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The 8 Books That Inspired The Most Ideas This Year

The 8 Books That Inspired The Most Ideas This Year

Reading creative thinking books is one of my favorite hobbies and is my dominant source of inspiration that sparks new ideas. I love books that challenge me to think differently and that introduce me to new concepts. Some of my favorite books have been the ones that have sparked the most ideas, as evidenced by the number of entries from each book in my Roam Research system (2nd brain).

How do books inspire ideas?

The source of ideas is the subconscious mind (sometimes called “the inner genius”). The brain wants to be stimulated, and it craves novelty. It morphs every real-life experience by connecting it with everything we do or see — so the subconscious can leverage it.

When you read books, you are feeding your subconscious so it can make more connections with your experiences and memories. 

The more feeding of your subconscious, the easier the ideas will flow. By reading books every day, you're setting yourself up for success and fueling your inner creativity.

What are my favorite books?

At the end of each year, I go back through the books I read and rank them based on the ideas/innovations I added to my Roam Research knowledge management system from each book. This helps me keep track of what books are inspiring me the most, and it also helps me find new books to read that will inspire me in the coming year.

Here are the 8 books I read in the last 12 months that inspired me. They are some of the best books about creative thinking.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

In a world where most people spend their lives working and playing in virtual reality worlds, young Wade Watts finds himself on an unexpected adventure. Not only must he survive against enemies from all around him but also find clues left behind by the dead multi-billionaire who rules this future society by controlling both technology and culture – technological determinism.

AI 2041: Ten Visions for Our Future by Kai-Fu Lee and Chen Qiufan

In this insightful, utterly original work, the authors imagine our world in 2041 and how it will be shaped by AI. In ten short stories, they introduce readers to an array of eye-opening 2041 settings. By gazing toward a not-so-distant horizon, AI 2041 provides insights into our range of possible futures.


This Is How They Tell Me the World Ends: The Cyberweapons Arms Race by Nicole Perlroth

Based on years of reporting, The New York Times reporter Nicole Perlroth lifts the curtain on an industry few know anything about: the global cyber arms race of “zero day” exploits. It tells you everything you need to know while shedding light on some dark secrets.


The Future Starts Now: Expert Insights into the Future of Business, Technology and Society by Theo Priestley and Bronwyn Williams

The mood of uncertainty has enveloped employees, employers, and society as a whole, but it doesn't have to be this way considering there are innovations under development that could shape our uncertain world into something more stable for all involved parties. The future starts now.


The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation by Jon Gertner

Bell Labs offered an unparalleled opportunity for understanding the challenges faced by those seeking technological innovation. Here, foundational management of ideas was born that would later shape our modern world!


The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail — but Some Don't by Nate Silver

We all want to know what's coming next. But the world of prediction is not an easy one, with many false assumptions and predictions that often come at a great cost for society as well as ourselves. But there may be hope on the horizon!


The Practice: Shipping Creative Work by Seth Godin

Godin shows you to embrace your creativity and share the work that speaks with authenticity. With this book as guidance, Godin teaches readers how they can dance through fear while taking risks worth doing so in order to create something worthwhile–and even enjoy it!


Experimentation Works: The Surprising Power of Business Experiments by Stefan H. Thomke

In this heavily researched book, studies have shown that leaders' intuition and big data don’t work anymore. Running experiments is the key to success in business today by helping leaders make better-informed decisions.

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