#TopTenTuesday: Books I Enjoyed Outside My Comfort Zone

It’s that time of the week again, friends! We’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: books I enjoyed outside my comfort zone. If you’ve been following me for a little while, then I’m sure you’ll have come across my mentions of the genres that I don’t read often or are out of my comfort zone: non-fiction, horror and magical realism (I know that last one isn’t a genre, but never mind that lol). As I don’t read these genres often I don’t have that many books on my lists to list. I’m always trying to read more NF though, and I’m not entirely opposed to more magical realism if it’s the right book for me!

The Ocean At the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
I think Gaiman treads a very fine line between fantasy and magical realism and sometimes I honestly don’t know which to classify his books by. Most of the time I just say it’s fantasy though because the stories are too fantastical to be otherwise. I think The Ocean falls onto the magical realism side of the spectrum. Set in the English countryside, this is one of the eeriest children’s stories I’ve read!

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell
I’ve tried reading Cloud Atlas a dozen times but have struggled hard to keep going. I didn’t think Mitchell’s writing was for me, so I don’t know why I picked up The Bone Clocks. I think I was looking for something outside the box and this fit the bill. It was incredibly weird, but Mitchell’s writing quickly sucked me in and I found myself growing very fond of the characters! This has a heavier dose of magical realism than I normally enjoy, so I’m surprised that I absolutely loved it!

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
I’m pretty sure that I’ve mentioned this book a million times by now but it’s honestly one of my favorite non-fictions (disregarding the fact I hardly read NF so the list is short). It read like fiction and sucked me in completely. Never did I think I’d read a NF so fast (one night) but I couldn’t put it down!

Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come by Jessica Pan
I read this e-ARC earlier this year and it was a joy to read! It was a bit like chatting to a friend and listening to them regale their mishaps and triumphs over the last year that you haven’t seen them. Pan is absolutely hilarious, and I found myself clutching my stomach with laughter at the situations she found herself in and most especially, the thoughts that ran through her head (because same). As a (sh)introvert I related to this so much and would 100% recommend it! Check out my review.

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan
I really don’t know how I didn’t realize this book had magical realism in it but I’m glad I didn’t because otherwise I would’ve put off reading it and I would’ve missed a beautiful & heartbreaking story. I loved the Asian representation, and the exploration of grief, acceptance and healing. It was touching!

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body by Roxane Gay
This book… Was just. This book! It’s an uncomfortable and difficult read as Gay is brutally honest and doesn’t hold back in the telling of her story. But so many of her words felt like a punch in the gut with how much they hit home. Really one of the best I’ve read this year! Check out my review.

Naturally Tan by Tan France
I love Queer Eye. Like, I would do things for that show! It’s hilarious, it’s heartwarming, it’s like free therapy and I’m HERE FOR IT. With that out of the way, I’m so glad that I read Tan France’s memoir. It was funny AF and pretty inspirational. If you’re curious about Tan and want to know more about how this Brit came to be in America in QE or if you’re just looking for a light NF read, go to the bookstore and get this one now!

Born A Crime: Stories from A South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
This was my first audiobook and it blew me away. Everything about listening to Trevor Noah tell his story was perfection. I love his comedy so deciding to listen to his book wasn’t a hard decision. His stories were terrifying, hilarious, and astounding, and it was very inspiring to see how far he’s come!

Sourdough by Robin Sloan
This book brought me a surprising amount of joy! I loved Mr. Penumbra’s, my first Sloan book, but I didn’t have (m)any expectations about this one. I didn’t think I’d fall in love with the incredibly quirky characters and events, or with the weird but oddly charming elements of magical realism!

The Ruins by Scott Smith
This book was bloody terrifying. Like, I didn’t look at nature the same way again for quite a while. Despite knowing I’ll be shit scared, I’m a sucker for stories set in Mexican jungle cause you just know bad shit is gonna happen. This was gruesome and horrifying and while it’s maybe not a favorite, I can’t believe I still managed to enjoy it (while being simultaneously super duper creeped out)!

What are books you enjoyed outside your comfort zone?
If you’ve done a TTT for today, please leave your links in the comments so I can mosey over to your blog and check it out! 🙂

#TopTenTuesday: Books I Want In My Physical Library

It’s that time of the week again, friends! We’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: books I want in my personal library (perhaps you checked it out, borrowed it from a friend, received it for review, etc. and want to own it yourself). This week’s prompt was submitted by Annemieke @ A Dance with Books! If you haven’t checked out her blog yet I’d suggest you do it! She has awesome posts about all things fantasy 😊

For this week’s prompt, I decided to focus on books I want to add to my physical library specifically. Since purchasing a Kindle several years ago, I’ve started and finished many a book and series on it, but there are some that I want to add to my physical shelf because I enjoyed them so much! It was actually a little difficult to narrow this list down to ten books, especially when I’ve read at least a few hundred on my Kindle. I do have the physical paperback copies for two of these, but I want to splurge on special editions/hardcovers so they’ll last longer! Without further ado…. Here’s ten (e)books I love that I want to add to my physical library!

The Name of the Wind: 10th Anniversary Deluxe Edition by Patrick Rothfuss
This edition has loads of extra goodies that I want to get my hands on as soon as my budget will let me! It’s pretty expensive, but considering all the extras that we get inside plus the sprayed edges, I think it’s worth it. I’ve seen some of the illustrations and they’re BEAUTIFUL!

The Oremere Chronicles by Helen Scheuerer
I admit that I haven’t read the full series yet, but I read Heart of Mist (Book 1) and I loved it. I have the other two books in the trilogy already lined up, plus I’ve got 10 of the prequel stories that the author shared with her mailing list with the release of Book 3: War of Mist. The covers are beautiful and I think they’d look good on my shelf 🤪

A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3): Collector’s Edition by V.E. Schwab
I have the first two collector’s editions and the third one will be coming out in October 2019, so I’m excited to scoop that up. You (might) know by now that the Shades of Magic series is one of my all time favorites, and this collection is the first collector’s editions that I’ve added to my library. Yay!

Saga Series Book One & Book Two by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
This series was my first foray into graphic novels (as an adult) and I haven’t been able to stop raving about it since I picked it up. Saga isn’t finished yet and it ended in THE WORST CLIFFHANGER OF CLIFFHANGERS EVER and I’m just dying to know what happens next. But Vaughan and Staples are taking a break right now (since last year, actually) and I’m trying to ever so patiently wait for the next issue/volume to come out. For now, I want these two babies in my personal library. They’re $$$!

An Ember in the Ashes Series by Sabaa Tahir
I started this series on my Kindle because at the time I don’t think An Ember in the Ashes was available in the bookstores here. I’ve continued to get the new books on my Kindle because living in Indonesia means I don’t get newly released books for ages, even if I pre-order them! 😭 It sucks but I’m so grateful to have a Kindle so that I don’t have to wait impatiently, not knowing if and/or when the book will ever arrive! 😅

The Sixth World Series by Rebecca Roanhorse
This series isn’t finished yet (two more books to go!) and I also haven’t picked up the second book? But I loved the first book and I think it’s one of the more underrated series, which is unfortunate because people are missing out on awesome story based on Native American mythology, a badass female lead, and insane world building with gods and demons alike. It’s so so good.

The Getting Lucky Series by Meghan Quinn
Throwing in a contemporary romance series because I don’t actually have many (I can only think of one) on my physical shelves! The second book in the Getting Lucky series was just released today (WOOHOO! I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR IT!) and there should be two more after this. But I know I’m going to love this series because it’s full of tropes that I love in a romance and I’m already a total sucker for the Knightly family, the brothers especially! Duh. 😬

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
I read Eleanor Oliphant last year before I joined the book community and before the crazy hype for the book really took off. I absolutely loved it! This story broke my heart and filled it back up again. I definitely want to add this to my physical shelf because I think it’s a story I’ll want to revisit often!

Sourdough and Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
I think Robin Sloan is another author whose books are unfortunately underrated. They’re both such feel good, slightly bizarre, highly improbable stories with a quirky cast of characters that worm their way into your heart. I feel like I can read Sloan’s books repeatedly whenever I need a pick me up!

Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner
Mrs. Everything was released earlier this year in May and I thoroughly enjoyed this multi-generational family saga following the lives of the Jo and Bethie Kaufman. The sisters experience so much in their lives and so the book covers a wide range of issues that shaped the sisters as much as it shaped America from the 50s until the present(ish) day. It’s an emotional historical fiction but I think it’s one I’d like to keep on my shelf because it’s full of hope!

What are books that you want to add to your physical library?
If you’ve done a TTT for today, don’t forget to leave your links in the comments below and let’s chat 🙂

#TopTenTuesday: Books That Are Off Limits

I took a short holiday over the last week and I still kind of feel like I’m stepping out of a fog and back into a world where everything is slightly blurred around the edges. I didn’t realize how much I wanted (or needed!) a break until my recent staycation at a very quiet location surrounded by rice fields. The place itself was so aesthetically pleasing, and being able to laze in bed in the mornings, and by the pool in the afternoons, was the ultimate in relaxation and rejuvenation. That did mean spending less time on social media and falling off completely with blogging, but sometimes we all just need to disconnect, right? Now I’m back and even before the holiday ended I was already feeling pre-post-holiday-blues, and I’ve been hitting struggle town real hard today while at work. But I’m doing my best to get back on track with everything I’ve missed; hopefully it won’t take me ages to get back into my routine! So without further ado…

We’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is Books That Are Off Limits. I don’t have a lot of people in my life who love to read (and the ones that do aren’t anywhere near me so it doesn’t really matter)! Most of the books on my shelf right now are newer books that I’ve collected since coming back to Indonesia six years ago because moving every few years meant my parents gave away the majority of my things, books included. Maybe the books on my list aren’t some of the oldest or most well loved, but they are definitely some of the most beautiful books I own!

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. I made the mistake of lending out my well-loved copy of A Little Life to a friend last year and although I trusted her to take good care of my book, it did come back in a condition that I wasn’t pleased with. I won’t be lending this book out to anyone again, even though I’m planning to get the hardcover to add to my collection.

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab (Collector’s Edition). There’s no way this one is going anywhere but my shelves. This collector’s edition is beautiful and even I’m reluctant to touch and read it because it’s so lovely!

A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2) by V.E. Schwab (Collector’s Edition). Basically the same as above. These are the first collector’s editions that I’ve purchased and they’ll be staying right where they are 🙂

Vengeful by V.E. Schwab. This hardback is the UK version and I’m in love with the white cover. When I bought it they only had two copies and there were already some imperfections that I noticed on the sleeves, so I chose the less obviously damaged of the two. It was that or not buy it and I knew I couldn’t leave the store without it!

Finale (Caraval #3) by Stephanie Garber (OwlCrate Special Edition). Caraval is one of my favorite series and when OwlCrate announced they’d be doing this special edition box, I set my alarm at 3:30am on a Monday morning to place my order. I’m so excited for this one to finally get in, and when it does, it isn’t going anywhere!

Owlcrate Signed Editions. I’ve been subscribed to OwlCrate for six months now and all the signed special cover editions are absolutely gorgeous. The books from this years’ boxes have been especially incredible and I wouldn’t want anyone borrowing them.

Persuasion by Jane Austen (Canterbury Classics Flexibound). I have a beautiful edition of this Austen and it’s my all time favorite alongside Pride & Prejudice. Even though I think Austen should be read by all, they won’t be reading this copy of mine!

Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James. Simply for the fact that this hardcover is simply too gorgeous to share. Sorry, not sorry! The jacket itself is beautiful, but the naked cover is one of my favorites that I’ve seen and I’m not risking anyone borrowing it!

The Little Mermaid and Other Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen (Barnes & Noble Edition). I recently got this one from my best friend for my birthday on Sunday and it’s an absolutely gorgeous edition with silver sprayed edges and a dazzling cover. I haven’t even opened it to read myself but with how beautiful this one is, no one else is allowed to touch it unless they do it in front of me at home!

All the Books by Christina Lauren. They’re not special editions or signed books but this is more to do with the steamy romance in the books. My friends and family all have this idea in their head that I don’t dabble in romance, when in fact, I “dabble” a lot. The steaminess in some of these books would definitely (probably) shock them! 😅

Do you have any books that you won’t allow others to borrow? If you’ve done a Top Ten Tuesday post for today’s prompt, leave your link in the comments below 🙂