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.

Kym Terribile | Founder Wax Crescent

One of my favorite books is Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. Big Magic is all about pursing a life of creativity and seeking out inspiration. Although this book is not exactly a business book, it gave me the courage to start my own business. The book argues for a life of creativity and artistry. In the book Gilbert states that by following curiosities and “playing” in different mediums we can uncover beautiful pathways to creativity. I found my way to candle making through following my curiosities rather than passion–although now, having a business and crafting my product is a passion. I started making candles when I discovered all of the toxic ingredients and chemicals that could potentially end up in candles. I wanted to create a product that was clean burning and as eco-friendly as possible. Through research and playing around with different oils and waxes, I was able to create a product that is not only clean burning, but also smells amazing. Read more>>

Tara Jae | Founder and Executive Director of Youth Seen. Truth Teller. Advocate. Curator of Healing Space.

The latest book that I’ve read is George Johnsons, All Boys Aren’t Blue. This is a fairly new book that focuses on their journey of being Black and queer. As a Black, queer non-binary person, it is not often that books come out and represent a journey that is close to my own or any other Black queer individual. The ability to experience through reading someone else’s journey, that roller coaster of emotions comes out as this book hit so close to home. Growing up, the only book I had and I kept it close was Stone Butch Blue’s by Leslie Feinberg. The nuances of identity are complex, the struggle to thrive in a society that others you is not one that is kind or gentle. Both of these books were scenes into the unknown for most, but for me was a mirror that would reflect who I was and could be. Read more>>

Alyse Knorr | Writer and Professor

Anne Carson’s Autobiography of Red taught me what a novel in verse can do–how to develop characters over a sustained narrative, how to introduce and then return to certain symbols and motifs, and how to pace a plot in verse. Read more>>