Our Favorites: Books That Changed the Way We Think

Our Favorites: Books That Changed the Way We Think

Our favorite book picks by the S&H Staff

The Open Mind by Dawna Markova
The Open Mind taught me that an important discussion with my husband would yield better results if we talked while we hiked instead of sitting at our kitchen table. Although the idea that everyone learns differently is not new, The Open Mind offers the tools, insight, and language to understand why. 
―Alma Tassi

Walden by Henry David Thoreau
Thoreau was the first author to ever point out a path of authenticity via meaningful work and introspection to me. My teenage brain expanded ... much to the delight of my tenth-grade English teacher. Every time I pick up that old tattered copy to reread, I still find it’s like a conversation with a wise friend when the world feels overwhelming. ―Courtney Sorrell

The Good War by Studs Terkel
Studs Terkel interviewed 121 people, from generals to housewives, to write this sweeping oral history of World War II. Reading this book as a teenager made me realize that everyone has a story, something that led me to become a journalist and continues to inspire me. ―Ilima Loomis

Chop Wood Carry Water by Rick Fields 
with Rex Weyler, Peggy Taylor, and Rick Ingrasci
This was one of the first spiritual books I ever read, and I find myself referring to it today. It taught me that a true sense of self does not have to come from a long-drawn-out process; it comes from within and flows throughout the tasks we perform and the people we invite into our lives. If we find joy in everything, we will live joy-filled lives. ―Edward Mueller

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
I’ve been moved to happy tears many times by this classic collection of sensual, candid poetry. In celebrating the body, individuality, the natural world, and our role in it, Whitman forever changed my view on what is “divine.” The poem “Song of Myself” is particularly inspiring―a great antidote to the occasional case of the spiritual blues. ―Emily Bingham

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
When you accept the limits that the world and popular culture place on you, you are not alive. Only when you strive to reach the edges of your ability do you deserve the life you are given. Laziness and mediocrity are the true sins. ―Thomas Kachadurian

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