I read a lot of articles and since this blog is about documenting what I read, I thought I’d share the most outstanding and thought-provoking ones here. I wasn’t sure at first how to go about doing this. I considered making a separate page for the articles, but then decided to include them in my quarterly wrap-ups. Now I’ve changed my mind again and have decided to give them their own wrap-up post. For now, the plan is to do these posts quarterly.
The list is kinda long so I’ll highlight their topics. Hopefully a few will interest you. Well then, here they are in no particular order:
The Harry Potter-verse
Those who’re tuned in to Harry Potter updates are probably aware of the new stories Rowling recently published on Pottermore that expands the Harry Potter universe to the Americas. Well, there has been a backlash as Rowling has excluded some key facts in her stories. I haven’t yet read those stories but I found this article on them interesting.
I’m a sucker for inspirational quotes, books, cups, t-shirts, shoes, hats, anything. If it has words of encouragement, I want to buy it. If it’s meant to cheer you up and get started on creating something, I want to get it. If it’s to help build your creative confidence, I want to read it. So it should be no surprise that I bought and read Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative by Austin Kleon. I think I first read of this book in one of the many posts on Maria Popova’s website, Brain Pickings (I love that website! It’s a source of inspiration for creativity). After looking up the book on Amazon, I decided that I must get it.
The first thing I love about this book is the presentation. I don’t know what the cover is made of but it’s that smooth but thick, jacket-like cover that I find on most YA novels. I like the texture so I keep touching it. I also like that it’s made to look like a blackboard with the writings in chalk. There are doodles by the author throughout its pages to give it a fun appeal, which is certain to tickle the creative spot.
…you can find the strange in the familiar. As long as you’re willing to look beyond what’s already been brought to light, then you can see what’s below the surface, hiding in the shadows, and recognize that there can be more there than meets the eye.”
—Alexa Meade, from her TED Talk, “You Body is My Canvas.” Meade is an artist who paints on living subjects. She takes a three-dimensional creation and makes it appear as two-dimensional by collapsing depth and making her models appear flat.
This book fascinated me. I am always curious about the mind, thoughts, and how creativity works (mine seems to come in spurts). Why some people are creative and others are not? Jonah Lehrer tackles this question and more in Imagine. It is a great read. The theories discussed are easy to understand and the explanations and experiments explained are easy to follow.
I did not expect to like this book or to even want to read it. Really, the only reason why I picked it up is because the cover looks cool (I couldn’t stop staring at it) and it had a 30%-off sticker on it– two good reasons to purchase a book. My plan was to buy it, stare at the cover until I got tired of seeing it, and then return the book to the store. I should have known that this plan was doomed because I have NEVER returned a book that I bought. I opened up the book and began to read and was unable to put it down.
Sometimes it got boring when experiment procedures are being discussed (it doesn’t last long) but because it is written in a simple, uncomplicated way and because I find the subject matter to be interesting, I kept returning to the book. I enjoyed reading about how successful companies like 3M, Google, and Pixar use the imagination to their company’s advantage. The discussion on those “Aha!” and “Eureka!” moments, those moments when you figure out the answer to a bothersome question, was of particular interest to me. It was also interesting to note that people tend to create greater ideas when they interact with others. Therefore, the internet and some social media outlets are actually beneficial for the progression of the human race. The more we interact and exchange ideas, the more we are able to develop outstanding ones.
Imagine is easy to read and engaging and because of this, all those who are interested in how creativity works and how the imagination influences us, will enjoy reading this book. Really, you don’t have to be a scientist to understand what is being discussed.