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

Brynn Edwards | Music Photographer

My favorite book of all time is Lita Ford’s memoir, Living Like A Runaway. I first picked it up when I was in high school, and I was around the same age that Lita was when she first found her success with The Runaways. Although I focus mostly on music photography, I am also a guitarist and a bassist. Because of this, there were a lot of things I could relate to in her book. She goes in-depth on what it was like being a young female in the music industry and tells stories about tricky situations she had found herself in. I think that in an industry like the music industry there isn’t anything more valuable than learning from other people’s mistakes and listening to what they wish they had done differently. I constantly draw inspiration from women like Lita Ford and other women that were some of the first to be involved in the rock side of the music industry such as Vixen, Doro, and Femme Fatale. Lita’s book was a huge source of inspiration for me as a young girl. Read more>>

Ashley Ringger | Graphic Design and Creative Services

I read the novel Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston in high school for the first time and it changed me. I have reread it a few times since, including a college course, and it always resonates with me from new perspectives as my life has changed. It opened the world of black female authors to me and the protagonist Janie’s journey to inner peace and strength. If you’ll indulge me, my favorite quote: “Here was peace. She pulled in her horizon like a great fish-net. Pulled it from around the waist of the world and draped it over her shoulder. So much of life in its meshes! She called in her soul to come and see.” Now more than ever I think it is important to elevate black voices and stories and Zora’s words are a wonderful place to begin. Read more>>

Victoria Sallie | Yoga Instructor

A book that’s made a major impact on my life is The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo. This was the book I was reading right before I moved to SoCal on my own from New York City. At the time I’d just left a toxic and abusive relationship of almost 5 years. I was rediscovering who I was, and I was itching to move out of the city, with no clue of where I’d go next. Right before purchasing the book, I took a one way flight to Los Angeles to visit my best friend. While I stayed with her, I knew there was more for me to explore and experience. The idea of fully immersing oneself in a new journey was mesmerizing, and it seemed to coincide with where I was in my own life. The protagonist allowed himself to be present in each new step of his journey. He also let the journey shape itself over the course of the book, instead of trying to be “in control”. Read more>>