Sunday, January 9, 2011

2011 Challenge for Readers: Compassionate Action

Ask and you shall receive.  And be careful what you ask for.

I'd been musing this week on what sort of reading challenge I could offer us all.  Yesterday, the answer offered itself:

The Reading-for-Change 2011 Challenge:
Read 1 book/month dedicated to encouraging or supporting your own peaceful discourse, empathy, orcompassion.  Then take one action in your community - or the larger world - related to each book you read. 

JOIN ME.  It's easy:

1. Just write your first name in the comments section below, plus any books you know you'll read or wish to suggest to us all.  Leave contact info. if you like, or remain anonymous if you choose.  I''ll curate your book suggestions on a separate page here.

2.  If you want to stay in touch, "follow" me.  And/or subscribe to any of the feeds.

Some ideas that spring immediately from my shelves today:
Citizen You by Jonathan Tisch
Twelve Steps To A Compassionate Life by Karen Armstrong
The Dragonfly Effect by Jennifer Aaker and Andy Smith
The Lemon Tree by Sandy Tolan
Hope's Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet by Lappe and Lappe
Animals in Translation by Temple Grandin
The New Kings of NonFiction edited by Ira Glass
Peace Is Every Step by Thich Naht Hahn (old favorite)
The Illuminated Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks, illustrated by Michael Green (old favorite)

Additional Ideas
A book by a thoughtful individual who holds views antithetical to yours
A book of philosophy from a culture or time period or perspective other than your own
A core religious text from a tradition other than your current one or the one you were raised in
A book about a country or a group of people currently or previously "at war" with your own group
A book on positive social change or cultivating civil discourse
A book about - or from the perspective of - another species (The Art of Racing in the Rain, for instance)
A book (fiction, memoir, history) with a character - like Atticus Finch, for instance - who inspires
A book (fiction, memoir, history) from the perspective of an individual you wouldn't normally care about
A book that's an old favorite related to the challenge.
A book of poetry related to the challenge.

In peace, as in all else, MFB,

FYI: I always suggest buying books from your local bookseller to get yourself out there interacting with and supporting your community.  However, if you don't have access, you might try either or 

I promise to read all comments, so if you have a question or want suggestions directly from me, just let me know. 

If comments start to pile up, I'll add a widget/gadget to collect additional signatures.

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