A few books I particularly enjoy including fiction, non-fiction, and, of course, design.
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.
Billion Dollar Whale
Billion Dollar Whale is the wild story of Jho Low and his international fraud empire.
Command and Control
Command and Control oscillates between the terrifying history of atomic weapons, and the 1980 Damascus Titan missle accident.
Creative Selection is Ken Kocienda‘s story of the original iPhone’s design and development process.
Designing Design is a beautiful, thoughtful, and elegant collection of design projects by Kenya Hara. This is my favorite capital “D” design book.
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.
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.
Asimov’s Foundation series is about Hari Seldon moving scientists and scholars to a distant planet in order to minimize the empire’s downfall.
Grid Systems in Graphic Design
Josef Müller-Brockmann’s demonstrations of grids and their rules will inspire you apply grids to everything.
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.
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.
In iWoz Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple, tells amazing stories about his childhood and… Apple.
Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple’s Greatest Products
Jony Ive may not be goofy like Steve Wozniak, but he’s still an important part of Apple’s history and fun to learn about.
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.
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.
Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs has its flaws, but it’s still the best book about Jobs. Note: I’ve read several.
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.
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.