Reading That Counts: Why I Highly Recommend “The Blue Sweater”

Hello. Broken record here. I’m going to talk about Charitable Influence for a bit.

I write about a lot of things here on my personal blog. Sometimes it’s simply observations on life. Sometimes it’s a beautiful day at the park. Sometimes it’s the latest skincare products. And then I write about how we might change the world.

You see, my blog works a lot like my mind does. My interests run the gamut. I like my life. I like every day pleasures. But I also enjoy learning more about the big picture. The global picture. I like knowing that we’re all connected. Women here in the United States struggling to be good mothers and raising our children the best we can. And the same is happening in Liberia and Bangladesh and France. We are all connected in ways we don’t even understand yet.

When my partner Heidi approached me about starting Charitable Influence (which didn’t actually have a name at the time), I thought it sounded like a good idea but wasn’t really sure how to make it work. In fact, we’re still figuring out our niche but we know that bloggers using their voices is already making a difference and we’re proud to be part of that.

But let’s be honest. Heidi and I have some frank discussions. We talk about how it’s overwhelming sometimes to look at the big picture. How we feel like we are such insignificant players and what difference can we really make. We talk about how it would be so much easier to just keep working on our blogs. I could keep reviewing dresses and cell phones (which I still like to do) and Heidi could keep writing about philanthropy. But we wouldn’t really make a difference that way.

In one of these discussions, Heidi told to check out a book called “The Blue Sweater” by Jacqueline Novogratz, one of her personal heroes. I hadn’t heard of the book or the author. She told me it might be a little hard to read but that it was worth it.

So I downloaded the audiobook and listened to it sporadically as I was driving back and forth preparing for our move. When I heard her recount the story of where the book title came from, I was riveted.

Now I know what the fuss is all about. I do think Jacqueline Novogratz (@jnovogratz) is an amazingly savvy woman. She’s smart, has a head for business, and a heart for the greater good. She doesn’t want to save the world. She wants to empower them to save themselves. Her book is riveting, educational, informative, and will absolutely change your perspective on global poverty and how charity can help and sometimes hurt a chance for change.

At this point, I’m hoping you’re intrigued. Maybe even thinking about checking it out. And this is why I decided to post about this today. Heidi and I wanted to share this book with all of you and we wanted you to feel transformed as you were reading it as well. So we did two things:

1. We decided to start a book club for Charitable Influence. It’s a quarterly book club because we know that nonfiction stories aren’t always page turners but we promise to pick books that will get you. Right. Here. As you might have guessed, we picked “The Blue Sweater” as our first selection. We’ll start reading it on July 1st and finish as a group on September 30th. We’ll have a Facebook group for ongoing discussions about the book and we’ll have at least one Twitter chat during the quarter.

2. Because we want you to want to read this book, we contacted Rodale Press, the publisher of “The Bue Sweater,” who was kind enough to donate 10 copies of the book for us to giveaway. So that’s a 90 day book club, with an amazing book, and a chance to get a free copy. WIN-WIN-WIN.

For all of the details, please stop over to Charitable Influence and read all the details for our giveaway. But hurry! The giveaway ends this Friday on June 22nd!

  • Melissa_FillingOurBucket

    I’m excited to read it!! :)

    • FadraN

      I’ll be reading it for the second time along with you!

  • Brandy InsaneMamacita

    I sometimes have trouble reading non-fiction but this sounds interesting!

    • FadraN

      It can be a little tough at times which is why we spread it out over 3 months. Hopefully, we’ll all have a really good discussion about what we’re reading!

  • Jayla

    This sounds like an interesting story. I love to read, but I have a hard time getting into non-fiction, but this sounds like a story I would want to read! :-)

    • FadraN

      I listened to the audiobook so it was a little easier for me to get into hearing her personal stories. But SO much food for thought!

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