10 books like The Art of Noticing

By Rob Walker,

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

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Steal Like an Artist

By Austin Kleon,

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

When my oldest son asked for this book for Christmas a couple of years ago, I had to see what kind of creativity book would appeal to a non-reader like him. One written by a creative from his own generation, as the author is my son’s age. A quick read, this short volume will definitely appeal to those who have grown up with Internet access and social media, but it is an inspiring guide to creativity for all ages, presenting ten transformative principles that will help readers discover their artistic side and build a more creative life.

Steal Like an Artist

By Austin Kleon,

Why should I read it?

3 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…


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 –…


An Audience of One

By Srinivas Rao,

Book cover of An Audience of One: Reclaiming Creativity for Its Own Sake

I was introduced to Srini through his first book, when I realized that "Unmistakables" are my people. Rao, host of the podcast The Unmistakable Creative, argues that we should stop worrying about creating art for money or fame, but focus on creating for an audience of one, ourselves. Rao’s words speak to the inner spark that may have been doused in our childhood, that deep restlessness we carry within. This book includes fascinating true stories of creatives who took this path, along with research from creativity experts.

An Audience of One

By Srinivas Rao,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The creator of the Unmistakable Creative podcast makes a counterintuitive argument: By focusing your creative work on pleasing yourself, you can increase your productivity, happiness, and (eventually, paradoxically) the size of your audience.

Creating for your own pleasure--whether you're writing a novel, composing songs, or painting a landscape--can seem pointless. It's tempting to focus on pursuing money and fame, rather than the process itself. But as Srini Rao warns, creating then turns into a chore that can harm your self-esteem and suck the pleasure out of life, rather than being a source of joy.

Rao, host of the podcast The…


Walking on Water

By Madeleine L'Engle,

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

I was in my mid-thirties in the midst of a spiritual and creative awakening when I discovered Madeleine L’Engle’s classic young adult fantasy, A Wrinkle in Time, and from that moment I was hooked on her writings—nonfiction as well as fiction. I suppose I could have chosen any of L’Engle’s books to recommend here, as I have read and been inspired by all of them. Yet Walking on Water seemed most appropriate because it addresses the connection between spirituality and creativity more directly than any of her other books, and it was that connection that helped unblock my longstanding creative blocks. 

Walking on Water

By Madeleine L'Engle,

Why should I read it?

3 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.


The Artist's Way

By Julia Cameron,

Book cover of The Artist's Way

I encountered The Artist's Way by learning to be a professional storyteller in writing and oral presentations. Ms. Cameron combines creativity and spirituality in a logical step-by-step understanding that helped me meet the daily challenges of making a living while charting an unusual and unproven profession. She imbued in me that creative expression in all its forms is the natural direction in life. 

The Artist's Way

By Julia Cameron,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked The Artist's Way as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"With its gentle affirmations, inspirational quotes, fill-in-the-blank lists and tasks — write yourself a thank-you letter, describe yourself at 80, for example — The Artist’s Way proposes an egalitarian view of creativity: Everyone’s got it."—The New York Times 
 
"Morning Pages have become a household name, a shorthand for unlocking your creative potential"—Vogue

Over four million copies sold!

Since its first publication, The Artist's Way phenomena has inspired the genius of Elizabeth Gilbert and millions of readers to embark on a creative journey and find a deeper connection to process and purpose. Julia Cameron's novel approach guides readers in uncovering problems…


Living Your Life Out Loud

By Salli Rasberry, Padi Selwyn,

Book cover of Living Your Life Out Loud: How to Unlock Your Creativity

Here is a book that I found to be highly engaging. The Greek philospher Plato was quoted as saying that "you can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation." If so, he has offered us a valid rationale for taking a stroll with someone whom we've just encountered, versus meeting at, say, a restaurant. The authors discuss one study where up to 90% of 5-year-olds tested as being highly creative. Yet by age 7, this figure declines 10%, and then declines to 2% after age 8. Hence, creativity seemingly declines as structured education begins.

Creativity involves the pressure to 'keep up' along with a bombardment of information. The accelerating pace of environmental damage is symptomatic of damage to the human spirit. One centurion said, “I lived my life" so that I would exceed age 100. For nearly all of his life,…

Living Your Life Out Loud

By Salli Rasberry, Padi Selwyn,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Living Your Life Out Loud as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An anecdotal manual offers guidelines on how to eliminate stress, resist external pressures, overcome financial obstacles, set and pursue healthy goals, and realize inner potential through creative expression. Original.


The Artist's Way

By Julia Cameron,

Book cover of The Artist's Way: A Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self

There are lots of how-to-write books with a chapter or two on motivation, inspiration, perspiration, and how to get over writer’s block. But The Artist’s Way is all about what’s happening when the creative part of your life gets stuck, or never started in the first place. It goes to the sources of your human creative energy, and helps you to understand how to find them and feed them, and then how to unblock the channels which prevent that energy from actually flowing into your art, writing, or anything else. You can work your way through the book to establish a creative practice or, like me, return to it at different times, cherry-picking her ideas and processes to suit different kinds of stuckness. 

The Artist's Way

By Julia Cameron,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Artist's Way as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'I love it. A practical, spiritual, nurturing book.' - Russell Brand

Since its first publication, The Artist's Way has inspired the genius of Elizabeth Gilbert, Tim Ferriss, Reese Witherspoon and millions of readers to embark on a creative journey and find a deeper connection to process and purpose. Julia Cameron guides readers in uncovering problems and pressure points that may be restricting their creative flow and offers techniques to open up opportunities for self-growth and self-discovery.

A revolutionary programme for personal renewal, The Artist's Way will help get you back on track, rediscover your passions, and take the steps you…


Make Your Art No Matter What

By Beth Pickens,

Book cover of Make Your Art No Matter What: Moving Beyond Creative Hurdles

Most creatives struggle with maintaining a creative practice in the face of busted water heaters, draining day jobs, and pesky emotions especially anxiety and depression. Beth’s refreshingly honest handbook is built on the premise you must find a way to make your art no matter what. She’s also been a guest on my podcast Create Out Loud and I loved everything she shared.

Make Your Art No Matter What

By Beth Pickens,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Make Your Art No Matter What as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Artist's Way for the 21st century-from esteemed creative counselor Beth Pickens.

If you are an artist, you need to make your art. That's not an overstatement-it's a fact; if you stop doing your creative work, your quality of life is diminished. But what do you do when life gets in the way? In this down-to-earth handbook, experienced artist coach Beth Pickens offers practical advice for developing a lasting and meaningful artistic practice in the face of life's inevitable obstacles and distractions. This thoughtful volume suggests creative ways to address the challenges all artists must overcome-from making decisions about time,…


The Artist's Way

By Julia Cameron,

Book cover of The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity

When I first heard about The Artist’s Way, I doubted that this was a book for me. Was I wrong! Over the next year, I met monthly with a visual artist to process each chapter. We discussed prompts, our artist date, or what we wrote from the suggested journaling. The invitations at the end of each chapter led me to work that fed my spirit. Transforming theory into action exercised my creative muscles. The variety of creative engagements encouraged a rich body of work and a new confidence, while the book’s quotes introduced me to other thinkers. Artist’s-Way work not only strengthened my words on the page, but my nonprofit and library work flourished as well. I credit The Artist’s Way for pushing my work into award-winning territory.

The Artist's Way

By Julia Cameron,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Artist's Way as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Artist's Way provides a twelve-week course that guides you through the process of recovering your creative self. It aims to dispel the 'I'm not talented enough' conditioning that holds many people back and helps you to unleash your own inner artist. Its step-by-step approach enables you to transform your life, overcome any artistic blocks you may suffer from, including limiting beliefs, fear, sabotage, jealousy and guilt, and replace them with self confidence and productivity. It helps demystify the creative process by making it a part of your daily life. Whatever your artistic leanings, this book will give you the…


Search Inside Yourself

By Chade-Meng Tan,

Book cover of Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happines

This book highlights not only theory, but how Google implemented mindfulness via a program with the same name “Search Inside Yourself,” which the author instituted and ran. I was impressed with the depth of the presentation, its simplicity, and the overall theme of mindful business to act as a catalyst to save the world.

The book starts out by emphasizing a focus on breath as access to mindfulness, and that mindfulness is a practice on – and off – the cushion. Tan shows that mindfulness is in sync with running a business and making a profit and can go beyond to make a greater impact on the world. He showcases how emotions can be mastered, empathy is not a weakness, and compassion is possible for the most stoic members of our teams. 

Search Inside Yourself

By Chade-Meng Tan,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Search Inside Yourself as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

With Search Inside Yourself, Chade-Meng Tan, one of Google’s earliest engineers and personal growth pioneer, offers a proven method for enhancing mindfulness and emotional intelligence in life and work.

Meng’s job is to teach Google’s best and brightest how to apply mindfulness techniques in the office and beyond; now, readers everywhere can get insider access to one of the most sought after classes in the country, a course in health, happiness and creativity that is improving the livelihood and productivity of those responsible for one of the most successful businesses in the world.

With forewords by Daniel Goleman, author of…


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