I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer is the first non-fiction book I've ever reviewed. Please forgive me if it's terrible. Also, in case it is terrible, sorry to Penguin Books Canada and Goodreads, who got together and gave me this book for free. It showed up unexpectedly in the mail one Wednesday. Unexpectedly because I don't check my e-mail enough. An awesome surprise!
Imagination and creativity can seem like elusive beasts. Mythical creatures that come into our lives as a flash, and disappear just as quickly. Is that really how it is though? There are tons of beliefs and myths surrounding creativity that actually interfere with imagination. This book explores these myths, presenting scientific studies and real life examples to show that these beliefs are just plain wrong.
This book is full of science, statistics and studies. It's full of stories about real people and companies. It's full of surprises. Whenever I picked it up, I didn't want to put it down. It was easy to read, but never boring. In short: I loved it. Even when the research it presented was surprising, I never once found myself thinking, "What? I don't quite believe that..." because everything is backed up by examples, from Bob Dylan and Shakespeare to Pixar studios and the guy who created masking tape. I learned why ideas should be shared, why you should talk to more people and that you should fail - a lot - if you want to be innovative.
This book should be read by everyone, but especially...no, just everyone.
Edit September 18 2012 - Some problems about this book have come to light. Read my brief note and some links about it here.