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.

Alex Lu | Film Composer

I read a book years ago in college called “What to Listen for In Music,” by the American composer Aaron Copland. In a few pages, he describes the four types of classical music composers. The first type, the “spontaneously inspired composer” such as Schubert, are those whose ideas seem to flow effortlessly. Their output is prolific and concentrated on shorter forms. Schubert is recognized as a master of the art song, of which he wrote more than 600! I think of these as the prodigies, the Mozarts of the world. Read more>>

Ulrika Johnson | Designer & Entrepreneur

Ever since I was old enough to choose my own clothes, I’ve stood out for my bold and colorful choices. Back then, I didn’t exactly follow trends or match tops with bottoms. The only thing that mattered to me was that the clothes I wore were brightly colored and boldly patterned. And the more colors I wore, the happier I was. Read more>>

Valerie Hwang | Ayurvedic Health Counselor & Movement Artist

The book I always recommend to others and that I have read time and time again is the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. There are few books that could say so much about the human experience in such a simple, humble storybook narrative. I have been reading it once every few years at least, and each time I open the book, I find something new but equally profound as the last time I read it. Read more>>

Tian Boothe | Director

A book I once read was ‘The Alchemist’ I like it because it told a story while teaching very valuable life lessons. The impact it had on me was that the right partner will always wait for you. It was a really valuable to me because I am a person who likes to keep to myself and I have only had one relationship in my entire life. I have met a few people I who I would have given an opportunity but the way they behave it’s quite sad. Read more>>