What does your to-do list look like? Maybe it’s tangible, a legal notepad filled with Sharpie scribbles or a whiteboard hanging on the wall of your office. Maybe it’s something you keep in your head and mentally check off boxes every now and again. Or maybe lists aren’t your style and your responsibilities are kept on a calendar or just dealt with as they come. However you keep track of these tasks, the big problem is completing them. Even the most determined people need a jump-start of motivation sometimes!

I’ve heard of lots of ways to find inspiration for projects: from Pinterest to reward systems and everything in between. One of my favorite methods, however, is using entertainment. There are some books, films, television shows, etc. that, either through the story they tell or the techniques used to tell it, give me the momentum needed to get started on that aforementioned to-do list. For example, one of my favorite books is Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, which tells the fictional story of a young writer starting college. Reading about her experiences in Fiction-Writing Class and her struggles/successes with writing always inspires me to write more myself! I’ve compiled a list below of some works that have helped me in the past & that are all available right here at the library!


Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Origins of a Story by Jake Grogan

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson

The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan

The Marvels by Brian Selznick

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfield

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg

Humans of New York: Stories by Brandon Stanton





Rocky (movie)

The Theory of Everything (movie)

Dead Poets Society (movie)

Beauty and the Beast (movie)

Moana (movie)

Inside Out (movie)

Mamma Mia (movie)

Nim’s Island (movie)

Tangled (movie)

Zootopia (movie)

The Book Thief (movie)

Gilmore Girls (TV)

The Intern (movie)

Bob’s Burgers (TV)

The Devil Wears Prada (movie)


How do you spark productivity? Do you have a favorite book, movie or show that inspires you? Tell us all about it!

Written by: Brittany Ashley. Brittany is a senior in high school and a shelver at the Durr Branch Library. 

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