“Cookies” and “activism” — those words don’t usually go together. But self-taught baker Jasmine Cho has managed to turn her cookies into canvases to tell deliciously compelling true stories about Asian-American changemakers.

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.

Looking for something great to read, stream or watch this fall? Here are 18 picks that are worthy of your precious time, from ace curator and TEDWomen editorial director Pat Mitchell.

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!). 

In today’s partisan political landscape, thoughtful and open discussions about the major issues can sometimes be hard to find. Hank Willis Thomas and Eric Gottesman are turning to art — including highway billboards and remakes of revered images — as a way to catalyze conversations and reinvigorate democracy.

Special-effects designer and Mythbuster Adam Savage offers a call to action and vision map to every would-be maker and dreamer out there.

Photographer Eman Mohammed captures the daily lives of incarcerated women and their children at one of the United States’ rare residential parenting programs.