Author and Mount Kisco Resident Warren Berger Shares His Five Favorite Books About Creativity

Warren Berger The Mount Kisco innovation expert on his five favorite books about creativity



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One of the co-founders of the Marmaduke Writing Factory, a writers’ group based in Pleasantville, Warren Berger is an author (Glimmer: How Design Can Transform Your Life, and Maybe Even the World and CAD Monkeys, Dinosaur Babies, and T-Shaped People) who lectures frequently on innovation and creativity. Here, the Mount Kisco resident shares five titles to help spark your own creative process.

1) A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future (by Daniel H. Pink)
Calling it “groundbreaking,” Berger recommends this book as a good first read for examining why one should treasure his/her creativity—and why it has more value today than ever before. Its author argues, says Berger, “that the future belongs to ‘right-brain’ thinkers who can come up with the fresh, new ideas the world needs now.”
2) The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything (Sir Ken Robinson)
Berger highly recommends this book about finding one’s “element”—the point where natural talent meets personal passion—for anyone looking to get those creative juices flowing. “Robinson is not your typical self-help book author,” he says. “He combines intellectual rigor with a wicked sense of humor.” (Not familiar with Robinson? Watch his hugely popular speech on how to encourage greater creativity in kids on, the website for the acclaimed nonprofit devoted to “ideas worth spreading.”)

3) Spark: How Creativity Works (Julie Burstein)
“One of the great ways to be inspired,” Berger says, “is to learn what inspires others.” In this book, Burstein, who helped create and produce Kurt Andersen’s “Studio 360,” the award-winning WNYC radio show, shares fascinating “light bulb” moments and insights gleaned from various creative people in different disciplines, including artist Chuck Close, poet Stanley Kunitz, author Richard Ford, and Broadway performer Patti LuPone.

4) Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality (Scott Belsky)
“Let’s face it,” Berger says, “we all have great ideas. But what do we actually do with those ideas to begin to turn them into realities?” Berger recommends this title as a practical handbook that provides step-by-step tips on how to structure, organize—and then act on—all those great ideas.

5) Better by Mistake: The Unexpected Benefits of Being Wrong (Alina Tugend)
“The ‘risk’ in trying to bring your ideas to life,” Berger says, “is that they may somehow fall short—or even fall flat.” It’s that fear that stops many from ever trying. This book, written by a New York Times journalist, makes a strong case that failure needs to be regarded entirely differently. “Mistakes are actually a great way to learn,” Berger says. “If you can get past your built-in fear of mistakes, you’ll likely find it much easier to create.”


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