Armchair BEA 2014: Beyond the Borders

Designed by Nina Reads

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!

The bulk of my reading list is YA and all of them are set in another country and another culture. Most of these books are paranormal/fantasy and most involve female protagonists who live ordinary lives until one day they are thrust into situations unlike anything they have ever encountered. This is my general, not comfort, zone. I know, it's sad. I need more diversity!

But there are times when I am completely out of my depth when it comes to reading a book used to. Usually, they were books that were assigned reading. For example, I mentioned in my BEA post last Monday about a literature class in college. Our final novel was the book The State of War by Ninotchka Rosca. It's a fictional book set throughout the history of the Philippines following a set of interconnected characters. I have to say that I rarely read anything from my own country, I am so unpatriotic, because they're so familiar and so just there. I know my history, I said. But State of War surprised me. It was great learning something about your own culture despite the plot itself is fictional.

Another school-required book that was Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami. When I first read it, I didn't what to think because it was confusing. I was not used to reading that kind of book at all. In fact, I avoid its kind. I read to escape from reality not to face it. However, I eventually understood it and came to grudgingly like it although I won't be reading another like it sometime soon.

I guess these books, the okay-I-have-to-read-this-just-to-break-the-monotony books, are kind of needed. We need diversity because, as much as we love reading from our comfort zone, you'd be more enriched by trying something a little different. 
Ayanami Faerudo


  1. I completely could have written this post, except for the fact that it is years since there has been "has to" reading.

  2. Here's the thing...imo...there are _so many_ great books in the general zone of where you read that I totally get staying there! Even with that area there is still diversity. Hope you join us for ArmChairBEA 2015. Already I am looking forward to it!


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