Harper: The Snakes by Sadie Jones

The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World

Mother, businesswoman and philanthropist Melinda Gates offers an inspiring work that calls readers to action in her global efforts to empower women. As the co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, she travels the world searching for solutions to the problems plaguing those most in need. A common denominator she's found in countries that are unable to flourish is their practice of holding women down: limiting choices, restricting education, in general they push women to the margins. And as Gates explains, "When any community pushes any group out, especially its women, it's creating a crisis that can only be reversed by bringing the outsiders back in. This is the core remedy for poverty and almost any social ill."

Gates touches readers by sharing moving stories about individuals who have influenced her during her 20 years of advocacy: mentors such as Hans Rosling, co-author of Factfulness, and individuals like Meena, a mother living in extreme poverty who felt the only hope for her children's futures was for Gates to take them and raise them. She bolsters these emotional accounts with studies and data that support her subjects' experiences and reinforce the gravity of the problems they face.

The combination of Gates's obvious passion for her work, the meaningful anecdotes and solid empirical data make The Moment of Lift persuasive. Gates's stunning compassion and articulate presentation draw readers in and connect them emotionally with her subjects so that they, too, close the book knowing "when you life up women, you lift up humanity." --Jen Forbus