Reading the Fine Print

I went several weeks without reading. There was no particular thing stopping me and certainly no shortage of books. My #TBRpile is glorious to the point of ready to tip over. Yet, sitting down to settle in with new characters or a new plot line deliciously crafted for me to enjoy just wasn't happening.


Then, last week, I was contacted by Shelf Unbound magazine where I'm a contributing editor. Part of my contract work with them is to read and review selected books by indie authors. Suddenly, I was at risk of my #TBRpile crushing me under the added weight and I had no choice but to get out of my reading slump.


They didn't make it easy.


Not only did I go from "having nothing to read" to having 4 books to read, they were 4 books outside of my norm.


Is that hard for you? To stretch yourself to read a new genre or a book with a particularly heavy storyline?


As I researched the books and reached out to publishers for review copies, I panicked. There was some fine print I clearly hadn't prepared myself for.


A book translated from Japanese?


Two books translated from French?


I went back to Shelf Unbound and checked the theme for the next edition. Read global. Read global?


Seriously? I don't even travel global! I'm a hardcore domestic traveler! Keep me in the confines of my norm. Let me settle into the familiar. Don't make me challenge my brain. After all, isn't reading just supposed to be an escape from reality? Have people forgotten it's the year of a pandemic?



I want to be assigned light-hearted and funny. Whimsical romance. An unrealistic happily ever after. Not a book that's been translated from a foreign language.


Thankfully, my assignments have a short deadline. Less than a month to read and review all 4 books. Yikes. I don't have (much) time to cry about how difficult this is going to be.


So, late last week, I plunged ahead.


And you know what? That first book sucked me right in. I finished it yesterday. It wasn't an easy read. The structure was unusual. The storyline was deep and cryptic, even somewhat graphic. I've got 3 more to go and only 3.5 weeks to read them in...I should really get to them.


What are some examples of your surprising reads? Have you branched out into uncharted book territory and been pleased with the adventure?