I am a bit of a book fiend, and love to work my way through several tomes to get the grey matter working. You may remember back in Jan 2012 I wrote a post on 6 essential, inspiring books on creativity, writing and business. Well, as I have naturally been devouring more words since then I thought it’s time for a 2013 update – which I hereby furnish you with, dear blog reader.
1.Still a firm favourite, and those of you who have done my Idea Generation and Creativity for Bloggers e course will know how much I love this book. The Artist’s Way: A Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self by Julia Cameron is an absolutely fantastic 12 week self directed course in unlocking creativity. I have completed the programme twice, and both times the outcomes have been amazing. I will continue to use the book as a creative tool to keep my development and goals on track for my life; I cannot recommend it highly enough!
2.The Freelance Writer’s Handbook: How to Make Money and Enjoy Your Life is an easy to read paperback I picked up 6 years ago when I began writing. Within a month of reading it I had my first paid centre spread article, and I really think the book was a huge part in that; it is easy to read, inspirational, and most of all, real. A great one for budding writers out there.
3.The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferris is one of the most inspirational work-life books I have ever picked up and remains in my recommendations list. Ferris’s ideal working week is quite extreme, but his ideas on oursourcing and dream life generation are great fodder for thought and will inspire you to dream big.
4.ReWork: Change the Way You Work Forever stays here too, and is a great book for thinking outside of the cubicle. This is written by 37 signals, the guys behind the Basecamp project management application, and gives real working examples that the company employ. Love it.
5.How to be a Graphic Designer, Without Losing Your Soul is a brilliant book for designers in a world that can so easily make you jaded by commercialism, compromise and an anti-climax from the hopes you had to be a creative designer. Working as a commercial artist requires a great deal of compromise, and this book is great for reminding you why you wanted to be a designer with advice on starting and running a business, managing clients and a lot more. Brilliant.
6.The Trend Forecasters Handbook is a brilliant guide by Martin Raymond from the Future Laboratory on scoping out trends, forecasting and planning. Brilliant for anyone involved in consumer trends and insights, budding coolhunters and futurologists.
7. The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharpe absolutely gets a mention in this list now I have read it and treasured it! Tharpe is a dancer and gives insights to how shae has made creativity a habit for producing wonderful choreography, and how she stays creative. The techniques are transferable across creative industries, and this one is a firm bookshelf keeper complete with dog-eared pages, post it notes and much underlining, the mark of a well loved book. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
8. Be a Free Range Human: how to escape the 9 to 5, create a life you love and still pay the bills is a wonderful book that I have just loved reading and its stays on the iPad for dipping into. The author, Marianne Cartwright walks us through ways to break free of convention, to challenge our thinking and to become a free range worker. I have been free range officially for 7 years now, although my barriers tend to come from myself now as opposed to a physical office space, so it’s a great read whether you are employed and trying to make the leap to going solo, or already self employed and re-focussing. Just brilliant.
9. The Laptop Millionaire: How anyone can escape the 9 to 5 and make money online is a great read for anyone considering using an online business model. Like the Ferris book, this is a little extreme in the way the “get rich quick” ideas are portrayed, but it is absolutely a goldmine for ideas and little sparks that you can make your own. Both my iPad and olde worlde 3-d copies are well read and often referred too, a great book for tapping into online business ideas.
10.The Art of Being Brilliant by Andy Cope is just that: brilliant. A bookshelf must have, this is an easy to read and digest book that gives easy and practical ways to look at your current thinking patterns and to tease out your working habits that are holding you back. I read this in less than a day and refer to it often. There are offline events and resources which you can tap into too, and I highly recommend giving it a whirl.
11. May cause Miracles by Gabrielle Bernstein is my current read, and it really is fabulous. This book walks you through a daily mindfulness task and awareness of your own fears and limitations, enabling tiny changes to accumulate to make profound shifts in awareness and thinking.
12. Search inside yourself: increase productivity, Creativity and Happiness by Daniel Goleman is a funny, insightful, mindfulness inspired book penned by a Google whizz (hence the name). This cheerfully easy to read number is light yet doesn’t hold back on the meaty concepts that bring about change management in one of the biggest organisations in modern times applied to us, the humble reader.
Have you read any of these? What do you think of them? What other title would you add to the list?
Enjoy – now put your feet up and read.