If you are trying to develop your Cultural Intelligence (CQ) then you likely have a deep interest in other people. You are engaging with people who are not like you, and are attempting to understand why they are not like you; aiming to understand their Core and their Flex, as well as your own.
But which novels can help you on your way? Which novels contain such richly drawn characters - from an array of backgrounds - that it is hard not to explore and mediate other culture's ways of thinking?
We have created a reading list of books we think can help you improve your Cultural Intelligence.
What have we missed? Let us know in comments!
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the night time
If your aim is to gain more understanding into the different ways in which people think, this story of a teenager with a form of high-functioning-autism is a must-read. Written methodically, from the point of view of the protagonist Christopher, the narration gives a fascinating insight into the mind and thought processes of an autistic teenager.
The Kite Runner
At the height of the military conflict in Afghanistan, Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini's debut novel told a more personal story of the country. The Kite Runner follows the story of Amir and Hassan from the fall of the Afghan Monarchy through to the rise of the Taliban, and is an important book for anyone with an interest in Afghan culture.
Set in the North West of London, Zadie Smith's novel paints a compelling portrait of race, class and multiculturalism in modern London. Written in a rhythmic stream-of-consciousness style, the work pays close attention to the idea of place and how that can affect a character's Core.
The White Tiger
When it won the Man Booker prize, The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga caused controversy for its less than enthusiastic portrayal of Indian society. Addressing themes of poverty, corruption, and regeneration in India, the novel is a stark account of sections of modern-day Indian society.
Game of Thrones (from A Song of Ice and Fire)
The Land of Westeros may be fictional but this sensational series by George R. R. Martin makes it on to our list because of the sheer quantity of different characters representing different customs, cultures and values. Far from being just another fantasy epic, Martin's character based-drama stems from conflicts in culture, which satirically mirrors our world - both historically and today. are only just becoming old enough to understand its implications.
Cultural Intelligence (CQ) is the ability to cross divides and thrive in multiple cultures. Find out more about Cultural Intelligence