In this edition of Friday Favourites, I’m discussing my favourite non-fiction reads. I used to hate reading non-fiction, but in recent years I have found several that I greatly admire and have learned quite a lot from. Here are several of my favourite non-fiction titles:
#1. Inventology – Pagan Kennedy:
If I had to choose just one non-fiction book, it would be this one. I learned SO much from this book. It examines the myriad conditions that cause new inventions, or new iterations of old inventions to come about. I love that this book includes inventions that seem huge and world changing, as well as inventions that are seemingly ubiquitous in society now (such as the wheels on our luggage). In addition to being a great read, because Inventoloy is so well researched, it led me to many more great non-fiction reads that are of adjacent interest.
#2. Creativity Inc. – Ed Catmull:
I adore both Disney and Pixar, and so I was excited both as a fan, and as a creative person myself to read Ed Catmull’s ideas about how to foster creativity, through examining his journey leading Pixar. I loved learning about how Pixar was bootstrapped, how Ed Catmull learned to work with Steve Jobs, how he learned to take ego out of his work to tell the best story he could, and about how Pixar and Disney constantly reiterate their creative process so they don’t lose their edge. There were a great many lessons that I took away from reading Creativity Inc. that I can apply to my own creative work.
#3. Deep Work – Cal Newport:
I just finished reading this book a few days ago, and it (in conjunction with a great Joanna Penn webinar that I watched this week), have really changed my perspective about how I work. Cal Newport argues that we are losing the ability to engage in Deep Work because our attention is so fractured. (My job teaching music buffers me against this somewhat, since I have 8 hour periods of absolutely no internet and very few distractions, unlike many people who must use computers for their work.) Still, this book helped me see how I can also create greater margin in my life by limiting all distractions, not just internet-related distractions. I’m still processing all of the great ideas from the book, and finding ways to improve my own ability to do deep work.
What are your favourite works of non-fiction? Tell me in the comments below!
If you enjoyed this post, check out my novels!