Armchair BEA 2014 – Beyond the Borders
Today’s topic asked us to discuss books that transported us to a different world, taught us about a different culture, and/or helped us step into the shoes of someone different from us. In what ways did they impact us and what books would we recommend to others who are ready or not ready to step over the line? In essence, today’s post is about diversity in books, murr! =^.^=
Honestly, this is a challenging topic for us because we don’t often think about diversity when we read. Let’s face it, we’re cats. When it comes to feline diversity in books, it’s rather lacking. Instead we focus more on the character that makes up the character inside, rather than their race, sexual preference, religion, etc. In other words, who is the character when viewed from the inside? Is he/she a role model, a trouble maker, a dreamer? Are they caring, conceited, harsh? And so on. In fact, it wasn’t until we read the article, Diversity in Young Adult Literature, that we even started thinking about the concept at all. And again, if we are to be honest, reading the article had us asking the question: Why should it matter what race a character is?!
Anyways, diversity. In particular, diversity in the books that we’ve read.
Let’s start with books that have transported us to a different world. Literally, murr!
The Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey tops this list. Not only was it the first fantasy series we ever read, it taught us to ride on the backs of dragons in a world called Pern. George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series also makes this list as it takes us to a place called Westeros where dragons, white walkers, wargs, and more can be found. The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Trilogy also make the list. We wouldn’t mind visiting Middle Earth, so long as there was catnip available. The Chronicles of Narnia are also included, along with many, many more. We could go on for days listing books that have taken us to different worlds, but we think you get the idea.
Books that taught us about a different culture.
The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson if the first book we have to mention. Set in North Korea, it’s an eye-opening read about some of what life was like in this country, and in some cases still is today. This is a historical fiction that we still talk about with friends, and it’s been almost three years since we read it! It really did leave a lasting impression. Memoris of a Geisha by Arthur Golden is another book we’d recommend. Set in Japan, we quite enjoyed learning about geishas and the politics during that time. Other books that we know of, but haven’t read yet include Life of Pi by Yann Martel, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, and Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee by Frederic P. Miller.
Do you have a favorite book or books that deal with diversity? Share them with us in the comments below. We would definitely like to discover some new titles. =^.^=