Is there a book you still think about? Perhaps a book that made you challenge your beliefs, attitudes about life, work, politics or culture? Has there been a book that deepened your convictions or broadened your worldview? These are among the questions we asked some thoughtful members of our community recently and we’ve shared their responses below.

Lisa Forbes | Assistant Clinical Professor, Play Therapist, and Co-Creator of Professors at Play

Books are my source of inspiration. I love reading other people’s ideas and gaining energy from their passions. I have a lot of books that have inspired and impacted me but one that stands out that I think any person could benefit from is called “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. The purpose of this book is for artistic creative recovery. There is a religious element to this book – I am not religious but I am spiritual so I think as a reader you can interpret the religious parts however it fits into your life. Read more>>

Peri Duncan | Mural Artist & Graphic Designer

While I’m painting I listen to audiobooks, and I’ve listened to a few dozen this year that I would wholeheartedly recommend, so it’s hard to pick just one! Nonetheless, one of my recent favorites was “The Anthropocene Reviewed,” by John Greene. The Anthropocene Reviewed is a collection of personal essays (or rather, reviews) written by John Greene about the current geological age (the Anthropocene). I had no idea what to expect going into this book, but it was a work of art. He reviews everything from sunsets to Frank’s Hot Dog Eating Contest, and makes unexpected, insightful observations about all of it. Read more>>

Juliet James | Freelance Writer & Activist

This is hard because there are so many amazing books out there, but Summer Sisters by Judy Blume is a personal favorite. It’s one of Judy Blume’s adult novels. It is also the very first hardcover book I ever bought. I was working with toddlers in a daycare center at the time, and I wasn’t making a lot of money by any reasonable measure. However, I’d just moved and gotten a significant raise from my previous job (same type, different state and center). So it was a splurge (it helped that it was 25% off at the time!). Read more>>