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.

Andrew (ANA” ALU) Hollimon | 2D Artist

A book. I will offer one book with a bit of detail and another worthy of a read by anyone who wants to understand and live via success strategies. As a young Airman in the US Air Force, I read a book by Dr. Maxwell Maltz: Psycho-Cybernetics. I read the original version not the many extrapolations or revisions of Dr. Marltz’s theories and practices. Basically, the book deals with the person and the person’s inner-self via understanding mechanisms of the brain accompanied by learned behavior modifications that support personal development towards goals and personal interactions. For Instance: “…steering your mind to a productive, useful goal so you can reach the greatest port in the world, peace of mind.” The early chapters of the book were not easy reads, but after understanding the brain’s servo-mechanisms, the book moves to personal development techniques including self-hypnosis, Imagery, and visualization. I can attest to a few attainments of goals that I feel were facilitated by reaching goals through a mentally developed mechanism focused on a goal. Read more>>

Vince Dixon | Writer

One of the best books I’ve ever read is titled Vast Fields of Ordinary. It’s a coming of age novel about a boy named Dade and his last few months before going away to college. That book really resonated with me because it was the first time I ever saw myself reflected on a page. A lot of what Dade was going through; coming out, losing friends, gaining friends, and trying to figure out what he wanted to do for the rest of his life resonated with me because I was going through the same thing at the time. The prose, the story, the plot, the characters- it all felt incredibly real. It is the book that started my journey as a writer. I wanted to create stories just like that one that people who felt and looked like me could relate to. Read more>>

Jennifer Weinberg | Co-Founder and Chair, Sustainable Supperclub

My favorite book is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It is a beautifully written fable full of life lessons and words of wisdom. I read it for the first time in my late teens/ early twenties and it changed my life. At the time, the most important lesson I learned from the book was that you don’t have to force yourself to follow the rules of conventional society if you don’t want to. If you don’t want to get married, you don’t have to get married. If you want to be an entrepreneur, be an entrepreneur. Not only that, but what I took away from the book made living my life easier than it would have been otherwise. I interpreted what I read to mean that all you have to do is go with the flow, and see where life takes you and you’ll end up in the right place. The trouble begins when you fight against your fate, because if you choose a journey you were not meant to be on that may lead to unhappiness. In subsequent readings, at other stages of my life I have read different meanings between the lines, but I never stray far from what I learned that first time around- to follow my heart and my destiny and to stay true to myself. Read more>>