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Book Giveaway: The 2018 800-CEO-READ Business Book Awards Innovation & Creativity Book Giveaway


We will be dedicating the rest of this year's book giveaways to the books on the longlist for the 2018 800-CEO-READ Business Book of the Year.

This week, we're giving away the books in the Innovation & Creativity category, which are listed below along with the publishers' descriptions of the books. You can find our general manager Sally Haldorson's thoughts on the category in her Inside the Longlist post.

Each of this week's winners will receive all five books in the Innovation & Creativity category.

Creative Quest by Questlove, Ecco

A unique new guide to creativity from Questlove—inspirations, stories, and lessons on how to live your best creative life.

Questlove—musician, bandleader, designer, producer, culinary entrepreneur, professor, and all-around cultural omnivore—shares his wisdom on the topics of inspiration and originality in a one-of-a-kind guide to living your best creative life.

In Creative Quest, Questlove synthesizes all the creative philosophies, lessons, and stories he’s heard from the many creators and collaborators in his life, and reflects on his own experience, to advise readers and fans on how to consider creativity and where to find it. He addresses many topics—what it means to be creative, how to find a mentor and serve as an apprentice, the wisdom of maintaining a creative network, coping with critics and the foibles of success, and the specific pitfalls of contemporary culture—all in the service of guiding admirers who have followed his career and newcomers not yet acquainted with his story.

Whether discussing his own life or channeling the lessons he’s learned from forefathers such as George Clinton, collaborators like D’Angelo, or like-minded artists including Ava DuVernay, David Byrne, Björk, and others, Questlove speaks with the candor and enthusiasm that fans have come to expect. Creative Quest is many things—above all, a wise and wide-ranging conversation around the eternal mystery of creativity.

Elastic: Flexible Thinking in a Time of Change by Leonard Mlodinow, Pantheon

From the best-selling author of Subliminal and The Drunkard’s Walk comes a groundbreaking look at the psychology and neuroscience of change, and at how tapping into elastic thinking will help us thrive in the modern world.

Drawing on cutting-edge research, Leonard Mlodinow takes us on an illuminating journey through the mechanics of our minds as we navigate the rapidly changing landscapes around us. Out of the exploratory instincts that allowed our ancestors to prosper hundreds of thousands of years ago, humans developed a cognitive style that Mlodinow terms elastic thinking, a unique set of talents that include neophilia (an affinity for novelty), schizotypy (a tendency toward unusual perception), imagination and idea generation, and divergent and integrative thinking. These are the qualities that enabled innovators from MaryShelley to Miles Davis, from the inventor of jumbo-sized popcorn to the creators of Pokémon Go, to effect paradigm shifts in our culture and society. In our age of unprecedented technological innovation and social change, it is more important than ever to encourage these abilities and traits.

How can we train our brains to be more comfortable when confronting change and more adept at innovation? How do our brains generate new ideas, and how can we nurture that process? Why can diversity and even discord be beneficial to our thought process? With his keen acumen and quick wit, Leonard Mlodinow gives us the essential tools to harness the power of elastic thinking in an endlessly dynamic world.

Leapfrog: The New Revolution for Women Entrepreneurs by Nathalie Molina Niño & Sara Grace, Tarcherperigee

Think the most critical factor for becoming a great entrepreneur is grit, risk-taking, or technical skills? Think again.

Despite what every other business book might say, historical data show the real secret ingredients to getting ahead in business are being rich, white, and male. Until now.

Leapfrog is the decades-overdue startup bible for the rest of us. It’s filled with uncompromising guidance for winning at business, your way. Leapfrog is for entrepreneurs of all stripes who are fed up with status quo advice—the kind that assumes you have rich friends and family and a public relations team.

Refreshingly frank and witty, author Nathalie Molina Niño is a serial tech entrepreneur, the founder and CEO of BRAVA Investments, and a proud daughter of Latinx immigrants. While teaching budding entrepreneurs at Barnard College at Columbia University and searching the globe for investment-worthy startups, she has met or advised thousands of entrepreneurs who’ve gone from zero to scalable business. Here she shares their best secrets in the form of fifty “leapfrogs”—clever loopholes and shortcuts to outsmart, jump over, or straight up annihilate the seemingly intractable hurdles facing entrepreneurs who don’t have family money, cultural capital, or connections.

Mismatch: How Inclusion Shapes Design by Kat Holmes & John Maeda, The MIT Press

How inclusive methods can build elegant design solutions that work for all.

Sometimes, designed objects reject their users: a computer mouse that doesn't work for left-handed people, for example, or a touchscreen payment system that only works for people who read English phrases, have 20/20 vision, and use a credit card. Something as simple as color choices can render a product unusable for millions. These mismatches are the building blocks of exclusion. In Mismatch, Kat Holmes describes how design can lead to exclusion, and how design can also remedy exclusion. Inclusive design methods—designing objects with rather than for excluded users—can create elegant solutions that work well and benefit all.

Holmes tells stories of pioneers of inclusive design, many of whom were drawn to work on inclusion because of their own experiences of exclusion. A gamer and designer who depends on voice recognition shows Holmes his “Wall of Exclusion,” which displays dozens of game controllers that require two hands to operate; an architect shares her firsthand knowledge of how design can fail communities, gleaned from growing up in Detroit's housing projects; an astronomer who began to lose her eyesight adapts a technique called “sonification” so she can “listen” to the stars.

Designing for inclusion is not a feel-good sideline. Holmes shows how inclusion can be a source of innovation and growth, especially for digital technologies. It can be a catalyst for creativity and a boost for the bottom line as a customer base expands. And each time we remedy a mismatched interaction, we create an opportunity for more people to contribute to society in meaningful ways.

Unsafe Thinking: How to be Nimble and Bold When You Need It Most by Jonah Sachs, Da Capo

How can you challenge and change yourself when you need it most?

We're creatures of habit, programmed by evolution to favor the safe and familiar, especially when the stakes are high. This bias no longer serves us in a world of constant change. In fact, today, safe thinking has become extremely dangerous.

Through stories of trailblazers in business, health, education and activism, and leveraging decades of research into creativity and performance, Jonah Sachs reveals a path to higher performance and creativity for anyone ready to step out of their comfort zone. He introduces troublemakers willing to challenge corporate culture like the executive who convinced CVS to drop its multibillion-dollar tobacco business. She now leads the pharmacy giant. Readers will get firsthand accounts of breaking from the status quo from a Nobel prize winning doctor who nearly got himself thrown out medicine, a two-time NBA championship coach who brought joy back to his team by tuning down the focus on competition, a CEO who rebuilt her reputation and life from the ashes from one of the biggest flops in internet history and a Colombian mayor who started an incredibly successful career of political reform by mooning an angry crowd.

Unsafe Thinking is full of counter-intuitive insights that will challenge you to rethink how you work. You'll learn:

  • Why your area of deep expertise is often where you'll find your biggest blind spots
  • Why anxiety can be fuel for creativity
  • When to trust intuition and when to challenge it
  • How collaborating only with those that share your values stunts your creativity
  • How to build an organization that embraces intelligent risk.

An inspiring and accessible read, Unsafe Thinking has the power to change both the way you approach your work and your life.

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