We asked rising stars from the community to tell us about a book they’ve read and the impact it had on them.  We’ve highlighted some of those responses below.

Sam Mazzeo | Managing Attorney & Halloween Lover

I read The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy a few years back, before starting my own practice and evolving into the more present and authentic person I am now, and I think it had a huge impact on getting me here. The book focuses on making all the small decisions the right way, which collectively add up to make huge impacts in your life. The analogy that stuck with me was that of a jet leaving the San Diego airport headed for NYC, but if it is off course by only 1-2 degrees, it could end up in Toronto – small adjustments have huge impacts in the long run. This framework has been tremendous for me, both in remembering and encouraging me to not take the easy way and make the right decisions moment to moment, day to day. Read more>>

Brandy Searcy | Founder, Rain Organica

Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel is one of the most hauntingly beautiful books I have ever read. Mantel paints the story of England during the reign of King Henry VIII and tells that story centered around one of King Henry’s closest advisor’s, Thomas Cromwell. Thomas Cromwell was a self made man, and according to Mantel’s account, he was a runaway from an abusive father lifted off the streets of Florence by a banker who recognized his shrewdness. By a unique series of events, he found his way into Henry VIII’s inner circle becoming one of King Henry’s most trusted advisors. Mantel weaves in the state of England at the time – a nation on the precipice of the Protestant Reform – and how Cromwell used law and religion to achieve the marriage annulment from Catherine of Aragon that King Henry so desperately desired. Read more>>

Alexis Duran | Filmmaker | Educator

That’s an easy one. For approximately three-month during 2007, I worked as a shipment supervisor/stocker at a now defunct grocery store in La Jolla. At this point in my life, as a 20-year-old, I had been in and out of college three times. For a two-week period, I was without a car. This allowed me to enjoy an hour and a half long bus and trolley commute to work. It also gave me enough time to mentally prepare myself for an expensive transmission bill. One afternoon after my lunch break, I made my grand entrance into the stockroom- bursting through the dirty vinyl strips- when I noticed a milk crate on the floor filled with books. Right at the top- lied a book with the cover art of an unlit match superimposed with a subtitle, “How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference.” This is Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point. Read more>>

Stephanie Dianne Sánchez | Political Treasurer

My mom chose to leave a man who did not honor her, my father. This was and still can be unconventional in Mexican tradition, where women so often stay with a man despite the Machismo culture. My mom packed up our things and moved my sister and me away from my father into a new home where she would raise us on her own. Mexican is how I have always identified because that is where both my parents were born. Mexico was and is at the heart and soul of my existence. The flavors of Mexico touched my tongue every day. We spoke English at home most of the time, but Spanish was still our first language. Little did I know the neighborhood we would grow up would imply that my familia had assimilated entirely, leaving our traditions behind. This awareness would come at a time when one struggles with identity at the early stages of adolescence. Read more>>