Thursday, June 23, 2016

Time Out Thursday: Reading Outside Your Go-To Genre

Today on The Pink Heart Society, author Taryn Leigh Taylor discusses reading outside the lines.

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."  

Now I grant you, Ferris Bueller was not speaking implicitly about being a devoted romance reader, but in some ways, he kinda nailed it.

It's easy to get stuck in your genre of choice if you're not willing to see what else is out there. So from my bookwormy heart to yours, here are three books that I happened upon outside of the romance section...and I'm glad I did.

YA - I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak

This one I happened upon browsing a forgotten area of the bookstore - young adult. The cover was beautiful--and the reason I picked it up--but it was the back cover copy that stole my heart. By the time I'd flipped it open and read the first page, I knew this book was coming home with me. The premise of a young man with no discernibly redeeming qualities following cryptic messages left for him on playing cards by an unknown puppet-master who is leading him to redemption...or is it ruin?...well, let's just say, this book was a page turner.

Literary Fiction - Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

Full disclosure: this one I had to read for a University English class. I was convinced I would not enjoy it at all. Nothing about it would have called to me from a library shelf or bookstore, and yet... this book was haunting and raw and difficult and unsettling. Much to my surprise, it consumed me, and far more than some of the classics I was actually looking forward to reading. Sometimes you really can't judge a book by its cover.

Memoir - The Long Walk by Slawomir Rawicz

This book came to me from the Russian History section ( mind still can't believe I ventured there) on the recommendation of an elderly coworker I knew only in passing. And he changed my world. This engrossing tale of a former Polish POW who escaped from a Soviet Gulag in 1939 and walked to British India. It was unputdownable (my reading brethren knows that's a word!) and I was shocked at how many times I had to remind myself that I hadn't plucked it from the fiction wall at my local bookstore. Astounding.

So there you have it. And don't get me wrong, romance novels will always be my go to. But on a semi-regular basis, I try to ask myself, "What would Ferris read?" Because if you don't stop and look around Amazon now and then, you could miss out a really great book.

You know I'm going to challenge you to read something out of your comfort zone now, right? And help a reader out! What was the last book that blew your mind even though it wasn't a romance novel? I'd love it if you'd leave the recommendation in the comments.

Taryn Leigh Taylor's first novel, KISS AND MAKEUP, was shortlisted for the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize.

If you'd like to learn more about Taryn or her novels, check out her website. If you'd like to connect, she can be found on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

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