This week’s topic for Top Ten Tuesday is the books we enjoyed recently outside of our typical genres or comfort zones. If you’ve been hanging around me or the blog for even just a week, you’ve probably figured out that my “typical category” is Christian fiction. When you’re as attached to a category as I am to mine, you get comfy and have a general idea of what to expect from books within that category. This is true for fans of dystopian fiction, bodice rippers, cozy mysteries, etc.
As someone who just plain loves stories and loves the adventure of reading, I do more than occasionally branch out into other categories 😉 But it’s always with a little trepidation at first, mainly because I’m not sure what I’ll encounter along the way. Will the writing voice be as warm and engaging as I’m used to? Will I have to wade through a little profanity or a lot? And so on and so forth.
So when I learned of this week’s topic, I couldn’t help but think of my category-adventures as a bit like going on blind dates. Which brought to mind the popular experience that’s been sweeping through coffee shops and bookstores lately. Which led to… this post 🙂
Click on each “wrapped cover” to be taken to the book’s Amazon page.
(Or if you just don’t want to click, you can hover over the Goodreads button and it should show you the title in the link.)
What I loved about this book: I was captivated the moment I started reading it. It is, at its heart and soul, a love letter to books but so much more than that, too. It is a poignant portrait of small town Midwest America, a delightful tribute to friendship that crosses all barriers, and a (mostly) gentle nudge to anyone who has been hiding their true selves behind a shell of insecurity. Read More.
What I loved about this book: A marvelously captivating story that spans decades through the seamless use of a dual timeline, I was swept away by the scenery, the family dynamics, and the unsolved disappearance that has haunted a family for years.Besides composing a beautiful narrative, the author shows her clever story-crafting skills as well – in the minute details that may go unnoticed individually but as a whole create the perfect atmosphere for the plot. Read More.
What I loved about this book: Oh my word – I love this author’s writing style! Droll humor, witty asides, hilarious larger-than-life characters. It’s like the swashbuckling humor from “The Princess Bride” meets the family from “While You Were Sleeping” (without the guy in the coma … or the love triangle… and set in the early 1800s.) But, you know, besides that. 😉 A note of caution to my Christian fiction readers: there were a couple of scenes in this book that got a little … umm… hotter than I’m used to.
What I loved about this book: This is one of those stories that made me laugh and cry and smile and melt over the course of time we spent together. It’s adorable. It’s heartwarming. It’s nostalgic. It’s romantic. The dialogue is real and smart and witty, and you just want to sit down with these characters for dinner and chat a while. Definitely a book I could read several times and still enjoy just as much as the first time.
What I loved about this book: First – this wins the award for “best last 3 sentences to end a book” 🙂 Left me smiling as I figuratively closed the cover (because of course I was reading the ebook). Second – at the risk of minimizing the author’s own great talent & voice, I couldn’t help but subtitle this “If Sheldon Cooper Fell In Love” as soon as I began to read.
What I loved about this book: I experienced nearly every range of emotions possible while reading this book. The hero is that playful, smoldering rogue-type who wields winks like weapons (say that last phrase ten times fast!) and leaves a trail of swooning females in his wake when he grins (me totally included). The banter between the hero and heroine– right from the beginning – is just top notch and so entertaining! I grinned through nearly every scene they shared. And then… I just cried for a while. And held my breath. While tears just kept streaming down my cheeks. Whew. This one tugged at all my emotions, y’all. In the best possible way.
What I loved about this book: A wonderfully cozy Christmas read tinted with shades of Scrooge and bits of delightful British humor, this book draws on everything that makes New York magical during the holidays. The hero starts out rather unlikable but has the greatest transformation, though it’s the heroine who is figuratively visited by the ghosts of her past, present, and future. The little girl steals the show with her adorableness and her authenticity. Read More.
What I loved about this book: It’s extremely entertaining and written for everyone who, like me, has a tendency to collect fictional crushes. The characters leap off the page and evoke a wide range of feelings – from distaste to hilarity to swoons. Speaking of hilarity, I envisioned actress Jennifer Coolidge every time one of my favorite secondary characters was in a scene, and I was absolutely delighted to see that she plays this character in the film adaptation. Which made the film worth watching. Because the book’s ending is way cuter.
What I loved about this book: This is “cozy mystery” at its best! Engaging writing, likable characters, and a couple of surprising twists make this a terrific choice for an evening or weekend read. The writing is light and witty without sacrificing on quality, and I loved the main character’s dry sense of humor. Read More.
What I loved about this book: The characters in this book – particularly the adorable little boy – will tug. at. your. heart. The hero had me swooning, and the heroine had me checking my contact list for her name because I’m certain we’ve been friends for years. This is a sweet, clean romance that will still have you reaching for your fan on occasion! Read More.
Sooo.. what books have you read lately that were out of your typical genre? Let me know & be sure to include a link to your Top Ten Tuesday post if you’re participating this week! 🙂