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.

Deborah Hamlin | Energy Coach & Registered Dietitian

Deborah Hamlin MS, RDN, LD, CCWS The book that most stands out to me that changed my life is You Are Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero. Jen Sincero is a success coach who helps people who want to live in abundance doing what they love. I was part of a book club run by Kim Muench from when this book landed in my lap. When my kids were all in high school, I contemplated transitioning from being a stay-at-home-mom to a woman with a career. Some days I was so ready to get a job, while other days, I feared what would happen to my family if I did get a job. From this book, I learned that my indecision about what to do next was a common problem for many people. Sincero says, “indecision is one of the most popular tricks for staying stuck within boundaries of what’s safe and familiar” (p. 197). At that moment, I knew exactly that was what I was doing. Read more>>

Amanda Sweet | Creative Fairy Godmother & Founder

The number one book, or string of books, that changed my life is the 48 Laws of Power. This book opened my eyes up to the world of leadership, psychology, and political human dynamics. It really lays out how people behave, consciously or subconsciously, and different ways to combat those behaviors that are happening around you. The author, Robert Greene, has several other books in his collection that I absolutely adore, that include The Art of Seduction and The Art of Mastery. I highly recommend his books if you are hoping to learn how to move better in your own body and in the community. Before reading The 48 Laws of Power, I’ll relay this message that was given to me: Use this book for good and self-defense. Never to harm or manipulate others. Read more>>

Mike Smith | Artist

The Cherrywood Cannon. This is a book written and illustrated by Ralph Steadman, based on a story told to him by Dimitri Sidjanki. My mother bought this book in 1978 and when I read it, it blew me away. Steadmans illustrative style opened my mind to what an artistic mind could be capable of. It’s messy and ugly and showed me there are no boundaries when you’re creating your art. An artist can quite literally pour his or her mind, heart and sould out onto a canvas. I still have my mother’s copy of this book that’s meant so much to me and my carreer. I still thumb through it and it’s inspirational to me each time. Read more>>

Basil Schaban-Maurer | Urban Planning & Architecture Expert

If I would point out a single book that influenced the trajectory of my academic research and scientific inquiry, it is Bent Flyvbjerg’s work “Making Social Science Matter: Why social inquiry fails and how it can succeed again.” It was introduced to me in the very first class of my Urban Planning and Public Policy PhD Program at the University of Texas at Arlington. The author ended the book with a challenge to social and applied scientists, including architects and urban planners, to re-examine the issues facing our current era through the lens of practical wisdom (Aristotle’s Phronesis) and apply it in a new way to 21st century challenges in political science, urban planning, health sciences, environmental and socioeconomic realities . I took up that challenge in my dissertation focus and subsequent research in academia and the profession which involved doctoral and post-doctoral work in both the United States and Canada. Read more>>