Ten Books About Creativity You Should Read
Creativity Inspiration Innovation

Ten Books About Creativity You Should Read

Sahil Thakkar

Books are like an ocean of knowledge compressed into a delightful little package. They help us learn new things, discover new things, and see things in a way we had never seen before! Here are six amazing books that will help you recharge your creativity and take it to entirely new levels!

  1. Think Like Da Vinci – by Michael Gelb

Leonardo da Vinci is primarily known as an artist. But he was also a great engineer and inventor, something that many people don't know. He even designed a medieval wingsuit! This book dives deeply into his brilliant mind and shows us how we can think in new and fresh ways to come up with stunning, even wild, new ideas!

2. Lateral Thinking – by Edward De Bono

Did you know that there are different ways to think? The way you normally think is in a straight line. But you can also think in a curved line. Or a zig-zag line. Or perhaps, not even in a line at all!

Lateral thinking is a new way of being creative and solving problems. It is an entirely new skillset and a window into a world of thinking differently. This book is a path to enter into lateral thinking and think more creatively than ever before.

3. The War of Art – by Steven Pressfield

Creative block is a real thing. It freezes us up, paralyzes us to the core, and prevents us from working on our passion projects. In this book, Steven Pressfield offers practical, actionable advice to help you smash these blocks and overcome them once and for all.

4. Flow – by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

When you look at something for a long time, everything in your peripheral vision eventually disappears and all you can see is that object. There is a similar concept in creativity and deep work. This book outlines the intricacies of entering a 'flow state' where you are so deeply engrossed that the work just flows smoothly and you get work done effectively and seamlessly.

5. Thinking, Fast & Slow –- by Daniel Kahneman

Psychologist Daniel Kahneman has a Nobel Prize in Economics and is a very accomplished authority in this field. This book is deeply interested in why we think the way we do. He explores the two separate systems at play in the human mind and lays out the details of how each of them individually influences our everyday decision making in unique and unexpected ways.

6. Playby Stuart Brown

Remember when you were a kid and you felt like you could go anywhere, do anything, build anything? What changed? Well, nothing external changed, but you did! But the good news is, you can change it back! Even though your everyday life may be burdened by stress or anxiety, you can fix it by taking out time to refresh your creative side and learn to play again – and this book shows you just how to do it!

7. Creativity Inc. - by Ed Carmull and Amy Wallace

“You are not your idea, and if you identify too closely with your ideas, you will take offense when they are challenged.”

The founders of the Pixar animation studio take you through its early days, early struggles and late successes. It’s a book for budding managers and entrepreneurs with inspiration to lead employees to new heights, create a culture like no other, build a business that is so loved and admired, and make money while doing all three.

8. Creative Confidence - by David and Tom Kelley

“Being creative doesn’t have to mean starting from scratch or being the sole originator—it’s about adding what you can, about making a creative contribution.”

The co-founders of IDEO talk about design thinking and the power of empathy-driven qualitative research and why they advocate it so vehemently. Creative Confidence points to keeping yourself open to new sources of innovation as a key means of keeping your thinking fresh. Side Note: Check out some of the amazing work done by this company!

9. Steal Like An Artist - by Austin Kleon

‘An amalgamation of advice, anecdotes, and uncommon sense’ is how some would describe this book but it’s mostly a celebration of creativity in today’s world. A manifesto for the digital age, Steal Like an Artist is a guide whose positive message, graphic look and illustrations, exercises, and examples will put readers directly in touch with their artistic side. ‘I make art with words and books with pictures.’ is how Austin Kleon describes his work. A stalwart in the field of creativity, his Instagram feed and blog site will surely bring a smile to your face!

10. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear - by Elizabeth Gilbert

“It seems to me that the less I fight my fear, the less it fights back. If I can relax, fear relaxes, too.”

Much like the cover of the book, Big Magic is spunky and undeniably inspiring. Elizabeth Gilbert offers insights into the mysterious nature of inspiration. She asks us to embrace our curiosity and let go of needless suffering. She shows us how to tackle what we most love, and how to face down what we most fear.

Check out these books and let us know which one you're planning on reading first in the comments below!