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Genre > Books shedding light on cultures

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message 1: by Diana (new)

Diana | 1 comments The Kite Runners by Khaled Hosseini and The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie...
The islamic culture and the state it's in, I really don't know much about... and those books got me being a fan of that culture... not in the extremist way, but in the way of wanting to find out more :)


message 2: by Gorfo (new)

Gorfo Ya a book that shed light on culture for me was The Namesakeby Jhumpa Lahiri really gave me an idea of the problem of assimilation


BubblesTheMonkey (goodreadscombookhorseluver) | 50 comments Around the World in Eighty Days


message 4: by Gorfo (new)

Gorfo Arnab wrote: "Gorfo wrote: "Ya a book that shed light on culture for me was The Namesakeby Jhumpa Lahiri really gave me an idea of the problem of assimilation"

ah, well i'm from that ..."


Ya Interpreter of Maladies was amazing! I agree! Her short stories are better! I really should get around to reading her newest novel...She actually came to my school, she's not that interesting in person unfortunately and when I got my book signed I wasn't filled with awe.


message 5: by Gorfo (new)

Gorfo Arnab wrote: "Gorfo wrote: "Arnab wrote: "Gorfo wrote: "Ya a book that shed light on culture for me was The Namesakeby Jhumpa Lahiri really gave me an idea of the problem of assimilati..."

Haha! Ya it was a real honor! She is such an elegant woman I really look up to her even though she comes off as a little too reserved! Funny enough I guess I have lots of signed books, it just happens by accident though :P


message 6: by Gorfo (new)

Gorfo Arnab wrote: "Gorfo wrote: "Arnab wrote: "Gorfo wrote: "Arnab wrote: "Gorfo wrote: "Ya a book that shed light on culture for me was The Namesakeby Jhumpa Lahiri really gave me an idea ..."

Ya! I've never pre-ordered a signed book but I will probably do so soon for John Green's new book!

Another book that shed light on culture for me was Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close cause before then I didn't know much about jewish culture and dresden bombings and the holocaust in general. (funny enough this is also signed cause I met him and took pics with him).


message 7: by Gorfo (new)

Gorfo Arnab wrote: "Gorfo wrote: "Arnab wrote: "Gorfo wrote: "Arnab wrote: "Gorfo wrote: "Arnab wrote: "Gorfo wrote: "Ya a book that shed light on culture for me was The Namesakeby [author:Jhumpa Lahiri|3..."

It's really interesting! Really funny too!


message 8: by Ellie (new)

Ellie (elliearcher) Moloka'i by Alan Brennert: shed light on both Hawaiian and U.S. culture, providing a lot of important historical information & a sense of the culture throughout the 20th century.


message 9: by Gorfo (new)

Gorfo Recently I read Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks and Snare by Deborah J Ledford, and not so recently The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. They all really shed light on the native american condition, one did it by teaching me what really happened when settlers first came to america and the others taught me what's happening now to the native Americans. It's really appalling that America is letting this happen


message 10: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Mabe (beckegirl) | 41 comments Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe


message 11: by Gorfo (new)

Gorfo Rebecca wrote: "Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe"

Wait...what is that book about? The title seems familiar to me but I've like never picked it up and was under the impression that it as a realistic fiction that took place in america.


message 12: by Karl (last edited Sep 26, 2011 07:59AM) (new)

Karl Drobnic | 72 comments "The Long Day Wanes", a Malaysian Trilogy by Anthony Burgess, and "The Raj Quartet" by Paul Scott give terrific insight into the fading days of the British Empire in Asia. "The Raj Quartet" was a Masterpiece Theater production in the 1980s ("The Jewel in the Crown"), and widely acclaimed as one of the best adaptations for TV ever produced. Both books follow a protagonist over the course of years as England's star fades and Asian independence rises. Prophetically, "The Long Day Wanes" ends with Americans charging in, obliviously, where the British have seen the writing on the wall.


message 13: by Karl (new)

Karl Drobnic | 72 comments Rebecca wrote: "Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe"

Terrific book.
Those who have read should be careful not to give away the plot.


message 14: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Mabe (beckegirl) | 41 comments It's a book about a primitive tribe and one man's excessive pride. It's filled with lots of cool tidbits about life in this primitive society that are really interesting. I had to read it for a modern lit class in college and it remains one of my favorites. You won't be sorry if you pick it up.


message 15: by Karl (last edited Oct 02, 2011 08:23AM) (new)

Karl Drobnic | 72 comments "Dinner of Herbs" by Carla Grissman is an account of living in a Turkish village in the Sixties. Probably a real change of pace for most people on this board, but a real gem - comes with an endorsement by none other than Paul Bowles. I've posted a little bit about the author on my blog, which you can reach by clicking on my profile photo. I've included a 1953 photo of Carla by Walker Evans (from the Met Museum of Art collection). Carla Grissman was a remarkable woman, and "Dinner of Herbs" is one glimpse into an American expatriate's long, extraordinary life.


message 16: by Gorfo (new)

Gorfo Arnab wrote: "Aarggh! People should just stop writing books for a while so that I can catch up :("

I feel the same way....There is not enough time for me to read every thing I want to...there will never be enough time.


message 17: by Kevin (new)

Kevin (pisarsky) | 14 comments You have to take the whole "reading about cultures" thing with a grain of salt. I travel a lot, and I've frequently found that everything I've read about a destination is wrong; so wrong that I wondered if the author had ever been there. You want to learn about a culture - go there, or at least talk to someone you KNOW has been there. That's my experience with travel related writing.


message 18: by Kevin (new)

Kevin (pisarsky) | 14 comments Gorfo wrote: "Recently I read Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks and Snare by Deborah J Ledford, and not so recently [book:The Absolutely True Di..."

Go to a Native American casino, and see the other side of that coin. I know, it doesn't excuse the exploitation and persecution, but it'll give you a new perspective. Especially if the casino is on a reservation.


message 19: by Karl (new)

Karl Drobnic | 72 comments Kevin wrote: "You have to take the whole "reading about cultures" thing with a grain of salt. I travel a lot, and I've frequently found that everything I've read about a destination is wrong; so wrong that I wo..."


There are a lot of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers that have published accounts of their experiences in villages and hamlets around the world. Also, I'll refer again to my post above regarding "Dinner of Herbs" by Carla Grissmann, an account of her year spent in a Turkish village.


message 20: by Kevin (new)

Kevin (pisarsky) | 14 comments Karl wrote: "Kevin wrote: "You have to take the whole "reading about cultures" thing with a grain of salt. I travel a lot, and I've frequently found that everything I've read about a destination is wrong; so w..."

Karl makes a good point, and I agree that first-hand accounts from people you know have been there are usually a pretty reliable source. On the other hand, I spent that last week of September at Oktoberfest in Munich, and found that most of what I had read about it was incorrect. Happens all too often.


message 21: by Karl (new)

Karl Drobnic | 72 comments There is a website that lists books by Peace Corps Volunteers. With a few clicks, you can find books about many different cultures spanning the last 50 years. Paul Theroux is one of the more famous PCV writers.

http://peacecorpsworldwide.org/pc-wri...


message 22: by Katie (new)

Katie (kater07) A Thousand Splendid Suns
The Kite Runner
The Book Thief
Diary of Anne Frank
Devil's Arithmetic
Shindler's List
The Other Boleyn Girl


message 23: by Leah (last edited Jan 07, 2013 03:01AM) (new)

Leah | 10 comments I have read The Kite Runner, The Book Thief and Things Fall Apart, all brilliant, incredibly moving. But also as a Brit I found American Pastoral, The Grapes of Wrath and Beloved all interesting books depicting various aspects of American culture and thought it worth a mention here. I also agree that novels give an opinion rather than a travel guide version of a place, but that artistry, while not historically accurate, is why I love novels.


message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

I learned what little I know about Indian culture from "A suitable boy" by Vikram Seth, and "Autobiography of a Yogi" by Paramhansa Yoganada. The former is a "family saga" - I bought it to read on a flight back from India little realising that it was written on "India paper" and hence co,ntained a lot more pages than the thickness of the book implied - it took me months to get through but no regrest as it was a beautifully written book with some really interesting characters, both male and female.


message 25: by Soul, the Book Keeper (new)

Soul (soulkeeper720) | 3876 comments Mod
The book i read is "Tales from the Dordogne" by Rudolph Lea, it is a beautiful novel. can't say much as i'hv already written review of it (here)

Tales from the Dordogne by Rudolph Lea


message 26: by Catherine (new)

Catherine Brophy (catherinewrites) | 2 comments Try: Tahir Shah
In the Arabian Nights
The Caliph's House.
Great insight into a culture only seven miles from mainland Europe


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