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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!

Every year I use the Goodreads group Around the World in 80 Books to challenge myself to read more broadly. I keep a list of books I read that are set in different countries.  I find that it makes me pick up books that I might not have looked at previously if they will fill a gap in my list.

So far this year I’ve read books from:

Canada – Newfoundland
Egypt
France
Greece
Iceland
Italy
India
Russia
Saudi Arabia
South Africa
Tahiti

My recommendations of these are:

South Africa – The story of the relationship of a white immigrant woman and her African servant and her daughter in early 20th century South Africa.

The Housemaid's Daughter

The Housemaid’s Daughter by Barbara Mutch

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

 

 

 

Italy – The story of a gondola maker in 16th century Venice.

The Gondola MakerThe Gondola Maker by Laura Morelli

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

 

 

 

 

India and England – On her 100th birthday an Indian matriarch starts to tell her family about her life as a companion to an Indian princess and what happened to her and her son in England.

The Midnight RoseThe Midnight Rose by Lucinda Riley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greece – The story of a leper colony on an island and the relationship with the people of the village that overlooks it on the mainland.

The IslandThe Island by Victoria Hislop

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

 

8 Replies to “Armchair BEA – Beyond Borders”

  1. Typical of me to take the hard path – I saw the Goodreads group and thought initially I would join. and then I thought, maybe I’ll read books by authors from those countries rather than set in the countries. I didn’t know how hard it would be as you can see from my own post on this topic – http://bookertalk.com/2014/05/29/armchair-bea-beyond-borders/

    Nice to see The Island on your recommendations – have you read anything else by her?

  2. What a fun idea to read books set in different countries. A lot of books that I read take place in the US or in a fantasy world, but I have read a few that took place in the UK, Canada or Europe as far as I can remember.

  3. I haven’t heard of that group on Goodreads but I’m definitely going to check it out now. The whole point behind my blog name (A Universe in Words) was because I wanted to read from everywhere, even non-terrestrial books if we ever find them! I’ve heard of The Midnight Rose and it looks stunning as well!
    Juli @ Universe in Words

  4. I have the Gondola Maker on my TBR list! Books are fantastic…you can go anywhere in any time. 🙂

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