I’m going to try to do a new thing here, and on Mondays recommend a book for all those keeping an eye out for a good read… something of substance.
My first Good Read has got to be a book that I was assigned for class last fall semester. It has recently come out in paperback and has also reached a spot on the NYT bestseller list, which means you can probably get a copy online for a good price :-D
Half the Sky is a compilation of true stories authors Nicholas D Kristof and his wife Sheryl WuDunn have gathered in their years of world travel and investigation of the status of women worldwide. I follow Kristof’s blog on the New York Times and he has thought-provoking articles on all subjects, but women and poverty is one that he clearly takes to heart.
Many have said that this book is difficult to get through–due to the subject matter, shocking at times. However, I found it inspiring in many cases and it gives me some direction when it comes to the big question– “what can I do to help in this world?” The answer I have found is aid my fellow women around the world. In addition to sponsoring a teenaged girl in Bangladesh, I am volunteering at a home for single mothers in my hometown (beginning soon).
For several years now I have been a member of this site called bookcrossing.com. The whole point of the site is to register a book and leave it where someone will find it, with the intention of them in turn registering for the site (if they’re not already a member) and journaling their thoughts on it after they finish reading. There is even a service on the site that sends users a daily summary of “releases” in their area (maybe 3-8 daily in the San Diego area). I suppose its just like those dollars one sees floating around out there with “Where’s George” floating around on them… wheresgeorge.com has the same “tracking” aspect but I’d argue that BookCrossing is more substance-based.
While my enthusiasm for registering and releasing books has come and gone over these 3 or 4 years (I’ll go through a spurt where I register and release maybe 6 books at a time, about once a year). My books have a low “caught” ratio (3 out of 20 or so) which I think lends to my sporadic nature of participation. Had I more positive feedback, my enthusiasm would be more sustained, I think. Nevertheless, I’m still a fan of the project.
If you’d like to find out more, go to bookcrossing.com and poke around a bit. My profile is here, and if you’d like to join, you can put ‘sutashi’ as your referrer.