Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Book Review-Imagine

Sometimes, when I've read a good book by a new author I want to read others s/he has written right away.  In this case, I had read a review of Imagine by Jonah Lehrer, but couldn't read it right away because it was checked out, so I read another of his, How we decide while waiting for the first book.  I enjoyed that book quite a bit, so was very excited when Imagine finally came in.  It was worth the wait.
In this book, Lehrer looks at how creativity works.  He explores individual creativity in the first half of the book, and group creativity in the second half.  The first half is similar to How we decide in that it goes into the working of the brain.  Lehrer describes how scientists figured out how to do MRIs while people were making music on the fly.  He talks about how creative people are able to bring together disparate ideas to create new things, and explains where in the brain this occurs.  He also talks about how creativity can be nurtured by letting people "play."  One of his examples is the 3M company, which encourages its employees to spend 10% of their time working on their own ideas (post it notes is a famous example of the results of this policy.)
The second half of the book explores how people work together to be creative.  He talks about how cities foster creativity by exposing people to lots of new ideas.  He also discusses how creativity can be stifled by not allowing creative people to share ideas.  He also points out that when companiess stop being creative they start to die.  One interesting thing that he points out is how brainstorming is more likely to stifle creativity than it is to encourage it.
I found this to be a very accesible and fascinating book.  It is a very good read for anyone wanting to know more about being creative or encouraging creativity.  (I think it would also be good for politicians and legislators to read this book.)
Imagine: How Creativity Works Imagine: How Creativity Works
By Lehrer, Jonah
2012-03 - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH)
9780547386072 Check Our Catalog BookPage Notable Title

"New York Times"-bestselling author Lehrer ("How We Decide") introduces readers to musicians, graphic artists, poets, and bartenders to show how they can use science to be more imaginative and make their cities, their companies, and their culture more creative. …More

Other books by the same author.
How We Decide How We Decide
By Lehrer, Jonah
2009-02 - Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH)
9780618620111 Check Our Catalog BookPage Notable Title

From the acclaimed author of "Proust Was a Neuroscientist" comes a fascinating look at the new science of decision-making. Lehrer explores two questions: How does the human mind make decisions? and How can those decisions be made better? …More

Proust Was a Neuroscientist Proust Was a Neuroscientist
By Lehrer, Jonah
2008-09 - Mariner Books
9780547085906 Check Our Catalog

Lehrer argues in this original book that science is not the only path to knowledge. In fact, where the brain is concerned, art got there first. Focusing on a group of artists, Lehrer shows how each one discovered an essential truth about the human mind that science is only now rediscovering. …More

Complimentary Reads
Connecting to Creativity: Ten Keys to Unlocking Your Creative Potential Connecting to Creativity: Ten Keys to Unlocking Your Creative Potential
By Bergmann, Elizabeth Weil
Joint Author Colton, Elizabeth O.
1999-11 - Capital Books (VA)
9781892123091 Check Our Catalog

An inspiring, yet practical guide to unlocking creative potential through an easy to implement step-by-step process that has helped people in all walks of life. …More

Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity
By Lynch, David
2006-12 - Jeremy P. Tarcher
9781585425402 Check Our Catalog

In this rare work of public disclosure, filmmaker Lynch describes his personal methods of capturing and working with ideas, and the immense creative benefits he has experienced from the practice of meditation. …More

Spark: How Creativity Works Spark: How Creativity Works
By Burstein, Julie
Foreword by Andersen, Kurt
2011-02 - Harper
9780061732317 Check Our Catalog

For fans of "Outliers" and "Daniel Pink" comes a rare glimpse inside great creative minds, including Joyce Carol Oates, Ang Lee, Yo-Yo Ma, Chuck Close, and David Milch--from "Studio 360" creator Burstein. …More

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