The Reading Challenge Group discussion

A Quest for Answers > Question 4 - Literary 'Comfort Zone'

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message 1: by Faye, The Dickens Junkie (new)

Faye | 1415 comments Mod
What is your literary "comfort zone?" What genres or what subject matter bring you the most enjoyment and make you feel "at home" in your reading?

For me, it's anything written in the Victorian era - Dickens, the Brontes, Hugo, Dostoevsky... doesn't matter what country the author came from, there was just something about that era that produced genius writers and countless literary masterpieces, and I never feel more "at home" in my reading than when I'm fully engrossed in a lengthy Victorian tome.

message 2: by Susan (new)

Susan (suzybop) | 90 comments History, either fiction or non fiction. Conn Iggulden, CJ Sansom, Bernard Cornwell, are some of my favourite authors. Hilary Mantel's books on Cromwell are amazing and well deserved of the Booker prizes. I've read Bill Bryson's 'At Home' which is all about how houses evolved to the modern day homes we have now and it was fascinating. I've been eyeing up a history of paper but it will have to wait as I'm really enjoying Count of Monte Cristo in the genre challenge.

message 3: by A (new)

A H Anything romance, contemporary or YA. Especially love when any of these genres are combined. Like YA romance, and love historical romance. Read my first YA romance - Twilight Saga and fell in love with both genres. I love all kinds of love stories - whether happily-ever-afters or tear-jerkers. Love to read contemporary romance too and I think YA is such an exciting genre! All the new kinds of stuff authors create - fascinating to read:)

message 4: by Cindy (new)

Cindy (bkind2books) | 847 comments Science fiction and fantasy - it was my first love.

message 5: by Kassandra (new)

Kassandra | -1 comments My "home base" tends to be contemporary fiction and thrillers. I'm a sucker for legal dramas and have been getting deeper entrenched in humour as well. At the end of the day, if a book is written well and the content moves me, I'll read it - regardless of genre!

message 6: by Heather (new)

Heather | 97 comments Crime & thrillers are my go to comfort reads.
But I never rule anything out, if it's well written I'll read it!

message 7: by Renee, Mistress of the Mini-Challenge (new)

Renee M | 4727 comments Mod
I'm with you, Faye. The Nineteenth Century novel is my go to for cozy reading. Also, Patrick O'Brian who writes like a Victorian. :)

I expect I'll be seeing you and Bookworm on the street of 1800's London this winter.

message 8: by Rob (new)

Rob | 162 comments Crime/thiller are usually my go to genre. I also like nonfiction books that involve history/military.

message 9: by Holly, That Geeky One (new)

Holly (hollycoulson) | 1949 comments Mod
I always find dystopias very interesting reads, especially focusing on the Sociology side of my life. While I have read a few YA dystopian novels, I think the real beauty of the genre is through the classics. I'll always happily read a dystopian novel!

In a broader way, classics are definitely 'comfort' reads, which sounds odd. The knowledge that I'm reading something with centuries and decades of literary regard makes the reading experience far more enjoyable for me, if not a little daunting sometimes!

message 10: by Roseanne (new)

Roseanne | 1224 comments I like just about everything. I like to mix it up. If I read too much of the same genre in a row it gets boring. So I guess I don't have a comfort zone, I just like a well written story.

message 11: by Lucy (new)

Lucy Mason (lmason17) | 174 comments My comfort reads are historical fiction (especially if set in Victorian Britain!) and dystopias. Definitely my favourite genres! Must be because it convinces me that "now" isn't *so* bad - it could be the terrible past or the potentially terrible future...

message 12: by Amber (new)

Amber (amberterminatorofgoodreads) I like anything that has a good story in it but mix it up with YA fiction, horror, feel good stories, comfort mysteries, classics, and anything that is cool. Also enjoy graphic novels and stuff. I read a few autobiographies in nonfiction but that's it. A bunch of my reads for this year are part of series I am currently reading but the others are a mix up of different genres.

message 13: by L.K. (new)

L.K. Evans I'm most comfortable in sword/sorcery/epic/dark fantasy stories. I enjoy traveling to different lands and I LOVE magic. It's the genre I grew up reading. I did take a few years to spend time with horror (Dean Koontz, mainly), but fantasy is and will always be my home.

message 14: by John (new)

John Frankham (johnfrankham) For me it's:

Simenon (Maigret)
Ngaio Marsh/Allingham/Innes/Crispin
Elizabeth Bowen/Ivy Compton-Burnett
Patrick O'Brien

I will always be ready to re-read again and again.

message 15: by Holly, That Geeky One (new)

Holly (hollycoulson) | 1949 comments Mod
I really need to get into more Victorian fiction... Perhaps we could set up a thread about it, considering its a favourite by so many.

message 16: by Michael (new)

Michael (micky74007) Believe it or not--Christmas stories. They are my refuge.

message 17: by Faye, The Dickens Junkie (new)

Faye | 1415 comments Mod
Michael wrote: "Believe it or not--Christmas stories. They are my refuge."

I believe it! I feel the same way about Christmas movies. I've only read a handful of Christmas books, though. Which ones do you recommend?

message 18: by John (new)

John Frankham (johnfrankham) There's a brilliant Everyman's Pocket Classics volume from 2007 called Christmas Stories, with 20 Xmas short stories from Dickens and Tolstoy, through Sherlock Holmes and Evelyn Waugh, to Muriel Spark and John Updike.

Plenty of ghosts, plenty of poignancy, plenty of boisterous fun!

message 19: by Aitziber (new)

Aitziber I like experimental fiction the best. If the writer is doing something weird with the narration, that's when I enjoy myself the most. Hence the reason Nabokov is one of my favorites.

I also quite enjoy books which deal with race, sexuality, gender, etc. People sometimes say that every possible story has been told already, but I think we're finally, truly acknowledging how such factors affect the individual and society and writing about it. :)

message 20: by Renee, Mistress of the Mini-Challenge (new)

Renee M | 4727 comments Mod
Hiya, John! OBrian Fan Club!!! :D

message 21: by John (new)

John Frankham (johnfrankham) Renee - hi. How could O'Brian have died without finishing the 21st book and writing many more! So brilliant.

message 22: by Renee, Mistress of the Mini-Challenge (new)

Renee M | 4727 comments Mod
Haha! I know, John. I know.

message 23: by Irene (new)

Irene (zavrou) Crime thrillers is /was my genre but lately I seem to be stepping outside my comfort zone.

message 24: by Sandy (new)

Sandy Michael wrote: "Believe it or not--Christmas stories. They are my refuge."

Michael, if you like audiobooks at all, the Gutenberg audiobooks app has quite a number of Christmas short stories.

message 25: by Tracey (new)

Tracey | 916 comments I like fantasy novels mostly. Especially with a "slight" love story (no love triangles) and a bit of mystery to them. I also enjoy gothic novels.

message 26: by [deleted user] (new)

I tend to read with my mood. Soall I can sat is I'm a sucker for a happy ending whatever the genre if I need some comfort!

message 27: by Yvonne (new)

Yvonne | 23 comments I like horror, sci-fi, fantasy and humour...and just about anything with a strong story and interesting characters. I really enjoy any Stephen King novel, and have been reading his stuff for over twenty years now. I also really enjoy Diana Gabaldon's stuff but I find it difficult to categorise it.

I only read fiction. I find factual writing very hard to get into, but it's not likely you'll find me with a Mills and Boon in my hand. That's not a genre I'm particularly attracted to.

message 28: by Michael (new)

Michael (micky74007) Faye wrote: "Michael wrote: "Believe it or not--Christmas stories. They are my refuge."

I believe it! I feel the same way about Christmas movies. I've only read a handful of Christmas books, though. Which one..."

Anything by Debbie Macomber or Janet Daily. And of course A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

message 29: by Michael (new)

Michael (micky74007) Sandy wrote: "Michael wrote: "Believe it or not--Christmas stories. They are my refuge."

Michael, if you like audiobooks at all, the Gutenberg audiobooks app has quite a number of Christmas short stories."

I will check this out.

message 30: by Sandy (new)

Sandy Judging from what I've been reading recently, it seems like my favourite genre is historical fiction. In spite of my best efforts to read some other genres, more historical fiction novels keep jumping out at me! Or maybe it's just that I need some easy comfortable reading at present. I spent many years reading nothing but psychology so I guess I need a break.

message 31: by Karen (last edited Feb 08, 2014 06:53PM) (new)

Karen | 289 comments Science fiction and fantasy would be my go-to genre without a doubt. When I'm stressed and busy and want an easy read I tend to head to romance/chick lit (possibly in part because there are always free or cheap ones readily available, I'm ashamed to admit). However after a few "mindless" reads I generally find myself wanting something with good writing and plot that will absorb me.

I'm also partial to books with history and/or science elements, whether fiction or non-fiction.

I sometimes need a nudge out of my comfort zone since there is so much SF&F out there that I always have a long TBR list but in principle I am open to a wide range of genres.

message 32: by Luvs2read (new)

Luvs2read | 7 comments I can vary. I always like books with true history thrown in. I tend to move around so I don't get caught up in one genre_there is only such much murder, serial killers and romance I can

message 33: by Claire (new)

Claire Fun (clairefun) | 7 comments I'm a sci-fi / fantasy type too, but in particular I read post-apocalyptic books like...well, like the world was ending. ;) I suppose there's nothing like being prepared. I do read any genre happily, but these are what I turn to when I don't know what I fancy reading a book in between the other books!

message 34: by Tara (new)

Tara Brown (taralynn_80) | 62 comments For me it varies often. For the last few years I've been enjoying the fantasy genre and mixing in some historical fiction and classics.

message 35: by Amy (new)

Amy (amylw1) | 25 comments chick-lit, romance and paranormal are my main comfort reads

message 36: by Judy (new)

Judy | 30 comments Back in the day I used to read a lot of horror/thriller, but lately I've been very into post-apocalyptic and historical fiction. I read classics, not because I'm "supposed to" but because I want to understand why they are classics.

message 37: by Rachael (new)

Rachael Lucas | 15 comments Fantasy, True Stories. Those are my "comfort zone" genre

message 38: by Gavin (new)

Gavin (thewalkingdude) | 209 comments Horror and thrillers. Nothing better than a blood-chilling page-turner.

message 39: by ♞ Pat (new)

♞ Pat Gent My comfort zone is historical fiction. I like the concept of fictional characters in real settings.

message 40: by Richard (new)

Richard LeComte | 18 comments At one point I found myself reading fiction exclusively by women and men who had attended private colleges and universities in New England -- i.e. I was reading only about myself. So "literary" fiction set in the Northeast, California or England -- that is my comfort zone.

message 41: by Just_me (new)

Just_me | 11 comments My comfort zone has to be fantasy or YA books.

message 42: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay (sleepykitty) | 129 comments Contemporary lit. Historical fiction. I really love time travel, or the afterlife explored (friendly ghosts).

message 43: by Bridget (new)

Bridget | 39 comments Anything with well-developed, quirky characters. For example, Winesburg, Ohio and Olive Kitteridge.

message 44: by Laura Anne (new)

Laura Anne (the-book-sniffer) | 17 comments Classics. Romance makes me cringe a little bit unless it's funny too.

message 45: by Keya (new)

Keya Anything YA, romance but not too steamy,dystopia is a fave,and i love any realistic stories about ordinary people with a love interest . Curently I'm loving Sarah Dessen and Sofie Kinsella ♥

message 46: by Overbooked ✎ (new)

Overbooked  ✎ (kiwi_fruit) | 800 comments My comfort zone books are sci-fi and fantasy, but I have a soft spot for the classics, history novels, children's and BIG books.

message 47: by Irene (new)

Irene (raenne) In general I'd go with YA - especially dystopia. I also feel quite comfortable with erotica though. Those are my two "go to" genres.

message 48: by Sandy (last edited Aug 29, 2014 11:16AM) (new)

Sandy My comfort zone seems to be shifting, and I attribute that to this group. I used to read chick-lit exclusively (when I was preoccupied with child-rearing and running a household). Then, in my mid-life crisis (hah!), I devoured psychology and spirituality books, trying to find my way out of a very difficult period of life. Suddenly, I find myself drawn to so many other types of books that I am surprising myself. It is sometimes confusing and overwhelming (trying to decide what to read) but I am soooo enjoying the exploration and the companions on the journey.

message 49: by Renee, Mistress of the Mini-Challenge (new)

Renee M | 4727 comments Mod
That was quite lovely, Sandy. I couldn't agree more!

message 50: by Evangeline (new)

Evangeline My comfort zone is fiction or mystery. Fiction helps me get away from the troubles of the real world. Mystery keeps you on edge, pushes you to keep reading until you've finished the book, craving for more.

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