Thursday, May 29, 2014

Armchair BEA - Beyond the Borders

Armchair BEA Headquarters
I am participating in Armchair BEA this year. Armchair BEA is a chance for book lovers' who cannot attend BookExpo America (BEA) to join in the fun from the comfort of their own homes.

Beyond the Borders 

From the Armchair BEA website: 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!  

I thought this would be an easy post. After all, I love the #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign. I love books that are set in other cultures than my own. I read to expand my world. But...there are so many great books out there that can take you to another time or place. Every book will take you into someone else's life, and, even if that life mirrors your own, it will still be a different life. But that's not what #WeNeedDiverseBooks is about. So here is a sampling of some of the great books that I have read this year that I feel represent in some way the campaign for more diversity in books. Some of these books might not be obvious, so if you are curious why I included a book, please ask me, and I would be happy to discuss my choices. My favorites have asterisks after them.

The Round House by Louise Erdrich 
Hidden by Helen Frost 
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion 
Orange Is the New Black by Piper Kerman 
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie**
How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid
Legend & Prodigy by Marie Lu
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki**
The Good Lord Bird by James McBride
Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
Radiance of Tomorrow by Ishmael Beah
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby**
The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz**
Difficult Daughters by Manju Kapur

What are your favorites?


  1. I've been seeing that Sherman Alexie book everywhere this week! Have not read it or any of his other books. Wondering if my middle-schooler might like to read that with me sometime soon.

  2. I have heard great things from a housemate about 'The Rosie Project', she absolutely loved it. I do think there should be more diversity in books, but I also think it's important the diversity is there because it is a part of the story, not to fill some quota! Great post :)
    Juli @ Universe in Words

  3. I have The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry to start-I'm glad its on a diverse books list! I keep hearing great things.

    The Round House was so heartbreaking to me to read. I almost couldn't get through it.

    I read City of the Sun by Juliana Maio which was a really different historical exposure for me.

  4. Great list. I keep putting of The Good Lord Bird thinking that my book club will get to it, but I may not be able to wait that long.

    Joy's Book Blog

  5. The only titles I've read from this list are Legend & Prodigy by Marie Lu, and I can understand why you included it since it has a lot of different and diverse elements woven into its storyline.