Reading Out Of Your Comfort Zone – Five Fantastic Fiction Books I Enjoyed In 2015

Posted: February 9, 2016

I had fun trying out books from different genres than what I normally read. What would you pick up if you wanted to experiment with reading out of your comfort zone?

My reading is (or rather was) genre specific. I love reading contemporary women/romance and earlier couldn’t go beyond that. But, recently I have experimented with different genres, and was pleasantly surprised. How different and interesting it could be, I realized, reading different genres.

However, I have also realized that I find women authors more fascinating than male ones. That is something I am not willing to experiment with yet.

So here are 5 fiction books that I have really enjoyed in 2015.

The Palace of Illusion by Chitra Divakaruni Banerjee

Like every Indian child I’d religiously watched Ramayana and Mahabharata on television. Yet I was not much into reading mythology. But, The Palace of Illusions worked wonderfully for me! Didn’t know reading mythology can be so intriguing and engrossing.

This book is beautifully crafted, and the best thing about this book is it’s ‘what next?’ factor, even though we all know what has actually happened. The lingering effect of this book filled me with a sense of loss and fulfillment at the same time. A mesmerizing read!

Reviewed here.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

It is an excruciating story that encounters harsh realities and supreme unfairness of life, that has strong elements of a love story. And I loved this love story! It has a woman as a central character but Will Traynor, the male protagonist, will stay in my heart…perhaps forever.

It’s a poignant tale that evokes a sense of loss.

Even though the book started a little slow, and didn’t turn out the way I’d expected, it touched me in a very personal way. I loved this book for this particular reason.

Reviewed here.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

I am not a fan of suspense thrillers. The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins is a suspense thriller, so I was a bit sceptical while picking it up, but I loved it! Because it’s different. Not just a typical thriller – tense, dark, packed with unending action.

To me it felt like a cozy drama about family, marriage and love. The story flows interestingly. With a tormenting memory-loss and psychological tricks, it unravels chapter by chapter, that keeps you going, playing the guessing game.

Reviewed here.

The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

You can easily connect with Jhumpa Lahiri’s stories and her writing style.

The Lowland, nominated for the Man Booker Prize, has a naxalite background, but the story has little to do with that. This story is about two brothers Subhash and Udayan, so close yet so far. It’s about a strange woman, Gauri, failed by her husband Udayan, who gets involved in naxalite activities. It’s about a daughter, Bela, and her estranged mother. It’s about family and delicate relationships.

It was a beautiful engrossing read!

Reviewed here.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

This was my first read by the author, and I’m glad I read this book.

“One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roof
Or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls”

I really liked this quotation!

A Thousand Splendid Suns is a heart-breaking tale of two women from different generation, different backgrounds. Their struggle for happiness and love. Their inexplicable togetherness. It’s about loyalty, so pure that it goes beyond life.

I must say that the author is a master in creating heart-breaking scenes that evokes a sense of pain effortlessly.

Reviewed here.

What’s your best reads last year? And what do you plan to read this year? Please share, would like to know!

Image source: reading a book concept by Shutterstock.

Author of 'We Will Meet Again'. Freelance writer and editor. Tarang's works have been

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