Sunday, November 12, 2006

Books for National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week

This week is National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. Unplanned as far as I know, the book discussion group at my church is reading Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl. In the Nazi concentration camps, the hunger was planned; it was a deliberate part of the prison experience; it was a tool of the governing power. As in Frankl's case, hunger is often not just a natural consequence of living. Wars, poor use of resources, and greed bring about hunger. Hunger is not an isolated condition but a part of societies that have gone bad politically, economically, and environmentally.

In addition to doing something concrete, like donating to hunger relief or working at a shelter, this would be a good week to read a book in which hunger, homelessness, and their root causes are discussed. Here are some of my suggestions:

The Working Poor: Invisible in America by David K. Shipler

Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic by John de Graaf

Material World: A Global Family Portrait by Peter Menzel

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond

White Man's Burden: Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good by William Easterly

I have a new book to seek out. At church today, we heard about Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger by Ronald J. Sider. There seem to be very few copies of this book in my area.

There are many books in our libraries. Book displays can be put together quickly.

1 comment:

Nonanon said...

Hi Rick:
A good post. I just wanted to add one other recommendation:
Random Family, by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc. Not so much about homelessness per se, but definitely about poverty and how it affects family life and one's chances of becoming involved in criminal activities.