Now I like to think of myself as a pretty creative person, but sometimes you just get stuck in some sort of rut and hit a wall and need to draw inspiration from somewhere. These are the books that kick start the creative juices when most needed.
1) The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern
It’s a slow burn of a book and it’s more world building and character driven than plot as it were. However the world that is built is one that inspires total wonder. It is one that you can see so vividly from the moment that you read the opening pages. It is one that is filled with splashes of colour that stick with you. One that you can almost smell around you as the food and the atmosphere is described in wondrous detail. One that you wish you were a part of and leaves a small part of you looking at open fields wondering if maybe, just maybe, the circus will arrive there.
2) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – JK Rowling
I know this is just jumping straight into the middle of the series, but this is the one that sort of upped the game in the franchise. Even if you just go physically, it’s quite a difference, but it also ramps up the change in tone that was hinted at throughout Prisoner of Azkaban. It introduces new wizarding houses, it conjures up fantastical new challenges, it strengthens the friendships that have already been created. It brings back Voldemort and includes the first of what turns out to many character deaths. It’s the book that started treated its readers a bit more like adults and one that somehow managed to inject a bit more magic into an already magical world. (I didn’t have it in me to take the plastic off my beautiful box set yet, so they are all in that picture, I mean they would (do) all help, but Goblet gets a special shout out.)
3) Big Magic – Elizabeth Gilbert
If you ever need a reminder that creativity, in whatever capacity suits you, best lies within then this is the book that will do that. It’s inspiring in a different way to Eat, Pray, Love and is a book that will provide a fascinating insight and take on the very notion of creativity and sometimes all it takes is a little patience before brilliance strikes.
4) Neverwhere – Neil Gaiman
Take London (a city that I know very well, given that it’s my home city) and then completely flip it on its head. Literally. The world that is created by Gaiman in this book is a London that I know, but in a way that I would never have dreamed possible. But it’s there. It exists. It gives you the Angel of Islington and Black Friars and puts markets in Harrods. It gives a sense of artistry to the Below of a city that a lot of people claim to know like the backs of their hands. It even paints rats in a new light. It’s rooted in a reality and then plays around with it, because that’s what creativity.
5) Fangirl – Rainbow Rowell
A book that celebrates all things creative. Embraces them. Allows characters to be completely themselves. Validates fanfiction in a world that occasionally wants to write it off as something frivolous and pointless. Takes something so simple and writes about it beautifully whilst also remaining rooted in a version of a reality that any reader can identify with in some way. It takes things back to basics and sometimes that’s all you need to ignite something.
And they are my top 5. There are plenty others, but these are the ones that really seem to work for me.