Sunday, 30 November 2014

21 Books That Could Make The World A Better Place

We recently asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us what book could make the world a better place, if it was required reading. Here are some of their responses.

1. Reason for Hope by Jane Goodall

“It is a great book about humanity, nature, and animals. We desperately need to get reconnected with this planet and with ourselves.

2. Sold by Patricia McCormick

“To remind people how we take our freedoms and education for granted.”—Meghan A., via Facebook

3. Night by Elie Wiesel

“It’s a first-person account of his real-life experience in a concentration camp during the Holocaust. It has a good ending and makes you reflect on how lucky our lives are.
—Sarah D., via Facebook

4. A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah

“It is a true story about a boy who is recruited by the African government to be a soldier. I cannot stress enough how much everyone needs to read it. Please, you totally won’t regret it and it will teach everyone a valuable lesson.”

5. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

“Especially with all the political changes in the world at the moment such as the wars in the Middle East and women’s rights movements, it really humanizes the whole experience for those who would be otherwise blind to it.”
—Lois P., via Facebook

6. Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela

Recommended by Katy O., via Facebook, this is the late Nelson Mandela’s autobiography, chronicling his early life, adolescence, and 27 years in prison.

7. The Big Necessity by Rose George

The Big Necessity by Rose George
Metropolitan Books
It’s about poop. And toilets. And why having toilets to poop in is so important.That way, the new cool charity thing would be to install toilets in developing countries. Clean water doesn’t help much without sanitation.”
—Jennifer N., via Facebook

8. Room by Emma Donoghue

Suggested by Daniel S., via Facebook, this novel tells the story of a 5-year-old boy held in captivity with his mother. Donoghue was inspired by the Fritzl case in 2008.

9. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

“It changed my perception of the world and become more aware of what is happening around me.”
—Angely A., via Facebook
Everyone should learn not to judge someone by the circumstances of their life, but by what they have done with their life. A prostitute could be a loving mother, an ex-convict and a neglected daughter can be heroes. It is the longest and most beautiful book I’ve ever read.”

10. The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

“No book I’ve ever read better emphasizes the importance of working towards your dreams, making the most of your life, and reflecting on the best things in your life. Just a spectacular read.”
—Dustin C., via Facebook

11. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

“Imperative to understanding how other people act and how you should respond. It makes you realize how much we believe the world revolves around us and how to avoid that selfish mindset, as well as how to accept that other people’s attitudes and negativity are not your fault. An amazing book for those looking to broaden their minds, improve relationships, and expand their knowledge of love and life.”
—Mackenzie W., via Facebook

12. Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer

“It is an incredible examination of how meat production and consumption has changed over history, how it is deeply tied to our culture, and its effects on our bodies and our planet. Books can teach us about things we’ve never known, worlds we’ve never imagined, situations of philosophy and morality that we’d never come by otherwise. But this particular book can help us confront the here and the now — the very real problem of meat consumption in our culture, the ethical treatment of the animal world, and what we can do to change.”
—Samantha M., via Facebook

13. If I Just Had Two Wings by Virginia Frances Schwartz

If I Just Had Two Wings by Virginia Frances Schwartz
Stoddart Kids
“Virginia Frances Schwartz gave me a lot of perspective as a child. It’s about a 13-year-old girl escaping the slave trade on the Underground Railroad, and growing up in a small (and very non-diverse) town. It taught me a lot that my school never thought to teach.”
—Michelle P., via Facebook

14. His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

“It shows that being ruled by religion and taking every word seriously can have terrible consequences, especially on impressionable minds. It also encourages you to question authority and wonder who gave said authority that power. I feel its message is also that religion without spirituality leads to corruption. His Dark Materials shows spirituality is far more important. It also shows how important it is to understand one’s self and to know one’s self.”
—Jacob H., via Facebook

15. Quiet by Susan Cain

“For all of my fellow introverts out there, this book explains how we are different from our extrovert friends and why it’s ok to be reserved and want precious alone time. Well-researched and wonderfully written by an introvert herself, Cain discusses the extrovert ideal, the biology of being introverted, and the extrovert/introvert dynamic in other cultures. This book made me rethink how I interact with people on a daily basis and how I view myself. Truly eye-opening.

16. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Recommended by Timmy-Dog C., via Facebook, this is the late Maya Angelou’s triumphant autobiography of her early years.

17. How to Lie With Statistics by Darrell Huff

“It’s an easy read — 144 pages and written with no assumption of math expertise.The world would be a better place if more people were better able to critically analyze the statistics they are confronted with every day.

18. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

“It’s the author’s story of her alcoholic father and her mentally unstable mother and her three siblings. I read it all the time.

19. Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

“This book completely changed the way I view the world, money, and happiness. It gave me a different outlook and really showed me that there was more to life than material goods, and that happiness and enlightenment cannot be taught.

20. The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff

“This book has the most insightful passages I’ve ever read.”