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Summer Reading….

Summer is here and I’m hopeful of a few ‘quieter’ weeks which will allow me to leave the office at 5 and spend some time reading in the evening (it won’t happen but I can dream).

But what should campaigners be reading this summer?

I asked friends on twitter for some recommendations and here is my crowd-sourced list of what they suggested.

1. Made to Stick, by Chip and Dan Heath. It’s been around for a few years but it’s still one of the best books about how to make your communications more effective. I’ve read it twice and I was delighted that it was suggested by @JessDay.

2. Networked Nonprofit by Beth Kanter and Allison Fine. Clearly good as it was suggested by both @JessDay and @rossb82.

3. Join the Club: How Peer Pressure Can Transform the World by Tina Rosenberg. Suggested by @CasperTK the book explore the power of groups to motivate positive changes.

4. The Common Cause Handbook by PIRC. A really helpful look at the role that values and frames, which is something that every campaigner should be considering. Suggested by @martinhall81 and @GlenTarman.

If you enjoy Common Cause, you might also find Finding Frames: New ways to engage the UK public in global poverty by Andrew Darnton & Martin Kirk (suggested by@sullyserena) which looks at frames and values from the perspective of international development sector of interest.

5. Fool’s Gold by Gillian Tett. For an insight into what caused the financial crisis that is still impacting the political and economic landscape many of our campaigns operate in. Suggested by @timsowula.

6. The Social Animal by David Brooks. A really interesting look at the wealth of scientific research about the mind and the impact it has on the decisions we make. One to read while considering the implications for our activism. Suggested by me.

Updated on 23/7 with a few more recommendations….

Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities by Rebecca Solnit which charts the rise of a non violent movement united around campaign struggles in the 1980s and 90s. Recommended by @lucypearceox who also had some other excellent suggestions.

How to Win Campaigns by Chris Rose which has just had a new edition published and is possibly the best ‘how to’ guide on campaigning in the UK. Recommended by @hughmouser

In the Tiger’s Mouth: An Empowerment Guide for Social Action by Katrina Sheils by Katrina Shields which is described by a reviewer on amazon as ‘Filled with useful, helpful ideas and activities on planning, envisioning, sustainability, avoiding burnout, and more’. Recommend by @NCVOForesight

Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky. Recommended by @emmataggart who says ‘provokes thought about how to use online tools (there’s more to it than sending an email!)’.

Saved: How an English Village Fought for Its Future… and Won by David Hewson. A case study in how an English village fought for survival and won. Recommended by @LABatSMK

Waging Nonviolent Struggle by Gene Sharp. A classic and part inspiration for the Arab Spring, useful for all campaigners. Recommended by @paulhilder who also suggested his own excellent ‘Contentious citizens: Civil society’s role in campaigning for social change’ which is a really good overview of progressive campaigns in recent times and some useful reflections for the future.

MP Keith Simpson also has a list of recommendations for politicians for the summer. Some that might be of interest include Everyday Life in British Government by R. A. W. Rhodes and The Cameron-Clegg Government: Coalition Politics in an Age of Austerity edited by Simon Lee.

What would you recommend?

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