Publisher's Note:  

Did you know that the most creative companies have centralized bathrooms? That brainstorming meetings are a terrible idea? That the color blue can help you double your creative output?

From the New York Times best-selling author of How We Decide comes a sparkling and revelatory look at the new science of creativity. Shattering the myth of muses, higher powers, even creative “types,” Jonah Lehrer demonstrates that creativity is not a single gift possessed by the lucky few. It’s a variety of distinct thought processes that we can all learn to use more effectively.

Lehrer reveals the importance of embracing the rut, thinking like a child, daydreaming productively, and adopting an outsider’s perspective (travel helps). He unveils the optimal mix of old and new partners in any creative collaboration, and explains why criticism is essential to the process. Then he zooms out to show how we can make our neighborhoods more vibrant, our companies more productive, and our schools more effective.

You’ll learn about Bob Dylan’s writing habits and the drug addictions of poets. You’ll meet a Manhattan bartender who thinks like a chemist, and an autistic surfer who invented an entirely new surfing move. You’ll see why Elizabethan England experienced a creative explosion, and how Pixar’s office space is designed to spark the next big leap in animation.

Collapsing the layers separating the neuron from the finished symphony, Imagine reveals the deep inventiveness of the human mind, and its essential role in our increasingly complex world.

Imagine: How Creativity Works

by Jonah Lehrer

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Overall Review:  

Image:  How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer challenges common, pre-conceived notions regarding creativity.  Split into two sections, the first part of the book looks at creativity in individuals and the second part of the book examines creativity in groups.  Sprinkled with a smattering of brain science, the focus of the book is the presentation of studies and anecdotal examples that turn our conventional thinking about creatvity on its head.  An extremely accessible presentation of the non-fiction material made this book an easy read and generated a lot of dinner table discussion in my household.  Myth-busting that creativity is an innate characteristic and advocating that creativity can be cultivated, Lehrer sets forth a call to action to ignite that cultivation in our current society.  Cultivate your own dinner conversation today and read Image:  How Creativity Works.

Content Analysis:  

Profanity/Language:  3 religious exclamations; 5 mild obscenities; 1 religious profanity; 3 scatological words; 6 f-word derivatives.

Mature Subject Matter:  

Drugs and drug addiction.

Alcohol / Drug Use:  

Reference to individuals taking drugs or being drug addicts in a quest to enhance their creativity.  Drugs mentioned:  alchohol, lithium, Benzedrine, barbituarates, cocaine.  An adult smokes cigarettes.  An individual takes up bartending.

Reviewed By Cindy
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