Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookishin June of 2010 and was moved toThat Artsy Reader Girlin January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
Hello! Welcome to this week’s Top Ten Tuesday where we are chatting about books I enjoyed that are out of my comfort zone. I read a variety of genres but I tend to gravitate towards a lot of crime/thriller/mystery books and true crime. I also read a lot of literary fiction and some young adult but very little ‘women’s fiction‘ – mostly because I hate the term and not much straight out horror. So here are ten books that I wouldn’t usually go for but that I ended up really enjoying!
1. The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time.
But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window…
This one is a kind of rom-com I guess or possibly even a romance both of which would usually put me off. However I heard so many rave reviews of The Flatshare that I couldn’t resist giving it a go and I’m so glad I did because I loved it. It was just so utterly charming and I can’t see anyone not falling in love with these characters just a little!
2. The Mummy Bloggers by Holly Wainwright
Elle Campbell is a glossy, lycra-clad mum with washboard abs, a ten-year plan and a secret past.
Abi Black has quit sugar, moved to the country and is homeschooling her kids.
Leisel Adams slogs away at her office job each day before rushing home, steeped in guilt, to spend precious moments with her kids before bedtime.
All three share a label that they simultaneously relish and loathe: mummy blogger. And when they are nominated for an award with a hefty cash prize, the scene is set for a brutal and often hilarious battle for hearts, minds-and clicks. As the awards night gets closer, their lies get bigger, their stunts get crazier – and some mistakes from the past become harder and harder to hide.
I’m not a mummy and so I might have overlooked this really funny book if I hadn’t been asked to be part of the blog tour for it. I’m so pleased I was asked because I had so much fun reading this book and I’m definitely going to be reading the next one from this author which I think follows on from this one. You can read my review of The Mummy Bloggers here.
3. The Wives by Lauren Weisberger (When Life Gives You Lululemons in the US)
Everyone is guarding a secret in this picture-perfect town.
When Karolina Hartwell is arrested driving her son home, the headlines don’t tell the full story. It seems nothing will stand in the way of her husband Graham’s political ambition – not even his wife.
Miriam Kagan is convinced her husband Paul is hiding something. But if she digs too deeply, she’s afraid of what might tumble out of the closet.
Emily Charlton is new to Greenwich, but she soon discovers this is a small town built on big lies. And sometimes it takes an outsider to draw them out . . .
I requested this one on Netgalley because I recognised the author for having written The Devil Wears Prada which I loved the film version of. It’s probably termed as women’s fiction which I avoid in general but I thought I’d take a chance and whilst I had a couple of small issues with some aspects, I found The Wives a really easy and enjoyable read! You can read my review here.
4. Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Straight people should have to come out too. And the more awkward it is, the better.
Simon Spier is sixteen and trying to work out who he is – and what he’s looking for.
But when one of his emails to the very distracting Blue falls into the wrong hands, things get all kinds of complicated.
Because, for Simon, falling for Blue is a big deal …
It’s a holy freaking huge awesome deal.
I do enjoy reading young adult novels but not loads and loads of them and I avoided this one for a while because it had so much hype and seemed a bit cutesy which can annoy me. After reading it I can confirm it is a bit cutesy and maybe a little overhyped but still hugely readable and enjoyable and I’m definitely pleased to have read it!
5. The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt
Hermann Kermit Warm is going to die. Across 1000 miles of Oregon desert his assassins, the notorious Eli and Charlies Sisters, ride – fighting, shooting, and drinking their way to Sacramento. But their prey isn’t an easy mark, the road is long and bloody, and somewhere along the path Eli begins to question what he does for a living – and whom he does it for. The Sisters Brothers pays homage to the classic Western, transforming it into an unforgettable ribald tour de force. Filled with a remarkable cast of losers, cheaters, and ne’er-do-wells from all stripes of life-and told by a complex and compelling narrator, it is a violent, lustful odyssey through the underworld of the 1850s frontier that beautifully captures the humor, melancholy, and grit of the Old West and two brothers bound by blood, violence, and love.
A western wouldn’t typically appeal to me and I can’t remember exactly why I decided to read this one but thank goodness I did because it’s one of my favourite books! It is so unique and funny and brutal and I honestly cannot recommend it highly enough.
6. Secrets of the Homefront Girls by Kate Thompson
Britain may be at war, but on the home front keeping up morale and keeping up appearances go hand in hand. For the young women working on the lipstick production line at Yardley’s cosmetics factory, it’s business as usual.
Headstrong Renee Gunn is the queen of the lipstick belt – although her cheeky attitude means she’s often in trouble. When Esther, an Austrian refugee, arrives at Yardley’s, it’s Renee who takes her under her wing and teaches her to be a true cockney.
But outside of the factory, things are more complicated. Lily, Renee’s older sister, has suddenly returned home after six years away, and is hiding a dark secret. Meanwhile Esther is finding life in England more difficult than expected, and it’s not long before Renee finds herself in trouble, with nowhere to turn.
In the face of the Blitz, the Yardley girls are bound together by friendship and loyalty – but could the secrets they are hiding be the biggest danger of all?
This is another one that I probably wouldn’t have picked up if I hadn’t been asked to be on the blog tour. I thought it might be a bit cheesy or schmaltzy but it wasn’t at all. It was a really interesting and emotional story and I sped through it because I just had to know what would happen to these characters. You can read my review here.
7. Carrie by Stephen King
Carrie White is no ordinary girl.
Carrie White has the gift of telekinesis.
To be invited to Prom Night by Tommy Ross is a dream come true for Carrie – the first
step towards social acceptance by her high school colleagues.
But events will take a decidedly macabre turn on that horrifying and endless night as she
is forced to exercise her terrible gift on the town that mocks and loathes her . . .
It’s only recently that I’ve started to read Stephen King’s novels. I tend to avoid horror because I’m a bit of a scaredy-cat and I know his books are pretty frightening! But I decided to try Carrie as I kind of vaguely knew the story and I really enjoyed reading it despite being a bit freaked out at times!
8. What Happened by Hilary Rodham Clinton
For the first time, Hillary Rodham Clinton reveals what she was thinking and feeling during one of the most controversial and unpredictable presidential elections in history. Now free from the constraints of running, Hillary takes you inside the intense personal experience of becoming the first woman nominated for president by a major party in an election marked by rage, sexism, exhilarating highs and infuriating lows, stranger-than-fiction twists, Russian interference and an opponent who broke all the rules. This is her most personal memoir yet.
I usually don’t read many books by politicians because I find they can be a bit dry. However, here in the U.K., the presidential election got so much coverage that it was impossible to ignore. I was kind of ambivalent about Hilary Clinton before reading this book but I felt like I knew a lot more of who she really is after finishing What Happened. It is an incredibly interesting and relevant book.
9. The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night by Jen Campbell
Spirits in jam jars, mini-apocalypses, animal hearts and side shows.
A girl runs a coffin hotel on a remote island.
A boy is worried his sister has two souls.
A couple are rewriting the history of the world.
And mermaids are on display at the local aquarium.
The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night is a collection of twelve haunting stories; modern fairy tales brimming with magic, outsiders and lost souls.
To be honest I’ve never been that into short stories so they are out of my comfort zone. It was the cover and title of this gorgeous book that really hooked me and I’m pleased it did because it’s a fantastically weird and unique little collection of odd stories. You can read my review here.
10. Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick
Even before she made a name for herself on the silver screen, Anna Kendrick was unusually small, weird, defiant, and ‘10 per cent weird’. When she was thirteen, a classmate dropped by her house unexpectedly and discovered written evidence of Anna’s social ineptitude. From then on she decided to ‘keep the crazy inside my head where it belonged. Forever. But here’s the thing about crazy: It. Wants. Out.’ In Scrappy Little Nobody, she invites her readers inside her brain, sharing extraordinary and charmingly ordinary stories with candour and winningly wry observations.
I typically don’t go fo celebrity memoirs or at least I didn’t in the past but after reading Scrappy Little Nobody I may have to re-evaluate! This book of essays is just so pleasant and fun to read and I think sometimes it’s nice to read something a bit lighter than I usually do!
Well there you go – ten books that I enjoyed that are out of my comfort zone! I’d love to know your thoughts on my list and what your bookish comfort zone is so please let’s chat in the comments!