9 Of The Best Books For Creative People To Read

Every new year’s resolution that I make generally has something to do with reading more books. As such, I have been a very busy girl trying to keep with my goal of 52 books this year. Some of them have been more life changing than others, and as such, I decided that it was time to pass along the best info possible for my fellow creatives. I know that you are all frantically thrashing upstream to get your artistic work out into the world, and you only have time for the best of the best when it comes to advice. So, here we are… 9 books that you don’t want to miss out on.


1. You, Inc.


This is one of the most straightforward books I have ever read. It is filled with nuggets of terrific advice no matter what your professional aspirations may be. It is broken up into very easy to digest sections and is riddled with fabulous anecdotes and creative tidbits. This is a must read.


2. Show Your Work


I discovered Austin Kleon’s books a couple of years ago and fell in love with his work. His books are unusual in that they are a piece of art in and of themselves. This book is jam packed with interesting pictures and quotes, and is relevant to anyone in the arts. His message is both inspiring and unique. Once you are done with this, go check out his book “Steal Like an Artist.” 


3. The Art Of Creative Thinking


This book is useful if you find that you’re in a creative rut. The author lays out very simple ways that you can readjust your thinking. Things that are as easy as changing what you routinely eat, all the way to moving around all the furniture in your house to spawn new creative ideas. It was a fast and very interesting read, and I definitely applied many of her concepts. 


4. Mr. Money Mustache

I recommend this to EVERYONE that I know. I also cheated a little, because this isn’t a book. Yet. It is a blog about managing your finances. No matter what stage of life you’re in, I believe there is something to take away from this finance blog. It cuts right to the chase and sheds light on some of the ways we mismanage and honestly disrespect our money. He teaches you to value every penny in your pocket and to practice your frugality muscles when given the opportunity to buy something that isn’t going to provide value to your life. He also gives each reader the proper perspective on debt. I am including MMM among these other creative and entrepreneurial recommendations because I know that finances are an area where a lot of creatives have issues (myself included!). Do yourself a favor and read this blog! You won’t be sorry!


5. How To Make Friends and Influence People

If you look at any “must read” business book article out there, I guarantee you this will be on it. For good reason. It is classic, it is fabulous, and I wish I had read this about ten years ago. Communication is everything.


6. Shoe Dog

I just read this recently and fell in love with the story. This book sheds light on the value of taking risks and starting where you are. I realize that it has very little to do with “being creative” per se, but it has everything to do with building a tribe and a business. If you want to turn your creative life into your professional career, there is lots to take away from this book. 


7. Big Magic

Where do I even begin with this? This book is a game changer. She touches on SO many important subjects. I might hazard to say that she discusses all the thoughts, concerns, fears, doubts, and roadblocks that we creatives face. I listened to it on audiobook recently, and it was even more special to hear Elizabeth Gilbert read it to me. She is such an inspiration.


8. Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?

Seth Godin has been influencing entrepreneurs for decades. I have watched a lot of his videos, and read several of his books, but this one is hands-down my favorite. He has a very interesting philosophy on education and why we need to stop letting other people “choose” to let us succeed. His motto is that you should “pick yourself” and create your own empire while being indispensable to those around you. He asks the question,”If you stopped creating your art right now, would you be missed?” Check it out and soak in all of his fabulous advice.


9. In The Company of Women

This book is such a gift. Grace Bonney did us all a favor and traveled all over the globe asking some of the most successful women alive about their triumphs and failures. The most meaningful take away for me was seeing how many mistakes they all made. Despite this, they just got right back up and did what needed to be done next. Their stories and paths are all different, but they all speak to the universal truth that we must each keep carrying on, no matter what the obstacles happen to be. The book also contains beautiful portraits of the ladies and their work spaces. 


So, there you have it.  9 books that I think you will all benefit from.  I have no plans on slowing down the reading any time soon, so I may have to check in with you next year with an updated list.  In the meantime, if you have found a book that enhanced your creative life, feel free to share it in the comments below.  As always, you can subscribe for more blogs, and make to check out our current tunes by Here To Make Friends!