I do not often read non-fiction. Books, for me, are often like reality TV for others... give me a good, juicy, quick reading fiction book and I'll plow through 500 pages in a few days. Much of the non-fiction I have read feels like fiction. It's often a memoir about someone's interesting life or about an interesting project they've taken on: think Julie & Julia, The Happiness Project, and The Dirty Life. All really good books, but very fiction-like non-fiction.
My most recent read was different. It contained scientific research and interviews with CEOs, musicians, biologists, principals, and drug addicts among others. It was very non-fiction-y but no less engaging. It was actually even more engaging.
The book? Imagine, How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer.
It's not often that I call my husband several times while reading a book just to read him passages during his lunch break. There's just something so captivating about ingenuity and creativity and how it's not only inspired by neurological processes and societal influences, but by the color blue, how fast you walk, how much you daydream among many other things. How it's not just random coincidence that certain individuals (Bob Dylan, William Shakespeare, W.H. Auden) and groups (Pixar, Elizabethan England playwrights, 3M) are creative geniuses. How we're currently in a society inspiring kids to be professional athletes and test takers from elementary school forward, but not inventors or dancers or free thinkers.
I've already told my husband he needs to read this book. As an art teacher who uses a project-based and imaginative curriculum, he's often questioned by those who teach to the test. But, creativity doesn't come from spouting facts, it comes from seeing the world in a new way.
This book is storytelling plus advice for practical application. Loved it.