Great Books for Social Workers

I recently wrote this blog post about great movies for social workers.  Now that I have access to more libraries, I’m working on the book version.  I am only just getting started with this list, so any recommendations of what to read next would be appreciated!

When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi

The author of this book, a former neurosurgeon, describes the shock of being diagnosed with terminal cancer.  He wrote the book in the last year of his life, reflecting on his career and how the diagnosis changed his values and reason for living. This book is not for the faint of heart – Kalanithi spares no details, either of the surgeries he performed, or of what cancer did to him.  However, he writes very little about his family or the emotional side of things, so I found it less sad than I thought it would be.  I learned about this book because the author was married to the sister of a blogger I like, so you can read more about his wife’s experience at Cupofjo.com.

Evicted, by Matthew Desmond

This book is about poor renters in Milwaukee, and how their lives are affected by their landlords.  The author is a sociologist who spent about a year living in Milwaukee and following several families.  He describes their hopeless situations and how the families fall into deeper poverty with each eviction, which seem to come right after another.

Everyone Brave is Forgiven, by Chris Cleave

This is a fictional account of the lives of several Londoners during World War II.  Cleave does an excellent job of describing trauma and loss; his descriptions of the psychological aspect of living through constant bombing made me feel like the characters were real.  I almost cried several times during the story!

That’s all I’ve got for now, but I’m still working on the list.  Any suggestions?!

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6 thoughts on “Great Books for Social Workers

  1. Thanks for the recommendations. I am going to pick up Evicted; luckily my library has it. It sounds interesting. I taught for 5 years in a very poor, relatively isolated area in FL, and 98% of the students received free or reduced lunch. Their families’ struggles were heart-breaking, and I realized the difficult obstacles they were up against. It helped me understand why reading to their child or monitoring HW was not a priority for mom or dad.
    Susan

  2. hey
    i was look for interesting book in english to read.
    thanks For the liste.
    if you would like to make a Talk about you, you blog and book
    i will be glad to talk about it.
    Good luck and hope u the best

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