Armchair BEA, Thursday, May 29, 2014 Beyond The Borders

"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!"

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One of the things I love about reading is it does take me on a voyage to a different culture, society, time period. 
I've read many books on the Holocaust, World War II (including nurses during the war), other wars (including the Russian and French Revolutions). I've read books on African slavery in America. I've read books on the Islamic religion and culture, especially pertaining to Muslim women. I've read books where the women were abused, and where the women were the abuser. In addition other books read: actors, murderers, teachers, kings and queens, those condemned and executed, a woman with early-onset Alzheimer's disease, people who have a mental health disorder, Antarctica explorers, missionaries, a man obsessed with a whale, social reform in 19th century England, a woman haunted by her husbands first wife, a wild tea party and a Mad Hatter, 
immigrating to a new country, a dystopian society where women have no voice or choice, Arthurian legends, spies and espionage, the hairdresser of a French queen, how to care for an owl, a bee charmer and herbwife, surviving the Titanic, an Imperial Japanese bomber pilot, an epic Greek poem, and a beloved young boy living on the streets and taught to commit crimes. 
I'm amazed that anyone would dare to say reading is boring! 

Reading "outside of the box" of comfort does not necessarily have to be an erotic type genre. This is the mental image people get when they are told to read outside their preferred reading tastes. Sex sells, causes people to look a second and third time, gaze a little more. It's tantalizing and titilating. 
I'd rather have sex than read about it, but that's me. 

I want to read books about peoples lives. I want to know why they made the choices they did, and how they felt afterwards. I want strong characters, no measly milk sops. I don't have to like the character (or be there best bud), but I want them to be meaty and messy. Messy means dimensional and realistic. 

I want stories that transcend time, which is often a classic story. Stories which later, much later, I still ponder the characters and events. 

Books are not just words of ink on paper, they've been known to start wars, create a new country, promote positive and negative society changes. Words are quite powerful. 


  1. well said and a very good point "words are quite powerful."

    Hope you're having a wonderful Armchair BEA Week!

  2. Yes! I love how books let me lead other lives for a while -- sometimes profoundly different from my own.

    I hope you're having a great week with Armchair BEA!

    Joy's Book Blog

  3. We've read a lot of the same books I think :-)
    But I focused on Indian Lit for my piece.
    Brona's Books


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