In this area of the website, you can read about books that I consider worthy of notice.
In times of division when societal healing is needed, a truly inspiring and personal contribution by Vivek H. Murphy, 19th Surgeon General of the United States, is highly recommended: Together The Healing Power of Human Connection in a Sometimes Lonely World. Published in Dutch as De kracht van verbinding. Vivek Murphy, an American physician of Indian descent, combines the personal and the societal in his strong plea for connection.
Holocaust survivor Dr. Edith Eger wrote a deeply moving book about her life, including the horrors she lived in Auschwitz, and how she recovered: The Choice, published under the evocative title A Bailarina de Auschwitz in Portuguese and in many other languages. You can watch an inspiring interview with dr. Edith Eva Eger by Jakob van Wielink, former UvA colleague, now grief counsellor and expert on mourning, that I have been fortunate to attend live on 3 May 2019 in Zeist (The Netherlands).
For inspiring reading about the senior brain and how to ‘age well’, I recommend The Changing Mind: A Neuroscientist’s Guide to Ageing Well by neuroscientist author and musician Daniel Levithin. His book is full of insights and a useful guide to live better longer.
On the underestimation of ‘agency’ on the part of non-human sentient beings, a.k.a. animals, I recommend When animals speak: Toward an interspecies democracy by Eva Meijer.
In Leaving Microsoft to Change the World (2006) John Wood describes how a visit to an almost empty school library in Nepal, made during a holiday break in his hectic work making a career at Microsoft, inspired him to organise a ‘book drive’, an effort to collect English-language books to fill the school library. The success of this effort, and the immensity of the problem of lack of education and access to libraries led John to continue with a campaign that now includes the building of schools and libraries, the business of publishing local language books for children, and girls’ education programmes across ten countries in Asia and sub-Sahara Africa. John wanted other children to have the same exposure to books as he had during his childhood, experiencing the wealth of a local library he could easily access. In Creating Room to Read (2013), John’s third book (he also is the author of a children’s book Zak the Yak with Books on His Back), he describes the development of the organisation Room to Read. This not-for-profit organisation is run like a business, with the initiator’s experience in Microsoft coming up in many pages of the book as determining the way the ‘charity’ (a word John Wood avoids) is organised. Both books make very inspired reading. The author is true to his word: inviting readers – on page 83 of Creating Room to Read – to address him at firstname.lastname@example.org, I sent him an enthusiastic email when reading that passage in Lisbon, to which he immediately replied from Tokyo. Anyone who wishes to contribute to diminishing illiteracy and fostering opportunities that education can bring to children that are, should considering contributing spending time and/or money on Room to Read.
Author: Yochai Benkler
Author: Karen Armstrong
See, also, the website of the Charter for Compassion.
Author: Conor Grennan
Author: Chief Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time. See the wiki here.