Thursday, May 29, 2014

Armchair BEA 2014: Day 4 - Beyond the Borders

Armchair BEA Prompt: 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.

To me, beyond borders encompasses a lot of areas.
I have spent the last year really trying to diversify the genres that I read. I tended to read mostly mysteries, thrillers, and suspense novels. I started reading romance novels last fall and liked them so much that I started blogging about them in March.

I have been really excited about the recent posts on the web surrounding the #weneediversebooks movement. I have found so many new books to read by just following the discussions.
Most of the books that I read tend to be written by authors from the United States. I hope to start an around the world reading challenge in late summer to add more variety to my reading in terms of countries and cultures.
I think that 2014 is going to be my best reading year ever in terms of diversity. Here are two books I've read this year that are still on my mind:
The World Unseen by Shamim Sarif is a book that pushed me to go beyond multiple borders. Set in 1950's South Africa (when apartheid is just beginning), the novel's characters challenged many of South Africa's societal norms and boundaries for the time. The World Unseen touches on so many interesting issues - race, sexual orientation, the role of gender, and familial constraints. I featured its movie adaptation as part of my Sunday Cinema posts.

As you may have read in my ABEA introduction post and comments, I recently joined the Outlander series (time-travel historical romance) bandwagon. The series has encouraged me to reach past my modern ideas of acceptable social behavior and really try to understand the time and place presented by the author. [I sometimes struggle to find footing with historical fiction novels.] I especially like Dragonfly in Amber because of the historical elements. The main characters spend time in French court (which I am learning more about from the TV show Reign - lol) and try to work both sides of the Jacobite rebellion brewing in Scotland. I have added some non-fiction history books to my TBR list in order to learn more about some of the things that happened in Dragonfly in Amber.

Do you have any recommendations on books that might make me step outside of my comfort zone or outside of my borders?

Armchair BEA Prompt: Giveaways

I decided not to do the giveaway link-up. I have lots of giveaways open my blog right now. Please take a look and enter a few of them - or all of them if the mood strikes. ;-)

If you blog any about romance novels, please take a look at the Romance Reading Round-Up. It is a weekly link up for romance-related book posts and giveaways. You can add your links Tuesday through Saturday.

Good luck!

A is for Abstinence by Kelly Oram: $100 Book Blast
$100 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash | Ends 6/16/14

Running Back to You by Suzanne Sweeney | Author Interview and Giveaway
$25 Visa Gift Card | Ends 6/13/14

London Bound by Nana Malone [Book Review + eBook Giveaway]
One (1) ebook copy of London Bound. | Ends 6/10/14

Becky Wade's  MEANT TO BE MINE "DREAM COME TRUE" $200 Giveaway!
$200 Visa Cash Card | Ends 6/10/14

COVER REVEAL! Lancaster House and The Middle Aisle (Giveaway)
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash | Ends 6/8/14

Robin Lee Hatcher's  THE HEART'S PURSUIT "Romantic Weekend Getaway" Giveaway!
$200 Visa Cash Card | Ends 6/8/14

A Girl Walks Into a Wedding: Your Fantasy, Your Rules by Helena S. Paige
Three paperback copies | Ends 6/3/14

Marriage Isn’t for You by Seth Adam Smith | $50 Book Blast
$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash | Ends 5/31/14

May 2014 Kindle Fire HDX Giveaway
Winner’s choice of a Kindle Fire HDX or $229 Amazon Gift Card or $229 Paypal Cash | Ends 5/31/14

Guest Post + Giveaways: Rescued by the Buccaneer by Normandie
$50 Amazon/ gift card | Ends 5/30/14

The Pendulum Files by pm terrell | Author Interview + Giveaway
Celtic cross necklace | Ends 5/30/14

Excerpt + Giveaway: The Navy SEAL's E-Mail Order Bride by Cora Seton
$50 Amazon Gift Card | Ends 5/30/14

Splintered Lies by Karen Lopp | Author Interview and Giveaway
$50 Amazon Gift Card | Ends 5/30/14

Blurb Blitz and Giveaway: The Vampire’s Passion by Monica Knightly
$25 Amazon Gift Card | Ends 5/30/14

Virtual Blurb Blitz: Brigand by Sabrina York + Regency Brigand Package Giveaway
REGENCY BRIGAND PACKAGE: An ecopy of Folly, Dark Fancy and Dark Duke and a sparkling tiara (US ONLY) | Ends 5/30/14


May Book Festival Giveaway with Book Review Depot
A KINDLE FIRE PLUS - 2 featured eBooks from each author

Is it Summer Yet? Blog Hop | May 26 - June 1, 2014
29 stops | KVR Giveaway: Love (Sulfur Heights #1) by M.S. Brannon


  1. Good thoughts on challenging ourselves to read a bit more widely. As I was hopping blogs today, I just saw a list of books that you might like. Let's see if I can find it again...Here it is: A list of books set in the Caribbean, all women-centered and some with romance elements.

    Joy's Book Blog

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  3. I read Bryce Courtenay's Power of One years ago and have been wanting to read more books from South Africa since, so I'll this one to my list - thanks.
    Brona's Books

  4. Some great giveaways on your blog. Very cool you found your love of does pay to step outside our zones of reading. One book I read was Scars by Cheryl Rainfield. It is YA and took me way outta my zone, even though I have read a great deal of it.