Thursday, May 29, 2014
Armchair BEA: Beyond the Borders
Welcome to Thursday, fellow Armchair BEA friends! Today's topic is Beyond the Borders--here's the guidelines from Armchair BEA:
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!
As I said in my Intro post, one of the things I love about reading is that I get to learn about other places, cultures, and "travel" just by reading! It's so important to celebrate and embrace diversity in our culture, and reading is an excellent way to learn more about the world and become more open minded and tolerant. Here are a few books that I've enjoyed that have helped me expand my horizons:
Moloka'i by Alan Brennert: I've professed my love for this book in my review, but had to address it here as well. This book beautifully describes a time in Hawaiian history that few Americans realize--and gives you a deep appreciation of their culture that existed long before they became a US state. I HIGHLY recommend this book. This book gave me more respect for the Hawaiian people and encouraged me to learn more about Hawaii's history.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows: My best friend gave me this book as a gift, and I absolutely loved it. To be honest, despite being interested in WWII historical fiction, I wasn't familiar at all with Guernsey, a British Crown dependency in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy, until reading this book. Set during the German occupation during WWII, this book eloquently captures a time in European history from a different perspective than most are used to. The story is written in a series of letters, and is well worth the read.
Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant by Daniel Tammet: Diversity doesn't just mean someone is from a different country from you--it can also include those with a unique perspective on life that is different than your own. This book is a first person account of a 27 year old high functioning British autistic savant with Asperger's Syndrome. Though his ability to empathize with others, think abstractly and deviate from routine is impaired, Tammet can easily complete complex math calculations in his head, and experiences numbers and words as shapes, colors and textures (hence the book's title. This book helps readers understand where a person with this syndrome is coming from, and helps to develop greater acceptance of others like him.
What books help you go "Beyond the Borders"?