As part of the City of Chattanooga’s 2018 Summer of Creators, Mayor Andy Berke’s office will launch a book club -- Books With Berke -- that examines the themes of creativity, collaboration, and changing the world.

Over the next few months, our city will be reading and discussing the following books:


“Steal Like An Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative” by Austin Kleon

You don’t need to be a genius, you just need to be yourself. That’s the message from Austin Kleon, a young writer and artist who knows that creativity is everywhere, creativity is for everyone. A manifesto for the digital age, Steal Like an Artist is a guide whose positive message, graphic look and illustrations, exercises, and examples will put readers directly in touch with their artistic side.

“Lanterns: A Memoir of Mentors” by Marian Wright Edelman

Throughout her life and work, Marian Wright Edelman has been at the heart of this century's most dramatic civil rights and child advocacy struggles. In this stirring, heartfelt memoir she pays tribute to the extraordinary mentors who helped light her way including Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert F. Kennedy, Fannie Lou Hamer, and William Slaone Coffin. She celebrates the lives of her parents and the great Black Women of Bennetsville, South Carolina- Miz Tee, Miz Lucy, Miz Kate-who gave her love and guidance in her youth, as well as the many teachers and figures who inspired her education at Spelman College and empowered her early as an activist in the 1960's.


“Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration” by Ed Catmull

Creativity, Inc. is a manual for anyone who strives for originality and the first-ever, all-access trip into the nerve center of Pixar Animation—into the meetings, postmortems, and “Braintrust” sessions where some of the most successful films in history are made. It is, at heart, a book about creativity—but it is also, as Pixar co-founder and president Ed Catmull writes, “an expression of the ideas that I believe make the best in us possible.”

*Synopses from

Copies of each book are available from the Chattanooga Public Library, and may also be purchased from the Barnes & Noble at Hamilton Place or Star Line Books on the Southside.

Blog Posts

Don’t Wait to Create

June 18, 2018

Don’t wait to create, Steal Like An Artist By Mary Stargel, Director of Innovation District Programs at The Enterprise Center Kicking off our summer with Mayor Berke’s challenge to become a city of creators may have you wondering who exactly is a “creative”? I’ve got great news, it’s YOU! You are a creator and you…

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The Art of Getting Started

June 13, 2018

After reading Austin Kleon’s “Steal Like An Artist” I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed the book and took away from it — or should I say, put in my swipe file. For those of you not familiar with the book, it is the first installment in Mayor Andy Berke’s “Books With Berke” book…

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The public is invited to join Mayor Berke for a public discussion of each book at Books With Berke meetings at the downtown branch of the Chattanooga Public Library. Please save these dates!


“Steal Like An Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative”
Wednesday, June 20, 6pm-7:30pm


“Lanterns: A Memoir of Mentors”
Thursday, August 23, 11:30 am-1:30pm (@ Waterhouse Pavilion)


“Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration”
Wednesday, October 24, 6pm-7:30pm


Want to hear more about other Books With Berke events coming up this year? Please join our email list below: