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The Mountains Sing


Winner of the 2020 BookBrowse Debut Novel Award: A multi-generational tale set ...
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Huong thinks that if people are willing to learn about other cultures, there will be no war on earth. Do you think Huong feels differently because of her reading? What books have made your world bigger?

Created: 03/18/21

Replies: 8

Posted Mar. 18, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2619

Huong thinks that if people are willing to learn about other cultures, there will be no war on earth. Do you think Huong feels differently because of her reading? What books have made your world bigger?

Huong thinks that if people are willing to learn about other cultures, there will be no war on earth. Do you think Huong feels differently about America and American people because of her reading? What books have made your world bigger?


Posted Mar. 21, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jazzming

Join Date: 03/19/21

Posts: 21

RE: Huong thinks that if people are ...

Yes!
I think an open mind to all cultures and not just your own is the starting point to abolish war. SO many books have made my world bigger. Amy Tan novels, The Overstory, Mink River. The Starless Sea, The Shadow of the Wind, The Nightingale, An American Marriage are all ones I can think of off the top of my head that have really put me in someone else's skin and experience.


Posted Mar. 24, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 504

RE: Huong thinks that if people are ...

I do think Huong has a more open mind than a lot of people because of her reading. Many studies have shown that reading helps people develop empathy.

I think anyone who does a lot of reading will have a long list of books that have contributed to their understanding of the world. Bookbrowse has been very helpful to me in this regard by highlighting such a wide range of titles. I'm not sure about empathy, necessarily (I've never considered myself an empathetic person) but certainly it's helped me broaden my perspective about other cultures.


Posted Mar. 24, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
windellh

Join Date: 11/05/17

Posts: 59

RE: Huong thinks that if people are ...

I think studying other cultures broadens ones understanding of the world. The real test is can we accept people as they are. I have a long list of books that have made my world bigger.


Posted Mar. 25, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
melissa c.

Join Date: 01/10/21

Posts: 47

RE: Huong thinks that if people are ...

I agree with everyone that reading helps people open their minds to cultures and people different from our own or those we're used to and comfortable with.

Knowledge is so powerful but one must be open minded and not defensive or arrogant.

There are so many outstanding books that examine humankind from a variety of cultures and perspectives - The Vanishing Half, The Last Story of Mina Lee, A Gentleman in Moscow, Shuggie Bain, A Good Neighborhood, Patsy. I could go on and on.

I also think if the reader has the ability to relate to these "unfamiliar" characters, empathy can be developed and fostered if the reader is not an empathetic person.


Posted Mar. 28, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janegmorrison

Join Date: 03/21/21

Posts: 2

RE: Huong thinks that if people are ...

I think that knowing about other people definitely helps to heal our differences. I know that I live in my little "bubble" with the people who are somewhat similar to me. My reading of books about many different cultures, races, and life experiences helps me to understand other people's journeys and makes me a more empathetic person. I wish that more people read about people different than themselves. I think that would help us all be able to overcome our differences. So many people are against things until they have an understanding of them either through reading, life experiences or learning through others.


Posted Mar. 29, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rosienick

Join Date: 03/20/16

Posts: 25

RE: Huong thinks that if people are ...

One book that made my world bigger is "The Kite Runner". In it Afghanistan is depicted as a prosperous and free country before all the wars and the radicals were involved in making it was it is today.


Posted Mar. 29, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ireneh

Join Date: 11/22/19

Posts: 29

RE: Huong thinks that if people are ...

The Mountains Sing is a perfect example of a book which gives the reader insights into the hearts and minds of the people in a distant culture. I agree with the other respondents and Huong that, through reading, our hearts and our minds expand. We become able to contextualize the choices and behaviors of those who are different from us by meeting them, especially in fiction.
Among the books which have helped me in expanding my sense of empathy for others are: Beloved, which pulled me into magical realism and tore my heart, The Fire Next Time, which gave me insight into the anger and despair of the black man in America, The Kite Runner, which showed me the hearts of Afghanistan, All the Light we Cannot See, a portrait of courage and evil, and Where the Crawdads Sing, which drew me to look at the natural world in a different way to name a few.
As for whether understanding helps to avoid war, I disagree with Huong. The causes of war through the ages are as diverse as greed and industrial desire to the desire for freedom from dictatorial rule. There is also, I am afraid, a part of the ancient, reptilian brain, which will always feed the desire of some individuals to hate "the other" whoever they may be and to desire erasure of those who are different from whatever the prevailing culture celebrates.


Posted Apr. 19, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
bettyt

Join Date: 05/12/11

Posts: 195

RE: Huong thinks that if people are ...

I am always reading books about other cultures.I think this helps one recognize how alike we all are.


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