Catching up (3): books by friends

A unique travelogue from longtime friend of TMW and onetime Voice of Sparky, Bob Harris:

Hired by to review some of the most luxurious accommodations on Earth, and then inspired by a chance encounter in Dubai with the impoverished workers whose backbreaking jobs create such opulence, Bob Harris had an epiphany: He would turn his own good fortune into an effort to make lives like theirs better. Bob found his way to, the leading portal through which individuals make microloans all over the world: for as little as $25-50, businesses are financed and people are uplifted. Astonishingly, the repayment rate was nearly 99%, so he re-loaned the money to others over and over again.

After making hundreds of microloans online, Bob wanted to see the results first-hand, and in The International Bank of Bob he travels from Peru and Bosnia to Rwanda and Cambodia, introducing us to some of the most inspiring and enterprising people we’ve ever met, while illuminating day-to-day life-political and emotional-in much of the world that Americans never see. Told with humor and compassion, The International Bank of Bob brings the world to our doorstep, and makes clear that each of us can, actually, make it better.

Buy it here!

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A children’s book from my friend and fellow traveller Matt Davies, a Pulitzer-, Herblock-, and RFK-winning editorial cartoonist:

Ben loves his new bike. In fact, he loves it so much he even likes riding to school (especially if he can take the long way around)! That is, until an encounter with the local bully, Adrian Underbite, leaves Ben bike-less. When Ben discovers where his bike actually is, the reader is in for a dramatic, and literal, cliffhanger.

“Full of warmth, humor and a welcome lesson about bullies, Davies’s debut cries out for a follow-up.” — The New York Times

“Illustration comes naturally to Davies—his editorial cartoons won him a Pulitzer Prize in 2004—and this satisfying tale of a boy, his beloved bicycle, and the bully who steals it is a fine debut.”–Publishers Weekly

“Great amusement for the bold and timid alike.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Buy it here!

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And last but not least, Matt Bors’ awesome new Kickstarter book:

Are corporations people? Is birth control a sin? Can the president kill you with a drone strike? In this essential collection, Pulitzer Prize Finalist Matt Bors mixes the best political cartoons from his prolific body of work with 15 essays to answer the most perplexing questions of our time.

From wandering the halls of a church-run haunted house in Ohio to meeting in Afghanistan with victims of America’s War on Terror to speculating on the secret lives of homophobes, Bors ridicules the people and problems plaguing this fair nation.

Never has reading about economics and mass shootings been this enjoyable!

Buy it here!