Thursday, May 29, 2014

Armchair BEA: 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. 

I made it my business to read more diversely this year. I think I actually did a better job of it near the end of LAST year, but there's still a lot of 2014 left, and my reading tends to pick up in the summer months and through the end of the year. I'm very much at the mercy of my reading moods, and if I follow those moods I'm generally rewarded with good reading mojo. 




Ever since I read Beloved a month or two ago, I've been keen to dive into more of Toni Morrison's work. Beloved was a re-read, and I fully intend to re-read The Bluest Eye as well. To continue my Morrison reading, I have Sula and Song of Solomon waiting on my TBR. 

Morrison's stories are so brutal and vivid and lovely and heartbreaking. So many emotions, themes, and tropes are wrapped up in each book. I can't wait to read more! 

Another book that took me out of myself and into other cultures might be a bit of a surprise. 


While Anthony Bourdain is a snarky asshole a good portion of the time, I love his writing, and I really appreciated his reverence for other cultures in A Cook's Tour. This book allowed me to travel to new places like Cambodia and Vietnam, Mexico and Russia. While Bourdain is in pursuit of the perfect meal, he learns a lot about culture, not just cuisine. 


26 comments:

  1. I've not read any Toni Morrison in years. Maybe i should give her another go.

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    1. Totally! Which of her books have you read already? Just curious. :)

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  2. I have Toni Morrison on my list to get to this year. I haven't read anything by her, which is a crying shame.

    TONY!

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    1. Yeah, girl! The Bluest Eye might be the best place to start. Beloved has been known to melt brains by starting there. Mine included.

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  3. I was very pleasantly surprised at what a fantastic writer Anthony Bourdain is!

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    1. Right??? He is kind of awesome, which I love!

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  4. I really need to broaden my reading horizons, especially where diversity is concerned. Thanks for sharing your recommendations!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Carmel!

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  5. I love Morrison but it's been years and years since I've read her. Sula is a great one. I think I'm going to see about Bourdain on audio--seems like his books would make an awesome listen.

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    1. If he narrates the audio, SCORE! And I'm glad to know you liked Sula. It's hanging out on top of my TBR.

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  6. Beloved is one of the few books I remember enjoying when I read it in school, believe it or not. I don't remember anything about it, though, so it's been on my re-read list for a while.

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    1. I read it in high school for the first time, and I so did not get it. Didn't enjoy it. Felt jilted. When I re-read it I was THRILLED and can't wait to read more of her stuff. If you liked it the first time around, hopefully your chances of enjoying a re-read are high!

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    2. I don't know if I really "got it" back then, or if I was just like, "Huzzah! Something that's not ancient!"

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  7. I totally forgot about travel books as a hook for today's topic. I might go back now and post on that as well as my giveaway.

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    1. LOL! I hope you do! I always need new travel reading options.

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  8. I love Bourdain- but have yet to read his work. I love that he is a snarky asshole, mainly 'cause I am half the time... though, I' not *quite* as obnoxious as him. Hahaha

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    1. Isn't he great, Jenna? He seems to have mellowed JUST SLIGHTLY in his advancing age, but not enough for me to care. lol

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  9. I would not have thought to look to Anthony Bourdain for this topic, but I see your point. That book could really work for me.

    I read Jazz by Toni Morrison a few years ago for a book discussion and it was great!

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    1. I think you'd like the book a lot, Joy. It was really eye opening to some very underdiscussed cultures for me.

      Glad to know you enjoyed Jazz! I'm going to be reading a lot more Morrison.

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  10. Hmmm, I've never heard of either of these! I'll note the recommendations :)

    Thanks for visiting my blog!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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  11. I've never read Toni Morrison but you do make me think I should. I'll add it to that TBR pile, where it will get lost :)

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  12. I haven't read any of Toni Morrison's books, but I do have her A Mercy at home. Glad to read that you enjoy her books!

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  13. I haven't read Toni Morrison in so long, Beloved is the only one I actually REMEMBER reading, even though I know I've read at least two others. I think that indicates time for a re-read, kwim? ;) She's amazing.

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  14. Thank you for reminding me to read more Toni Morrison. I really enjoyed Beloved and Sula, but haven't picked up one of her books in an embarrassingly long time. I've been meaning to read The Bluest Eye, I appreciate the nudge!

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  15. Oh I haven't read A Cook's Tour (but now I'm putting it on my wishlist) but I loved Kitchen Confidential, it was hilarious.

    "While Anthony Bourdain is a snarky asshole a good portion of the time, I love his writing" SAME

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  16. I have never read Morrison, but I think I really need to. I've heard such amazing things about her work.

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