10 books like Steal Like an Artist

By Austin Kleon,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Steal Like an Artist. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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The Practice

By Seth Godin,

Book cover of The Practice: Shipping Creative Work

In The Practice, Godin successfully does that “thing,” that he is so uniquely good at: sharing wisdom with panache and joy, not condescension or cliché. He artfully argues for the creative to better empathize with their audience, and in doing so, create better art. Since, creativity is nothing without impact.

The Practice

By Seth Godin,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked The Practice as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

From the bestselling author of Purple Cow and This is Marketing comes an elegant little book that will inspire artists, writers, and entrepreneurs to stretch and commit to putting their best work out into the world.

Creative work doesn't come with a guarantee. But there is a pattern to who succeeds and who doesn't. And engaging in the consistent practice of its pursuit is the best way forward.

Based on the breakthrough Akimbo workshop pioneered by legendary author Seth Godin, The Practice will help you get unstuck and find the courage to make and share creative work. Godin insists that…


Breathing Space

By Jeff Davidson,

Book cover of Breathing Space: Living and Working at a Comfortable Pace in a Sped-Up Society

This book offers nuts and bolts systems and practices for thinking in new ways, organizing more effectively, and producing more abundantly. The author’s insights on establishing goals, setting priorities, and meeting deadlines are spot on. Though written a few decades ago, its lessons are timeless because they focus on reaching an endgame that provides a sense of satisfactory achievement. The author’s sense of humor and his ability to avoid tedious theory give the book momentum and energy.

Breathing Space

By Jeff Davidson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The breakthrough book for a time-pressed generation. Major features in USA Today, The Washington Post, Boston Herald, Chicago Tribune, and 75 other newspapers, plus Executive Female, USAir, Office Systems, Leaders, and Men's Health. Explains why the information age is not here yet; for now, most people are drowning in the over-information age. If you face too much paper, too much to read, or simply too much to do, this book will change your life.


America the Ingenious

By Kevin Baker,

Book cover of America the Ingenious: How a Nation of Dreamers, Immigrants, and Tinkerers Changed the World

Michael Nesmith was famous for being a member of “The Monkees,” but his family was rich before that success. His mother, Bette Nesmith, a secretary, and amateur artist, invented Liquid Paper in 1958. She sold her company to Gillette in 1979 for $49,500,000. This book chronicles the amazing achievement of hundreds of people just like Bette. Some became famous (Orville Wright, Levi Strauss, Fred, and Donald Trump, Helen Keller), whereas others were outshone by their creations. The author explains the thought processes, work systems, promotional efforts, and production demands behind each creative person’s journey from idea to finished product. Superb drawings enhance the explanations of machines, bridges, tunnels, and skyscrapers.

America the Ingenious

By Kevin Baker,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked America the Ingenious as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Among the many rewards of America the Ingenious, Kevin Baker’s survey of Yankee know-how, is stumbling on its buried nuggets. . . . Baker examines a wide range of the achievements that have made, and still make, America great again—and again.”
—The Wall Street Journal

All made in America: The skyscraper and subway car. The telephone and telegraph. The safety elevator and safety pin. Plus the microprocessor, amusement park, MRI, supermarket, Pennsylvania rifle, and Tennessee Valley Authority. Not to mention the city of Chicago or jazz or that magnificent Golden Gate Bridge.
 
What is it about America that makes it…


First, Break All the Rules

By Marcus Buckingham, Curt Coffman,

Book cover of First, Break All the Rules: What the World's Greatest Managers Do Differently

This book manages to stay timely because it is not about specific aspects of technology or evolving business theories. It’s about challenging conventional thinking, about asking hard questions, about getting raw and real and blunt and pragmatic. This book is radical in giving careful consideration to greed, to solitude, to absenteeism, to total restarts, and to disobedience. It needs to be read slowly and cautiously, but with an open mind toward new thought patterns.

First, Break All the Rules

By Marcus Buckingham, Curt Coffman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked First, Break All the Rules as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Gallup presents the remarkable findings of its revolutionary study of more than 80,000 managers in First, Break All the Rules, revealing what the world's greatest managers do differently. With vital performance and career lessons and ideas for how to apply them, it is a must-read for managers at every level.

Included with this re-release of First, Break All the Rules: updated meta-analytic research and access to the Clifton StrengthsFinder assessment, which reveals people's top themes of talent, and to Gallup's Q12 employee engagement survey, the most effective measure of employee engagement and its impact on business outcomes.

What separates the…


Grit

By Angela Duckworth,

Book cover of Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance

What does it take to be successful? There is a tendency in society to answer that with the response “natural talent”. In reality it is a bit different. Of course talent plays a significant role. But Angela Duckworth argues another often an overlooked factor – of effort, which she calls “Grit”. In her research, she demonstrates that where talent counts once, effort counts twice. Intertwining studies from business, sport, and academia she suggests the power of combining deliberate, purposeful, and systematic practice allows you to improve in relation to your goal. Ultimately, grit means getting “better every day”. Duckworth shares my belief that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a special blend of passion and persistence. Developing ‘Grit’ is key to keep improving en route to your goal.

Grit

By Angela Duckworth,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Grit as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

UNLOCK THE KEY TO SUCCESS

In this must-read for anyone seeking to succeed, pioneering psychologist Angela Duckworth takes us on an eye-opening journey to discover the true qualities that lead to outstanding achievement. Winningly personal, insightful and powerful, Grit is a book about what goes through your head when you fall down, and how that - not talent or luck - makes all the difference.

'Impressively fresh and original' Susan Cain


Creativity, Inc.

By Ed Catmull, Amy Wallace,

Book cover of Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration

Ed Catmull, together with his partner, George Lucas, completely changed the nature of animation with the founding of Pixar Animation Studios. This book outlines the philosophy and management practices that allowed Pixar to achieve unprecedented levels of success with its productions by shaking up traditional norms in the movie business. Sterling bits of advice include: It’s not the manager’s job to prevent risks. It’s the manager’s job to make it safe for others to take them; the cost of preventing errors is often far greater than the cost of fixing them; and a company’s communication structure should not mirror its organizational structure. Everybody should be able to talk to anybody.

Creativity, Inc.

By Ed Catmull, Amy Wallace,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Part autobiography, part history of Pixar, part business book, Creativity Inc is a stimulating, feel-good, insightful and highly inspirational collection of lessons in creativity and business from the president of Pixar and Disney Animation, Ed Catmull.

'Just might be the best business book ever written.' -- Forbes Magazine
'Great book. Wish I could give it more than 5 Stars' -- ***** Reader review
'Incredibly inspirational' -- ***** Reader review
'Honestly, one of the best books I've read in a long time' -- ***** Reader review
'Read it and read it again, then read it again and then again' -- *****…


Contagious

By Jonan Berger,

Book cover of Contagious: Why Things Catch on

Creative ideas are nothing without distribution. Social recognition plays an essential role in the creative process, but ideas can’t get recognized without people being exposed to them. Berger’s book provides a manual and framework for how to get your ideas seen, heard, or experienced. He also (successfully) leans on his professorial background to use research to help explain why these tactics work.

Contagious

By Jonan Berger,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Why are some products and ideas talked about more than others? Why do some articles make the most emailed list? Why do some YouTube videos go viral? Word-of-mouth. Whether through face-to-face conversations, emails from friends, or online product reviews, the information and opinions we get from others have a strong impact on our own behaviour. Indeed, word-of-mouth generates more than two times the sales of paid advertising and is the primary factor behind 20-50% of all purchasing decisions.It is between 8.5 and 30 times more effective than traditional media.But want to know the best thing about word-of-mouth? It's available to…


Peak

By Anders Ericsson, Robert Pool,

Book cover of Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise

There are three legs to the creativity stool: craft, timing, and distribution. When I started researching creativity, I assumed that craft was heavily reliant on natural born talent. K. Anders Ericsson is the leading academic in the field of talent development. This book makes clear a surprising, but important point: natural-born talent is probably at best grossly overstated, and probably non-existent. We can learn world-class levels of talent if we have the right access to time, resources, and motivation.

Peak

By Anders Ericsson, Robert Pool,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Selected as a Book of the Year by New Statesman

Mozart wasn't born with perfect pitch.

Most athletes are not born with any natural advantage.

Three world-class chess players were sisters, whose success was planned by their parents before they were even born.

Anders Ericsson has spent thirty years studying The Special Ones, the geniuses, sports stars and musical prodigies. And his remarkable finding, revealed in Peak, is that their special abilities are acquired through training. The innate 'gift' of talent is a myth. Exceptional individuals are born with just one unique ability, shared by us all - the ability…


Wired to Create

By Scott Barry Kaufman, Carolyn Gregoire,

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

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.

Wired to Create

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 –…


The Art of Noticing

By Rob Walker,

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

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.

The Art of Noticing

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…


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