Interested in hosting a book club? These events are a unique and engaging way to introduce your friends to not only the books, but Kiva and microfinance as well. Feel free to check out our book discussion questions!
The International Bank of Bob
This memoir chronicles the quest of Bob Harris as he follows his Kiva loans to their destinations around the globe. Bob describes his journey leading up to committing nearly a year’s salary to microfinance, and how he feels about this process now, years into his (continuing) journey. International Bank of Bob
is a thought-provoking read that maintains a light-hearted, comical voice. Check out this discussion guide
we created for you!
Banker to the Poor
This memoir of the Nobel Peace Prize-Winning founder of the Grameen Bank reads like a novel, and it’s a great introduction to microfinance for a newcomer. Yunus describes how his life evolved from being an economics professor in his native Bangladesh to committing his life to the plight of the rural poor.
Half The Sky
Nicholas Kristof & Sheryl WuDunn
Half the Sky
is unique in its ability to inspire, inform and catalyze action against female opporession. Kristof and WuDunn profile women in Africa and Asia who face intense obstacles to escaping poverty and finding empowerment. This is a great resource to expose someone to the interconnectedness of poverty, women’s rights and microfinance. Check out these book club discussion guides from Care.org
Katie Smith Milway
A lovely first introduction to microfinance for children of all ages. One Hen
tells the story of a loan and the difference it makes in a young boy’s life. The interactive website
is full of tools and curriculum for parents, kids and educators.
This story describes the challenges of one young and talented girl in Bangladesh. It is appropriate for youth, and looks at different cultural themes. Rickshaw Girl is thought-provoking and filled with lessons for younger audiences.
Out of Poverty
Polak challenges traditional top-down poverty alleviation methods and proposes a different set of tools that are already proving to be effective at lifting millions out of poverty.
The Blue Sweater
Novogratz describes her personal journey from the world of international banking to understanding and combating poverty. The title, The Blue Sweater
, comes from a moment Novogratz describes as the beginning of her journey; when she sees a young boy in Rwanda wearing a sweater she once owned and had donated to Goodwill years before. Be sure to check out Novogratz’ TEDTalk
Portfolios of the Poor
Daryl Collins, et al
This book tracks the lives of several families and individuals living in poverty for the duration of a year. The goal of the book is to provide some insight into what causes poverty and how those living in it find ways to survive.
The Last Hunger Season
This chronicle follows the lives of four African women over an extended period of time as they pursue entrepreneurship for the first time. Taking the less-travelled and challenging path, the women work with One Acre Fund to try and escape the chronic “hunger season” they annually face.
A Billion Bootstraps
Smith & Thurman
A Billion Bootstraps takes a look at the microcredit boom and how its approach compares to a more traditional charity approach to poverty alleviation. The book also describes how lenders can maximize their impact by thinking like an investor.
White Man’s Burden
In a controversial follow-up to his first book, The Elusive Quest for Growth, Easterly explores an alternative reality behind charitable giving. The author criticizes the traditional approach to poverty alleviation and explores alternatives.
End of Poverty
Jeffrey D. Sachs
Economist Jeffrey Sachs explores the degrees of posterity in the world today and provides some positive and realistic directives for fighting poverty. This book is an inspiring and empowering one, in a genre that is often overwhelming.
Too many words? ;) Check out our recommended films!
The Bottom Billion
This book strikes a balance between Sachs' optimistic call-to-action, and Easterly’s pointed critique. It is an exploration of what can be done to alleviate poverty that also recognizes that the current approach is not working.