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.

Coley Curry | Dancer, Artist, Educator and Facilitator

I was drawn to this question of talking about a book and why I like it, because I have loved reading since a very young age. But then I encountered the challenge of choosing which book to talk about, there have been so many that have impacted me. And then I thought back to this post I saw a few years ago on social media. A mother shared the following questions that had been displayed on the wall of her child’s classroom: “Who writes the stories? Who benefits from the stories? Who is missing from the stories?” The fact that these questions are being posed to children causes me a certain amount of relief. Kids are being asked to notice who is absent from our stories and from our dialogue. When I was young I was not actively taking note of who was missing from my stories, but I was still soaking up the versions of the world that I read about – and I read A LOT. The legends and tales that I grew up on helped shape my worldview and my being. Read more>>

Jessica McCann | Historical Novelist and Creative Nonfiction Author

I read dozens of books a year – for research, for inspiration, for escape – and it’s difficult to pick only one (or three, or five) that impacted me in some way. That said, a recently novel I thoroughly enjoyed that may not be well-known is A HUNDRED SMALL LESSONS by Australian author Ashley Hay. Her evocative writing and ability to create characters with real depth is so impressive. The story is set in Brisbane and expertly weaves narratives of two women from different generations. Hay drills right down to the emotional core of life – of marriage and careers, parenthood and old age, self-doubt and regret, love and joy. She explores the choices we make, the secrets we keep, the “what ifs” we ponder and, best of all, the wonderful serendipities that make us marvel at life. I also loved how Hay infuses her writing with literary themes that are simply brilliant – from her keen observations of nature and color and light, to her diverse perspectives on family, home and happiness. Hay’s characters lived in my mind for long after I turned the final page. Read more>>

Matthew Blakey, AAMS | Financial Professional

The Richest Man In Babylon is a book I think everyone should read. One of my biggest missions and passions is to spread financial and economic literacy to people. I have always felt there is a gap in the education system where young adults and teens of my generation did not receive the basic financial knowledge necessary to make wise decisions throughout adulthood. The Richest Man in Babylon is a relatively short and easy read that follows the story of a poor man in Ancient Babylon as he learns the principles of managing finances. Through the stories and parables presented you will get a sound understanding of basic personal finance and why it is important. The book demonstrates the lessons in an entertaining and easy to digest format, and it will get you thinking about how it relates to your life and finances. The Richest Man in Babylon is a true classic in the world of finance and could bring so much financial wisdom to students and young adults in the community. Read more>>

Chantelle Aimée Osman | Editor, Agora Books

I’m going to choose a book out of my own line, THE SOUTHLAND, by Johnny Shaw. Before this book, he was known for his novels that were noir…but with a humorous twist. THE SOUTHLAND was a departure for him, and a huge eye-opener for me. Johnny grew up on the Calexico/Mexicali border, and has a perspective on border issues that puts even someone (me) born and raised in Arizona to shame. The story centers around three women living in Los Angeles: Luz works multiple jobs to provide for herself and her teenage son Eliseo in Mexico, who she hopes to have join her someday. Nadia, a former journalist with PTSD, fled Mexico and tries to stay hidden from the dangerous men that she exposed in Sinaloa. Ostelinda works as a forced laborer in a garment factory, having been deceived by coyotes and imprisoned. When Eliseo comes to the states only to go missing, Luz is lost. Read more>>