As part of this endeavor to raise awareness about global issues, and to inspire people to act I thought I would add a section on good books that inspired me. Hearing my journey may be enough to get some people inspired, but for those of you who want more options to explore, I’ll be happy to provide some here. Check back often as I continue to add new books that I’m reading.
Three Cups of Tea - Greg Mortenson
Alright, so I know this book is controversial right now, and that might detract from it for some of you. That’s okay, I understand. If I had known the things I know now, I might not have read it either. BUT, I didn’t and I read it and was completely inspired. I still think its worth the read because he truly has still inspired and changed girls lives in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The book inspired me, and it might do the same for you, just keep in mind that some parts are a little exaggerated.
Stones into Schools – Greg Mortenson
This is the sequel to Mortenson’s first novel Three Cups of Tea that picks up where the original left off. This book also has exaggerations in it, but is still a good read in my opinion. This book expands upon Mortenson’s mission to promote peace through schools not bombs. Even if you don’t agree with Mortenson’s practices, his mission is still admirable, at least in my opinion.
Three Cups of Deceit – Jon Krakauer
Three Cups of Deceit by Jon Krakauer is an investigative byliner about Mortenson’s mistakes, shady business practices, and exaggerations in his two books. After reading both Three Cups of Tea and Stones into Schools I felt like I should definitely read this as well. Krakauer does a good job at presenting the information in a fairly objective manner and really helped me better understand what was true and what wasn’t in Mortenson’s books. Definitely a good piece if you’re curious about the Mortenson scandal, only issue I believe it is only available on Kindle.
Half the Sky - Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
This book was AMAZING, and truly made me want to jump out of my beach chair and go change the world. I wasn’t aware of how many serious issues there are around the world that could be fixed so easily if everyone did something tiny to help. This book presents many different problems facing out global community, but it also presents organizations that are doing amazing things to help and ways that individuals can get involved. Half the Sky features stories of real people who exemplify success stories coming from severely impoverished areas of the world, and most of the stories are about women. This book does an amazing job of portraying just how important women are to our global community, and how things won’t change until we start addressing basic problems in equality, healthcare, and education.
The Blue Sweater - Jacqueline Novogratz
So this is another amazing book, and I promise I don’t say that about every book, although it probably seems like it on here. The Blue Sweater made me think about things in a different way. Most of the other aid books I’ve read focus on humanitarian aid, where Novogratz believes that aid should run like a business. I never really thought about that, but it makes tons of sense. There needs to be accountability (otherwise you end up with disappointing stories like Mortenson’s), and business is a great way to do that. It also creates business opportunities for people in the developing world to make something of themselves, and create jobs for others. Overall, this book is a great inspiring story with a lot of good ideas to think about. There were also a decent amount of organizations mentioned that looked as if they might be interesting to look into, as someone who is interested in the global development field.