Coffee-Shop Schmuck -- Roy Blumenthal, Artist-at-Large: Picture of Roy by Dook, used with permission -- Thanks Dook!

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Some Books I've found Useful in Living My Art

This is a selection of the books I’ve found most useful in life. Some of them are directly about creativity. Others of them have to do with the art of business. All of them are superb books that I highly recommend. I’m clustering them in broad categories, and in no particular order. Here’s a tip about creativity... make the ‘Business’ and ‘Self-help’ sections of bookshops your favourite browsing arenas. In the meantime, you can order these off Amazon.com by following the links.

I normally hand this list out as reading material when I run my Creativity Seminars. Email me at roy@royblumenthal.com or phone me on +27 82 659 3165 for details on the seminars. I've got a half-day version, and a full-day version. Perfect for companies looking to liberate the creativity of their people.


Remember my Amazon.com booklist. Buying books through the links here will make me rich!!! Ooooo, baby! 

I'm also a Throat-for-Hire. Listen to my online voice reel, then book me by calling my voice agent, CONTRACTORS, on +27 11 726 6076.


LIBERATING YOUR CREATIVITY

Aha! 10 Ways to Free Your Creative Spirit and Find Your Great Ideas

by Jordan Ayan
Gives you the confidence to listen to your own creative spirit. Based on the notion that creativity is a life skill that must be continually cultivated. Ten strategies for finding and harnessing inspiration.

Thinkertoys

by Michael Michalko
Provides 30 meticulously outlined techniques, hundreds of hints, tricks, tips and true stories to turn you into a potent idea generator. Practical techniques for individuals, groups in meetings and in brainstorms.

Cracking Creativity

by Michael Michalko
Superb companion to Thinkertoys. Examines the sources, secrets and methods of creativity. Packed with life-changing creative techniques that are easy to implement in the real world, with easy-to-follow steps that anyone can use to become more creative. Will change the way you think.

Thinkpak — A Brainstorming Card Deck

by Michael Michalko
56 idea-stimulating cards to help kickstart your idea generation, exploration and evaluation sessions. Simple brain-storming techniques in your hands. Definitely worth having in your arsenal.

A Whack on the Side of the Head

by Roger von Oech
Whacks you out of traditional thought patterns and sets your creative self free. Illustrated, filled with provocative puzzles. Refreshes your outlook and starts you thinking in new, creative ways.

A Kick in the Seat of the Pants

by Roger von Oech
Defines the role of your inner Explorer, Artist, Judge and Warrior, and gives you practical ways of using them to generate ideas and solutions.

Creative Whack Pack

by Roger von Oech
Deck of cards putting into practice all of the ideas in the two books. My favourite creativity tool.

101 Ways to Generate Great Ideas

by Timothy R. V. Foster
Strategies and techniques to come up with good ideas to solve problems for yourself, your business and your clients. Great advice based on solid experience. Organised into categories so you can find the right technique for the right challenge.

What a Great Idea! 

by Charles “Chic” Thompson
One of my favourite creativity books. Key steps creative people take. Teaches you how to fight killer phrases, establish a creative environment, exploit idea-friendly times, nourish your vision, open an idea-bank, jump-start unproductive meetings, uncover new solutions, mobilise your creative forces. Buy this book today!

The Joy of Thinking Big — Becoming a Genius in No Time Flat

by Ernie J. Zelinski
Entertaining resource helps you tap into and profit from your hidden store of creativity. Encourages us to ruffle a few feathers, take some chances, and live large. Fun and simple methods for making every part of your life an opportunity to be creative.

Train Your Brain: The Ultimate 21 Day Mental Skills Programme for Peak Performance

by Harry Adler
Adler explains how you can achieve more with less effort, increase levels of inspiration and creativity, experience peak performance at will, take the hit-and-miss element out of personal achievement. Fascinating brain-training techniques.

Freeing Your Creativity: A Writer’s Guide

by Marshall Cook
How to write more and better than you thought you could. Learn to be more frivolous, to “write fat”, knowing how to “revise lean” later. Ideas transfer from writing to other idea generation needs.

Six Thinking Hats

by Edward de Bono
The essential de Bono book. Describes his superb method for making full use of everyone’s intelligence, experience and information, removing ego from discussions. Buy this book. It works.

Pumping Ions: Games and Exercises to Flex Your Mind 

by Tom Wujec
The mind needs exercise to stay in shape. Fully-illustrated guide provides dozens of exercises to increase attention span, improve memory, enhance creativity, stretch imagination, build up powers of deduction and analysis, hone decision-making skills.

Lessons From the Art of Juggling: How to Achieve Your Full Potential in Business, Learning, and Life

by Michael J. Gelb and Tony Buzan
Trains you in the art of relaxed concentration — the secret of high performance in business and life. Break mental/brain barriers and open up new pathways of perception. The process is more important than the outcome.


INVENTING

Eureka! The Entrepreneurial Inventor’s Guide to Developing, Protecting, and Profiting From Your Ideas

by Robert J. Gold
For everyone who’s ever had a great idea but didn't know what to do with it. Remarkably useful and complete guide takes you from brainstorming to market, with checklists to guide you through each process. A must-have for inventors.

Inventing Small Products

by Stanley I. Mason
Insightful examination of the process of inventing small-scale, useful and very saleable products. Outlines how to become a professional inventor, demonstrating through examples.

That’s a Great Idea! The New Product Handbook

by Tony Husch and Linda Foust
How to evaluate, protect, develop, and sell new product ideas. About creating new consumer products. How to get the ideas and how to put them to work. 

Great Idea! Now What?

by Howard Bronson and Peter Lange
Turn your idea, invention or business concept into a money-making success. Includes an easy-to-follow workbook to help you profit from your ideas. Shows you how to develop, test, market and sell your idea without huge financial risk.

The Game Inventor’s Handbook

by Steve Peek
Covers all the bases in creating a game and getting it on the shelves, plus all the steps in between. A wealth of useful information here. Great book.


PRACTICAL IDEA SKILLS

The New Diary

by Tristine Rainer
How to use a journal for self guidance and expanded creativity. Helps you use a journal to tap into the full power of your inner resources. Clarify goals, visualise your future, focus your energies, free your intuition and imagination, explore your dreams, your past, your present life.

The Craft of Copywriting

by Alastair Crompton
The best book I’ve read on how to succeed in generating ideas for advertising. A must-read, no matter what industry you’re in. This book gives the practical tools for generating ideas that sell other ideas. Improve your ability to communicate and generate better ideas.

Graphic Design Made Difficult

by Bob Gill
About using problem-definition redefinition to solve problems. Amazing insight, potently delivered with many superb graphic design solutions and the thinking that led to them. Based on the premise that the more unique the statement of the problem, the more unique the solution will be. Stunning stuff. I love this book.

Selling for Dummies

by Tom Hopkins
This book is the most important book you’ll buy. I advise that you get it before you get any other in this bibliography. It teaches you how to sell, which is the most basic skill you need when conveying your ideas to others. You will not find a better book on how to achieve personal success. Get this book. It’s the secret to everything you need.


THE BUSINESS OF CREATIVITY

Rules for Revolutionaries

by Guy Kawasaki with Michael Moreno
Create like a god. Command like a king. Work like a slave. The three principles of the Capitalist Manifesto for Creating and Marketing New Products and Services. This dude is the real thing. He made Apple Macintosh famous. Battle-tested lessons to help you turn your revolutionary zeal into visionary success. Buy this book.

Selling the Dream

by Guy Kawasaki
How to promote your product, company, or ideas — and make a difference — using everyday evangelism. Yup. He’s converted religious evangelism techniques to business use. Awesome. A handbook and workbook for putting the techniques to work for your ideas. Another one to buy.

New Entrepreneur’s Guidebook

by Paul F. McClure
Offers a proven framework for growing a business from start-up to maturity. Discover the repeatable patterns in your business and put them into an understandable framework before they slip away. How to manage the task of innovation through the different phases of business growth.

Multipreneuring

by Tom Gorman
Using a variety of skills and a series of careers to succeed. Career strategy that provides techniques for managing a flexible “chameleon” career. Multiple careers are essential to success, and this book shows you how you can change your life to manage risk aggressively.

The Joy of Working

by Denis Waitley and Reni L. Witt
The 30-day system to success, wealth, and happiness on the job. The key to personal profit, productivity and prosperity is enjoyment — enjoying your life and your work. Practical down-to-earth guide makes it easy for you to put the “joy factor” into your everyday life, making work a great place to be.

The Circle of Innovation

by Tom Peters
You can’t shrink your way to greatness. With business in a state of perpetual flux, constant innovation is the only survivla strategy. This book shows you how to take responsibility as an individual for making the most of the chaos of the new world order. Provocative book. 

Jamming: The Art and Discipline of Business Creativity

by John Kao
Helps you learn how to manage creativity, how to organise for creative results. Those who willingly implement new ideas thrive. Managers can stimulate creativity like musicians jamming.

Innovations

by David P. Sorenson
A hands-on guide to developing an innovation culture in any organisation. Designed to help managers, entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs create the kind of atmosphere that encourages constant effort to find new answers, new ideas and new products.


FINDING THE JOB YOU’LL LOVE

What Color is Your Parachute

by Richard Nelson Bolles
A new edition comes out every year. Buy any edition. Go to second-hand bookshops and look for old editions. This is one of the most important workbooks you’ll read. I’ve given away more than forty copies of this book to friends and strangers over the years. It has two parts to it: (1) finding out what job you want to do with your unique skills and passions: (2) finding the particular job to match your discoveries in the first section. 

Zen and the Art of Making a Living

by Laurence G. Boldt
A practical guide to creative career design. Innovative, unconventional, profoundly practical career guide. Complements What Color is Your Parachute. Another great career-definition book. Includes information not normally found in career guides. 


Remember my Amazon.com booklist. Buying books through the links here will make me rich!!! Ooooo, baby! 

I'm also a Throat-for-Hire. Listen to my online voice reel, then book me by calling my voice agent, CONTRACTORS, on +27 11 726 6076.