Cities of Literature recommend books tied to Sustainable Development Goals

A new angle on the conventional end-of-year “best of” lists sees the UNESCO Cities of Literature, led by Iowa City, take to Twitter from Dec. 1-17, with their lists of “17 Books for the 17 SDGs.”

Each day during that stretch, UNESCO Cities of Literature will tweet and post book suggestions from their cities, using the hashtag #17Booksfor17SDGs. One of UNESCO’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be highlighted each day, and relevant books will be showcased. These might be non-fiction titles that specifically address that day’s SDG or works of fiction that illuminate the theme. Several of the 42 Cities of Literature have joined together to take part, and other Cities of Literature are also sharing the selections to broaden the reach of the lists across the globe.

The project, initiated by Iowa City UNESCO City of Literature, seeks to draw attention to the SDGs and raise awareness through books and story. UNESCO Cities of Literature strive every day to improve life outcomes and wellbeing for their communities. As the world confronts its current challenges, the Network continues to engage with readers in the digital space to leverage the power of words to offer comfort and support.

“The SDGs are big, broad goals that seek to address the existential crises of our time,” said Iowa City Executive Director John Kenyon. “Literature can help us all to better understand the challenges embedded within each of them, and give us a better sense of how to address them on the local level.”

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To learn more about the SDGs, please visit: