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Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah…

Imagine: How Creativity Works

by Jonah Lehrer

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9184114,064 (3.58)18



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"Imagine" was a hugely accessible and interesting read--as one of the blurbs on the cover says, Jonah Lehrer (for all his writerly faults) is both a scientist and a writer. ( )
  whatsmacksaid | Sep 21, 2018 |
This book never excited me the way Lehrer's How We Decide did. It rarely was as concise or as powerful or as clear as the earlier book. On occasion, I felt he came to questionable conclusions on issues, primarily because I found it very easy to come up with alternative explanations for his findings. Moreover, I would change the subtitle from "How Creativity Works" to "How to Promote Innovation and Facilitate Problem-Solving", but maybe that's just my slant on what "creativity" means. Nevertheless, there are sections, especially during the later half of the book, that are well worth reading. Serious educators should read "The Shakespeare Paradox". For instance, he points out how American teachers show a preference for teaching students with less creative characteristics, because those with traits most closely aligned with creative thought were too hard to teach and under performed on standardized tests. He also points out how well we encourage talent in sports, but don't apply the same system for identifying and encouraging engineers or other non-sports talent. ( )
  larryerick | Apr 26, 2018 |
Interesting book ways creativity is increased in cities and companies. There were some really interesting point. In addition, there were some interesting tidbits about creativity such as stories about how Pixar works and about YoYo Ma. However, the book did drag in places. I think it might have been better if it were a bit shorter. ( )
  KamGeb | Nov 4, 2017 |
Really enjoyed all of the anecdotes - the stories were an appropriate and fascinating insight into the analyses of the creative mind. However, about three-thirds of the way in I got bored from the redundancies. So, three stars for capturing attention - then losing it.

Goodreads Giveaway ARC. ( )
  poutmouthomaha | May 18, 2017 |
I liked this one so much I blew through it in 2.5 days. It's an easy read and it kept me thinking all the way through. I liked how it was divided into two main sections. The first section is about the creativity of the lone individual and the second section is concerned with the creativity of groups. Inspiring and thought provoking stuff. It compelled me to get up and meditate this morning. How's that for influence? ( )
  ndpmcIntosh | Mar 21, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 41 (next | show all)
The goal of “Imagine,” according to its subtitle, is to tell us “how creativity works” — to offer a scientific, mechanistic account of a seemingly ineffable phenomenon. And what distinguishes the scientific from other modes of thinking is not its technology, level of detail or even subject matter, but its ability to discover reliable cause-and-effect relationships. The clarity of physics and chemistry is rare in social science, but this is no license for presenting interesting speculations as settled truths.

The best way to think about “Imagine” is as a collection of interesting stories and studies to ponder and research further. Use it as a source of inspiration, but make your own careful choices about whether to believe what it says about the science of creativity.
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Book description
Note: Jonah Lehrer [...] was discovered to have routinely recycled his earlier work, plagiarised press releases, and misused quotes and facts. His third book, Imagine: How Creativity Works (2012), was the starting point of scrutiny, when quotes attributed to Bob Dylan were discovered to be fabrications. Jonah Lehrer in Wikipedia
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 184767786X, Hardcover)

Amazon Best Books of the Month, March 2012: Combining cutting-edge neurological research with the age-old mystery of how and when inspiration strikes, Jonah Lehrer’s Imagine: How Creativity Works is a fun, engaging study of creativity. Lehrer uses case studies like 3M’s and Pixar’s innovative corporate cultures and Bob Dylan’s songwriting habits to frame scientific findings about the brain and where creativity comes from. You won’t find exercises to help you think more creatively or ways to avoid creative blocks in this book. Instead, you’ll learn how and why creativity is stimulated by certain activities—like looking at the color blue, traveling, or daydreaming productively—and how these activities stimulate creativity in everyone, not just in ‘creative’ people. Lehrer’s focus is as wide and fascinating as his topic itself and there’s something to engage every reader, no matter where you rate yourself on the creativity spectrum. --Malissa Kent

Amazon Exclusive: Jad Abumrad Reviews Imagine

Jad Abumrad is host and creator of the public radio hit Radiolab, now in its seventh season and reaching over a million people monthly. Abumrad has won numerous awards, including a National Headliner Award in Radio and an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science Journalism Award. Read his exclusive Amazon guest review of Imagine:

As a storyteller, I'm in awe of Jonah Lehrer.

It's rare that you read a book where every page has at least one "Aha!" moment, one moment per page that grabs your perspective and gives it a good shake. In other words, while reading this book, I kept experiencing the very phenomenon Jonah is investigating--the sensation of insight. That pleasant brain fever that overtakes you when you suddenly, in a flash, see the world in a new way.

This book is the single best attempt I've ever read (and I've read many) to demystify human creativity. To puncture the age-old mysteries: how do insights happen? How can I make them happen more?

The beauty here is in what Jonah chooses to notice. Bob Dylan, W.H. Auden, the inventor of the Post-It Note, an autistic surf champion . . . they all become gorgeously rendered wormholes into the inner wonders of the human mind. And because of his background in neuroscience, when Jonah does the brain, he delivers the goods.

And finally: though this isn't a self-help book (thank God for that), at the end of it, you're left with a set of ideas and practices that you can actually use.

I do believe this book will set a new standard for science journalism. I for one will be handing it out as a Christmas presents for years to come.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:33 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"New York Times"-bestselling author Lehrer ("How We Decide") introduces readers to musicians, graphic artists, poets, and bartenders to show how they can use science to be more imaginative and make their cities, their companies, and their culture more creative.… (more)

» see all 5 descriptions

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