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Updated by Designers Books on Mar 23, 2023
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CreativeMornings Community Booklist No. 1: Bravery

Bravery is a word that evokes strong emotions, visions of courageous actions, and bold examples of heroism. But bravery can take many forms, and talks this month at CreativeMornings reflect that. As do books. You can add your favorite books on bravery to this CreativeMornings book list.


Ai Weiwei's Blog: Writings, Interviews, and Digital Rants, 2006-2009

From the Publisher. In 2006, even though he could barely type, China's most famous artist started blogging. For more than three years, Ai Weiwei turned out a steady stream of scathing social commentary, criticism of government policy, thoughts on art and architecture, and autobiographical writings. He wrote about the Sichuan earthquake (and posted a list of the schoolchildren who died because of the government’s “tofu-dregs engineering”), reminisced about Andy Warhol and the East Village art scene, described the irony of being investigated for “fraud” by the Ministry of Public Security, made a modest proposal for tax collection. Then, on June 1, 2009, Chinese authorities shut down the blog. This book offers a collection of Ai Weiwei’s online writings translated into English—the most complete, public documentation of the original Chinese blog available in any language.

Moby Dick

The story of the ill-fated voyage of a whaling ship led by the fanatical Captain Ahab in search of the white whale that had crippled him.AA masterpiece of storytelling, this epic saga pits Ahab, a brooding and fanatical sea captain, against the great white whale that crippled him. In telling the tale of Ahab's passion for revenge and the fateful voyage that ensued, Melville produced far more than the narrative of a hair-raising journey; Moby-Dick is a tale for the ages that sounds the deepest depths of the human soul. Interspersed with graphic sketches of life aboard a whaling vessel, and a wealth of information on whales and nineteenth-century whaling, Melville's greatest work presents an imaginative and thrilling picture of life at sea, as well as a portrait of heroic determination.

The Diary of a Young Girl

The diary kept by Anne Frank (1929-45) while she was in hiding for two years with her family during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. The diary (now published in more than 60 languages) was retrieved by Miep Gies, who gave it to Anne's father, Otto Frank, the only known survivor of the Frank family.

Speak, Memory

First published in 1951 as Conclusive Evidence and then assiduously revised in 1966, this bok examines Nabokov’s life and times while offering incisive insights into his major works, including Lolita, Pnin, Despair, The Gift, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, and The Defense.

Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day by Todd Henry | TODD HENRY

"Embrace the importance of now, and refuse to allow the lull of comfort, fear, familiarity, and ego to prevent you from taking action on your ambitions...The cost of inaction is vast. Don't go to your grave with your best work inside of you. Choose to die empty."

The Bald Mermaid

From the Publisher. The inspiring memoir of interior designer Sheila Bridges, The Bald Mermaid comprises engaging and deeply personal vignettes that explore questions of identity, femininity, race, success, and what it means to have it all. A very successful interior designer with her own television show, when Bridges lost her hair due to Alopecia, she lost it all: This is her story of coming to terms with prosperity and happiness, the cost of independence, and staying true to herself. Beautifully illustrated, The Bald Mermaid is a delightfully candid, insightful, and often humorous narrative of Bridges’ ups and downs, and how she ultimately found balance and peace in her multi-layered life.

Ball Four

Former major league baseball pitcher’s diary of his 1969 season and a frank inside look at the sport.

Beauty Is in the Street

From the Publisher. In May 1968, demonstrations against the French government spread across Parisian universities, and then to factories and other workplaces, resulting in a general strike of eleven million workers that brought the country to a virtual standstill. Among the students were a group who called themselves the Atelier Populaire, who produced hundreds of posters to encourage the protestors and to report on police brutality. Beauty Is in the Street reproduces over 200 of these posters, which have become landmarks in political art and graphic design. Also included are a wealth of photographs, many published for the first time, and translations of first-hand accounts of the clashes between the students and strikers and the police.

Flying Without a Net

From the Publisher. Confronted by omnipresent threats of job loss and change, even the brightest among us are anxious. In response, we're hunkering down, blocking ourselves from new challenges. This response hurts us and our organizations, but we fear making ourselves even more vulnerable by committing mistakes while learning something new. In Flying Without a Net, Thomas DeLong explains how to draw strength from vulnerability. First, understand the forces that escalate anxiety in high achievers and the unproductive behaviors you turn to for relief. Then adopt practices that give you the courage to "do the right things poorly" before "doing the right things well."

Gandhi, An Autobiography

Portrays the life of Gandhi, describes the development of his nonviolent political protest movement, and discusses his religious beliefs.

Vindication: A Novel

From the Publisher. Frances Sherwood re-creates the life and times of Mary Wollstonecraft, the trailblazing English feminist. Abetted by an unruly intelligence and an unquenchable romanticism, Sherwood’s Mary survives a brutal childhood to carve a courageous but always uncertain path for herself in a world of men. Rich historical settings from the chaos of Revolutionary Paris to the Bedlam insane asylum are the backdrop for the complex tale of her intellectual and emotional passions, lovers and friends, motherhood and marriage.


The Tall Trees of Tokyo is a culmination of years spent getting to know my second home, Tokyo. The book will guide you through the undiscovered amazing folks I have met over the 13 years of traveling to Japan. The Tall Trees of Tokyo is part travel guide, part creative bio and part coffee table art book.

WILD - Cheryl Strayed

At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.

Ignore Everybody

Ignore Everybody From the publisher: "When Hugh MacLeod was a struggling young copywriter living in a YMCA, he started to doodle on the backs of


CreativeMornings Bravery

CreativeMornings Bravery