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7 Books that Challenge the Way You Look at the World

September 01, 2018


News Copy with Callout A Must-Read by John Wood

A good book has the power to change the way we look at the world. So, this International Literacy Day, Room to Read selected several favorites that challenge the way we at our own lives and the lives of others. 

Recommendations from Room to Read's CEO, Geetha Murali:

1. So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport
In this eye-opening account, Cal Newport debunks the long-held belief that "follow your passion" is good advice. Not only is the cliché flawed, but it can also be dangerous, leading to anxiety and chronic job hopping.

2. Freakonomics by Steven d. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
The book is a collection of articles written by Levitt, an expert who had gained a reputation for applying economic theory to diverse subjects not usually covered by "traditional" economists. In Freakonomics, Levitt and Dubner argue that economics is, at root, the study of incentives.

3. Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker
With intellectual depth and literary flair, Enlightenment Now makes the case for reason, science, and humanism: the ideals we need to confront our problems and continue our progress.

4. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current circumstance.

Other Books Worth a Read:

5. Naked By David Sedaris.
The book details Sedaris’ life, from his unusual upbringing in the suburbs of Raleigh, North Carolina to his Kerouacian wandering as a young adult, bringing laughter and insights to the conditions we all experience.

6. I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual By Luvvie Ajayi
With a lighthearted, razor sharp wit and a unique perspective, I'm Judging You is the handbook the world needs, doling out the hard truths and a road map for bringing some "act right" into our lives, social media, and popular culture. 

7. The Leavers by Lisa Ko
Set in New York and China, this award-winning novel follows one young man's search for his mother, an undocumented Chinese immigrant who disappears when he's 11 years old, after which he is adopted by a white family. It's the story of one mother and her son: what brings them together and takes them apart. 

If you're interested in these books, check out our list for little ones: 15 Children's Books to Raise a Global Citizen.  

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