We asked folks we admire to shoutout books and tell us about the impact those books had on them.

Abbigail Arevalo | Professional LED and Fire Hula Hoop Performer

“The greatest shapers don’t stop at introducing originality into the world. They create cultures that unleash originality in others.” Adam M. Gant, Originals: How Noncomformists Move the World. The most influential book that I read as an artist and entrepreneur is Originals by Adam Gant. When I first started out as a hula hoop performance artist, I had a vision that was not understood or seen before in my area. I had a hard time finding clients to hire me for my work and I never knew why because I thought I had something really valuable to offer. This book taught me the biggest lesson in looking for clients and working with people who want to go against what the “trends” are by rebelling enough to establish their own. These are early adopters for shaping a culture I want to work around as a professional LED hula hoop and Fire Hula Hoop performer. In my case, it was hula hoop entertainment. Who knew go go LED hula hoop dancing was a thing for nightclubs? Or Hula Hoop Fire Dancing casually outside at a 5 star Italian restaurant was doable. Read more>>

Victoria Parsons | Founding Partner, Palm Global Consulting & Violinist

During the pandemic, I’ve had significantly more time to read books and introspect about my goals. While I’ve read a myriad of thought-provoking books, one that has a lasting impact on me is “Becoming,” by Former First Lady Michelle Obama. Mrs. Obama’s memoir is compelling, powerful, and reflective. Lessons I’ve gained from reading her memoir were helpful reminders to own my personal brand, remain resilient, and utilize challenges as opportunities for growth. Having the honor to serve at The White House under the Obama Administration, and to meet Mrs. Obama, provided a hands-on experience to be immersed in a values-driven environment that served people of all walks of life. Mrs. Obama’s advocacy for women and girls in the U.S. and abroad is noteworthy, and I’m inspired by her steadfast commitment to service. Read more>>

Dave Dave Lemonick, M.D. | Physician, Artist, and Illustrator.

The Remains of the Day, the 1989 novel by the Nobel Prize-winning British author Kazuo Ishiguro. In it, a butler at an English estate reflects on what he’s experienced at work and in life over several decades. He has been honest, industrious, loyal, discreet, and self-disciplined. His work and his reputation are exemplary. Yet, he has had to make several significant sacrifices along the way in order to achieve his acclaim and his sense of a job well done. Toward the end of the novel, he sits on a bench by the sea next to a stranger his age, where they watch the setting sun together. The butler shares with the stranger his joys, his memories, his life outlook, and his regrets and disappointments. And the stranger suggests that the butler not look back, but to look forward to what remains, “the remains of the day.” The impact upon me that this novel had, is the reminder to look forward, not to look back, As Wayne Dyer says, “Don’t look back, you’re not going that way!” We need to learn not to ruminate on things, but to look forward. Read more>>