A Good Read

January 6, 2010 § Leave a comment

Nadine Curtis, our fearless leader here at Be Sweet, recently told me about a book she couldn’t put down. Always game for a good read, this blogger may indeed be finding herself reading this book very soon.

Nadine sang the praises of The Blue Sweater,  by Jacqueline Novogratz. The Blue Sweater is 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.

Jacqueline Novogratz © Joyce Ravid

Nadine particularly loved the quote that opens the first chapter – perfect for the new year: “There is no passion to be found playing small in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” – Nelson Mandela. The book reminded her that we are all interconnected in some way and that we all have an obligation to simply live the best life we can and help others less fortunate in the process. 

So head on over to your local book store or library if you’re in need of a good read. Those of you joining us for TNNA this weekend in Long Beach, CA, perhaps seize the opportunity for a long flight to pick it up and enjoy.


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