For some it might be a dystopian novel and for others it might be an uplifting memoir, but almost everyone has a book, poem or essay that left a meaningful impact on them. We asked some of the brightest folks around town to tell us about books that have had a lasting impact for them.

Mario Reyes | Author & Poet

As a new father I read Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. This book helped me realize that my feeling of helplessness I’m raising a Black son wasn’t unique to me. Race issues have plagued this country from its inception and my inability to protect my son from all the potential threats in this world leaves me helpless. However in reading this book I felt inspired to face the systemic bias that would be our biggest obstacle. A book that resonates as a poet is a dangerous thing. I took that muse and wrote a poem entitled – “A Son with No Father is a Book with No Author which ultimately grew from a prose to a book on its own. Read more>>

Tyrone Mitchell | Business Consultant & Entrepreneur

Black Gangster, by Donald Goines, was the first book I ever read when I was a teenager. It was given to me by a teacher who was trying to help me re-direct my focus. I think he knew it would hold my attention, which he was right about. I was fascinated by the story and for the first time in my life was fulfilled by the experience of FINISHING. Today, I read at least one book a week many of which are about self development. Read more>>

Bobby Jackson | Community Jegna and Chess Instructor

Whew! I love to read. Trying to decide what book is my favorite is like trying to say which of my children I love more. I can’t do it. So many books helped me turn corners in my life. “The Isis Papers” by Frances Cress Welsing. “The Destruction of Black Civilization” by Chancellor Williams. “Miseducation of the Negro” by Carter G. Woodson. “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe. “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” as told to Alex Haley. “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley. “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison. “Way of the Peaceful Warrior” by Dan Millman. “Ishmael” by Daniel Quinn. Just sooooo many great books. But one that stands out for me, especially in the climate we are currently living in, is “Parable of the Sower” by Octavia Butler. It is rare to have a black lead in a sci-fi novel, even more rare for that black lead to be a woman. Read more>>

Nyya Linscomb | Beauty Industry Entrepreneur & Future Philanthropist

The Art of Dealing with People is a book I was introduced to by a businessman and personal mentor about 10 years ago. I like it because it’s more of a reference manual, small, and the principles can be applied immediately and the results are instant. I learned how to deal with several personality types in a way they would appreciate it. Studying this book helped me to gain an even more attractive and inviting personality to affect more lives in a positive way! Read more>>