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Lisa Bloom

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17 Smart Books You Must Read This Summer

Posted: 07/14/11 04:35 PM ET

How do you find great books to read? Go to the library, raid your friends' bookshelves, swap or buy books online in areas you are interested in. When in doubt, read Pulitzer Prize winners, book award winners, Oprah books, and books that a like-minded passionate reader friend has recommended. Kindle and other e-bookstores will recommend books to you once you buy a few and they get to know your taste. Indie bookstore proprietors like nothing more than suggesting reading materials for you. Think: Straight Talk For Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World includes a comprehensive reading list of books -- fiction and nonfiction -- that will stir you, provoke you, keep you up at night and make you late for work, and get your grey matter sizzling. Here's a much abbreviated version of that list, and some new ones.

Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
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The most important book of the last decade, this book details the compelling, page-turning true story of the lives of hundreds of millions of women and girls who are little more than serfs and objects in brutally misogynistic cultures, and it provides specifics on the programs that really do make a difference in combating sexual slavery, mothers dying in child birth, female genital mutilation, bride burnings, and other horrors our sisters around the world endure daily.
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