The world is filled with fascinating and wonderfully talented human beings. Here is a list of some of those who have impacted me the most.
Wes Anderson is a film director whose distinctive style makes his work a beautifully transfixing experience. The films Moonrise Kingdom, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Fantastic Mr. Fox are all classics to me.
Must watch: Moonrise Kingdom
Harry Chapin was a singer-songwriter who rose to prominence in the 1970s with his folk-rock songs. I was exposed to Harry via his Greatest Stories Live album (CD) that was on heavy rotation during family road trips growing up. The stories he tells throughout his songs range from funny, to sad, to poignant. I do not cry very easily, but certain Harry songs always turn me into an emotional wreck.
Must listen: Mr Tanner, Cats in the Cradle, A Better Place to Be (Spotify links)
Arthur C. Clarke
Arthur C. Clarke was a science fiction author and inventor who wrote one of my favorite books that was then turned into one of my favorite movies: 2001: A Space Odyssey. He was one of the first authors that got me hooked on 20th-century science fiction.
Must read: 2001: A Space Odyssey
Stephen King is a legendary author who has contributed so much work and brilliance to culture over nearly 50 years of writing. Also, he’s my favorite author, full stop. His work spans a variety of formats from the short story, to novella to novel and he’s mastered all of them. His 1978 novel The Stand is my all-time #1 favorite book (see rankings) and his novella Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption was adapted into one of my all-time favorite movies.
Must read: The Stand
Shannon is an art director, animated movie enthusiast, my best friend, and my wife. Meeting her was life-changing in every sense of the phrase. Falling in love with her was the easiest thing imaginable. So much of the person I am and the person I want to be is due to her presence in my life.
Perhaps more than anyone else, Derek Sivers has impacted the way I think about life. Derek is a writer, entrepreneur, musician, and has championed intentional learning, growth, and using your life to contribute creatively to the world. The articles on his website are short, but each one packs a serious punch.
Must read: No “yes.” Either “HELL YEAH!” or “no.”
Taylor means a lot of different things to many different people. Due to our age similarity, I’ve always felt that I was growing up with Taylor’s music. Experiencing first loves, first heartbreaks, major adult trials, all while she was going through it simultaneously. In that regard, her music, more so than anyone else’s, can transport me to a specific time and place in my life. Plus, she is an amazing singer and songwriter and an upstanding human.
Must listen songs: Out of the Woods, August, I Knew You Were Trouble