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FH Summer Reading List: Our Top 10 Books!

It's the FH Summer Reading List! 


We polled the office and put together our top 10 books for this summer, ranging from straight-up development, to Christian transformation, to readable economics, to feminism. Don't be intimidated by the titles! These books are chock-full of real-life stories and sprinkled with a healthy dose of humour. Let us know what you think and post your own suggestions in the comment section - we'd love to hear them!

#1. The Locust Effect: Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence - Gary A Haugen and Victor Boutros *A Washington Post bestseller

The hidden plague of everyday violence silently undermines our best efforts to help the poor. Rape, forced labor, illegal detention, land theft, and police abuse has become routine and relentless. This violence ruins lives, blocks the road out of poverty, and undercuts development. Public justice systems in the developing world have collapsed. Gary A. Haugen and Victor Boutros offer a searing account of how we got here and what it will take to end the violence. While their call to action is urgent, the authors provide hope, a real solution, and an ambitious way forward.

To hear Gary A. Haug talk about this topic, check out his TED Talk The Hidden Reason for Poverty the World Needs to Address Now

#2. The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger - Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson

One common factor links the healthiest and happiest societies: the degree of equality among their members. Researches Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett draw on 30 years of data to demonstrate that the converse is also true - more unequal societies are bad for everyone within them. They lay bare the contradictions between material success and social failure in the developed world. In addition to outlining the problem, Wilkinson and Pickett suggest a  way toward a new political outlook that will shift our orientation from self-interested consumerism to a friendlier, more sustainable society.

#3. Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible's View of Women - Sarah Bessey

Gender equality is one of the "cross-cutting" themes that appears in all FH programming because we believe God has created all human beings in his image with equal value - regardless of gender. Canadian author Sarah Bessey's Jesus Feminist, leads us through a thoughtful review of biblical teaching and church practices to help Christians understand how gender equality not only fits into the faith, but is a core tenant. Sarah Bessey brings us back to the fundamental question of what it means to be a disciple first and foremost, to realize one's calling and potential in the Kingdom of God. 

#4. Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for AfricaDambisa Moyo

When this book first hit the shelves it created quite a controversial stir. Now a national bestseller, Dead Aid 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. Moyo asserts poverty levels continue to escalate and growth rates have steadily declined. Dead Aid is an unsettling yet optimistic work. And it is a call to a new, more hopeful vision of how to address the desperate poverty that plagues millions.

#5 The White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good - William Easterley

If you feel intimidated by economics, here is an accessible and entertaining read to get you started. Saturated in Easterley's signature wit and real-life examples, The White Man's Burden is a good, albeit biased, introduction to development economics. This book is a brilliant and blistering indictment of the West’s economic policies for the world’s poor written out of Easterley's years of experience with the World Bank. He argues that the West must face our own history of ineptitude and draw the right conclusions as our ability to transplant Western institutions is a pressing issue.

#6. Muslims, Christians, and Jesus: Gaining Understanding and Building Relationships - Carl Medearis

Carl Medearis is an international expert in the field of Arab-American and Muslim-Christian relations. Based on the author's twenty-five years of first-hand experience, this engaging book reveals what the religion of Islam teaches and the worldview of many of today's Muslims. With practical information and personal stories, Carl Medearis shows readers how they can build life-changing bridges between the world's two largest religions - one person at a time.


#7. Walking With The Poor: Principles and Practices of Transformational Development - Bryant Meyers

Food for the Hungry (FH) Canada is all about transformational development. In this Christian development classic, Bryant Myers shows how Christian mission can contribute to dismantling poverty and social evil. Integrating the best principles and practices of the international development community, the thinking and experience of Christian NGOs, and a theological framework for transformational development, Myers demonstrates what is possible when we stop treating the spiritual and physical domains of life as separate and unrelated.

#8. Discipling Nations: The Power of Truth to Transform Cultures - Darrow Miller

Darrow Miller asserts the idea that that a person’s worldview heavily influences the way they will live their life and pursue growth for themselves, and their nation. Have Christians underestimated the power of God's truth to transform a the worldview of whole societies? In Discipling Nations, Darrow Miller builds a powerful and convincing thesis that God's truth not only breaks the spiritual bonds of sin and death but can free entire societies from deception and poverty. 


#9. Community and Growth - Jean Vanier

In the author’s words, Community and Growth “tries to clarify the conditions which are necessary to life in community. [...] It is made up of a series of starting-points for reflection, which I have discovered not through books, but through everyday life, through my mistakes, my set-backs and my personal failings, through the inspiration of God and my brothers and sisters, and through the moments of unity between us as well as the tension and suffering. Life in community is painful but it is also a marvelous adventure and a source of life.” (p. 12) Description courtesy Pat Loughery

#10. The Irresistible Revolution: Living as a Radical - Shane Claiborne

We can write a check to feed starving children or hold signs in the streets and feel like we’ve made a difference without ever encountering the faces of the suffering. In this book, Shane Claiborne describes an authentic faith rooted in belief, action, and love, inviting us into a movement of the Spirit that begins inside each of us and extends into a broken world. Shane lives out this revolution each day in his own impoverished neighbourhood by living among the homeless, helping kids with homework, and “practicing resurrection". Shane’s message will comfort the disturbed, and disturb the comfortable. 

BONUS BOOK!

Of course, no FH reading list would be complete without When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor...and Yourself - Bryan Fikkert and Steve Corbett






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Book descriptions adapted from amazon.com

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Food for the Hungry: FH Summer Reading List: Our Top 10 Books!
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