Books That Make A Difference

So many books, so little time…

Are you like me? Do you have multiple pages of wish lists for books on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and “To-Read” shelves on Goodreads and Library Thing?

I know this will come as a big surprise to you, but I have an especial interest in books that highlight aspects of humanitarianism and social justice.

Two of my upcoming reads:

Strength in What RemainsStrength In What Remains by Tracy Kidder

This is a non-fiction story about a man from Burundi who comes to the U.S. after surviving civil war and genocide. He arrives with practically nothing, but through the kindness of strangers, finds his path to healing (and a medical degree from Columbia).

All That is Bitter and SweetAll That Is Bitter And Sweet by Ashley Judd and Maryanne Vollers

This is Ashley Judd’s memoir that stemmed from diary entries written during her humanitarian journeys around the world. It details individual stories of survival as well as her own personal struggles.

Have you read either of these? If so, what did you think? Do you read books like these? Why or why not?

If you know of an inspiring book I should add to my list, I’d love to have your suggestions!


10 comments on “Books That Make A Difference

  1. I’ve been writing (and rewriting) more than I’ve been reading lately. My goal this summer is to read. I’m adding these 2 books to my wish list. Have you read “Scared” & “Priceless” by Tom Davis?

    • Beth, both of these books sound fantastic. I not only added them to my list, but moved them to the top. Thank you! I’m going to do more posts on what everybody’s reading. This is a gold mine!

  2. I haven’t read these yet, but now have added them to my ever growing ‘to be read’ list 🙂

    The Judd book reminds me of Angelina Jolie’s memoir on her travels as a U.N. Ambassador. Someone gave me the book a few years ago and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed reading it so you may want to try it as well.

    Thanks for the recommendations.

  3. Just discovered the Amazon wish list thingy, d’oh! The last truly inspiring book I read was Ellen MacArthur’s ‘Race Against Time’ which just left me breathless with admiration.

    • Roy, I have over 250 books on my Amazon wish list. So, I just warn you, it’s addicting. But, it’s the only way I could possibly remember all the books I see that sound interesting. Luv getting people’s recommendations. So, many interesting subjects out there. Seriously…so many books…so little time.

  4. I try very hard to consistently read about women in our world who have made a difference and who have inspired the masses! I would like to spread the word about an inspirational woman I read about recently, Jhumki Basu, in the book “Mission to Teach” by her father Dipak Basu ( It is a story of a young dedicated teacher who was determined in making learning science exciting for children at risk of a lifetime of poverty, drugs, and crime—and a way for them to become responsible citizens. She embraced democratic teaching methods and wanted to give her students a voice. During her teaching career she had a seven year battle with cancer that only pushed her more and made her fight harder for better education for her students. High school completion rates in the undeserved institutions she touched, and those touched by teachers who have followed her model, have risen from 30% to over 90%.
    It is such a brilliant story about an absolutely amazing woman. Pass it along 🙂
    I look forward to reading about Ashley Judd; I had no idea she traveled the world helping those in need!


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