As an avid devourer of books, I love sharing the latest books I’m reading that have helped me along in my creative journey. To me, reading a good book is no different than having a great conversation with your most hilarious friend. You come away feeling refreshed, grateful and inspired.
I’ve gathered all the books mentioned in our Pocket Change posts, in one spot. They’ve all helped me over the past few months as I’ve worked with Ed (most creative friend for the win!) to bring A Cat We Have to life! Enjoy!
.:: All The World A Poem by Gilles Tibo and Manon Gauthier
I’ve just discovered this book at my local library and have read it to every kid in my family. It’s a children’s book all about poetry, although it would do well for a lot of adults to read it. The writing on each page is a poem in itself, and the idea is that a poem can be about any topic and any style of writing is acceptable. The artwork in the book is done in really cool paper collages and fits the theme so well.
“Anything the world can be
in nighttime hush or daytime glee
As a reader (and a writer), it’s great to see a book that seems to give permission to create, in any form that comes in.
.:: Fail Fail Again Fail Better is the commencement speech that Pema Chödrön gave at her granddaughter’s graduation. It’s an easy and quick read, that feels like a friend giving you a pep talk more than anything. (In a good way!). The main message of the book (and the speech) is that in order to succeed in this world, we first need to learn how to get back up when getting knocked down. It’s a simple message that can be difficult to learn, especially for creative types.
.:: I first read Alexandra Stoddard’s, You Are Your Choices several years ago during a particularly tough period where I was left questioning my creativity and whether my writing pursuits were worthy.
I found the book at my local library and for some reason it seemed to jump off the shelf at me. Always one to believe in signs, I took it home, devoured it, and then read it a second time to take notes. Thus began my foray into pairing ‘self help’ books with my creative endeavors.
This book is comprised of short chapters, usually that highlight a story, and a common sense how-to-help-yourself type tip. Chapters are titled like mantras: “Why Not Be Comfortable”, “Live From the Inside Out”, “Celebrate Simple Ceremonies” and a personal favorite, “Information is Not Inspiration”.
It helped give me permission to continue my own creative work, and now I set the goodness free and pass it on to you!
.:: Mark Manson is my new favorite foul-mouthed, self help blogger and author. His latest book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck is filled with wise words and useful life advice. Browse his site to get a taste of how Mark works or you can begin with a personal fave article, 7 Strange Questions That Help You Find Your Life Purpose.
.:: In The Company of Women is a book of interviews with fascinating, wise, creative women, all who have made it a priority to leave their creative mark on the world. Written by Grace Bonney of Design Sponge, it’s chock-full of gorgeous photos of colorful work spaces and interview questions we actually care about. Some of the most poignant answers came when Grace asked the ladies what they felt they had sacrificed:
“I think when it’s a passion, it’s hard to call anything you do for it, a sacrifice.” – – Genevieve Gorder
“…free time…but this is what I wanted to do with my free time, so it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice, just non-traditional.” – – Tavi Gevinson
“…I don’t feel that I’ve made any sacrifices; just the opposite is true. I’m doing what I love and enjoy. I think I’ve been preparing to be this independent businesswoman all my life.” – – Maya Gorgoni
Wise words, indeed!
.:: Worn Stories by Emily Spivack is a book of memories and heart strings and moments, all centered around the treasured items of clothing people get attached to and the many reasons why. Read with tissue in hand!
(*Let this collection of stories also serve as a perfect example of how your creativity can turn into something completely unexpected!)
.:: A Child of Books is gorgeous, wordy, lyrical and poetic. This book is from the creative minds of Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston. The story is one of adventures and journeys, fairy tales and literature. It’s the kind of children’s book that is so smart and powerful, you’ll want to read it not just to the kid in your life, but to yourself, over and over, as a reminder of that delicious imagination land that once existed in your head. And if the words don’t do it for you, (they will) the pictures certainly will!
I often mention the books I’ve found helpful in my other posts and I go a bit more in depth, so if you’d like to find out how I use what I learn you can read more about Big Magic, The Happiness Project, Start Right Where You Are and How To Be Here!
What books inspire you? Help you feel normal? Motivate you? Whose writing opens your mind and spurs on your creativity? Share them in the comments, or better yet, write your own review and submit it! Share the creativity!
– – Brittany Forbes
Brittany writes in Canadian, loves in English, and dreams in French. She writes about travels and various other journeys over at Letters To Rayelle.