Gale's Reviews > Imagine: How Creativity Works

Imagine by Jonah Lehrer
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's review
Jun 21, 2012

it was amazing
Read in May, 2012

In the mid-80s I stepped out of the shower and wrote the basic structure Bette Ammon and I used for the handbooks and guides we wrote for teachers and librarians over the next 15 years. I met with a lawyer the next day and Beyond Basals, Inc. was launched. Since then I’ve been surprised over and over again when a really good idea seems to fall from the sky or when I’m suddenly aware of an art piece that took on its own life.

Needless to say, I was eager to read Imagine when I first heard about it. How does creativity work? Well, long warm showers are a known stimulus, but so is some daydreaming, working across disciplines, travelling, taking risks, being serious about education, and any other number of things.

Lehrer brings together the modern neurological research and the case histories of the industrial engineer developing Post-It-Notes, what happens at Pixar’s studio, Bob Dylan’s songwriting, the playing by Yo-Yo Ma, the drinks an amateur bartender creates in NYC, the Silicon Valley folks, etc. They are as diverse a group as you can get with only one thing in come- they are creative!

There is no formula for stimulating creativity, but Lehrer makes it clear we can all be as creative as the people he writes about. This is a wonderful book for parents, teachers… for everyone to create a better world.
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Lynn Pribus It used to be a lot of ideas bloomed for me while I was swimming -- same sort of alpha state as a shower, I believe.

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