Book Club / People

Jennifer Atilémile and Matilda Dods share books by their heroes

reading list Jennifer Atilémile matilda Dodds Ryan Lopes

A reading list from Ryan Lopes, Jennifer Atilémile and more creators we admire. In celebration of the 'Courage' issue, out now, we asked these writers and readers to recommend books by their heroes.


Ryan Lopes
Creative Director


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Radical Acceptance
Tara Brach

I chose to highlight and share Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach because the author elaborates on the values within our personal challenges and how they hold value and substance. It created a level of an offering to know that there is opportunity in every interaction and perspective is greatly impacted by that. We can all accept, if we can also practice eliminating expectations. I encountered this book a couple of years ago through a podcast that a guest speaker had recommended – I like to take notes in those moments and pick through the talks, to expand my own boundaries of learning. This eventually became my mechanism towards knowledge. 


Jennifer Atilémile

Model / Writer / Co-founder, Here If You Need podcast


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Yaa Gyasi 

My book recommendation is Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. This novel is honestly a must read for everyone. It’s a multi-generational take of two sisters in a family tree separated as a result of the transatlantic slave trade. It’s a book that allows for deep reflection and thought into the struggles black people have faced for generations, and how the impact of slavery is carried through generation after generation into modern day USA. It’s a really moving story and is written brilliantly.



Xander Khoury

Nightlife Artist / Co-founder & Father, House of Silky


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The Madman, His Parables and Poems
Kahlil Gibran

When I think of courage, I think of Lebanese poet and artist, Kahlil Gibran and The Madman, His Parables and Poems (1918). This book is very special to me, as I remember being 14 in Lebanon visiting the Gibran Museum where I was gifted this book. As a young queer person who was filled with teenage angst, this book helped me find strength in being misunderstood and the courage to own my truth, even if others didn’t agree, much like the Madman in the poems. Whenever I’m feeling down or lost, I always go back to this book to remind myself of my strength.


Matilda Dods



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Know My Name
Chanel Miller 

Chanel Miller was my hero before I even knew her name. When I knew her as Emily Doe, when I read her victim impact statement that she read aloud in front of a judge, jury and her abuser, Brock Turner. This book is about the reclamation of identity in the face of life-shattering crisis, about the shame and the isolation that comes from abuse, the ways in which our legal systems are set up to fail our most vulnerable and protect perpetrators. Brock Turner only spent three months in prison, at this stage Australians have spent longer in lockdown, but Chanel Miller will be my hero forever. For having the courage to shine her own light onto the turbulent process of healing, which in turn, has allowed others, myself included, to begin to do the same.


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