Inspired: Understanding Creativity: A Journey Through Art, Science, and the Soul (Paperback)

Inspired: Understanding Creativity: A Journey Through Art, Science, and the Soul By Matt Richtel Cover Image

Inspired: Understanding Creativity: A Journey Through Art, Science, and the Soul (Paperback)

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The New York Times's Pulitzer Prize-winning science reporter "unpacks the myths and mysteries of the creative process" (Salon).

How does creativity work? Where does inspiration come from? What are the secrets of our most revered creators? How can we maximize our creative potential?

Creativity defines the human experience. It sparks achievement and innovation in art, science, technology, business, sports, and virtually every activity. It has fueled human progress on a global level, but it equally is the source of profound personal satisfaction for individual creators. And yet the origins of creative inspiration and the methods by which great creators tap into it have long been a source of mystery, spoken of in esoteric terms, our rational understanding shrouded in complex jargon. Until now.

Inspired is a book about the science of creativity, distilling an explosion of exciting new research from across the world. Through narrative storytelling, Richtel marries these findings with timeless insight from some of the world’s great creators as he deconstructs the authentic nature of creativity, its biological and evolutionary origins, its deep connection to religion and spirituality, the way it bubbles in each of us, urgent and essential, waiting to be tapped.

Many of the questions Richtel addresses are practical: What are the traits of successful creators? Under which conditions does creativity thrive? How can we move past creative blocks? The ultimate message of Inspired is that creativity is more accessible than many might imagine, as necessary, beautiful, and fulfilling as any essential part of human nature.

Porchlight Business Book Award Winner (Innovation & Creativity)

Matt Richtel is a reporter at the New York Times. He received the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting for a series of articles about distracted driving that he expanded into his first nonfiction book, A Deadly Wandering, a New York Times bestseller. His second nonfiction book, An Elegant Defense, on the human immune system, was a national bestseller and chosen by Bill Gates for his annual Summer Reading List. Richtel has appeared on NPR’s Fresh Air, CBS This Morning, PBS NewsHour, and other major media outlets. He lives in San Francisco, California.

“Engaging and lively. … Crisp, conversational and at times darned funny. … What distinguishes Inspired is its expansive range and conversational tone, as well as Richtel’s ability to synthesize a lot of complex research, simplifying without oversimplifying.” — Washington Post

“Argues that creativity ‘is as natural as reproduction itself’ while exploring its evolutionary origins, examining its science and providing insight from notable creative types.” — New York Times Book Review

"Remarkable. ... At once conversational and intellectual, Richtel’s lucid writing and intensive research showcase the many facets and manifestations of creativity. This profound and at times whimsical volume informs and inspires." — Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

Inspired makes the convincing case that true creativity spans industries, movements, and endeavors.” — Scientific American

"The Pulitzer-winning author unpacks the myths and mysteries of the creative process, and shows the research that proves why it's not just the 'Big C' geniuses who can tap into it." — Salon

“Illuminating. … Entertaining. … Inspiring. … An enthusiastic examination of the creative process.” — Kirkus Reviews

"Allowed freedom, Inspired reminds us that a curious mind is an unstoppable force and cause for celebration." — 48 Hills