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January 15th, 2010

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Out of the comfort zone

Friday, January 15th, 2010

Last year I read three memoirs, a genre I’d never really gotten into in the past. My now-girlfriend (Rachel – she’s going to be around for a while, so you may as well get to know her by name, *grin*) recommended Augusten Burroughs, and I read (or rather, devoured) Running with Scissors and Dry, followed by Lillian Faderman’s Naked in the Promised Land, a suggestion from my best friend, Melissa.

I think I always expected memoirs to be slow-moving, rather musty reads – I’m not sure why, but I think I connect them to “history” in my mind. These books busted my expectation of the genre wide open, and I realize now that this is an accessible way for me – the history dunce – to absorb history on some level: through the life stories of people with whom I share common traits or experiences.

Is there a genre you always swore you could never, would never, get into? Were you “tricked” into reading something in that category, or someone you know insisted that you borrow a specific title? Did you decide to suck it up and give it a shot, and find yourself immersed?