|book review | August 2016
The creative spark: Three books to boost your creativity
by Sarah Matthews
Fates and Furies
by Lauren Groff
Riverhead Books (2015)
"Fates and Furies" is a novel that examines creativity and its mysteries through its two main characters, who share an intense and long-lasting love. The book is divided into two sections, the first told by Lotto, the husband, actor, and playwright. We think we know the characters and story until the book switches perspectives and is told from the point of view of his wife, Mathilde. In this section, everything we assumed true about the plot is turned on its head. This book makes you question how well you really know a person, even one you've been married to for many years. Interwoven into the plot are many literary references, making this an intense read full of love and lust.
Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
By Elizabeth Gilbert
Riverhead Books (2015)
Elizabeth Gilbert is best known for her bestselling memoir "Eat, Pray, Love." Here, Gilbert has written a nonfiction piece on creativity and how to find it, whether we consider ourselves artists or not. The book is divided into easy to read sections on finding the courage to be creative, giving ourselves time and permission from our daily lives to be creative and expanding the definition of creativity to include anything that makes a person curious or inspired. Gilbert's tone is friendly and breezy, and she writes in a style that draws the reader in and makes you feel like you're having a conversation with her. This book is written for anyone who would like to feel inspired, and challenges you to look for creativity in whatever medium works for you, from figure skating and gardening to painting and writing.
The Geography of Genius
By Eric Weiner
Simon & Schuster (2016)
Eric Weiner is a National Public Radio correspondent who, in this book, explores the idea of creativity in a new and interesting way. Weiner defines a genius not just as someone with a high intellect but someone who also has the "highest form of creativity". He travels to global destinations that have been hotspots for creativity at one time or another, and tries to answer why these places sparked new and world changing ideas. His travels take him from Athens to Silicon Valley and everywhere in between. Some of his theories as to why some places create a genius culture are timing, the importance placed in the culture on certain subjects (such as music, art or medicine) and, surprisingly, how uncomfortable or dirty a particular location was. This book would be of interest to those who like to travel, as well.
These titles and thousands of others are available for checkout at the Bismarck Veterans Memorial Public Library.
Sarah Matthews is a reference librarian and adult program coordinator at Bismarck Veterans Memorial Public Library. Follow the library on Facebook at facebook.com/bismarcklibrary.