking at you Becky Chambers) and I would love to delve deeper into the genre. Here are some that I’m excited about:
The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal
- A catastrophe that destroys some of the Earth, and women pilots who are there to solve it
- I know little about the premise of this one but I’m here for it!
Light from Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki
- This one has been pitched as a wholesome scifi, almost like House in the Cerulean Sea in space
- My hopes are sky high for this one!
Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell
- Everyone on my timeline has been raving about this book and I can’t wait to pick it up!
- I bought it without reading the synopsis, but the cover gives me slight Dune vibes??
I love literary fiction, but the themes are usually so heavy that I rarely read them. This year I’m hoping to make more time for these, mainly because literary fiction tends to stick with me for ages after finishing a book! Here are some really intriguing ones on my TBR:
The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld
- Similarly to When We Cease to Understand the World, this one was also nominated for The International Booker Prize, and the author interview left me very intrigued
- This one sounds like a sad, melancholic view into strictly religious life and domestic violence
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
- I randomly came across Ocean Vuong’s poetry, and I haven’t been the same since. I really need to read their full novel!
- The book is a letter to a mother who cannot read — I can already feel my heart breaking
The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Dare
- This one has been on my radar for some time, partly because it has been getting amazing reviews left and right. The Goodreads average rating is currently 4.46 which is crazy!
- The story is about a girl in a rural Nigerian village who is driven to get an education
That’s my Out of Your Comfort Zone sign up post! I’m really excited about challenging myself to read more middle grade, thrillers, nonfiction, scifi and literary fiction in 2022!
Are you taking part in the reading challenge? Which genres or age ranges are out of your comfort zone? I would love to know!
Thank you so much for reading! I hope you will have the most relaxing day today!