Global Updates From World View
International Summer Reads
We hope you are enjoying your summer and taking the time to read a few good “internationally-themed” books. Read on to see what books the folks at World View recommend. What are you reading this summer? Send me your recommendations and a summary of the book and I will add it to the list!
Carina recommends . . . .
The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to his White Mother
by James McBride. Riverhead Books, 1996.
This beautifully written memoir is a tribute to the author's mother and her fight for cultural identity. McBride carefully describes a difficult childhood defended by a strong mother, a mother he truly understood once he reached adulthood.
A Year in Provence
by Peter Mayle. Knopf, 1990.
A Year in Provence is the first in a series of humorously written travel narratives about life in southern France. The author takes you on a lyrical journey as a foreigner attempting to relocate to this new and surprising land.
Julie recommends . . . .
Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World
by Tracy Kidder. Random House, 2004
Tracy Kidder introduces Dr. Paul Framer and his story to the world. Recognized as a leading doctor in infectious diseases, the path to greatness was anything but ordinary for Farmer. Farmer was raised in a bus, a boat, and without many resources, before he found his calling in life at medical school. The book tells Farmer’s story of the trials and tribulations encountered when establishing health clinics, first in Haiti, and then eventually in Peru and Russia. Through his work and dedication Farmer has helped save hundreds of lives.
What is the What?
by Dave Eggers. McSweeney's Publishing, 2006
This story chronicles the life of Valentino Achak Deng, a refugee from Sudan who found his way to Atlanta. As one of the “Lost Boys of Sudan” Deng survived a civil war by trekking across the country fighting off lions, starvation, and violence before finding temporary, albeit long term, home in refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya. Several years later, after arriving in the United States Deng discovers new challenges to survive and struggles for security and comfort in his new country.
Lauren recommends . . . .
by Jhumpa Lahiri. Houghton Mifflin, 2003.
The Namesake recounts a young Indian couple who leaves their families in India after marriage and move to the United States. Here, they begin to raise a family of their own. The novel details the different emotions experienced by both the parents, who try to maintain their heritage and culture in their new American home, and their American-born children, who are constantly grappling to determine their true identity, and fit in somewhere between their home and their social/school life.
Neil recommends . . . .
The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time
by Jeffrey D. Sachs. Penguin Press, 2005.
As Jeffery Sachs points out, over a billion people subsist on less than a dollar a day, the standard threshold for “extreme poverty.” Every year, hundreds of thousands die of starvation, malnutrition, or disease. Tens of millions of children perish in infancy. This book provides the author’s recollections of his experiences as an advisor to developing nations and a forceful analysis of the causes of extreme global poverty. Whether or not you agree with his final solution, this book offers a compelling look at of one of the most pressing issues of our times.
Regina recommends . . . .
Grounded Globalism: How the U.S. South Embraces the World
by James L. Peacock. Univ of Georgia Press, 2007
Many worthwhile books examine globalization from a global perspective. This one asks how globalization has changed a very local place—our own region of the South. Peacock offers insights into the surprisingly early global connections to the South, and the latest connections, through immigration and business, while making clear that what he calls “grounded globalism,” embracing both the local and the global, offers the most sustainable future for our region and our world. Read it and open a discussion in your own community about our global/local lives together!
So Long a Letter
by Mariama Ba. Heinemann, 1989
World View's study visit participants read this very moving story in preparation for their trip to Senegal. In a letter to a life-long friend, the recently widowed Ramatoulaye explores her youth, marriage, and motherhood, and the strength that helped her face the challenges of each life passage. An insightful look into Senegalese culture and women's lives.
Robert recommends . . . .
The Post-American World
by Fareed Zakaria. Norton, W. W. & Company, 2008
Called a prophetic assessment of America 's changing place in the global age and a masterpiece of insight, Fareed Zakaria’s newest book should be on every educator's reading list. He will help you understand the challenges the U.S. faces and its implications for the students we teach. Zakaria is the editor of Newsweek International and writes a weekly international affairs column. He explains a future shaped by many emerging power centers, particularly those of China and India.
Three Cups of Tea . . . One man’s mission to promote peace one school at a time
by Greg Mortenson & David O. Relin. Penguin, 2006.
The uplifting story of Greg Mortenson, an American mountain climber and remarkable humanitarian working in northern Pakistan and Afghanistan. The story begins in 1993 when Mortenson fails in an attempt to summit K2, the planet’s second highest peak but its most difficult. After almost dying on his way back down the mountain, he was nursed back to health by a Pakistani mountain village. Mortenson then promises to return and build a school, and over the next decade he built fifty-five schools in the Karakorum Mountains (a part of the Himalayas) that is the birthplace of the Taliban. The book is a compelling read that helps you understand the complexity of central Asia and its Islamic values.
Antarctica: Life on the Ice
edited by Susan Fox Rogers. Travelers’ Tales, 2007.
A collection of some of the best writing about the seventh continent. The stories reveal the challenges and rewards of exploring the otherworldly continent of Antarctica, a place most of our students know very little.