Have you read a book recently that had an impact on you, your life or the way you think?  Let us know and check out some great responses from the community below.

Allie Leonard | Actor & Writer

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. I read it a few years ago and re-read it during the pandemic in light of the protests going on and it was even more powerful. It’s an incredibly moving, engaging, and nuanced book. The story is about a black teenage girl, Starr, who becomes the sole witness to her friends murder by a policeman during a traffic stop. It was marketed as a young adult novel, but I think the story and message transcend that genre, while also being accessible to young adults. I have benefitted from white privilege in many ways, including that I saw myself reflected in a lot of books and media I consumed growing up. It’s important that black girls are able to see themselves reflected in books and media, and it’s important that white people and non-black people of color have access to those stories. Read more>>

CHAMBERS/ Lisa Chamberlain | Singer/Songwriter & Actress

I read “The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path To Higher Creativity” a few years ago and it truly was life changing! The book teaches you techniques to cultivate your creative skills while identifying your blocks and fears. The 12 week book has a weekly reading, exercises, morning journaling, and an artist date. I loved the structure, imagination and healing it brought me while connecting my artistic creativity to my spiritual connection with God. I recommend to it almost everyone I meet, whether you are an artist or not you can learn from this book! I still practice the exercise of morning pages (I have a full box of journals at home) which usually is the birth place of many of my song lyrics! Read more>>

Tiffany Peterson | Cake Artist & Baker

I was browsing a used book store one day a few years ago when I came across an old Wilton cake decorating book. I bought it for $5.00. It is one of the very first cake decorating guides that the company ever produced. Today, anyone who has been to a craft store, knows Wilton cake decorating products. They are a staple brand in the cake industry. This book, however, was published in 1954. The title of the is, “The Homemaker’s Pictorial Encyclopedia of Modern Cake Decorating”. It is a fascinating step back in time. On the dedication page, it reads, “Dedicated to the American Homemaker Who Constantly Searches for Better Ways to Serve Her Family and Friends”. I was not born yet when this was published, so it’s amazing. Read more>>

Anita Lau | Food Writer, Blogger & Marketer

I read The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho) in my 20s, but recently (in the last three months) re-read it, 30+ years later. I enjoyed reading this the first time, but I realized, I was immature both emotionally and mentally to fully grasp what the book was trying to relay. When I read it again, the message was clear, and I believe it was due to the experiences I’ve had throughout my life, up till now, and the work I’ve done through therapy and self reflection, that has led me here. My interpretation of The Alchemist is that we are in control of our own lives, and that no matter what our childhoods might have dealt us, we have the power to change it. However, we need to have the proper tools in order to make these changes, so it is our job to gather these tools, to educate ourselves, and once equipped, we can then take the steps to make changes. Read more>>

Deji Wesey | Entrepreneur

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.” The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo is an extremely important book in my life. It is safe to say that this book changed my life and I do not use those words lightly. When I first discovered The Alchemist I was romantically heartbroken, I tremendously lacked direction and had an abundance of talent. Reading this book allowed me to identify and focus on my ‘Personal Legend’. Your ‘Personal Legend’ can be defined as a divine path that is connected to your dream or calling in life. The story of Santiago was so intriguing to me because we had so many similarities. In our society there is so much focus on being successful but no real guidance on how to achieve it or maintain it. The Alchemist encouraged me to go on that road of self discovery with no fear of failure because truly there is no failure if you learn the lesson. Read more>>

Ofelia Marquez | Artist & Art Restorer

A book I have read recently is Be Recorder by Carmen Jiménez Smith. This poetry book felt like a biography where we get to experience the writers deep thoughts, feelings, responses, and complexities of being a first generation, queer, latinx person in america. Her word play took me on a trip of multiple histories/stories existing all at once.Echoing the multiplicity engrained within anyone tackling more than one cultural/social space while breaking linear literary devices. Read more>>