Reading and Listening Ideas for the Weekend: Creative Thinking, the Children’s Gate, and Storm Large

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Hi everyone,

Here are this week’s reading and listening picks:

1. Twelve Things You Were Not Taught in School About Creative Thinking, by Michael Michalko: Thought-provoking article. Here’s a sample:

Creative thinking is work. …All creative geniuses work passionately hard and produce incredible numbers of ideas, most of which are bad. In fact, more bad poems were written by the major poets than by minor poets. Thomas Edison created 3000 different ideas for lighting systems before he evaluated them for practicality and profitability. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart produced more than six hundred pieces of music, including forty-one symphonies and some forty-odd operas and masses, during his short creative life. Rembrandt produced around 650 paintings and 2,000 drawings and Picasso executed more than 20,000 works. Shakespeare wrote 154 sonnets. Some were masterpieces, while others were no better than his contemporaries could have written, and some were simply bad. 

2.  Storm Large, singing “Gone”: Last week, I recommended Pink Martini, one of my favorite bands. This week, I’m recommending them again, but with a spotlight on their guest singer Storm Large (that’s her up top). Storm is a force of nature and one of the most sensational performers I’ve seen in a long time.

(She is also the author of the forthcoming book, “Crazy Enough,” about growing up with a schizophrenic mother whose psychiatrist told Storm — inaccurately — that she would one day inherit the same illness.)

3.  Through the Children’s Gate, by Adam Gopnik:

I’m re-reading this book of essays this week. Here’s a lovely passage about parenting, that really applies to life in general:

“The art of child rearing, of parenting, is to center the children and then knock them off center; to make them believe that they are safely anchored in the middle of a secure world and somehow also to let them know that the world they live in is not a fixed sphere with them at the center; that they stand instead alongside a river of history, of older souls, that rushes by them, where they are only a single small incident. To make them believe that they can rule all creation, while making them respect the malevolent forces that can ruin every garden: That is the task.”

That’s all for now! Have a great weekend.

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1. There’s a word for “people who are in their heads too much”: thinkers.

2. Our culture rightly admires risk-takers, but we need our “heed-takers” more than ever.

3. Solitude is a catalyst for innovation.

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