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Excelling at Chess
Jacob Aagaard
The Art and Craft of Feature Writing: Based on The Wall Street Journal Guide
William E. Blundell

Imagine: How Creativity Works

Imagine: How Creativity Works - Jonah Lehrer I just finished Gladwell's Outliers (and re-read Carr's "The Shallows"), so I was excited to start Lehrer's Imagine -- How Creativity Works. While the book gamely tries to define the creative impulse (how it works, where it occurs, how it can be fostered, etc), in the end, the subject proves a little too vaporous, and seemingly escapes Lehrer's grasp. The chapters feel a little disjointed -- sometimes even contradictory -- and while Lehrer's points are well taken (there is more than one kind of creativity, seemingly casual connections are important, etc), the "proofs" are often a little too anecdotal to wholly convince.As a whole, I found the book interesting and inspirational, though a little thin -- especially the section on intellectual property laws, which loom large (and darkly) in terms of our society's ability to be creative (and compete). This is clearly an important point, yet the chapter felt tacked on, as did the lackluster Penn & Teller anecdote. Overall I liked this book, but among the current wave of neuroscience "How Our Brain Works" books, it's not as well researched as Nicholas Carr's books, nor as entertaining (or as gripping) as Gladwell's. I like it enough to give it three stars, and would happily read more from Lehrer, but I don't feel like it's the best the genre has to offer.Update: It's recently become clear that Lehrer fabricated parts of his book, including many of the Bob Dylan quotes. For that reason, I downgraded it to one star.