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Shelf Life: Goodwin’s Sources of Literary Inspiration

This week, Shelf Life turns to a Washington insider for her favorite reads and inspirational books.

Amber Goodwin from, a nonprofit created to empower and invest in millennials, took some time to answer a few questions.

Q: Can you give us an example of a book you read as a child that influenced where you are today?

A: “Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch. My third-grade teacher in Texas used to always read this to us, and the mom featured in the story repeats to her son, “I’ll love you forever, and I’ll like you for always.” To this day, I think it’s easy to love someone, but it’s damn near impossible to like someone forever like my parents have liked my sisters and I.

Q: Can you give an example of a book you read in high school or college that influenced you?

A: In undergrad, I read “Me Talk Pretty One Day” by David Sedaris. I had never read creative non-fiction before, and I love how you can tell your story while incorporating a journalistic spin. It’s a great literary escape for news junkies like myself.

Q: What about a book you’ve read as an adult?

A: I read “Take This Bread” by Sara Miles in graduate school a couple of years ago. It is about a former radical atheist’s spiritual journey, conversion and call to action to help others. A beautifully written story of transformation, which I think we can all relate to regardless of your religious beliefs.

Q: What book would you recommend to members of Congress or congressional staff?

A: “The Conscience of a Liberal” by the late Sen. Paul Wellstone. It reminds me to act with compassion and reason [and] always fight like hell.

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