Operation ‘Read More Books Outside my Comfort Zone’

At the start of 2018, I asked myself if there was anything I wanted to do differently this year. Now, I’m not usually the kind of person to do resolutions, as I am of opinion that they aren’t really effective. However, I decided to make an exception for this year in order to step outside of my bookish comfort zone.

Somewhere in August, during my travels through Scotland, I read When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalinithi. This book, this beautiful emotional book, proved to be one of my favorite and most memorable reads of 2017. And it got me thinking: ‘When was the last time I read a non-fiction book?’ Truthfully, I couldn’t come up with an answer because it was THAT long ago.

Frankly, I was a bit disappointed in myself. Not that there’s anything wrong with what I read… I love YA fiction and all kinds of fantasy books, but I always pride myself on being open to reading anything and somehow I got stuck in my ways and never really stepped out of that comfort zone in very really long time.

Time for a change! Now, I’ve already made a headstart in changing my reading habits by reading Dutch books again (a lot of which are non-fiction). You can read all about how that came about in my previous post. But, in addition to this, I made a list of books I was interested in reading and the goal is to have read these books by the end of this year. The point is not to stop reading fantasy books or young adult fiction, but I just want to read books that I normally wouldn’t read or are easily overlooked.

  • When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalinithi – Autobiography/Health (read my review of this book here)
  • Thanks, Obama by David Litt – Autobiography/Politics (recently finished this, full review to come)
  • The Princess Saves Herself in this One by Amanda Lovelace – Poetry/Feminism
  • Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur – Poetry/Feminism
  • Every Second Counts: The Race to Transplant the First Human Heart by Donald McRae – History/Medicine
  • Michelle Obama: A Life by Peter Slevin – Biography/Politics
  • Two Steps Forward by Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist – Fiction/Travel

Now, this is where you come in! I would like to have YOUR input to make the list a bit longer. What do you think would be a book outside my comfort zone? AND what books would you recommend to me?

So what do you say? Give me ALL the recommendations you can think of!

Share with others


  1. 12/02/2018 / 10:10

    I finished When Breath Becomes Air last week and it was so insightful. I also really loved The Princess Saves Herself In This One!

    I’m also getting more into non-fiction. It’s a nice change every once in a while. I recommend Wild by Cheryl Strayed; Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert; Girl Up by Laura Bates; The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank; and Quiet by Susan Cain.

    Happy reading! Let me know if you find something good :D

    • Iris
      12/02/2018 / 22:26

      Right? ‘When Breath Becomes Air’ was such a beautiful read! I loved how, even though the protagonist knew he wasn’t going to survive his disease, it focussed on living and the meaning of life.

      I have heard about ‘Wild’! That one is definitely going on the list as well. Eat Pray Love I heard about as well (mainly because of the movie). I read The Diary of Anne Frank when I was a young girl, but I might reread it! I am definitely looking up the other titles you mentioned!

      I will let you know if I find something good!

  2. 12/02/2018 / 14:47

    I’ll go with some adult science fiction and suggest Failure to Communicate by Kaia Sønderby. :)

    • Iris
      12/02/2018 / 22:27

      I just added this title on Goodreads! It sounds ridiculously good! I will let you know when I get around to reading it!

      • 13/02/2018 / 12:40

        I hope you’ll enjoy it! :)

  3. Jenneke
    13/02/2018 / 15:04

    I liked reading PAAZ and UP by Myrthe van de Meer – books that are both hilarious and sad at the same time, and focussed on her own experiences.

    I also really enjoy “popscience” (don’t know if it is really a genre or just a way my professors refer to it) books, abbreviated ‘popular science’ . Often about decision making or psychology (e.g. thinking fast and slow), statistics (e.g. the signal and the noice), economics (e.g. freakonomics), but I think they have them about almost every topic (I think I’ve even read one on mathematics). They are often written with a lot of anecdotes and stories to get concepts across, and are really one of my favorite non fiction genres.

    • Iris
      02/03/2018 / 22:05

      PAAZ and UP sound really good! I’m going to check them out!

      I want to try and read ‘Popscience’ every now and then. I like how they’re educative and (often) fun. Thanks for the recommendations! <3

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.