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October 19, 2009

Book Clubs: Making a Difference

Posted by webmaster
Book club members are a generous group and are often inspired to take action to help others in various ways, as we've noted in previous posts. Bookseller Debra Linn's group made a donation to the Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center after reading Edwidge Danticat's memoir Brother, I'm Dying, and author Ann Hood talked about how even hobbies like knitting can be used to make a difference. In last year's round-up of holiday activities and traditions submitted by readers, many noted that they seek out ways to help in their communities and beyond.

In a piece on the, Linda Mason, Chair of the Board for the aid organization Mercy Corps, highlights businesswoman Rufi Natarajan and her Houston reading group, who selected and discussed Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Pulitzer Prize-winners Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. "This book club was incensed and compelled to action," writes Mason. They have raised $700 so far for Mercy Corps, which works on behalf of women in developing countries, and Rufi is speaking out to alert more American women about the cause.

Rufi's book club, notes Mason, is one of more than 400 around the world participating in an initiative to have groups read Half the Sky and spread the word about Mercy Corps' cause. Authors Kristof and WuDunn plan to visit the book club that compiles the most impressive record of activism by June 15, 2010. Click here for information and to sign up your group for the contest.