100 books like An Audience of One

By Srinivas Rao,

Here are 100 books that An Audience of One fans have personally recommended if you like An Audience of One. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You about Being Creative

Peggy Dean Author Of Mindful Sketching: How to Develop a Drawing Practice and Embrace the Art of Imperfection

From my list on creative books for the wildly imperfect artist.

Why am I passionate about this?

My journey into art began as a serendipitous discovery that unfolded through curiosity. As a “can’t-be-tamed” creative, I understand the tug-of-war artists feel – craving to learn skills and create “quality” pieces, while also thumbing the snooze-fest of sticking to one thing. Been there, done that, got the paint-splattered t-shirt. This has ignited a passion for encouraging others to find their own creative voice, as I've navigated the same path while building a multifaceted career in watercolor, gouache, line drawing, urban sketching, brush lettering, and calligraphy…need I go on? The thing is, I will because there is still so much to be explored.

Peggy's book list on creative books for the wildly imperfect artist

Peggy Dean Why did Peggy love this book?

I can't recommend this book highly enough, and here's why: it completely shattered my misconceptions about originality in the creative process. Kleon's candid and approachable narrative made me realize that all art is, in some form, a reinterpretation or recombination of what already exists.

This book came into my life at a pivotal moment, just when I was grappling with the dreaded "impostor syndrome" and the paralyzing belief that everything I created needed to be unprecedented. Kleon's perspective is liberating. He argues that embracing influences and integrating them into your work is not only acceptable but essential for creativity. 

By Austin Kleon,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Steal Like an Artist as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When asked to talk to students at Broome Community College in upstate New York in the spring of 2011, Austin Kleon wrote a simple list often things he wished he'd heard when he was their age: 'Steal like an artist; Don't wait until you know who you are to start making things; Write the book you want to read; Use your hands; Side projects are important; Do good work and put it where people can see it; Geography is no longer our master; Be nice (the world is a small town.); Be boring (it's the only way to get work…


Book cover of Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind

Mary Potter Kenyon Author Of Called to Be Creative: A Guide to Reigniting Your Creativity

From my list on to jumpstart your creativity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began exploring the topic of creativity after my mother’s death in 2010. Mom was an extremely creative woman. The mother of ten children, living in poverty, she was a self-taught artist who managed to beautify her simple home with her art, building a home business selling paintings, woodcarvings, wall hangings, and quilts she created. When I began speaking to groups of women about creativity, I was shocked to discover just how few of them saw themselves as creative. Thus began my odyssey into creativity research and therapeutic art, and the resulting book and workshops that inspire and encourage others to discover their creative self.

Mary's book list on to jumpstart your creativity

Mary Potter Kenyon Why did Mary love this book?

This book is perfect for anyone who likes to see research that supports what they believe. There’s science behind the study of creativity and Wired to Create does an excellent job explaining it. Based on psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman’s groundbreaking research, this book offers a glimpse inside the “messy minds” of highly creative people. Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire study the latest findings of neuroscience and psychology, and the practices of well-known “creatives,” concluding that we are all, in some way, wired for creating, and everyday life presents endless opportunities to express that.

By Scott Barry Kaufman, Carolyn Gregoire,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wired to Create as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Is it possible to make sense of something as elusive as creativity?

Based on psychologist Scott Barry Kaufman’s groundbreaking research and Carolyn Gregoire’s popular article in the Huffington Post, Wired to Create offers a glimpse inside the “messy minds” of highly creative people. Revealing the latest findings in neuroscience and psychology, along with engaging examples of artists and innovators throughout history, the book shines a light on the practices and habits of mind that promote creative thinking. Kaufman and Gregoire untangle a series of paradoxes— like mindfulness and daydreaming, seriousness and play, openness and sensitivity, and solitude and collaboration –…


Book cover of The Art of Noticing: 131 Ways to Spark Creativity, Find Inspiration, and Discover Joy in the Everyday

Mary Potter Kenyon Author Of Called to Be Creative: A Guide to Reigniting Your Creativity

From my list on to jumpstart your creativity.

Why am I passionate about this?

I began exploring the topic of creativity after my mother’s death in 2010. Mom was an extremely creative woman. The mother of ten children, living in poverty, she was a self-taught artist who managed to beautify her simple home with her art, building a home business selling paintings, woodcarvings, wall hangings, and quilts she created. When I began speaking to groups of women about creativity, I was shocked to discover just how few of them saw themselves as creative. Thus began my odyssey into creativity research and therapeutic art, and the resulting book and workshops that inspire and encourage others to discover their creative self.

Mary's book list on to jumpstart your creativity

Mary Potter Kenyon Why did Mary love this book?

I only got a few pages into this book before I had to grab a pen to take notes. A mindful attitude is crucial to increasing your creativity, and Rob Walker’s exercises not only jumpstarted my creativity, but increased my mindfulness. I’ve always said I would make a terrible eyewitness because I’m living inside my head most of the time. The Art of Noticing made a difference in that after I read it, I began noticing little things around me that I wouldn’t have paid attention to before. Not only did I try some of the mindfulness exercises, I incorporated at least one into a creativity workshop I do. I also find Rob’s weekly e-mail newsletter inspirational.

By Rob Walker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Art of Noticing as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A thought-provoking, gorgeously illustrated gift book that will spark your creativity and help you rediscover your passion with “simple, low-stakes activities [that] can open up the world.”—The New York Times

Welcome to the era of white noise. Our lives are in constant tether to phones, to email, and to social media. In this age of distraction, the ability to experience and be present is often lost: to think and to see and to listen.

Enter Rob Walker's The Art of Noticing—an inspiring volume that will help you see the world anew. Through a series of simple and playful exercises—131 of…


Book cover of Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art

Craig Detweiler Author Of Honest Creativity: The Foundations of Boundless, Good, and Inspired Innovation

From my list on creativity and deepening your spirituality.

Why am I passionate about this?

I blame my mother. She took us to the public library every week and let us check out as many books as we could carry. Consequently, reading was a joy rather than a burden. The writing came after I got over my false assumptions about English Lit and Modern Poetry. As a screenwriter, I craft silly stories to make audiences laugh. That’s why I watch movies after an exhausting week. As an author, I gravitate towards non-fiction–trying to reconcile my artistry with my faith. I’ve written about movies, music, video games, technology, and art–with an eye toward lifting our spirits and comforting our aching souls.

Craig's book list on creativity and deepening your spirituality

Craig Detweiler Why did Craig love this book?

As a young man who loved the violent films of Martin Scorsese and the soothing sounds of Gregorian chants, I wanted to reconcile these seemingly contradictory passions.

Madeleine L’Engle offers wise words of encouragement for integrating our faith and our art. While I’d enjoyed her science fiction novels like A Wrinkle in Time, I was surprised by the practical, down-to-earth aspects of Walking on Water. This book slowed me down, allowing child-like wonder to return. She challenged me to develop a daily creative practice because one day off ends up disconnecting us for three.

We all have to ‘feed the lake’ every single day.

By Madeleine L'Engle,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Walking on Water as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this classic book,Madeleine L'Engle addresses the questions, What does it mean to be a Christian artist? and What is the relationship between faith and art? Through L'Engle's beautiful and insightful essay, readers will find themselves called to what the author views as the prime tasks of an artist: to listen, to remain aware, and to respond to creation through one's own art.


Book cover of Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All

Muhammad Mashhood Alam Author Of Transforming an Idea Into a Business with Design Thinking: The Structured Approach from Silicon Valley for Entrepreneurs and Leaders

From my list on design thinking, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been driving innovation in various capacities with world’s leading companies and start-ups for the last 23 years in Silicon Valley. I've been granted six US patents, won two prestigious design awards including the Red Dot award, and published a book on transforming an idea into a business using Design Thinking. What I've learnt is that at the core of any successful business lies the value to the end user who uses the solutions. As I got exposed to Design Thinking earlier on in my career, I realized its immense power in delivering human-centered innovations. I regularly speak at several industry & entrepreneurial events and various business schools around the world. 

Muhammad's book list on design thinking, innovation, and entrepreneurship

Muhammad Mashhood Alam Why did Muhammad love this book?

Creative Confidence is a book that explores the idea that everyone has the ability to be creative, and that creativity can be a powerful tool for innovation and problem-solving.

Kelley argues that many people believe that creativity is a rare and elusive talent that only a select few possess, but in reality, everyone can develop their creative abilities with practice and effort.

Kelley provides numerous examples of individuals and organizations that have successfully used creativity to solve complex problems and create innovative solutions.

He also offers practical strategies and exercises for developing creative confidence, such as embracing failure, challenging assumptions, and experimenting with new ideas.

I have personally seen the benefits of creative confidence in my work and the work of others around me.

By Tom Kelley, David Kelley,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Creative Confidence as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A powerful and inspiring book from the founders of IDEO, the award-winning design firm, on unleashing the creativity that lies within each and every one of us.

Too often, companies and individuals assume that creativity and innovation are the domain of the 'creative types'. But two of the foremost experts in innovation, design and creativity on the planet show us that each and every one of us is creative.

In an entertaining and inspiring narrative that draws on countless stories from their work at IDEO, and with many of the world's top companies and design firms, David and Tom Kelley…


Book cover of Yes, And: How Improvisation Reverses "No, But" Thinking and Improves Creativity and Collaboration--Lessons from The Second City

Gail Golden Author Of Curating Your Life: Ending the Struggle for Work-Life Balance

From my list on living a life of purpose, productivity, and joy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent my life as a psychologist, first as a therapist and then as an executive coach and consultant.  My passion has been helping people get out of their own way and live the best lives they possibly can. I have a Ph.D. and an MBA, which provides me with a unique approach. I combine sports-influenced tactics of performance coaching with psychology-trained skills of empathy to help businesses, leaders, and employees perform at their best, with passion and joy. My book captures the essence of what I have learned from my clients and from living my own life.

Gail's book list on living a life of purpose, productivity, and joy

Gail Golden Why did Gail love this book?

Critical thinking is an essential leadership skill, and many business leaders are great at it. The problem is that this approach often intimidates people and stifles their creativity. This book taught me a new set of communication tactics, based on improvisational theater techniques, that reduce fear and drive innovation in the workplace. The best manager I ever worked for was a “Yes, And” manager.

By Kelly Leonard, Tom Yorton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Yes, And as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Executives from The Second City-the world's premier comedy theater and school of improvisation-reveal improvisational techniques that can help any organization develop innovators, encourage adaptable leaders, and build transformational businesses. For more than fifty years, The Second City comedy theater in Chicago has been a training ground for some of the best comic minds in the industry-including John Belushi, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, Mike Myers, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, and Tina Fey. But it also provides one-of-a-kind leadership training to cutting-edge companies, nonprofits, and public sector organizations-all aimed at increasing creativity, collaboration, and teamwork. The rules for leadership and teamwork have…


Book cover of Think Like a Rocket Scientist: Simple Strategies You Can Use to Make Giant Leaps in Work and Life

Anthony D. Fredericks Author Of From Fizzle to Sizzle: The Hidden Forces Crushing Your Creativity and How You Can Overcome Them

From my list on creativity and imagination.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was the kid who colored outside the lines and marveled at the special effects of monster movies. Yet, as I grew, I became aware of certain “rules” and “expectations” that seemed to limit my innate creativity. When I became a professional educator, I became even more cognizant of how students’ creativity was shut down. I read tons of books on creativity, but soon discovered that no one had ever written a book on the ingrained practices in family life, education, work environments, and personal beliefs that stamped out our natural creativity. Why do so many people consider themselves as “non-creative?” I wanted to find out…and change the equation.

Anthony's book list on creativity and imagination

Anthony D. Fredericks Why did Anthony love this book?

Would you like to turn the seemingly impossible into the possible?

Then, add this compelling and insightful book to your library. The author, in brilliant detail, shows you how to imagine the unimaginable and solve the unsolvable.

With practical advice and easy-to-understand language, Varol describes nine simple strategies that you can use to advance your career and advance your life.

What I like so much about this book is that the techniques are universal - they can be learned and used by anyone, no matter their occupation, the challenges they normally face, or they questions they often ask.

Varol shows you, in rich detail, how to approach complex and unfamiliar problems…and solve them with efficiency and satisfaction.

Your creativity will soar…like a rocket ship!

By Ozan Varol,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Think Like a Rocket Scientist as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

New ways to think in unprecedented times.

Named a "must read" by Susan Cain, "endlessly fascinating" by Daniel Pink, and "bursting with practical insights" by Adam Grant.

In this accessible and practical book, Ozan Varol reveals nine simple strategies from rocket science that you can use to make your own giant leaps in work and life -- whether it's landing your dream job, accelerating your business, learning a new skill, or creating the next breakthrough product. Today, thinking like a rocket scientist is a necessity. We all encounter complex and unfamiliar problems in our lives. Those who can tackle these…


Book cover of How Creativity Rules the World: The Art and Business of Turning Your Ideas into Gold

Stephanie Blanchard

From my list on running a creative small business.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer who is drawn to entrepreneurs, especially those with creative businesses; they inspire me. I launched a freelance writing business in 2014, but I’ve always wanted to work for a magazine. One day, it finally occurred to me to combine my interests and start a magazine about creative entrepreneurs! I have interviewed over 100 creative entrepreneurs for my magazine. I created this list because I think it can help others interested in starting a creative business.

Stephanie's book list on running a creative small business

Stephanie Blanchard Why did Stephanie love this book?

This book demonstrates that anyone can be creative, regardless of their background, profession, or society’s definition of a creative person.

Even though the examples in the book are largely artists’ stories, Brito presents them in a way that I can apply to my career. The book inspires me to explore new ways of thinking and problem-solving. What resonated with me the most were the examples of artists who faced setbacks but transformed their approaches, ultimately achieving success.

The book also delves into the stories of well-known entrepreneurs who pivoted, providing me with inspiration for sticking with an entrepreneurial project when it gets challenging.

By Maria Brito,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked How Creativity Rules the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Axiom Business Book Award Winner in Entrepreneurship Category

Learn to make creativity work for your career.

Anyone, regardless of who you are or what you do, can cultivate the habits, actions, and attitudes that inspire creativity and innovation.

There has never been a more crucial time than now to develop your creativity and your ability to innovate. Coming up with original ideas of value is today's most precious skill.

How Creativity Rules the World shows that, despite contrary beliefs, creativity can be taught and learned by anyone. Creativity is an inexhaustible resource that is the key to thriving in the…


Book cover of Creativity in Business: Based on the Famed Stanford University Course That Has Revolutionized the Art of Success

Matthew E. May Author Of Winning the Brain Game: Fixing the 7 Fatal Flaws of Thinking

From my list on creative thinking.

Why am I passionate about this?

For as long I can remember, I’ve been an ideas guy. I even like the idea of ideas…I guess that makes me a meta-idea guy. But not just any ideas. Ideas that achieve the maximum impact with the minimum means. Oliver Wendell Holmes once wrote, “I wouldn’t give a fig for simplicity on this side of complexity, but I’d give my life for simplicity on the other side of complexity.” Creative ideas are the main event of the imagination, and the simpler the better. I've written and published several books, hundreds of articles and blogs, and even had dozens of songs published. But by far my favorite creative accomplishment is winning the New Yorker cartoon caption contest in 2008.

Matthew's book list on creative thinking

Matthew E. May Why did Matthew love this book?

Creativity in Business was the book that started it all for me in terms of creativity in business. I had just graduated from The Wharton School with my MBA, and I had no idea that business creativity was even a thing. Or even a possibility. I thought they were entirely different worlds, and never the twain shall meet. In this book, authors Michael Ray and Rochelle Myers made me want to go take their course at Stanford. As soon as they started talking about business as art and silencing the “voice of judgment,” I was hooked.

By Michael Ray, Rochelle Myers,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Creativity in Business as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This exploration of innovative thinking in companies of all kinds "shows us how creativity in business can enrich us, and those who work with us." -- Spencer Johnson, co-author, The One Minute Manager


Book cover of Sticky Wisdom: How to Start a Creative Revolution at Work

Karen Hold Author Of Experiencing Design: The Innovator's Journey

From my list on mastering design thinking.

Why am I passionate about this?

Inspired by the brilliant Silicon Valley technologists that I worked with in the early 90s and the pioneering design work of my husband’s grandfather, Leroy Grumman, I believe that design thinking is one of the most important reasons to believe that teams can achieve extraordinary results. It increases the likelihood of implementation of ideas by enhancing any companies’ abilities to align, learn, and change together. I have made it my mission to build creative capacity in individuals, organizations, and cities using the language of design thinking so that everyone can make positive change within their sphere of influence.

Karen's book list on mastering design thinking

Karen Hold Why did Karen love this book?

My favorite business school professor gave me this book on a whim that I might be interested in the work of What If? I took it home and devoured it in a matter of hours. It’s captivating in its accessibility to normal people and probably more relevant today than it was twenty years when it was published as creative catalysts and design thinkers refocus on behaviors over process and habits over tools. By adopting the six creative behaviors outlined in the book: freshness, greenhousing, realness, momentum, signalling, and courage, innovators can increase their creative capacity and even more importantly, their creative confidence. 

By Dave Allan, Matt Kingdon, Kris Murrin , Daz Rudkin

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sticky Wisdom as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

We all know how important creativity is at work. New ideas, fresh solutions, and innovative approaches are always talked about, but rarely ever practiced. ?Whatif!, Second Edition gives you the power, insight, and courage to capture the essence of creativity at work. This one--of--a--kind book breaks creativity into six practical behaviors and shows you how all of us----not just the wacky genuis----is packed with creative potential. This fully updated and expanded edition explores areas that the first edition did not, filled with new insights, stories, and cases it will help you find or recapture your creativity with proven exercises that…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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