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7 books to boost creative thinking

You’re wrapping up and closing out projects, but feeling both happily accomplished and creatively depleted — the latter being the unfortunate cost for getting it all done. While it’s easy to hope that organic rest and time off might replenish your creativity, the health of this resource is just too important to leave to chance. So instead, we recommend immersing yourself in a few good reads as a more direct way to help nourish the very same mind that made 2022 a success. Below are 7 books that will help you reset while you rest.

The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact, Chip Heath and Dan Heath
This work highlights the importance of creating moments that matter so that they foster and fortify meaningful connections with the people we work with, receive creative insight from, and inspire along the way. It emphasizes the critical value of partaking in creative, sincere interactions from the beginning — with purpose and intention.

The Power of Moments contains fresh case studies (unlike the majority of case studies in business nonfiction books) and will help spark impactful experiential design and marketing conversations with creatives at the onset of the professional relationship.

In Other Words, Jhumpa Lahiri
Written in both side-by-side Italian and English, this memoir illustrates the author’s at times recursive and arduous journey to learn Italian. In doing so, she forms a new and authentic way to storytell and self-reflect through the creative manipulation of language. Lahiri wrote this work in a language she can wholeheartedly identify with, and renowned translator Ann Goldstein provides meticulous translations in English.

In Other Words is literary proof for writers and communicators that stepping outside their comfort zones can only bring them closer to finding a unique voice that they can finally claim as their own.

Metaphors We Live By, George Lakoff and Mark Johnson
Lakoff and Johnson’s book discusses how a metaphor is not just a building block of language, but of our subconscious as well; it explores that almost all language is built on metaphor, and how those metaphors shape our understanding of the world around us.

In addition, the authors draw attention to the power of language and the importance of each word choice. The takeaway is simple yet impactful, influencing a person’s conception of how to write persuasively and fueling a passion for finding language that is respectful, inclusive, and empowering.

For those looking to reset how they think about language and really dig into the importance of how their brands speak to and about the populations with whom they work, Metaphors We Live By is a timeless resource. In fact, the work also indirectly helps readers audit their own language and rhetoric for unintentional bias. While theory heavy, this book’s ability to invigorate and uncover vital truths comes through loud and clear.

The Imperfectionists, Tom Rachman
With just the right amount of quirk, this novel takes us into the newsroom and personal lives of journalists at an English newspaper in Rome. Rachman’s debut novel makes every writer feel as if they are seen and being spoken to, especially when the characters engage in hilariously relatable and heated conversations about syntax and diction.

The Imperfectionists — the only novel on this list — is a means to decompress from, gain an inside view on, or laugh at the comedy that ensues when working in the editorial space. Additionally, it shines a light on the vulnerability and humanity that editors, writers, and other creatives bring to their deliverables every day. (If you like the show Mad Men, we think you’ll enjoy this too.)

Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals, Oliver Burkeman
This book takes a different perspective on time management. Instead of focusing on techniques for efficiency and how to get everything done, it examines the brevity of the average human lifespan (4,000 weeks) and how this point of view can change the way we approach the tasks, decisions, and opportunity costs we face in daily life.

Business owners, leaders, marketing strategists, and client advocates can benefit from this work, as it helps shift a person’s thinking in terms of what to concentrate on, and at times more importantly, what to let go of.

For anyone who is ready and wants to have a more purposeful life — inside and outside of work — Four Thousands Weeks is certainly worth the time.

Crash Course, Robin Black
In this work, Robin Black contemplates the surprises and turns her life takes and their connections to her roles as a reader, storyteller, and fiction writer. From admissions of falling behind on her home’s upkeep and renovations, to her detailed experiences of motherhood, to the defense of the worthiness and existence of adverbs, Black’s work serves as a quiet rally cry for writers who are still finding their way, or their way back.

Poignant and powerful, Crash Course will make a writer think back on the moment they became a writer and remind them that there’s nothing else they’d rather do.

Happy Go Lucky, David Sedaris
A collection of essays and stories about the Sedaris family, topics span learning how to shoot a gun for the first time to making the decision to move a parent into an elder care facility. Each story is built from several substories, which come together to reveal a larger truth or insight.

This work is a great companion to the busy professional working across different types of projects consecutively, and can give that person a broader perspective of design as well. It reinforces the idea that the insights gleaned from one project can be the key to solving another design problem.

A combination of funny and insightful, Happy Go Lucky is also an excellent way to clear your head before going to sleep.

Although this list of book recommendations is finite, the Thinksorts’ appetite for learning and desire to improve what they deliver to clients is far from it. Want to see what we have in the queue to read next? Drop us a line at hello@thinkso.com.