Find Room for These Books on Your Bookshelf

List up to 5 books or films (or both) that have made a profound impact on you and explain why.

Holly Jahangiri
5 min readSep 29, 2022


Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash

Starting from Scratch, by Rita Mae Brown

I am convinced that most books on writing or being a writer are written by writers who are going through a dry spell because they know they’ll never starve so long as they’re feeding the hunger that novice writers have for books on how to write. But this one’s a bit different; it’s a well-rounded manual for nurturing the well-rounded writer, body, and soul.

Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand

Oh, hear me out. I find a delicious irony in the fact that Paul Ryan used to idolize a novelist who was a pro-choice, atheist, rational woman who utterly despised Reagan and the neo-cons. I think we all read a different book — wouldn’t that be hilarious if there were ten different versions of the same novel out there, and people had been arguing over what they meant for decades?

It’s a novel. It is not the Bible. It’s not even the best novel out there, but it sets forth a novel and interesting philosophy: Objectivism. (Libertarians are sort of…