10 Good Books I’m Reading Now – April 2012

My desk, home office and bedroom are usually swimming in books. Here are ten that I’ve been busy with recently and recommend:


Responsive Web Design
by Ethan Marcotte

A great little book from the gang at “A Book Apart”, this gets you up to speed quickly on the main ideas behind Responsive Design. Besides the immediate advantages of thinking in terms of mobile first and fluid layouts for websites across devices, I found it a great help in shifting my traditional thinking around apps to a more fluid layout for Metro design as well. I bought it as an ebook first, but ordered the hardcopy as well since I love the book design and want to support such efforts with cash. Thanks to @rainypixels for the recommend.






The Vignelli Canon

by Massimo Vignelli

Massimo Vignelli is one of the most important designers of the last half century, and continues to work down to today. Anyone touching Metro needs to reads this book. I stumbled upon the hard copy at Elliot Bay Books here in Seattle (a must go to haunt for all things [book+epic]), but it seems that Massimo Vignelli has also made a PDF copy freely available off his website. Thanks to @augustdlr for introducing me to Massimo Vignelli.






Imagine

by Jonah Lehrer

Picked up this book at work as part of Microsoft Research and their visiting speaker series. Enjoyed how he contrasts the right brain “Flash of Inspiration” aspects of creativity with the equally important “sense of knowing” drive that keeps one pushing forward when others would give up.






Javascript: The Good Parts

by Douglas Crockford

I know I’m a little bit late to the party on this one, but it has been coming in handy recently as I onramp my very out dated, very dusty web skills. Thanks to @allenjs for the recommend.






The Manual

multiple contributors

Here is a great book (periodical? Website articles via hardcover?) that I just love. Smart writing and great topics. Here is how they self describe and I whole heartedly agree: “Three beautiful, illustrated hardbound books a year, each holding six articles and six personal lessons that use the maturing of the discipline of web design as a starting point for deeper explorations of our work and who we are as designers.” Props to @justsomeguy for the recommend.






Just My Type

by Simon Garfield

If you are a graphic designer, new order “designerd”, or just love fonts, pick up this book. It is a wonderfully entertaining trip through the world of type design. The forward is by Chip Kidd for heaven’s sake! Great stuff.






Distrust That Particular Flavor

by William Gibson

While known primarily as a novelist and one of the founding fathers of cyberpunk, William Gibson has written extensively for magazines, newspapers and media outlets all over the world. This collection of essays spans his 30 year career and are a joy to read. Props again to Microsoft Research and their visiting speaker series that brings these great authors to the Microsoft Campus and give us a chance to meet and interact with the authors.






The Information

by James Gleick

James Gleick is known for writting Chaos and Genius but I’m really digging his new book, The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood. I haven’t finished it yet, but even just the opening chapter on the data implications of African talking drums alone makes the book worth it.






The Fractal Geometry of Nature

by Benoit B. Mandelbrot

Sometimes you need to hear it straight from the horse’s mouth, and here is Benoit Mandelbrot talking about his own baby, fractal geometry. Picked it up from the Microsoft library, so if you’re a blue badge, you can borrow it once I’m done, natch.






Blank. A Book on Printing

Artpower International Publishing

If you find yourself in Seattle and you love books, go to Elliot Bay Books. But after you’ve gone there, if you love design books of all flavors and Japanese stationary, check out the awesome collection at Kinokuniya Book Store at Uwajimaya Village in the International District. I love this place. Picked up this book on my last visit and has great, glossy pics of modernist and minimalist print design. Great for a serious dose of “Metro style” inspiration for your next Windows 8 project.

That’s it for this month. You reading anything amazing? Let me know in the comments!

@rickbarraza

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