There are exactly 39 days of summer left this year. That means, it’s time to finally brush off those dusty book covers or Kindles and dig into the summer reading list you’ve been putting off since Memorial Day. Aside from finishing up the Hunger Games series (for the second time) and catching up on the classics, now is also the perfect time to read up on volunteering, service role models, finding inspiration and changing the world.
The following collection of books was pulled directly from Repair the World’s bookshelves and given enthusiastic thumbs up from the staff here. There are a lot of inspiring words and ideas just waiting below.
Hearts on Fire
This book by Jill Iscol and Peter Cookson shares the powerful stories of twelve different visionaries who managed to ignite their “idealism into action” and changed the world for the better in the process. If a dozen inspiring stories of true-life heroism and community action aren’t enough to convince you to pick up a copy of this book, the foreword by former President and current do-gooder extraordinaire, Bill Clinton, seals the deal that it’s an absolute must-read.
Living Proof: Telling Your Story to Make a Difference
Granville Circle Press, 2012
Have you ever wished that you could use the power of your words and story to move people to make a difference in the world? Written by John Capecci and Tim Cage, two experts in the world of communications, this straightforward, easy-to-use book will teach even the shyest public speaker to share their story with compelling confidence. Words have the power to change the world – as long as you learn to use them wisely.
The Impossible Will Take a Little While
Basic Books, 2004
Your favorite global do-gooders from Nelson Mandela to Tony Kushner and Maya Angelou come together in this awesome anthology of “hope in a time of fear.” The book’s 50 essays range from past to present day and from stories of mass social movements to small-but-meaningful moments of individual and community inspiration. Warning: this book’s positive outlook is addictive. We dare you to read it and not feel more hopeful about the state of the world.
Writing to Change the World
Riverhead Books, 2006
Social-change journalism veteran and author of the New York Times best-selling book, Reviving Opehila: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls, Mary Pipher’s book teachers readers how to influence the world for good with their poetry and prose. Pipher believes that writers can serve as the “rescue team” for our “tired, overcrowded planet,” and be a source of inspiration, education, and change. Want to use your writing to change the world for good? Read on…
Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide
Pulitzer Prize winning authors, Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn take readers on a journey through Africa and Asia to meet women on the brink: sold into sex slavery, dying in childbirth, and treated as second class citizens, or worse, in their communities. The authors share these stories of suffering and show how we can help to transform the lives of these women and girls by supporting and empowering their economic progress. Read on and get ready to be inspired.
The Fair Trade Revolution
Pluto Press, 2011
The Fair Trade revolution has grown tremendously over the last two decades – moving from the fringe to the mainstream. This book, edited by fair trade expert John Bowes, explores this tremendous growth with personal stories and real-world examples. It is sure to inspire you to think deeply before buying that next cup of coffee or that new cotton t-shirt.
What’s your favorite “must-read” do-gooder book? Let us know in the comments below or by tweeting @repairtheworld.