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Behind the Beautiful Forevers, by Katherine Boo
Pulitzer Prize winner, Katherine Boo spent three years among the residents of the Annawadi slum, a sprawling, cockeyed settlement of more than 300 tin-roof huts and shacks in the shadow of Mumbai’s International Airport. From within this “sumpy plug of slum” Boo unearths stories both tragic and poignant--about residents’ efforts to raise families, earn a living, or simply survive.

Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Social Movement in History Is Restoring Grace, Justice, and Beauty to the World by Paul Hawken
Hawken weaves together the intricate threads of what he believes is a global humanitarian movement encompassing the numerous environmental, social justice and indigenous preservation nongovernmental organizations throughout the world. Historical vignettes on major influences such as Charles Darwin, Rachel Carson and Mahatma Gandhi are included in this cumulative assessment of the movement. Hawken's words and conclusions are promising and hopeful that this amalgamated assortment of groups can produce the change needed to keep humanity prospering.

The Blue Sweater by Jacqueline Novogratz
The inspiring personal memoir of a woman who has spent her life on a quest to understand global poverty and to find powerful new ways of tackling it. From her first stumbling efforts as a young idealist venturing forth in Africa to the creation of the trailblazing organization she runs today, Novogratz brings us a series of insightful stories and unforgettable characters—from women dancing in a Nairobi slum, to unwed mothers starting a bakery, to courageous survivors of the Rwandan genocide, to entrepreneurs building services for the poor against impossible odds. She shows, in ways both hilarious and heartbreaking, how traditional charity often fails, but how a new form of philanthropic investing called "patient capital" can help make people self-sufficient and change millions of lives. More than just an auto-biography or a how-to guide to tackling poverty, this book challenges us to grant dignity to the poor and to rethink our engagement with the world.

Bottom Billion by Paul Collier

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope
by Bryan Mealer and William Kamkwamba

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
The story is a riveting saga of twin brothers, Marion and Shiva Stone, born of a tragic union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother's death in childbirth and their father's disappearance, and bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution.But it's love, not politics -- their passion for the same woman -- that will tear them apart and force Marion to flee his homeland and make his way to America, finding refuge in his work at an underfunded, overcrowded New York City hospital. When the past catches up to him, wreaking havoc and destruction, Marion has to entrust his life to the two men he has trusted least in the world: the surgeon father who abandoned him and the brother who betrayed him.

Dead Aid: Why Aid is Not Working and How There is a Better Way for Africa by Dambisa Moyo
In Dead Aid, Moyo describes the state of postwar development policy in Africa today and unflinchingly confronts one of the greatest myths of our time: that billions of dollars in aid sent from wealthy countries to developing African nations has helped to reduce poverty and increase growth.

The End of Poverty by Jeffrey Sachs
In this book, Sachs argues that through a carefully planned developmental aid program that addresses the developing countries' struggles to reach the "bottom rung" of the economic ladder, that poverty can be eliminated by 2025.

Enough: Why the World's Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty by Roger Thurow and Scott Kilman
The West tends to think of famine as a natural disaster, brought about by drought, or as the legacy of war and corrupt leaders. But Thurow and Kilman see famine as the result of bad policies spanning the political spectrum. In this investigative narrative, they explain through vivid human stories how the agricultural revolutions that transformed Asia and Latin America stopped short in Africa, and how sometimes well-intentioned strategies—alternating with ignorance and neglect—have conspired to keep the world's poorest people hungry and unable to feed themselves.

Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn
New York Times columnist Kristof and his wife, WuDunn, a former Times reporter, make a brilliantly argued case for investing in the health and autonomy of women worldwide.

Hunger: The Biology and Politics of Starvation by Jack Shepherd and John R. Butterly
Butterly and Shepherd show that hunger is not the result of inadequate resources and technologies; rather, its cause is a lack of political will to ensure that all people have access to the food to which they are entitled--food distributed safely, fairly, and equitably. Using a cross-disciplinary approach rooted in both medicine and social science to address this crucial issue, the authors provide in-depth coverage of the biology of human nutrition; malnutrition and associated health-related factors; political theories of inadequate nutrition and famine; historical-political behaviors that have led to famine in the past; and the current political behaviors that cause hunger and malnutrition to remain a major health problem today.

Poor Economics by Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee and Esther Duflo
Banerjee and Duflo offer a radical, yet practical, approach in rethinking the economics of poverty. Through the results of the Poverty Action Lab, the authors reveal some surprising aspects of poverty:why the poor need to borrow in order to save, why they miss out on free life-saving immunizations but pay for drugs that they do not need, why they start many businesses but do not grow any of them, and many other puzzling facts about living with less than 99 cents per day.

Strength in What Remains by Tracy Kidder

The White Man's Burden by William Easterly
Following his previous book that criticized the ineffectiveness of Western organizations to mitigate global poverty, Easterly delivers a brilliant and blistering indictment of the West's economic policies for the world's poor. Sometimes angry, sometimes irreverent, but always clear-eyed and rigorous, Easterly argues that we the West need to face our own history of ineptitude and draw the proper conclusions, especially at a time when the question of our ability to transplant Western institutions has become one of the most pressing issues we face.

Wars, Guns, and Votes by Paul Collier