Reading, Writing and … Volunteering?

Reading, Writing and … Volunteering?

By: Rya Kobewka
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After summer semester ended I have found myself enjoying all sorts of different warm weather activities.  I’ve been hiking, going to the beach, biking the seawall, and just about every other activity a Vancouverite can encounter in the summer months.

I’ve also been doing a lot of reading; stretching out on the beach with a good book, or inside on the odd rainy day.  It’s refreshing to hit the library for non-research related reasons.

During the summer I read a lot of nonfiction, particularly memoirs.  I love reading about the positive changes someone else has made in their own life and the world around them.  Below I’ve listed some books I’ve enjoyed or are high on the ‘to read’ list; motivating nonfiction books about beating the odds.

1) Love in the Driest Season: A Family Memoir – Neely Tucker.  This memoir follows Neely and his wife as they travel to a Zimbabwe orphanage to volunteer and end up fighting a battle to adopt with a foreign hostile government.

2) Touch the Top of the World: A Blind Man’s Journey to Climb Farther Than the Eye Can See – Eric Weihenmayer.  If this story is anything like his documentary Blindsight it should be a fantastic read.  Eric overcomes challenge after challenge to pursue his love of mountain climbing despite losing his eyesight in his teen years.

3) Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace … One School at a Time – Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin.  Despite the fact that Greg has come under criticism in the past year over his book, this is one of my personal favourites.  This story is nothing less than inspirational.

4) The Third Wave: A Volunteer Story – Alison Thompson.  After the tsunami in 2004 Alison flies to Sri Lanka with a desire to help and $300 dollars.  She ends up staying longer than intended and writes firsthand about the difficulties of life after disaster.

The library might not be the first place you want to head on your long waited summer vacation but a good summer can help you motivate yourself.  If you don’t want to head back to the dreaded library try Amazon.  So go ahead and throw a book in your beach bag.  I hope these stories will inspire you to get engaged and volunteer!

By Rya Kobewka

Posted on August 24, 2011
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