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.

Alessandro Giuliano | Captain and founder of the Desert Yacht Club

To reach the clouds by Philippe Petit: The extraordinary true story of Philippe Petit’s death-defying high-wire walk between the newly-built Twin Towers in 1974, when he secretly – and illegally – rigged a tightrope between the twin towers of the World Trade Centre. this book It’s the narration of how the aerialist artist created an act of incomparable beauty and imagination, which to me, is the most significant watershed of performing and conceptual art between the past and the current century of contemporary art. At the end of the book , after learning the six years process that took for realizing that project, you feel so inspired that anything looks possible in order to accomplish your mission and dream. Read more>>

Robin Taylor | booking agent

A Practical Guide to Vibrational Medicine by Richard Gerber, MD answered a lot of questions I had and took me down my first rabbit hole of energy, chakras, using light to heal, general homeopathy also Do Unto Animals by Tracey Stewart (comedian Jon Stewart’s wife) they just good people.
also anything written by Jackson Galaxy because cat’s love it when you build them stuff. Read more>>

Chuck Watkins | Comedian and humorist

I like “Drinks Before Dinner” by E, L. Doctorow. It’s the text of a p[ay that was on Broadway in the mid 1970’s. It’s about a dinner party gone awry, when the host of the party pulls a gun on his guests and announces his intention of kidnapping the guest of honor (a Henry Kissinger-like Secretary of Defense). They discuss the end of the world and the secret plans in place for the upper class. It’s a very dark and funny play. I’ve never seen it live but the text makes me laugh pretty hard, which is a rare thing for me., I first read it before I started doing standup and it helped shape my sense of humor and worldview. It seems prescient during the bizarre moment we all find ourselves going through. Read more>>

Micah Garrido | Audio Editor & Mixer

I’ve been reading Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino. It’s an abstract narrative, not much in the way of plot. Most of the book is spent in the space between poetry and prose, and the use of heavy reliance on metaphor rarely points to any tangible real-life analog. I can only read a page at a time before I have to reread it and try to figure out what the intended meaning is. Then I get frustrated that the words don’t seem to actually offer anything that serves my interest or desire to be entertained. So I’m only like 1/4th of the way through and it’s been weeks. I spend a lot of my day trying to be as efficient as possible, trimming seconds off of procedures I repeat over and over again. Time is money and sources for funding films have dried up, so when I get booked to sound design, edit, or mix, every motion feels an expenditure of my time, all the way down to the mouse click. Read more>>

Brandon Carpio | Dancer. Actor. Writer. Filmmaker.

I am currently re-reading for the third time a book titled Body Learning: An Introduction to the Alexander Technique by Michael J. Gelb. The Alexander technique has completely transformed my life in these past two years. The technique is a form of psychophysical re-education, in which you unlearn any uncoordinated habits and tension that is ingrained within your body. For example, we may find ourselves getting lost in thoughts that take us out of the present moment, such as certain negative thought patterns or just your regular daydreams. The technique helps you come back to the present moment by sensing the relationship between your head, neck and torso, helping you return to a sense of inner length within your body. Not only has this book and technique helped me to be more present and focused with myself and others, but it has also given me a sense of ease within my day, in knowing that I have a more active and conscious way of dealing with any given circumstance that life throws at me. Read more>>