Part I featured books with pirates, philosophers, and innovative solutions for a better world. Here are more summer reading ideas from leaders in nonprofits, social impact investing, business, and corporate social responsibility.
God is Not a Christian: And Other Provocations, by Desmond Tutu. A personal hero, Desmond Tutu, embodies the potential for action that every person can potentially have. Most importantly, for me, Tutu reminds us of the universality of the great messages that the world’s religious traditions have for us all–that whether Eastern or Western, we all just might be called to be spiritual enlightened mystics.
I’m now in the middle of Country Driving by Peter Hessler. Having spent a year working in China, I can never read enough about the place, and love Hessler’s eminently readable mix of personal narrative and reportage.
Even though it’s ten years old, I find myself reaching for Mary Ann Glendon’s A World Made New: Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights a lot these days. Glendon debunks the myth that human rights are a Western concept, recounting the intense debate and collaboration–ably led by Eleanor Roosevelt–among the Chinese and other non-Western diplomats who created the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
On a lighter note, I loved Tina Fey’s Bossypants. But what woman–of any age really–could not love Tina explaining that the fundamental difference between men and women in comedy is that men feel free to pee in jars in their office?
In The Power of Pro Bono, John Cary and his friends at Public Architecture beautifully show the impact that pro bono design can have for a nonprofit. It not only tells the story from the architects’ perspective, it tells the client’s story, too.
The next one on my bookshelf is The Responsible Business: Reimagining Sustainability and Success, by Carol Sanford. From the forward, “No longer just the role of a department or the job of CSR professionals, successful responsibility and business efforts start at the business level, are then taken to the corporate level, and are finally applied throughout the organization.” Carol was a speaker at the recent Sustainable Brands 2011 Conference that I attended and her presentation really piqued my interest.
For my when I’m not in business mode, I am planning to pick up The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding from You, a provocative read by my friend, Eli Pariser and The Wanderlust: A Love Affair with Five Continents, by my friend Elisabeth Eaves (both Brooklyn authors I might add). Lastly, when those are finished, I might just start working on my own.
I’m planning on re-reading the Odyssey by Homer this summer. I like going back and re-reading the books that tortured me in high school…to find that I actually like them when there isn’t an exam looming in a few days.
Speaking of reading, be sure to stay tuned here for fresh perspectives and insights on nonprofit board governance, corporate social responsibility, and sustainability, and ways that you can help to make the world a better place.