Here are some of my favourite and most useful books on the bookshelf in my office. And of course, a link to my own book Be Creative – Now! which covers all of the topics on NewThinking.Tools in one handy place. These are listed roughly in order of readability, easiest ones first.

Storytelling and communication

Case studies

Creative theory, philosophy and brain science

  • Daniel Kahneman: Thinking, Fast and Slow. Decades of research on cognitive biases and why smart people make stupid mistakes.
  • Nassim Nicholas Taleb: Black Swan. A philosopher/financier’s view of uncertainty, learned on the trading floors of Wall Street and applied to life. See also Antifragile and Fooled by Randomness from the same author.
  • Gray, Brown & Macanufo: Gamestorming. Dozens and dozens of creative techniques, ice-breakers, visualisation tools and more.
  • Roger Firestien: Leading on the Creative Edge. A thorough guide to the creative process.
  • Alex Osborn: Your Creative Power. Brainstorming tips from the father of brainstorming, written back in the 1940s.
  • David Edgerton, The Shock of the Old. Good antidote to neophilia, our obsession with new things. Here’s why we should pay attention to boring old things.
  • Steven D’Souza: Not Knowing. Why good ideas sometimes lurk in the dark of what we don’t understand.
  • Kathryn Schulz, Being Wrong. Such a good book on the complex business of making mistakes.
  • Claire Bridges, In Your Creative Element. An overview of scientific studies of creative thinking.
  • Benjamin Bergen, Louder than Words. We process information by creating an embodied simulation using our visual, aural and motor centres of the brain.
  • Paul Lawrence & Nitin Nohria, Driven. How four basic drives motivate human behaviour: to acquire, defend, bond and learn.
  • The Master and His Emissary, Iain McGilchrist. Detailed account of how the left-right split of our brains shapes our perceptions, actions and culture.
  • Jaak Panksepp, Affective Neurobiology. How mammal brains like ours are wired to experience and be guided by emotions.

And as someone who will never love a glass screen as much as I love actual books, here is one virtual library I would recommend: – a lovingly curated source of information and reviews about all aspects of creativity.