In honor of National Book Month — October in the US — we’ve assembled 12 of our favorite quotes from the many TED Talks given by writers and storytellers.

Being a writer is all about expressing your unique perspective with feeling and originality, not about having a huge vocabulary or getting published, says author Jacqueline Woodson. She shares a little of what she’s learned in the process of writing a lot (30+ books!). 

Most of us want to believe we would have flagged Hitler and Madoff right away had we met them in person. But would we have? In a thought-provoking new book, writer Malcolm Gladwell argues that our inborn tendencies and biases skew our judgement and prevent us from spotting the evil among us.

By adopting a take-charge approach towards living with depression, you can start to feel more in control and less powerless, says health activist Jessica Gimeno. She shares three helpful strategies.

By raising questions and taking on a more active role in decision making, patients can do their part to avoid needless medications, tests, treatments or procedures, says neurosurgeon Christer Mjåset.

Procrastination isn’t shameful or a character flaw. Instead it’s rooted in a very human need: the need to feel competent and worthy, says educator Nic Voge.

You don’t need to go to a national park to help your kids fall in love with nature; a walk around the block can be enough. Tech also doesn’t have to be the enemy. Instead, use it as a tool to enhance their awe, says science communicator Scott Sampson.