The TimesKristof Book BagNicholas Kristof09.08.09The TimesKristof Book BagCo-author of a new book 'Half the Sky,' The New York Times' Nicholas Kristof shares his favorite books.Nicholas Kristof09.08.09 7:31 PM ETThe Bottom Billionby Paul Collier 224 Pages Oxford University Press $15.95 The best single introduction to the challenges of fighting global poverty. Collier is a renowned economist, but nonetheless writes most engagingly. Collier acknowledges how hard humanitarian aid is to get right, yet nonetheless argues that it can be done.A Single Tear by Ningkun Wu 384 Pages Back Bay Books $19.99 The best of the Chinese memoirs of the Mao years, although it never got the attention it deserved. It's a beautifully written, intensely moving true account of an American-trained academic who returns to China to rebuild his country—and ends up in prison.Intelligence and How to Get It by Richard Nisbett 282 Pages W.W. Norton & Co $26.95 Explores what I.Q. is and how it can be shaped. He argues passionately for improving our education system and including intensive early-childhood programs that can help disadvantaged children get a leg up.Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan 336 Pages Knopf $24.95 A terrific debut novel following a group of young friends at Smith College in the years before and after graduation. It's a literary page-turner that was just published a few months ago, and it's a beautiful exploration of friendship and feminism.Persuader by Lee Child 496 Pages Dell $9.99 One of the best of the Jack Reacher novels—and they are the best thrillers on the market today. All of the Reacher novels are superb, with one caveat: Once I start, I'm invariably stuck reading them at a single sitting.