Last year one of my favourite books was Maria Kondo’s ‘The Life Changing Magic of Tidying‘ It really did change my life. I threw out all the clothes that didn’t give me joy, cleared out all my old work files and visited Wandsworth tip on a regular basis. I recommended it to everyone I know.
However, this year the book I keep banging on about is Tim Harford’s ‘Messy. How to be Creative and Messy in a Tidy Minded World’. It’s the complete opposite of the Magic of Tidying, but is just as compelling and inspiring. This book argues the case for introducing disorder, chaos and randomness into our lives in order to make us more productive and creative. What I love about it is the variety of source material he draws upon – music collaboration, building design, aircraft safety – and it’s relaxed, anecdotal style. Plus for someone, who find’s it easy to be messy, it made me feel less guilty about the state of my office.
Here they are, in no particular order
1. Ignore Everybody Hugh MacLeod
A concise book of thoughts and ideas on how to unlock your creativity. I like it because it’s very insightful, has a refreshing, cynical perspective and is packed with the author’s amusing cartoons.
2 The Art of Looking Sideways Alan Fletcher
A huge slab of a book, that’s packed full of inspiration. Every page is different and I like to randomly choose a page now and again and have a read. It could a quote, a visual and long narrative. It’s endlessly interesting and inexhaustible.
3 Thinkertoys Michael Michalko
This book is full of creative thinking techniques. It’s a great reference book for when you’re facilitating a creative workshop and need some inspiration on how to get people to think differently
4 The Artist’s Ways Julia Cameron
This is a classic book on how to overcome your fears and inhibitions and embark on journey of creative enlightenment. Lots of interesting suggestions for new creative habits and behaviours.
5 Steal Like An Artist Austin Kleon
A pocket sized book that you can devour in a couple of hours. It’s simple, contemporary, very concrete with 10 creativity principles based on the author’s life experiences.