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ASK DN: What Books Are You Reading?

6 years ago from , Latex Salesman - Vandelay Industries

Just finished Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore.

In the middle of The Obstacle is the Way.

After that: A Working Theory of Love

You?

82 comments

  • Tor Løvskogen BollingmoTor Løvskogen Bollingmo, 6 years ago

    Emotional Design by Donald Norman

    6 points
  • Wade MullerWade Muller, 6 years ago

    Creativity, Inc. by Ed Catmull, one of the founders of Pixar.

    Great read for anyone who wants to run a creative company.

    4 points
    • Matt BaxterMatt Baxter, 6 years ago

      That's next on my list. The Incomporable gave a really good overview of it and made me excited to read it. http://5by5.tv/incomparable/197

      0 points
      • Wade MullerWade Muller, 6 years ago

        It is just fantastic. Ed is someone who wants to protect creativity, and he shows you how through telling the story of Pixar. It's a great read so far.

        0 points
      • Wade MullerWade Muller, 6 years ago

        Actually change of mind about Ed, turns out he has been fixing employee wages for years. Look at this article: (http://www.cartoonbrew.com/business/pixars-ed-catmull-emerges-as-central-figure-in-the-wage-fixing-scandal-101362.html )

        0 points
        • Matt BaxterMatt Baxter, 6 years ago

          I saw that as well. Its pretty disappointing to see him involved in that, but it honestly doesn't detract from the book at all for me. I think his thoughts on creativity within a company are all still valid.

          In some ways, I see the involvement in wage-fixing as an extreme expression of his desire to protect Pixar's creative culture. That doesn't excuse it at all, but again, I don't think that it changes how good the book is and how there's a lot to learn from it.

          Even really smart people make really stupid mistakes.

          0 points
          • Wade MullerWade Muller, 6 years ago

            I see where you are coming from but I don't agree. It's the antithesis of his ethos. He goes on about protecting creative people so they can do their work but what he more interested is that he has the best people for the least price.

            If you want the best people you have to pay for them. His choice to me says that he doesn't support creative people themselves but what profit they can bring to his company. Which is fine, business is for profit but not when you are artificially changing the market for these people.

            I may be sensitive on the subject after I worked on a large PS3 title and the management did everything in there power to control their employees prospects.

            0 points
            • Matt BaxterMatt Baxter, 6 years ago

              I don't have personal experience with a situation like that, so I'm sure my outlook would change if I was one who was affected by those tactics.

              I still wouldn't say the wage-fixing is the antithesis of his ethos, but a perversion of it and not the first time its happened. I'm not finished with the book yet, but I've already seen examples of where his desire to make great work completely blinds him to the well-being of his employees. Take the Toy Story 2 accounts, where he talks about people being worked to their limits to the point that one employee accidentally left their child in the car (who fortunately recovered). Obviously a horrible situation and a misallocation of priorities, but it just shows that he had these issues before the wage-fixing stuff came out.

              I'd still say there are lessons to learn. But some of them are lessons of what to do and some are lessons of what not to do. I just wouldn't throw it all out.

              0 points
  • Adrian HowardAdrian Howard, 6 years ago (edited 6 years ago )

    Finished in June:

    • Shattered, Kevin Hearne — fun popcorn-reading urban fantasy
    • Butterick's Practical Typography, Matthew Butterick — coz my typography sucks
    • Bone, Jeff Smith (the complete edition) — got the first few volumes in comic form when it first came out, never read the whole thing before. jolly good.
    • The Long Mars, Stephen Baxter & Terry Pratchett — more Baxter than Pratchett this one, still mildly fun
    • Linear A, Aurynn Shaw — some excellent photography
    • Interviewing Users, Steve Portigal — re-read to see if I can steal any useful tricks for my interviewing workshop

    In progress:

    • The Innovator's Dilemma, Clayton M. Christensen — re-read after recent disruptive innovation kerfuffle
    • Lean Analytics, Alistair Croll & Benjamin Yoskovitz — great intro to driving business/design using metrics/analytics
    • The Geometry of Type, Stephen Coles — re-reading, due to previously mentioned suckage at typography
    • The Fictional Man, Al Ewing — only just started; seems fun so far if you can get along with protagonists who are complete jerks

    Next up (assuming nothing else jumps the queue):

    • The Rhesus Chart, Charlie Stross — Out Thursday! Squeee! Fanboy!
    • User Story Mapping, Jeff Patton — been nagging Jeff to finish this for years. It's a great practice to get UX and dev folk playing well together on agile teams. Really happy to see a book on the topic out now.
    • Lean Customer Development, Cindy Alvarez — Instant purchase due to topic & author.
    • A Web For Everybody, Sarah Horton & Whitney Quesenbery — another one I've been looking forward to for a long time. After a quick skim it looks like it's going to be the book on accessible / inclusive design.
    • Why Plans Fail: Cognitive Bias, Decision Making, and Your Business, Jim Benson — because everything I've read from Jim Benson has been wicked smart
    3 points
    • Kyle PierceKyle Pierce, 6 years ago

      I am half way done with Lean Customer Development. I highly recommend it. (Only half because the book tells you to stop to do customer dev)

      0 points
    • Art VandelayArt Vandelay, 6 years ago

      Wow. Thats a huge list! How do you find the time/way to manage and balance reading so many at once? I feel like if I tried that I wouldn't retain much from any.

      1 point
      • Adrian HowardAdrian Howard, 6 years ago

        To be fair, it's unusual for me to have four books on the go. I generally try and restrict myself to only having two books in progress — one fiction and one non-fiction. I try and not buy a book until the point that I'll actually start reading it to reduce my terribly habit of building up to-read bookcases — rather than to-read piles!

        That said I regularly get through six to eight books in a month. How I find the time is easy. I prioritise reading above some other things ;)

        Since we value learning stuff in our company we've set aside 30m of our working day for reading — so it's a rare weekday when I don't spend at least half an hour with a book. I rarely watch more than an hour of television a day (often none), I mostly restrict hackernews/designer news/etc. to one visit a day, and I travel by public transport. So when other folk are watching tv, or random web browsing, or driving, I'm often reading.

        As to how I organise my reading. I have work & play amazon wish lists. Anything that seems vaguely interesting or gets recommended goes on those lists.

        For fiction I just pick whatever I feel like reading next.

        For non-fiction / work we have a company trello board that's looks very much like Paul Eastabrook's general reading personal kanban board.

        (I might be a teeensy bit over-organised when it comes to figuring out my reading ;-)

        2 points
  • Heath VanSingelHeath VanSingel, 6 years ago

    Just finished Line of Polity by Neal Asher

    Currently reading Brass Man by Neal Asher

    …I read a lot of sci-fi.

    Oh man, Mr. Penubra's 24-hour Bookstore. Ugh. Got a little too smug for my liking. At one point the hip, young, San Fran start-up folk were "nibbling on organic cookies" or some such. I cringed so hard I nearly cracked a rib.

    3 points
  • Lincoln FurrowLincoln Furrow, 6 years ago

    Just finished reading Wool by Hugh Howey.

    2 points
  • louie solomonlouie solomon, 6 years ago

    1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

    2 points
    • Zaina NatourZaina Natour, 6 years ago

      Just re-read Kafka on the Shore by Murakami. I guarantee you'll be hooked by the end of the second chapter.

      0 points
  • Caleb SylvestCaleb Sylvest, 6 years ago (edited 6 years ago )

    I just finished A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin

    Just started All You Need Is Kill also known as Edge of Tomorrow by Hiroshi Sakurazaka

    Next up will be Earth Awakens (The First Formic War) by Orson Scott Card

    2 points
  • Paul NevinPaul Nevin, 6 years ago

    Currently reading the Complete Works of H.P Lovecraft

    1 point
  • Chetan Raj, 6 years ago

    Art of War By Sun Tzu

    1 point
  • Jason AmorJason Amor, 6 years ago (edited 6 years ago )

    Daily Rituals: How Artists Work by Mason Currey

    A Farm Dies Once A Year by Arlo Crawford

    1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

    Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

    1 point
  • Brad McNallyBrad McNally, 6 years ago (edited 6 years ago )

    Just finished An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth

    In the middle of The Wolves of Calla (Dark Tower 5)

    After that: Adopted for Life

    1 point
    • Ryan GloverRyan Glover, 6 years ago

      Really enjoyed An Astronaut's Guide! Great lessons for life/work.

      0 points
      • Brad McNallyBrad McNally, 6 years ago (edited 6 years ago )

        Yes, I did too! One review I read said that it was like a never ending Dad story, like it was a bad thing. hah

        0 points
    • Matt FeltenMatt Felten, 6 years ago

      How's the Dark Tower treating you? I got through the first one and haven't continued on yet.

      0 points
      • Brad McNallyBrad McNally, 6 years ago

        I'm really enjoying the series. The Gunslinger took me the longest to get through. I LOVED The Drawing of the Three and The Wastelands, I couldn't put them down!

        0 points
        • Matt FeltenMatt Felten, 6 years ago

          Alright, I guess I need to pick up #2 then. The Gunslinger was really slow and I wasn't sure if the rest were like that too.

          1 point
  • Ryan GloverRyan Glover, 6 years ago (edited 6 years ago )
    • Subliminal by Leonard Mlodinow
    • Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki
    • Essentialism by Greg McKeown

    (Edit: apparently I have a thing for singular titled books)

    1 point
  • Matthew R. MillerMatthew R. Miller, 6 years ago

    Just started East of West per a recommendation. I'm not "into" graphic novels, but this has been pretty awesome so far.

    1 point
  • Sean O'GradySean O'Grady, 6 years ago (edited 6 years ago )

    Slowly getting through

    1 point
  • Matt SoriaMatt Soria, 6 years ago
    • Ernest Cline — Ready: Player One (just finished it - loved it!)
    • Jiddu Krishnamurti — Facing a World In Crisis
    1 point
    • Athyuttam Reddy, 6 years ago

      I studied at one of Krishnamurti's schools in India. Glad to hear you're reading his work! :)

      1 point
      • Matt SoriaMatt Soria, 6 years ago

        Really? Wow! That sounds great! I've read a few works by him before and I really enjoy his simple perspective and his honesty — he seems to have no bounds at which he would stop being honest!

        0 points
  • Nice ShoesNice Shoes, 6 years ago

    na na na na na na na na na na Batman! Arkham Asylum

    1 point
  • Jack CallisterJack Callister, 6 years ago

    This doesn't exactly fall within the design category but:

    How to win friends and influence people - A terrible title (from the 1920s I think) but is actually a delightful read.

    The 33 Strategies of War - A little different but a fascinating read about warfare strategies with a mix of history.

    It's amazing how much of this information is visible in the workplace once you're aware of it.

    1 point
  • Diego LafuenteDiego Lafuente, 6 years ago (edited 6 years ago )

    Just finished: Praetorian: Cato & Macro: Book 11 (Roman Legion 11)

    http://www.amazon.com/Praetorian-Cato-Macro-Roman-Legion-ebook/dp/B005KK5DIO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1404203044&sr=8-1&keywords=praetorian

    Now reading: Everything Is Obvious: How Common Sense Fails Us

    http://www.amazon.com/Everything-Is-Obvious-Common-Sense/dp/0307951790/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1404158532&sr=8-1&keywords=everything+is+obvious

    1 point
  • Taulant SulkoTaulant Sulko, 6 years ago

    Design is a Jerb by Maik Monterios.

    1 point
  • Andrew Coyle, 6 years ago

    In the last couple months I have read (listened to):

    Creative Confidence The Design of Everyday Things Design is a Job Hooked Rework The Tipping Point

    0 points
  • Christian Krammer, 6 years ago

    Microinteractions by Dan Saffer Psychology for Designers by Joe Leech

    I really wish I had more time to read books, since I have about 20 books lying around but no time.

    0 points
  • Benjamin MouchBenjamin Mouch, 6 years ago (edited 6 years ago )

    Just Finished: The Big Sleep

    Now Reading: Catch 22

    Up Next: All You Need is Kill

    0 points
  • Marcus H, 6 years ago

    Replay by Ken Grimwood

    Interesting book about a 48 year old man that 'dies' of a heart attack but wakes up in his college dorm young again but with all his memories intact.

    Was a good read.

    p.s. I've created a thread about what you've gained from reading over the years.

    https://news.layervault.com/stories/27356-ask-dn--what-positives-have-you-gained-by-reading-a-lot-

    0 points
  • Nicholas MandelbaumNicholas Mandelbaum, 6 years ago

    Change By Design, Tim Brown

    0 points
  • Jim NielsenJim Nielsen, 6 years ago

    Just finished: Glenn Greenwald's No Place to Hide about Edward Snowden. Very good, would recommend.

    In the middle of: You Are Not a Gadget by Jaron Lanier. Started off really great, though it's getting tedious in the middle.

    Up next: My Ántonia by Willa Cather. Gotta mix it up, get some novels in there.

    0 points
  • Joseph FelicianoJoseph Feliciano, 6 years ago (edited 6 years ago )

    Finished recently.

    Get Booked Solid by Michael Port.

    Million Dollar Consulting by Alan Weiss

    Great takeaways from both. I recommend to those seeking to brush up on the creative business side of things.

    0 points
  • Kyle PierceKyle Pierce, 6 years ago

    You are not so smart - Audio book Lean analytics Buddha's Brain: The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love, and Wisdom

    0 points
  • Calvin FennellCalvin Fennell, 6 years ago

    Just finished "Bioregionalism and Civil Society" and "Ecotopia"

    0 points
  • Gonçalo MoraisGonçalo Morais, 6 years ago (edited 6 years ago )

    FinishedBorn to Run. ReadingHow to Win Friends and Influence People.

    0 points
  • Nic TrentNic Trent, 6 years ago

    No Place to Hide - Glenn Greenwald (One of the best non-fiction books I've read).

    The Beach - Alex Garland

    0 points
  • Pedro PintoPedro Pinto, 6 years ago

    Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

    0 points
  • Kasper Andersen Kasper Andersen , 6 years ago

    "Reading" (Audible): Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal

    0 points
  • Diederik EenschootenDiederik Eenschooten, 6 years ago

    Stoner

    0 points
  • Diana H.Diana H., 6 years ago

    Ghosts by Chuck Palahniuk and a book about orthotypography for designers.

    0 points
  • David IngledowDavid Ingledow, 6 years ago

    I discussed a few of my favourite books for Design here

    0 points
  • Maxime RenaudinMaxime Renaudin, 6 years ago

    Just started The Sexual Politics of Meat by Carol J. Adams. It's great so far !

    It's about the "relationship between patriarchal values and meat eating by interweaving the insights of feminism, vegetarianism".

    0 points
  • William HutterWilliam Hutter, 6 years ago

    A song of Ice and Fire, A feast for crows. George R. R. Martin

    0 points
  • Vinay ChilukuriVinay Chilukuri, 6 years ago

    In the middle of 'The Artist's Way' by Julia Cameron.. A beautiful book.

    0 points
  • Tierney CyrenTierney Cyren, 6 years ago (edited 6 years ago )

    Node.js in Action (2012 or 13) and Think For Yourself (1930s). In just a few days when I get my Safari Online birthday present access, Sass for Designers.

    0 points
  • Nicolas PrietoNicolas Prieto, 6 years ago

    Currently reading at the same time:

    • Houellebecq: Elementary Particles
    • Dieter Rams: As Little Design as Possible
    • Rodrigo Fresán: La parte inventada
    • William Faulkner: Wild Palms
    • The Manual: issue II
    0 points
  • Tim Knight, 6 years ago

    Just finished up Authority, by Nathan Barry.

    Currently about half-way through Cadence & Slang, by Nick Disabato.

    Next up is Alan Cooper's The Inmates Are Running the Asylum.

    0 points
  • Coard MillerCoard Miller, 6 years ago

    I'm currently working on The Obstacle is the Way by Ryan Holiday

    After that, probably Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. I've just started listening to the podcast, and the topics they cover are fascinating.

    Also, Issue 1 of The Great Discontent Magazine.

    0 points
    • Art Vandelay, 6 years ago

      How do you like The Obstacle is the Way? I'm torn. Feel like while the premise/idea of the book is solid, the writing is just terrible.

      0 points
      • Coard MillerCoard Miller, 6 years ago

        You think so? I don't know, I sort of like it. I enjoy that it has short chapters, but I do think you might be on to something. I have noticed he beats you over the head with it a little bit.

        0 points
        • Art Vandelay, 6 years ago (edited 6 years ago )

          I love the short chapters. It's a quick read, definitely.

          Otherwise, he has shit like this allll throughout the book.

          Just for the record, I'm referring to the use of the word 'you' three times within a 6 word fragment.

          Maybe its the curse of the "one-time-journalism-student" but he is incredibly wordy.

          0 points
  • Pete LadaPete Lada, 6 years ago

    I'm currently reading The Goldfinch. Yeah yeah, hyped up book. Its actually pretty slow at the moment. I will say though that its some of the best prose I have read in a while.

    0 points
  • GD SinghGD Singh, 6 years ago

    Give and Take by Adam Grant, definitely recommend it.

    0 points
  • Chris CampbellChris Campbell, 6 years ago

    Just finished: The Martian

    Reading: This Love Is Not For Cowards

    Up next: The Circle

    0 points
  • Nathan NNathan N, 6 years ago (edited 6 years ago )

    Currently reading:

    A Playful Path, Bernard DeKoven.

    0 points
  • Elliot JacksonElliot Jackson, 6 years ago (edited 6 years ago )

    I've just finished A Song of Ice and Fire and Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War.

    About to start The Design of Everyday Things and have just started A Clash of Kings.

    Both ”A Song of Ice and Fire” and “Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War” are great reads, the latter—whilst fascinating—is a little heavy going though. Took me a while to get through it.

    Also, I'm unable to read one book at a time.

    0 points
    • Art Vandelay, 6 years ago

      I loved The Design of Everyday Things. Some of it gets really dense (in a good way) but is a great resource for design thinking.

      0 points
  • Lucas BebberLucas Bebber, 6 years ago

    Just finished If on a Winter's Night a Traveler.

    I'm not sure what I'm going to read next, but I've been meaning to read Catch 22 for quite some time.

    0 points
  • Danny ZlobinskyDanny Zlobinsky, 6 years ago

    Tag teaming The Brothers Karamazov and Reassess Your Chess.

    0 points
  • Tyson KingsburyTyson Kingsbury, 6 years ago

    absolutely LOVED Mr. Penubra's 24-hour Bookstore :)

    just finished reading:

    Cyteen http://www.amazon.ca/Cyteen-C-J-Cherryh/dp/0446671274

    Regensis http://www.amazon.ca/Regenesis-C-J-Cherryh/dp/0756405920/ref=pd_sim_b_2/190-1630025-0652618?ie=UTF8&refRID=089FYVY46A0C1ZSGPMQQ

    and currently re-reading: Confessions of a D-List Supervillain http://www.amazon.ca/Confessions-D-List-Supervillain-Jim-Bernheimer-ebook/dp/B004WE0D3E/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1404155658&sr=1-1&keywords=confessions+of+a+d-list+supervillain

    0 points
    • Joseph FelicianoJoseph Feliciano, 6 years ago

      Checked out Confessions of a D-List Supervillain after reading your post. Two chapters in and I can't put it down.

      Enjoyable read.

      0 points
      • Tyson KingsburyTyson Kingsbury, 6 years ago

        glad you're enjoying it! I thought it was pretty great as well...

        Apparently he's just put out a prequel, 'origins of a d-list super villain'.. read a bit of it last night....equally good :)

        1 point
        • Joseph FelicianoJoseph Feliciano, 6 years ago

          Haha, well I guess I know what I am picking up next. Already at Chapter 10. Should be done by the morning.

          Cheers !

          0 points