Isabel, "American Gods by Neil Gaiman. It makes you think about diversity in America in a subtle and entertaining way."
Emily, "Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Estés. It's the most wonderful pieces of feminist literature I have ever read."
Sam, "Walden by Henry David Thoreau. I realize this will sound cheesy but I love it because as humans we over complicate life and fall prey to attachment of material things and this book constantly reminds the reader of the simplicity of life specifically the simplicity that exists in nature and our relationship with it."
Syd, "The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling. Essay, The Elephant in the Living Room, or Extending the Conversation about the Politics of Evidence by N.K. Devin."
Trevor, "To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. The main idea in the book is one should not hurt or harm someone or something if they are not doing any harm to you. In life most of us always come too quick to judge others. We need to remember those people have a story too. We may not understand their story at first but it isn't our place to discriminate or place shame on others. Growing up, everyone was quick to judge me, they'd point out one specific aspect when I have many other qualities that define me as a person. This book significantly stuck with me sense I read it in high school."
Cody, "Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. It shows much tenacity."
Jonathan, "Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson."
Jason, "Dispossessed by Ursula K. Leguin. It's my favorite partly because of the content but mostly because of the writing. Leguin's prose is beautifully simple but still manages to set a scene that BREATHES. She has single sentences that will give me goosebumps. The book itself is about a man that has grown in an anarchist culture but is later introduced to a different kinds of state governments. The way Leguin contrasts familial and sexual relationships between these cultures is amazing and (as the young person I was when I read it) eye-opening. I felt like I lived a lifetime when I read it. Would highly recommend - don't get put off because it's sci-fi! If she would've wrote bestseller fiction I feel confident she would've got a Nobel."
Tanner, "The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are by Alan Watts. Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda. Dystopia 1984 by George Orwell."
Macy, "Awakening Shakti by Sally Kempton. I picked this book ip in a little bookstore in Rishikesh, India. It's an incredibly transformational book that helped me to recognize my own power and strength during a traumatic time in my life. It's all about tapping into your divine feminine energy by learning about the goddesses of Yoga. I would recommend it to anyone. Male or female."
Logan, "Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman."
Lexi, "House of Spirits by Isabel Allende. Yes Please by Amy Poehler is really doing it for me right now."
Jacob, "The Lathe to Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin. It talks about humanity, environmental issues, and political ideas in a concise, beautiful, way."
Chad, "Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. This book shook me to my core and sent me into, what I considered at the time to be, a depressive space. In truth it was depressing but I was hyper focused on the problems and impending doom of the planet that have been created and enacted by civilization since the implementation of agriculture. I am eternally grateful for that experience. For the first time in my life, at 21 years old, I sincerely looked at the world and myself as a part of civilization that has assumed dominance over the planet in the form of a "taker culture." This book may not be my favorite but it had the most impact. It sent me on an exploration of myself as part of civilization that is acting out a myth that we are evolutionary dominant and therefore lords of this planet we call home. It spawned me to discover reasons why things are the way they are and put the responsibility of saving ourselves as well as our environment directly into my lap."
Michelle, "Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi. I love memoirs and art, which it has both. She writes about her experiences growing up during the Iranian revolution and how it shaped her identity. Also, Fun Home by Alison Bechdel Again, a memoir. It is of a cartoonist coming to terms with her sexual identity and relationship with her father. I love her art style. It helped me a lot as an LGBT kid growing up. I just really love coming of age memories written by female artists."
Kevin, "Dune by Frank Herbert. Also, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Those two are dear to my heart. Dune is possibly the best sci-fi novel written. The Alchemist is just a wonderful coming of age story while also being about my favorite subject."
Silas, "Sometimes I worry about the physical weight of Hemingway’s novel, The Old Man and the Sea. It’s too light. For the sake of those who lift it for the first time it should weigh more than it does. No matter what I say about the book I cannot convey the initial feeling of importance imparted by the weight and feel of a truly hefty tomb, but don’t let the page count trick you into disrespect. This is a small novel, almost a booklet, and it will only tip the scales against an airport thriller when you stack the accompanying Pulitzer and Nobel Prizes on top of it. Even so, the book will only have the proper weight once you’ve turned the last page [like all good readers do] and closed it, to hold it in your hands the way you did when you first picked it up at a time when it meant something altogether different to you. The academic feminist will interject here to say that Hemingway was, as academics say, a dick. This is an understatement. The man was an egotistical shithead whose utter disregard for the feelings and thoughts of others led him to gleefully tread upon them as often as they might cross his path. It seems his sole redeeming qualities were his skill as a writer, which he fortunately had in spades, and a liver that took everything he threw at it except a load of buckshot. Unfortunately, his attitude toward men and especially women, bleeds badly into his work with one exception: this book. So let me remind you that I am not endorsing this man’s behavior, but one particular novel, which portrays the behavior of a far better man than Hemingway ever became. Like the best novels, it takes decades to truly read this book. It is the sort of simple, profound story that ages with the reader, gaining new meaning at each visitation; I’ve read it three times under different circumstances and I’ll hopefully read it as many times more as I grow old. A novelist does not present a finished work, but sculpts a vessel from words. When the author releases a book, it is ‘finished’ as they say, but it is not yet complete. The reader must then fill the novel with their own thoughts, experiences and feelings, all of which remain dynamic throughout a reader’s career. This is why a truly great novel is never the same story, regardless of when, by whom or how many times it is read. This is why it is important to read at least one novel more than twice. If you are wise you will find a trustworthy book. Every few years you will fill this vessel with your mind and life; let those intermingle with the mind and life of the novel, then wait until the water is very still, and gaze into it. -Silas Misener 1:52 a.m., June 6, 2018, two daiquiris, half a box of crackers."
Taylor, "Watership Down by Richard Adams. Beloved by Toni Morrison. Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. All books have shaped how I read. It is a good foundation."
Katherine, "Stupid and Contagious by Caprice Crane. It makes me laugh out loud and I love a happy ending."