Outside My Comfort Zone

Today I am answering the Book Blogger Hop question presented by Coffee Addicted Writer, as well as the Let’s Talk question by Smash Attack Reads and A Book Obsession.

book blogger hop

“What was the last book you read from a genre you don’t normally read?”

What do I normally read? is the question I have to ask myself first. You see, ever since high school I have really dropped the ball on reading up until after college, really picking things up last year. Last year I read mostly young adult dystopia (and the year before was when I devoured The Hunger Games), and YA dystopia is also quickly filling up my TBR list this year. I did read a couple of non-fiction books last year as well, one which Amazon classifies as “Business” (very outside of my usual genre) and one about writing. I also read a couple of books I would consider classics.

All this considered, I think the last book I read from a genre I don’t normally read could very well be the last book I read, Ender’s Game (review coming soon, I promise!), which I think could be best classified as science fiction. And while I watch a good amount of science fiction, I don’t generally read it. I think Unbroken, which historical non-fiction, is another good example of a book outside my typical genre that I recently read.

ender-unbroken

The Let’s Talk question: “Do you judge books by their covers? Why or why not?”

In all honesty, I find it extremely difficult to NOT judge a book by its cover. Seriously, would you want to pick up any of these books based on their covers?

badbookcovers

Boring, bad artwork, bad photography, bad Photoshopping, bad font choices…

Now, I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure I’m not going to run across any of these books in Barnes and Noble or on Amazon’s best-seller lists. But here are some books I will find there…

bbc-bluebloodsThis isn’t awful, like the book covers above, but here we have a picture of a woman’s neck with marks, and then a city transposed on top of her. It seems… awkward. Without having read Blue Bloods, I can’t say I know the exact tone it needs, but a book cover that I feel does a great job of using photography and minimalism to create a haunting mood is the cover of Unremembered by Jessica Brody:

gbc-unremembered

Next is a simple cover with the terrible color scheme:

bbc-quiet

I would probably actually really like to read this book. The subject matter interests me and I have heard good things about it. But why does it look like a cover from the the 90s? It’s 2013!

gbc-simple

A better color scheme, better font, and a simple image can make a world of a difference.

And then there’s the dreaded “way too much going on here” cover:

bbc-the-crown-of-embersThere is definitely a way to have a more detailed cover without going overboard, as I think the cover of Paper Valentine showcases beautifully:

gbc-paper-valentine

 Needless to say, there are certain books your eyes gravitate towards, and certain books your eyes repel against, all based on the cover. I’ll admit, I probably would have never picked up The Hunger Games based on its cover, but it’s not a terrible cover. You have to go with what you have heard is good. But if something just looks cheaply thrown together, it’s hard to get excited about the story inside, as you fear it might be the same way.

What about you? Do you judge books by their cover? And what’s a book you read recently that was outside your usual reading genre?

8 thoughts on “Outside My Comfort Zone

  1. Interesting choices! I really don’t mind the cover for Quiet (and I loved the book — recommended for introverts OR extraverts). Oh, also, I’m looking forward to your review of Ender’s Game. I haven’t read it since high school, but I did really like it.🙂

    • I know Quiet doesn’t look awful, but I just feel like they could have made it look better. My preferred graphic design style tends to lean towards something more modern (though I don’t like something that look TOO modern), so that might have something to do with it as well.

  2. I’m definitely one to judge books by their covers, and agree with every example you provided! I want it to be eye-catching, but still reflect the book. If it looks like something I can throw together with minimal effort, I won’t be impressed. A book cover is SO important.

    I can’t think of what the last book outside my reading comfort zone was, but I have one coming up. I won Roman: Saint and Sinners through Goodreads and it’s not something I would ever pick up on my own. It’s the first self-published book I’ll be reading and has a lot of religion in it (or so it looks like) so yeah, I’m interested to see how it goes! 😛

    • I think it’s easy to be wary of self-published books, which makes me feel bad because I’ve considered self-publishing for the future, and some of them are very good! Or so I’ve heard,,, I admittedly have not read any yet either!

  3. I always judge a book by its cover…like you said, it’s hard not to. I’ll give a bad cover a chance, though, if the book sounds good enough.

    Last book outside my comfort zone was “The Orphan Master’s Son” by Adam Johnson. It’s a fictional story set in North Korea, and it is intense…very much not the kind of book I usually read, but I really liked it. I wouldn’t read it again, though – there were some very disturbing scenes in it, but I’d recommend it regardless.

    • The Orphan Master’s Son does sound intense! I love a good, powerful story but it can definitely be extremely hard to get through the disturbing parts. I feel like I experienced that with Unbroken, and it was non-fiction, so you know that people actually went through everything in there.

  4. You have some seriously great ‘bad’ cover choices listed there. I sometimes feel like taking the minimal approach to a cover is sometimes the best. Great take on this week’s topic!

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