The best books to change your view on the world

Who am I?

I have spent 10 years building Scopio, which stands for “Scope It Out” to build an accessible platform for anyone, anywhere to tell their story and share their images. I have used technology to change stereotypes and archive historical moments to our everyday imagery. I like to consume information easily and actionably and these are my recommendations! We did that in writing The Year Time Stopped so people can enjoy and get value out of 200 images and stories for the next century.

I wrote...

The Year Time Stopped: The Global Pandemic in Photos

By Christina Hawatmeh, Nour Chamoun,

Book cover of The Year Time Stopped: The Global Pandemic in Photos

What is my book about?

The first global image book in 2020. This book will change our view of humanity during the pandemic. We published it for people to look back on. This historic piece belongs on everyone’s bookshelf for the next century. Opening this book every time will remind you how brave, creative, and beautiful you can be.

The books I picked & why

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Humans of New York: Stories

By Brandon Stanton,

Book cover of Humans of New York: Stories

Why this book?

I had someone in my language class in my master's program whose whole life changed by being one of the stories from the book Humans of New York. I was so inspired and realized the power of one single image. I also like this book because every time you open it you learn something new. Not many photo books can do that.

The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level

By Gay Hendricks,

Book cover of The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level

Why this book?

Artists (but this book is for everyone) are often talented but need to overcome mental hurdles that are imposed on us by society, family, and our surroundings that are telling us only to dream so big or achieve so much. The Big Leap teaches you how to go beyond your limitations to make your dreams come true and see things differently.

Obama: An Intimate Portrait

By Pete Souza,

Book cover of Obama: An Intimate Portrait

Why this book?

I am a huge fan of Pete Souza, Obama’s resident photographer. Not only does he show you the day in and day out of the most historically positive president of our time, he continues to this day to educate his audience and show us how a president can be. He also sheds light on some extremely difficult topics like school shootings, and Obama’s historic singing of “amazing grace” while consoling families. This book shows me that anyone can be president and that it's a human’s job because you see his humanity through these photos, not the “superhero” president that historically is how presidents are portrayed that makes us feel somehow separate from them, and unreachable.


By Edward W. Said,

Book cover of Orientalism

Why this book?

This 1978 published book drove immense controversy. Orientalism pushed heated debates surrounding the nature of Western attitudes towards the Middle East. It pushed millions of people to rethink their prejudices. Said argued that throughout Western history, writers on the Middle East, regardless of the somewhat varying attitudes of their day, reinforced an image of Arabs as uniform, incompetent, and unreflective. But to Said, “the Orient” was a creation of the Western imagination. This work spurred the removal of insensitive words at the beginning of Aladdin. I value this book because it allows us to see how the media is formed and how we can change it. It teaches you agency and power.

Why We Can't Wait

By Martin Luther King Jr.,

Book cover of Why We Can't Wait

Why this book?

Why We Can't Wait is an easy way to get into the psychology of MLK. It is a 1964 book by Martin Luther King Jr. about the nonviolent movement against racial segregation in the United States, and specifically the 1963 Birmingham campaign. The way it is written makes it understandable from a 1:1 perspective. I am connected to this because it helps a person be actionable in their own way about causes they care about. No frills, just action!

5 book lists we think you will like!

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And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

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