My latest business book find wasn’t supposed to be a business book at all. I happened across Jonah Lehrer’s Imagine at my local independent bookseller and didn’t hesitate after catching Malcolm Gladwell’s blurb on the back cover: “Jonah Lehrer’s new book confirms what his fans have known all along–that he knows more about science than a lot of scientists and more about writing than a lot of writers.”
Jonah’s book, How We Decide, was big when it hit store shelves and Kindles not too long ago. He is a smart writer and has a way of making subjects engaging regardless of the reader’s interest level in the particular topic.
Imagine takes a subject we could all use more of–creativity–and gives real life examples and studies to explain what’s going on when we’re being creative. He starts with Bob Dylan’s experience writing lyrics for Highway 61 Revisited (arguably one of the best rock albums ever put to vinyl).
The point Lehrer makes is that creativity is not something forced or belonging only to “creative types” like artists and writers. Instead, it is the result of letting our minds wander and our thoughts stray. He also provides interesting facts that will make you reconsider the color of your office (maybe a nice shade of blue?) and brainstorming sessions.
I bought the book to give me a shot in the arm for my more creative endeavors, but quickly discovered that the shot-in-the-arm it provides works on the career front just as effectively.
I like to measure business books on whether or not they make it from the book shelves in my office to my stack of regular reads on my nightstand. This one started on my nightstand and is now a regular fixture in my office.
Here’s a few more that have made their way to the stack next to my alarm clock:
Rework by Jason Fried
Practically Radical by Bill Taylor
Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh
Evil Plans, Having Fun on the Road to World Domination by Hugh MacLeod