Friday, May 7, 2021

Spark: How Genius Ignites, From Child Prodigies to Late Bloomers by Claudia Kalb (TLC Book Tours)

 Have you ever wondered why some people are child prodigies while others hit their genius in middle or old age?  I have often wondered about this.  Spark looks into this phenomenon through the exploration of the lives of twelve geniuses from Pablo Picasso to Grandma Moses.    These stories offer “New insights into the relationship between brains, talent, willpower, and circumstance, illuminating the history, science, psychology – and humanity – of genus.”  Each chapter in the book is a biography of a genius in chronological order by the age in which their genius ignites. 

I found this entire book to be both enlightening and fascinating.  I love to read biographies of great people.  I really liked the fresh angle of this book focusing on when and what caused the spark of genius to ignite.  Some of my favorite people that I have read a lot about were included such as Eleanor Roosevelt and Maya Angelou, but there were many others such as Pablo Picasso, Alexander Fleming, Peter Mark, etc. that I had previously not known much about.  I enjoyed learning more about all of these people and loved the fresh perspective from author Claudia Kalb.

Favorite Quotes:

“What role do our personality traits play in the livelihoods we pursue?  Are we born with talent or lured by passion?  How do we discover the spark that fuels our souls?  And how do we know when we’ve found it?”

“Creative people in the arts – poets, writers, painters, sculptors – often emerge from troubled pasts.” 

Overall, Spark is an inspirational book for people of all ages.

Book Source:  Review Copy from Hachette as part of the TLC Book Tour. Thank-you!  For more stops on this tour, please check out this link.

About Spark: How Genius Ignites, From Child Prodigies to Late Bloomers

• Publisher: National Geographic (April 27, 2021) • Hardcover: 368 pages Yo-Yo Ma’s ear for music emerged not long after he learned to walk. By the age of seven, he was performing for President Kennedy; by fifteen he debuted at Carnegie Hall. Maya Angelou, by contrast, didn't write her iconic memoir, I Know Why the Cage Bird Sings, until she was 40. What propels some individuals to reach extraordinary creative heights in the earliest years of life while others discover their passions decades later? Are prodigies imbued with innate talent? How often are midlife inspirations triggered by propitious events, like Julia Child's first French meal at the age of 36? Do late bloomers reveal their talents because their skills require life experience and contemplation?  

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound

About Claudia Kalb

CLAUDIA KALB is an award-winning author and journalist who reports on a wide variety of health and science topics. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller Andy Warhol Was a Hoarder: Inside the Minds of History's Great Personalities. A former senior writer at Newsweek who has also contributed to Smithsonian and Scientific American, Kalb has written cover stories for National Geographic that explore genius through the lens of biography, history, culture, and science. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia. Find out more about Claudia at her website, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram


  1. This sounds incredibly interesting, I think I need to pick this one up. Sara @ TLC Book Tours

    1. It is very interesting! I enjoyed it. I think my kids will as well as they love biographies.

  2. Fascinating! I think about this often. This books sounds like it would really compliment the book Grit.