Book Recommendations For a Cozy Winter Evening

In this age of smartphones, tablets and television screens, many of us are putting books back onto our New Year’s resolutions list. But it can be hard to know which ones will really keep you interested and stave off the temptation of digital devices. Here is a collection of books that globally minded readers committed to social justice won’t be able to put down.

Little Princes: One Man’s Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal. In this book, author Conor Grennan shares a message of modesty for those engaged in humanitarian work. In this joyful but sometimes emotionally demanding book, he tells the story of how his time in Nepal volunteering at an orphanage led to the creation of a non-profit organization called Next Generation Nepal. Grennan explains the series of events with a sense of humour and shows that all that you need to instigate change is determination.

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier. The causes of vicious conflict and atrocities often seem incomprehensible. In this book, Ishmael Beah provides unparalleled insight through his personal story, allowing readers us to view the unravelling of the Sierra Leonean civil war through his eyes as a child soldier. From beginning to end, he describes the struggle for survival, desperation and brainwashing that led him to the front lines. Beah’s story demonstrates that no matter how far gone a situation may seem, there is always hope.

Confessions of an Economic Hitman. Why do the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor? In this thought-provoking book, John Perkins recounts his role as a so-called “economic hitman,” negotiating with developing country leaders to pave the way for foreign interests. He points to a system of “corporatocracy” in which government agencies work together with multinational corporations to boost U.S. interests at the expense of the global south. He also provides examples of how we can change the world for the better, including by focusing on simplicity over materialism.

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