When Helping Hurts:  How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor.

Corbett, Steve and Fikkert, Brian.
Chicago:  Moody Publishers, 2009.

Corbett and Fikkert explore the complex nature of poverty and offer insights in to the reasons that so much well-intentioned “charity” goes awry, particularly in short-term international missions. They provide helpful ways for all of us to address various types of poverty – that of others, as well as our own.

Foreign to Familiar: A Guide To Understanding Hot and Cold Climate Cultures.

Lanier, Sarah
A.. McDougal Publishing Company, 2000.
Lanier’s compact and readable book is packed with stories and wisdom that will help anyone who hopes to relate across the North-South cultural divide. Whether you are a cross-cultural worker or simply live in a cross-cultural neighborhood, you’ll find this book to be a valuable resource for understanding and relating to others from a different “climate”. It is revealing, humourous and very practical.

28: Stories of Aids in Africa.

Nolen, Stephanie.
Walker and Company, 2008
The personal stories captured by Nolen are vastly different, except that they each represent one million of Africa’s 28 million HIV-infected people.  This is an eye-opening, educational and emotionally-gripping read, and will give the reader a new understanding of the AIDS crisis, as well as the fortitude and hope that exists in each person whose life is featured.

Ripples from the Zambezi: Passion, Entrepreneurship and the rebirth of local economies.

Sirolli, Ernesto.
New Society Publishers, 1999.

Sirolli’s discovery of a way of engaging people in their own dreams of better lives led to remarkable events in communities around the world, as people awoke to the resources and opportunities around them.  A compelling alternative to the model of large-scale NGO projects.

Long Walk to Freedom.

Mandela, Nelson.
London:  Little Brown and Company, 1994.
Most people know Mandela as an icon of the anti-Apartheid movement, and South Africa’s first democratically-elected president.  His autobiography chronicles the experience of life during Apartheid, his nearly three-decade long imprisonment, and his personal journey to become a leader of national forgiveness and reconciliation.

Cry, the Beloved Country.

Paton, Alan.
New York:  Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1948.
Paton’s classic South African novel tells the poignant story of two fathers who must face a shared tragedy. Their friendship reveals much about the nation in which they live, at a time just before Apartheid becomes law. An excellent, moving read.