What was the most unusual (for you) book you ever read? Either because the book itself was completely from out in left field somewhere, or was a genre you never read, or was the only book available on a long flight… whatever? What (not counting school textbooks, though literature read for classes counts) was furthest outside your usual comfort zone/familiar territory?
And, did you like it? Did it stretch your boundaries? Did you shut it with a shudder the instant you were done? Did it make you think? Have nightmares? Kick off a new obsession?
Usually, I stick with what I know, but being part of a book club often allows me to step out of my comfort zone. Last year, we picked Lolita. Actually, I can't remember if I had voted for it, but it was our selection, tough cookies.
I knew it was about a pedophile. I knew it was controversial. I knew it was a famous movie. That was about it. I was curious but I had some preconceived notions. I thought it would be sad, like most modern 'literature'. I thought it would be cliched.
What I read was so unexpected. The language was beautiful. It had funny moments. It was strange. It was disturbing. It was weird. But I loved it, which sounds creepy to say. Apparently, I'm not alone in my reluctance to love it, but the heart wants what it wants. I haven't read anything else from Nabokov since and I don't know if I want to. This was his masterpiece.
Another book I read with a group was The Eyre Affair. Now that was different. It was a book that made me say 'huh?' but once I got used to the weirdness, I really enjoyed it! It's a freaky little ride.
Oh and I just read Mrs Dalloway. Now that is waayyy different. I'll write more about that later.