Givology Staff's Blog

Givology Top 10 Reading List

[b]1) Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide[/b]
[color=#000066] By: Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn[/color]
[i]From two of our most fiercely moral voices, a passionate call to arms against our era’s most pervasive human rights violation: the oppression of women and girls in the developing world. Readers undertake an odyssey through Africa and Asia to meet the extraordinary women struggling there, among them a Cambodian teenager sold into sex slavery and an Ethiopian woman who suffered devastating injuries in childbirth. From Kristof and WuDunn’s combined reporting experience, readers depict our world with anger, sadness, clarity, and, ultimately, hope. Half theSky offers a beautiful and sensitive portrait of many women who have suffered, a tribute to those who have taken action, and a challenge to all of us in development to continue the work we do[/i]
[b]2) The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change[/b]
[color=#000066] By: Adam Braun[/color]
[i]Adam Braun began working summers at hedge funds sprinting down the path to a successful Wall Street career. But while traveling he met a young boy begging on the streets of India, who after being asked what he wanted most in the world, simply answered, “A pencil.” This small request led to a staggering series of events that took Braun backpacking through dozens of countries before eventually leaving one of the world’s most prestigious jobs to found Pencils of Promise, the organization he started with just $25 that has since built more than 200 schools around the world. Each[/i][i] chapter explains one clear step that every person can take to turn your biggest ambitions into reality, even if you start with as little as $25. His story takes readers behind the scenes with business moguls and village chiefs, world-famous celebrities and hometown heroes. Driven by compelling stories and shareable insights, this is a vivid and inspiring book that will give you the tools to make your own life a story worth telling.[/i]
[b]3) Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace...One School at a Time[/b]
[color=#000099] By: Greg Mortenson[/color]
[i]Greg Mortenson, a homeless mountaineer who, following a 1993 climb of Pakistan’s treacherous K2, was inspired by a chance encounter with impoverished mountain villagers and promised to build them a school. Over the next decade he built fifty-five schools that offer a balanced education in one of the most isolated and dangerous regions on earth. As it chronicles Mortenson’s quest, which has brought him into conflict with both enraged Islamists and uncomprehending Americans, Three Cups of Tea combines adventure with a celebration of the humanitarian spirit. The astonishing, uplifting story of a real-life Indiana Jones and his humanitarian campaign to use education to combat terrorism in the Taliban’s backyard.[/i]

[b]4) Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace Through Education in Afghanistan and Pakistan[/b]
[color=#000099] By: Greg Mortenson[/color]
[i]From the author of the #1 bestseller[/i][i] Three Cups of Tea, the continuing story of this determined humanitarian's efforts to promote peace through education. In this dramatic first-person narrative, Greg Mortenson picks up where Three Cups of Tea left off in 2003, recounting his relentless, ongoing efforts to establish schools for girls in Afghanistan; his extensive work in Azad Kashmir and Pakistan after a massive earthquake hit the region in 2005; and the unique ways he has built relationships with Islamic clerics, militia commanders, and tribal leaders. Greg shares for the first time his broader vision to promote peace through education and literacy, as well as touching on military matters, Islam, and women-all woven together with the many rich personal stories of the people who have been involved in this remarkable two-decade humanitarian effort.[/i]

[b]5) Barefoot in Baghdad: A Story of Identity-My Own and What It Means to Be a Woman in Chaos[/b]
[color=#000099] By: Manal M. Omar[/color]
[i]An American aid worker of Arab descent, Manal Omar moves to Iraq to help as many women as she can rebuild their lives. She quickly finds herself drawn into the saga of a people determined to rise from the ashes of war and sanctions and rebuild their lives in the face of crushing chaos. This is a chronicle of Omar's friendships with several Iraqis whose lives are crumbling before her eyes. It is a tale of love, as her relationship with one Iraqi man intensifies in a country in turmoil. And it is the heartrending stories of the women of Iraq, as they grapple with what it means to be female in a homeland you no longer recognize.[/i]
[b]6) I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced[/b]
[color=#000099]By: Nujood Ali[/color]
[i]Nujood Ali's childhood came to an abrupt end in 2008 when her father arranged for her to be married to a man three times her age. With harrowing directness, Nujood tells of abuse at her husband's hands and of her daring escape. With the help of local advocates and the press, Nujood obtained her freedom—an extraordinary achievement in Yemen, where almost half of all girls are married under the legal age. Nujood's courageous defiance of both Yemeni customs and her own family has inspired other young girls in the Middle East to challenge their marriages. Here is an unforgettable story of tragedy, triumph, and courage. “I’m a simple village girl who has always obeyed the orders of my father and brothers. Since forever, I have learned to say yes to everything. Today I have decided to say no.”[/i]
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[b]7) Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books[/b]
[color=#000099]By: Azar Nafisi[/color]
[i]Nafisi gathered seven young women at her house every Thursday morning to read and discuss forbidden works of Western literature. They were all former students whom she had taught at university. Some came from conservative and religious families, others were progressive and secular; several had spent time in jail. They were shy and uncomfortable at first, unaccustomed to being asked to speak their minds, but soon they began to open up and to speak more freely, not only about the novels they were reading but also about themselves, their dreams and disappointments. They read books like Pride and Prejudice, Washington Square, and The Great Gatsby. “We all have dreams - things we fantasize about doing and generally never get around to. This is the story of Azar Nafisi's dream and of the nightmare that made it come true."[/i]
8) The White Umbrella: Walking with Survivors of Sex Trafficking
[color=#000099]By: Mary Frances Bowley[/color]
[i]The White Umbrella tells stories of survivors as well as those who came alongside to help them to recovery. It describes the pain and the strength of these young women and those who held the "white umbrella" of protection and purity over them on the road to restoration.[/i][i]
This book offers principles and guidance to anyone with a heart for these hurting young women and a desire to help. It is an ideal resource for individuals or organizations seeking to learn what they can do to assist these victims in becoming whole again.[/i]

[b]9) [/b][b]Mountains beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World[/b]
[color=#000099]By: Tracy Kidder[/color]
[i]At the center of Mountains Beyond Mountains stands Paul Farmer. Doctor, Harvard Professor found his life's calling: to diagnose and cure infectious diseases and to bring the lifesaving tools of modern medicine to those who need them most. As readers follow Farmer’s treatment of developing ideas and practices of public health, his gentle interactions with rural Haitians, his development of a private charity, and his attempts to change international medical policies, that challenge will always be echoing through their minds.[/i]
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[b]10) [/b][b]Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil[/b]
[color=#000099]By: Debbie Rodriguez[/color]
[i]Soon after the fall of the Taliban, in 2001, Deborah Rodriguez went to Afghanistan as part of a group offering humanitarian aid to this war-torn nation. Surrounded by men and women whose skills–as doctors, nurses, and therapists–seemed eminently more practical than her own, Rodriguez, a hairdresser and mother of two from Michigan, despaired of being of any real use. She soon found a gift for befriending Afghans, and once her profession became known she was eagerly sought out by Westerners desperate for a good haircut and by Afghan women, who have a long and proud tradition of running their own beauty salons. Rodriguez stumbled through language barriers, overstepped cultural customs, and constantly juggled the challenges of a postwar nation even as she learned how to empower her students to become their families’ breadwinners by learning the fundamentals of coloring techniques, haircutting, and makeup.[/i]

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