Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Favorite Have Fun Do Good Books of 2009

Below is my 5th annual list of favorite do-good books that I read in 2009, but this year I'm calling it my Have Fun Do Good Book list. Wahoo! You can also check out my lists from 2005-2008:

Favorite Do-Good Books of 2008
Favorite Do-Good Books of 2007
Favorite Do-Good Books of 2006
Favorite Do-Good Books of 2005

Favorite Have Fun Do Good Books of 2009
(in alphabetical order)

Between Two Worlds: Escape from Tyranny: Growing Up in the Shadow of Saddam by Zainab Salbi and Laurie Beckland

I had the awesome opportunity to interview the founder of Women for Women International, Zainab Salbi, this year for the Big Vision Podcast. Although I've been a sponsor of a "sister" for the past two years, and am familiar with the organization's work, to prepare for the interview I read her riveting memoir, Between Two Worlds. She's a super special lady and I highly recommend the book. You can read a transcript of my interview with Zainab Salbi here.

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer

This fall I really started thinking about eating animals. I haven't made up my mind for sure about anything yet, but I appreciated his exploration of the issues. I also recommend listening to a podcast interview with Safran Foer on

The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems by Van Jones

Van Jones was talking about "green jobs" way before it became a buzzword. I gotta say it. Don't listen Glenn Beck. Listen to Van Jones. Read the book.

Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul by Stuart Brown and Christopher Vaughan

When I heard Stuart Brown talk about the importance of play on the Speaking of Faith podcast in July, it was a real "aha" moment for me. I realized that I needed to make having fun a priority. Playing isn't a luxury, it's a necessity, and we're not going to make the world a better place without it.

The She Spot: Why Women are the Market for Changing the World -- And How to Reach Them by Lisa Witter and Lisa Chen

I also had the pleasure of interviewing Lisa Witter this year for the Big Vision Podcast. In the book, Lisa Witter, and co-author Lisa Chen, outline the four C's to use when marketing to women about your issue, or cause: Care, Connect, Control, and Cultivate. I was particularly interested in the idea that what women are looking for is, "a two-for-one. How can they incorporate making the world a better place into their day to day lives?" You can read a transcript of my interview with Lisa Witter here.

29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life by Cami Walker

I've been writing about the 29-Day Giving Challenge since
it first began in early 2008, and have known Cami for about that long as well, but I never realized the extent of the pain she endured with her multiple sclerosis until I read her memoir this fall. It made me appreciate even more how transformational intentional giving can be.

Vegan Brunch: Homestyle Recipes Worth Waking Up for - From Asparagus Omelets to Pumpkin Pancakes by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero

During this time of contemplation about eating animals I've been cooking up a vegan storm, which you can see in my Home Cookin' photo album on Facebook. I just got this cookbook for Christmas, but the two recipes I've made so far, Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins and Perfect Pancakes have been super yummy.

Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar: 100 Dairy-Free Recipes for Everyone's Favorite Treats by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero

I've made three recipes from this one: Mexican Chocolate Snickerdoodles, Deluxe Cocoa Brownies, and Espresso Chip Oatmeal Cookies. The Espresso Chip Oatmeal Cookies were the family favorite, but do not eat them before going to bed, or you'll never fall asleep (I know).

Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero

What an amazing cookbook. I've made a lot of recipes from this, but the ones I know I'll repeat so far are the Spiced Pita Chips, Plantain and Pinto Stew, and the Red Lentil-Cauliflower Curry. Yum, yum, yum. In fact, I need to finish this post so I can start making Rustic Beans and Mushrooms!

I'd love to hear what have fun do good books you enjoyed reading in 2009.

Cross-posted from

Full disclosure: I did some work for Green for All to help spread the word about The Green Collar Economy to other bloggers when it came out. I'm friends with Cami Walker and am mentioned in 29 Gifts. I received review copies of 29 Gifts and Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar.

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  1. What a great list of interesting books with links to some podcasts I need to listen too. Thanks for sharing! Book tips are on my blog for sure, I love reading great inspirational books!

  2. Anonymous6:07 AM

    Check out this informative and inspiring video on why people choose vegan:

    Also see Gary Yourofsky:

  3. Glad you liked them, iHanna (:


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