Reading Outside Your Comfort Zone
June 09, 2010
Let’s face it: most of us know what we like to read and that’s pretty much all we read. That's too bad! We miss out on a lot of good books just because they don’t fit the mold of what we usually read.
I'm a science fiction reader. It's interesting that most people who like sci-fi like fantasies, often grouped them together as parts of a single genre. I read J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy in high school. The problem was after LOTR everything in the fantasy genre seemed like a pale imitation of Tolkien. So for the better part of twenty years, I wrote off fantasy fiction.
Recently I decided to break out of my comfort zone: I’d give fantasy another chance. If you’re exploring a new genre, sometimes it’s a good idea to check out the state of that genre.
You can go to the Books and Reading section of the MCPL Research Databases for your genre explorations. In this case, I chose Fiction Connection.
Because I knew that Brandon Sanderson, author of the Alcatraz series of YA books, had written some epic fantasies. I decided to take a look at those books. His Mistborn series was well-reviewed and seemed to fit what I was looking for: an epic fantasy series with a fresh take on magic.
I won’t go into the details of the books. Suffice it to say, if you’re a teen looking to read some modern epic fantasies at an adult reading level, this series would be a great place to start. I thoroughly enjoyed the books. I quickly read Sanderson’s first adult fantasy novel Elantris, an impressive novel which turned many of the genre clichés on their heads.
So now I’m off headlong into the world of fantasy with a new appreciation of where the genre stands today all because I decided to get out of my sci-fi rut. Now, if I can just get myself to read “Twilight”…
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