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.

Alicia Justine | Model/Actress

I’ve read many books, fiction and non changes my view of life more than one I read more than 20 years ago as a child. When I was in 6th grade I read the book The Giver, it is set in a society which at first appears to be utopian but is revealed to be dystopian as the story progresses. As I read along learning about Jonas and his upbringing being groomed to be what their society and government deemed them to be born for I realized that although a fictitious story that many societies do that in reality. That by promoting and governing “sameness” it stifles ones true destiny and would ultimately allow for greatness and enlightenment. Part of this futuristic society was as I continued reading and learned that the character Jonas was burdened with the job of the Receiver of Memory, the one and only person would would have the memory of all the past, including full depth of emotion, history before sameness, which became over whelming and he struggled. Read more>>

Anna Luetters | HONEYIBAKED

I recently started a book club through my instagram page and our first read was “The Authenticity Project” by Clare Pooley. It was light, breezy, and heartwarming but also made you think about your own life the whole way through. Is it really possible to be authentic through social media when even the messy stuff seems curated? I like to think that while my feed is for sure curated, my stories keep me honest and grounded. I also think social media has helped me get more comfortable with sharing my authentic self rather than the other way around. I still don’t share everything but my online presence feels real to me. It’s definitely made me more mindful about what I share and the motivation behind it all. Read more>>

Dane Brown | Artist

I have been getting into Octavia Butler’s work pretty heavy lately, but the one that stands on rop of it for me is Parable Of The Sower. It showed me how ideology can ne used in a tangible way. The first line “”All that you touch you Change. All that you Change Changes you. The only lasting truth is Change. God Is Change”, petty much says it all. Read more>>

Denise Carson | Author, Speaker, Producer

Well actually I read this book called The Course of Miracles. Which led me to tell my own story in my book. Stranded Between Doubt and Faith. This book help boost the transformation that I needed to happen for me mentally. I need a shift in perspective and this book did just that. It broke down the powers of the negative mind to enhance positive thinking. Read more>>

Nydia E Guity | Psychotherapist, Author & Podcaster

Most recently I have been reading “You are your best thing: Vulnerability, shame resilience and the black experience” an anthology by Tarana Burke and Brené Brown. My mentor Deran Young is a co-author and what I can appreciate about the book overall is giving voice to the power of vulnerability. As I have been reading the stories it brings me back to moments in my life when I held back from either saying and/or doing something, as my present self I can give language to the memory and truly understand the behavior for what it was at the time and how it shows up in my present life. In the chapter contribution by Deran there is a part where she says, “As a black woman, it feels like an act of resistance to have an intentional life”. That line resonated with me when I initially read it, so I paused and read it again. What came up for me felt like a warm hug of validation, in the times I allow myself to notice the impact that my presence as a black woman has in spaces, I am in. I get curious about what activates discomfort in people that do not look like me when all I am doing is living, what I feel in those moments is not off. Read more>>

Mya Billingsley | Owner of Twenty47 Watches

The most recent book I read was Rich Dad’s Guide To Becoming Rich by Robert Kyosaki. This book was an eye opener because it described how most people are not willing to pay the price to build wealth. Paying the price involves sacrificing instant gratification to reach bigger goals. Reading this book reminded me that taking the road less traveled will bring me more success as long as I am patient and consistent with finances. Read more>>