*RING Leaving Microsoft to Change the World ****JOIN THIS RING***
9 journalers for this copy...
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If bookcrossing got together with Room to read, where would it lead?
Inspirational stuff with some busines mixed in and I have emailed to ask about a collaboration....watch this space
*********TO JOIN THE RING SEND A PM TO KAREN07814 GIVING LOCATION AND SHIPPING PREFS*******
earthcaroleanne in uk ship uk
vekiki in uk ship uk/eu
laure69 in France ship eu
ApaloniaX in EU, EU or surface mail if necessary
LyzzyBee in UK post UK
JoolsW in UK sjip int'l
Azuki in US prefers US/Can
KateKintail in US prefers US but int'l ok<-----book is here
back to me if possible (I haven't seen the changes it's gone through)
over to you and onwards
Thank you for sending this out as a bookring.
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
On it's way to Vekiki (if the postman turns up - they've called an unofficial strike!)
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
An interesting idea, but this was written in tones a little too preachy for my liking! Still, a great story so thankyou for sharing
Popped in the post today so hopefully this will get moving before the strikes hit later this week!
The book left for ApoloniaX two hours ago.
After reading the other JEs I'm quite curious now how I will find it... I spent some two years in Nepal, volunteering, working, research. I bet I won't like the preachy part... And I hope he's not just full of pride and praise for himself instead of having a (self-)critical view of things... Let's see.
(I can recommend Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson!)
Edited to add a photo and make this page a bit more colourful - Adivasi kids in India, Gujarat, not far from the Narmada dam (they went to school, there was an NGO school nearby).
At times this book is very detailed (I admit I wasn’t always that interested all the details about corporate life etc.), then it’s fast and shallow - when I would have liked some more information, especially about the actual project implementation. Unfortunately, important, central topics such as ownership or self-sufficiency are hardly brought up.
The title irritated me a bit – “change the world”… isn’t he a bit full of himself? The title of the German version is “Von Microsoft in den Himalaya: Bücher für eine bessere Welt“ = “From Microsoft to the Himalaya: Books for a Better World“, definitely less presumptuous.
I had my doubts when only a tiny fraction of those books he collected in the beginning was sorted out as not fit to go to Nepal. Were the books that were sent to Nepal all about things a Nepali child can relate to? I bet there were a lot of children’s books about rich white kids in their playrooms full of toys – what impact has that on a Nepali kid who has no toys (at least not what we call toys) and of course no room of his/her own? The expression “cultural imperialism” comes to my mind here… sorry, that’s a bit harsh, I know, but not everything that’s done with best intentions will have a positive impact. It seems that later on books were bought in the respective countries, which makes so much more sense. But questioning that first shipment should have come from John Wood. Nobody would have minded, nobody starts off perfectly.
Something else that annoyed me, which is connected to his self-centeredness, is that he hardly mentions all those co-operations with other NGOs. I was surprised to hear that Room to Read is very active in Cambodia. (BTW, calling Kompong Cham “remote” must be a joke!) I worked with NGOs there for 2,5 years in the mid-2000s, but hadn’t heard of Room to Read. I admit the name isn’t one I would easily remember. Then checking the www.roomtoread.org website I found that numerous local NGOs are listed as partners, actually about all the major players in that field. Those co-operations make so much sense, the NGOs have been there for quite a while, they know the “scene”, they have the expertise – but why hardly bringing them into focus? Would that have shifted too much glory to them (away from himself)?
John Wood gives the impression that all parents are principally eager to send children to school. That is simply not true in a multitude of cases. It is a pity that he hasn’t realised the need for adult education. Teaching mothers to read and write makes them understand how important this is for their daughters. Educating both mothers and daughters should go hand in hand. It isn’t that hard to organize evening classes for parents.
I read again what I wrote in my previous JE: “And I hope he's not just full of pride and praise for himself instead of having a (self-)critical view of things”. Oh well… he is. Boasting and bragging.
But I don’t really want to condemn him, not at all – he’s doing something important there. He just shouldn’t write books.
What’s really nice about this book: the pictures! I mean the ones from laure69.
I add a few Cambodian ones.
And a Nepali one here in this JE, taken in a hard-of-hearing class at the NGO CBR in Bhaktapur (sorry, bad quality, it's just a scan from a slide).
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
Anyway, should start this fairly soon...
It was with a little trepidation that I opened this book, given that previous readers had said it was boring, preachy and self-centered. I actually didn't find this. Sure, it was about Wood's life-changing decision to leave Microsoft and set up the Room To Read charity, which builds libraries and schools in places that really need them, and it was maybe more a business biography than a personal one. But I did feel he was honest and open. He talks about working long days but also about the toll that has taken on his personal and emotional life, and he celebrates his teams in a good way. I loved the bits about going running with the redoubtable Steve Ballmer when he was still at Microsoft!
One reader had pasted in some pictures of Nepal etc and this made it very special.
Room to Read is a fantastic charity and I'll be looking at making a donation to them. The Birmingham BookCrossers have sponsored the building of a library in India through Good Gifts and it's certainly a lovely feeling to do such a thing.
Anyway - a good, interesting and celebratory read. I will contact JoolsW and send it on asap.
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
Mailing to the next reader today!
Thanks to karen07814 for sharing this one with us - I found it well worth reading : )
I sent a PM to Azuki a couple of days ago and will send the book on its way when I get a response.
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
This book is now in the post to Azuki. Happy Bookcrossing : )
His style is very different from Mortenson, but I don't think one is necessarily superior over the other. In some way I like this book better, because it contains more tidbits of idea I can apply. There is more than one road to success, and we need as many people helping to make the world a better way, in whatever way they can.
Reading this book also makes me sorely wish that USPS had not discontinued its surface mail overseas. I used to enjoy sending books overseas to developing countries whenever there is a request on BC forum, and unfortunately I am no longer able to do so.
I have KateKintail's address but am waiting for her confirmation before sending the book on.
ETA: Sent May 14.
I got this a little bit ago and I've already started reading it. I absolutely love the photos taped into the book. What a brilliant addition. I love seeing your personal connection to the book's tales and I also like seeing so much of the area and its people. I'm looking forward to finishing this story and passing it on ASAP! Thanks for including me on this ring.
I haven't yet read Three Cups of Tea though I have it on Mountain Range To Be Read. I can't remember when I signed up for this bookring but I do remember that the title seemed inspiring. I'm a computer science girl who turned down a job at IBM; I work at a non-profit now and though there are parts of my job I don't like, I wake up every work day knowing my work helps writers, teachers, and students studying writing which is more important to me than money... I wish I had the kind of money John had to be able to make such a big difference all of a sudden. It was interesting to see him make the transition here and to actually make that decision.
But even though he was in a financially stable place and able to travel and quit his job at Microsoft, I think he also stands as a great example of how much good one person can do. He started with a little book drive, after all! I've done that :-) My chapter of the Harry Potter Alliance won the chapter cup this year in the annual book drive, actually, donating more than 2,500 books to 10 different charities (libraries, donation banks, the Mississippi Delta schools, soldiers in Iraq, retirement homes). This book is so inspiring because it shows how something so small makes such a significant difference to people. It was amazing that just $20, for example, could mean weeks or months of practice time on a computer for one man.
I must admit some of the financial parts started to bore me by the end. It seemed like more fundraising than I really needed to hear about. But I liked the intimate look at ALL of the sides of thinking up and starting up the charity. My favorite parts were definitely the stories and interactions with specific people and children who were helped by Room to Read. Many of the stories touched my heart and moved me to tears a few times.
Volunteering is a significant part of my life, as are books. This book (and all the little additions people have included) has been so inspirational. Makes me want to act up and do more immediately.
I'm just going to repeat a quote near the end of the book because I don't want to forget it: "Do not wish to be anything but what you are, and try to be that perfectly." ~St. Francis de Sales