Taking part in a Wall Street Journal survey of the year’s best books, Pixar and Disney Animation president Ed Catmull shared his two favorite titles of 2013:
I am constantly struck by how many people think of stories solely as entertainment—edifying or time-wasting but still: entertainment. The Storytelling Animal by Jonathan Gottschall shows that the storytelling part of our brain is deeper and more complex than that, wired into the way we think and learn. This struck me as a powerful idea, that our brain is structured for and shaped by stories whose value goes beyond entertainment and socialization. On a lighter note is Chip Kidd’s Go: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design. At a time when arts programs in schools are under assault, this book offers a beautiful distillation of the principles of great design and the careful decisions that go into making things look the way they do. The book is “for kids,” but this grown-up was captivated too.
Catmull’s own book, Creativity, Inc., will come out in spring 2014. Stanford professor and best-selling author Bob Sutton has already declared Catmull’s book to be “the best book ever written on what it takes to build a creative organization.”