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Karsyn's Kickass Jocoserious, Kooky, Jannock book blog: Armchair BEA Day 4 ~ Beyond the Borders

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Armchair BEA Day 4 ~ Beyond the Borders

Anyone miss me on Day 3? I know you didn't, that's ok. :) I didn't feel like I could contribute yesterday. I don't have any plans to expand my Blogging Horizons. This blog, with you all coming to check in on me right now and, hopefully, read this, is already much more than I expected it to be and it's enough, for now. Maybe not forever, but definitely for now. I'm not into "social media". I don't use Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and I certainly don't want my face on YouTube. So, I'm just content to let these words reach out to a few of you. Of course I would love it, if say a few of my favorite authors (Chris Carter, Maya Banks, Cherise Sinclair....) stumbled across me and just needed me to read ALLLLL their books prior to release, but since I love them and so many others do as well, I don't see that happening! :) The second topic of yesterday didn't appeal to me either. Just as I dislike Twitter because it's sentences instead of paragraphs, short stories are too, well, SHORT!! For the most part, I'll only read short stories, or novellas, if it's of a series I REALLY love, and even then I never love them. I'm long winded, have you noticed? I'm a pen paller who writes 15+ page typed letters. SHORT is not favorable in my vocabulary!!

I'm looking forward to blog hopping the giveaways, though I know I won't win anything. If it wasn't for bad luck, I wouldn't have any. The examples I could give you! :) I've only won 2 things in my life, ever, and the 1st (a cd at 2am from a local radio station that I went to when I was 16/17) didn't really count, since I knew the DJ. Anyways, On to today's topic, which I DO have a lot to say! Kudos to you, if you actually read through this novel! :)

Beyond the Borders

BEA says: Beyond the Borders
It’s time to step outside your comfort zone, outside your borders, or outside of your own country or culture. Tell us about the books that transported you to a different world, taught you about a different culture, and/or helped you step into the shoes of someone different from you. What impacted you the most about this book? What books would you recommend to others who are ready or not ready to step over the line? In essence, let’s start the conversation about diversity and keep it going!

This one is a great topic for me. If you asked me 5 years ago, even 2 years ago what my favorite genre was, I would say, hands down ~ Suspense/Thriller. Be it romantic suspense, or a whodunnit, I loved it and that was mainly what I read. I had read outside of this, of course, but always went back. It was definitely my comfort zone and I never thought I'd venture out of it. I guess, at the time, I was set in my ways. I liked what I liked and I stuck by it, for the most part. I was also one of those people that didn't want to get into the "hyped" up books, and I steered clear of them. I see now, both of these approaches of mine were not the best thing for me.

Hyped up books ~ we all know those ones, and years ago, I stayed far away. Even with ~ gasp ~ Harry Potter. That was my first "everyone is reading this, and I am SOOOO not going to read it". This lasted, quite a while, until the 5th one was almost out actually. Some former friends kept pushing and pushing, and when I was able to get the first 4, for $1 at a Book Club, I finally relented. At that point, I was only glad I waited because I didn't have long to wait for the 5th book to come out and then the rest. Harry Potter is, and will forever remain, one of my favorites, and I wish I hadn't stayed away from it for so long. Hyped up books CAN be a good thing, a very good thing, it just depends on your personal tastes. Years later, another set of books were pushed on me, literally in my hands, so I gave them a try. Liking the first ~ Twilight ~ just OK, I hated them by the end, and I hate them to this day. They aren't my thing, HP was. Hyped up books are definitely worth the try, because there are true gems in there.

As for the other ~ beyond my comfort zone, that's even more of a big deal for me.

I remember, very clearly, in fall 2011, coming across the most BEAUTIFUL cover I've ever seen. I look at the dust jacket info.... fantasy?! historical fiction?!? I don't read those genres!! Fantasy, maybe, but never ever historical fiction. But, it's pretty. But, the first lines...

“The circus arrives without warning.
No announcements precede it,
no paper notices on downtown posts and billboards,
no mentions or advertisements in local newspapers.
It is simply there, when yesterday it was not.”
― Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

Historical Fantasy or not, I was hooked in those 3 lines, and I found my new, all-time favorite book. My favorite book is a historical fantasy and it's STILL weird to me. Even still, back then I still wasn't ready to get out of my comfort zone yet. I read The Night Circus, but went right back to my romantic suspense.

It has only been in the last year or so, that I've truly stepped out of my comfort zone and started reading more and more of those books that I never thought I would. I spent most of my life in Central Florida. I've traveled a lot of the states, when I was young then again during my first marriage in my 20s, but I've never traveled beyond this continent (unless you count a Jamaican honeymoon) and I know very little about other countries, cultures and so on. I read some books, such as Harry Potter, that lay beyond these borders, but it was very few that I did, as I couldn't imagine them, if it were in a real place. I'm not sure if that makes sense. Like with Harry Potter, I can imagine Hogwarts however I want to, because it's not real (no matter how amazingly awesome it is at Islands of Adventure, which we got to visit before we left central FL behind for the rural mountains of NC). Other books, set in a real place, even if fiction, never grabbed me because I didn't know the area, couldn't imagine it at all. So, I tended to stay away from anything set anywhere else, unless it was a dystopia. I know I'm not making any sense, sorry.

Anyways, there was another book I happened across and again it grabbed my attention. Again, it was historical fiction and set overseas! What's up with me?! Even my husband didn't know! So, I read it because it grabbed me, and The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, now sits among my top 5 or so (counting the HP series as 1) favorite books! Since reading Shadow of the Wind, and the rest of the series, I've been taking more chances on more stories, those set in foreign (to me) places, those genres that I don't really "like", and so on. If it sounds good to me, I'm trying it, no matter what the hype, the genre, the location. It's SOOOOO not like me.

But it is like me, now. I've changed, my tastes in books have changed, a LOT!! I talked to my hubby about this just days ago. I can't even tell you my favorite genre, because I don't know that I have one anymore. There are some things I still do not read, and I have no intention of reading (I'm not into westerns, religion, non-fic, chick-lit and tearjerkers) but there's so much more that I AM reading that I never expected to at all. It's fun and I LOVE it. I'm finding so many great new books and I am, more importantly, open to reading more.

How have you Broadened your Borders?
Leave me a link, and I'll come visit


  1. I'm just like you. I have a hard time getting into hyped up books. For me, I think it's mainly because I get my expectations up too high and I'm afraid of being let down. That was Twilight for me. Everyone that I knew raved about that series and whenever I finally read it, I hated it. But like you said, there are gems to be found in hyped up books (and those not hyped up, too). I'm so glad you came around to liking Harry Potter. Those books are so special to me. They're right up there with LotR on the list of books that changed my life. I'm sort of the opposite of you, though. I used to hate romance books, but I've recently gotten into reading a lot of YA contemporary romances. I'm enjoying the change. :)

    Kristen @ Pretty Little Pages

  2. The Night Circus was amazing. So unusual. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.

  3. I used to have a hard to time getting into hyped up books... oddly enough it's when my IRL friends are pushing books on me that I react the most negatively. But when I started blogging this year, I started to realize that I wasn't afraid of the hype from other bloggers. I think it's because I'm choosing to read reviews rather than feeling forced by people. But I guess whatever works to get me to try some awesome books!

  4. Like you, I felt like I had stepped into another world with Shadow of the Wind (didn't know it was a series) and Night Circus. Night Circus is just stunningly beautiful!

  5. I've been discovering reads outside my normal comfort zone too! For me, it's been more contemporary books, like Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park and Fangirl. I'm definitely going to have to check out Shadow of the Wind!