12 inspiring books on creativity, leadership, and finances to add to your summer reading list

If the warming temperatures and longer days aren’t enough to rekindle your creative spark, adding a few books on creativity, entrepreneurship, and finances could waken that creative drive. From managing finances to building leadership skills, the right book can help heighten creative prowess or find that missing piece to running a small business or managing your own finances.

Compiling both books written by CreativeLive instructors and work suggested by the same, here are some of the best books on creativity, leadership, and finances right now.

1.The Latte Factor by David Bach and John David Mann

Stashing away enough cash for financial freedom and living for those dreams sounds great, but can you actually do that without drastic lifestyle changes? Financial expert and bestselling-author David Bach says that it’s not only possible, but easier than you think. In The Latte Factor, Bach and co-author John David Mann mesh financial advice with the story of a young woman that figures out how to get out from under a mountain of debt, making the book a quick and enjoyable read. Find those same financial secrets from the book in his class, live and free now through _____, How to Retire Early: The Latte Factor with David Bach.

No time to read? Discover how to achieve financial freedom and retire early in David’s online class class based off his new book. Learn More!

2. Becoming by Michelle Obama

The memoir of one of the most iconic women of today, Becoming by Michelle Obama captures the First Lady’s story from childhood to motherhood to the White House. The book comes highly recommended by Amanda Lucidon, the photographer working with the First Lady during her time in the white house. Ahead of her upcoming CreativeLive class, Amanda recommends digging deeper into Michelle’s story with the best-selling memoir.

Big news from the CreativeLive camp! Michelle Obama’s official Whitehouse Photographer, Amanda Lucidon, will be teaching a new class on May 21st! Sign up now to tune in free.

3. Imagine it Forward by Beth Comstock with Tahl Raz

Find the courage to embrace change, reinvent the possibilities and hurdle over your failures. In Imagine it Forward, author, speaker, and business leader Beth Comstock discusses creativity and the power of change — and building the courage to embrace both. Critics call the book candid and fresh, earning the book a spot on the 2018 Best Business Book Pick by Fast Company. Join Beth and explore the concept of leadership through imagination in Imagine it Forward, then find additional insight into courage and creativity with Beth’s class, Courage, Creativity and the Power of Change.

More of a visual learner? Gain the courage to develop & defend creative ideas and organize your business to make room for what matters. Learn how to join Beth Comstock for her CreativeLive debut.

4. Broke Millennial Takes on Investing by Erin Lowry

Many millennials graduated college or started a career in the midst of a recession — but that should stop the young adult generation from taking control of their financial future. In Broke Millennial Takes on Investing, Erin Lowry breaks down investing basics for the millennial generation. After graduating from college debt-free, Erin shares what millennials need to know about investing while you still have student loans, investing apps and more. Learn the basics in the book or in Erin’s class, the Beginner’s Guide to Investing.

Fast track your learning and discover where your roadblocks are to financial success in Erin’s new online class. Learn more!

5. Dare to Lead by Brené Brown

Research professor, author, and speaker Brené Brown puts her years of studying courage, vulnerability, shame and empathy into a guide for leadership. In Dare to Lead, Brené shares insight and actionable steps for building leadership skills. The book is based off a seven-year study of leadership and bravery — Brené shares snippets of the research in an interview with Chase Jarvis.

6.The 5 Second Rule by Mel Robbins

Making a major change doesn’t have to mean months of work — in fact, entrepreneur, speaker, and author Mel Robbins says it just takes five seconds. In The 5 Second Rule, Mel gives readers the tool to take five seconds to push yourself to become more confident and to stomp out doubt and uncertainty. The instructor for How to Break the Habit of Self-Doubt and Build Real Confidence shows how to stop holding yourself back in this highly rated book.

Get extended learning in Mel Robbins online class crafted specifically for the CreativeLive community “How to Break the Habit of Self-Doubt and Build Real Confidence.”

7. Perennial Seller: The Art of Making and Marketing Work that Lasts by Ryan Holiday

There are those books and movies that make a huge debut then fizzle out — and then there are those that becoming longstanding classics. In Perennial Seller, Ryan Holiday discusses the difference between the two and how creatives can sell work that lasts. For more inspiration from the media strategist and author, try the course Smart PR for Artists and Entrepreneurs or check out his interview with Chase Jarvis.

8. Heirloom Kitchen: Heritage Recipes and Family stories from the Tables of Immigrant Women by Anna Francese Gass

This isn’t your ordinary cookbook. In Heirloom Kitchen, Anna Francese Gass explores the recipes and traditions of immigrant women that helped make American cuisine what it is today. Those stories are punctuated with images from CreativeLive instructor and photographer Andrew Scrivani, who will release his own food photography book in the fall of 2019.

Photo by Andrew Scrivani

9. I Will Teach You to Be Rich, Second Edition by Ramit Sethi

Long a bestseller, I Will Teach You To Be Rich is now in an updated second edition that guides readers through smashing debt, saving cash, investing smartly, handling big purchases, making money and more. In the book, financial expert Ramit Sethi leads readers through the tools to both earn more and save more. Critics say the book offers advice for every generation, with a language designed for the younger generation.

Take control of your personal finances, earn more money on the side, and land your dream job with a high salary with strategic advice from Ramit Sethi’s online class.


10. Herding Tigers, and The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice by Todd Henry

Working in a creative career means coming up with great imaginative ideas on a budget — so how do creatives manage to, well, create, on a regular basis? In The Accidental Creatives, Todd Henry shares how creatives can maintain focus and energy and build a support system for creativity. Then in his latest book, Herding Tigers, Todd shares tools to build leadership with a creative team.

11. Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

From the device you are reading this on to the appliances in your kitchen, design plays a major role in today’s products — but design can also play a role in your life. Stanford design professors Dave Evans and Bill Burnett walk through using design concepts to shape your own feature in a book ideal for anyone stuck at any point in life. The book also sparked a CreativeLive class by the same name.

12. A Glorious Freedom: Older Women Leading Extraordinary Lives by Lisa Congdon

Extraordinary women know age is just a number. In a series of interviews, essays, and profiles, Lisa Congdon shares the stores of women that found their creative passion — and started living their best life — after 40. Mixed with art, stories and women like Vera Wang and Laura Ingalls Wilder, critics call the book both colorful and delightful.

“I came into the world of art as somebody who is going to a foreign country and doesn’t speak the language or know the cultural norms.”

Being an artist is hard work but if you figure out the systems around it and are persistent in your belief, you too can make a living at it. Check out our artist profile on Lisa Congdon.

Hillary Grigonis FOLLOW >

Hillary K. Grigonis is a web content writer and lifestyle photographer from Michigan. After working as a photojournalist for several years, she made the leap and started her own business and now enjoys sharing tips and tricks with emerging photographers.