This week's roundup of Good Reads includes a new approach to foreign aid, an epic walk across the planet, the plight of homeless children in New York, how technology advances compassion, and the launch of private space rockets.
Predictions for 2014 economy are generally upbeat, with analysts seeing growing picking up and the bull market in stocks continuing. But the economy won't get back to normal in the new year, despite the positive predictions for 2014.
Many consumers still can’t afford the steep sticker price of home solar, even if it offers the promise of low-cost, clean renewable energy in the long term. But innovative third-party financing is changing how solar panels are bought and sold.
The good news: Millions of people in developing countries have moved out of abject poverty. They'll need a different kind of aid, centering on education. But millions more are trapped at the bottom and need help just to survive.
Key security threats plaguing Central America, especially gang violence and organized crime, affect the US as well. That's why American support is crucial for new initiatives such as the one in El Salvador that combats gangs by addressing social ills and rehabilitating gang members.
So far, the American humanitarian response for Syria has been its best success during the crisis. But with the UN making a record appeal for aid as refugee flows escalate, US empathy will be tested again.