Books

Fiction, non-fiction, and, of course, design

American Kingpin

American Kingpin

American Kingpin is the story of Ross Ulbricht and his dark web empire, the Silk Road. It’s enthralling and I was delighted to learn that San Francisco plays an important role.

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Atlas Obscura

Atlas Obscura

Atlas Obscura is a giant list of unique things to see when you travel. Every time my wife and I plan a trip we check the book for recommendations.

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Bad Blood Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup

Bad Blood

Bad Blood is the shocking story of Elizabeth Holmes‘ company, Theranos. In addition to the book I recommend listening to the podcast, The Dropout, and HBO special, The Inventor. I can’t wait for the movie!

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Billion Dollar Whale

Billion Dollar Whale

Billion Dollar Whale is the wild story of Jho Low and his international fraud empire.

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Command and Control

Command and Control

Command and Control oscillates between the terrifying history of atomic weapons, and the 1980 Damascus Titan missle accident.

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Creative Collection

Creative Collection

Creative Selection is Ken Kociendas story of the original iPhone’s design and development process.

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Ender’s Game

Ender’s Game

Ender’s Game taught me that reading can be fun. This is my favorite science fiction book about children training to save the world against an alien invasion.

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Ender’s Shadow

Ender’s Shadow

Ender’s Shadow is the same story as Ender’s Game but told from a different character’s perspective. I think the Bean series is better than the Ender series.

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Foundation

Foundation

Asimov’s Foundation series is about Hari Seldon moving scientists and scholars to a distant planet in order to minimize the empire’s downfall.

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Grid Systems in Graphic Design

Grid Systems in Graphic Design

Josef Müller-Brockmann’s demonstrations of grids and their rules will inspire you apply grids to everything.

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Helvetica and the New York City Subway System

Helvetica and the New York City Subway System

Helvetica and the New York City Subway System is a thorough history of signs, plaques, arrows, tiles, and type. If you use New York’s subway system you will notice many subtle details.

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How to use graphic design to sell things, explain things, make things look better, make people laugh, make people cry, and (every once in a while) change the world

How to use graphic design to sell things, explain things, make things look better, make people laugh, make people cry, and (every once in a while) change the world

Michael Bierut’s body of work is inspiring, and in How to he writes about his origins and projects.

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iWoz

Woz

In iWoz Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, tells amazing stories about his childhood and… Apple.

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Kitchen Confidential

Kitchen Confidential

Anthony Bourdain literally changed my life. I was awake at 2:00am in Barcelona reading Kitchen Confidential, and in one paragraph Bourdain insists the human body should be treated like a rollercoaster instead of temple. In that moment I decided to eat pork. My wife will forever be happy.

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Losing the Signal

Losing the Signal

Losing the Signal describes the history of BlackBerry Limited (Research in Motion), and how they responded to the iPhone.

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Midnight in Chernobyl

Midnight in Chernobyl

Midnight in Chernobyl is a detailed account of the Chernobyl nuclear accident. I also recommend watching the HBO series, and listening to the accompanying podcast.

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Photographers on Photography: How the Masters See, Think, and Shoot (History of Photography, Pocket Guide, Art History)

Photographers on Photography: How the Masters See, Think, and Shoot (History of Photography, Pocket Guide, Art History)

Photographers on Photography is a collection of photographers’ processes and how they think about… photography.

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Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs

Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs has its flaws, but it’s still the best book about Jobs. Note: I’ve read several.

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Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera

Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera

Bryan Peterson writes about how he approaches taking a photo with a focus on exposure.

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What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions

What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions

Randall Munroe, the genius behind the webcomic XKCD, breaks down crazy scenarios like what would happen if a pitcher threw a baseball at the speed of light.

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Within the Frame

Within the Frame

David Duchemin writes about telling stories with a camera. I believe telling stories is what separates an amateur from a professional photographer.

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