All posts tagged books

  • My favorite books of last year

    I don’t watch TV and only watch movies in airplanes and as a social activity. I’ve heard there are some really great TV series out, and enjoy the movies I do get to see, I just never seem to find the time.

    When I walk into the door of my apartment, the first thing I do is switch my headset to my bluetooth speaker to continue the podcast or audiobook I’m listening to. I move around the house listening to stories, from when I wake up to when I go to bed. While I should learn to appreciate the silence because I know the benefits of boredom, the idea of not listening and learning something gives me serious FOMO.

    So bear in mind that’s hard for me to widdle down a list of books to recommend because I’m often like “but that book taught me to look at X thing in Y way!”

    Read more

  • I’d be shunned by Schön right now

    One of the big differences between school and work for me is I have less time to reflect on my work. Instead of the teacher asking you ‘why’ and wanting to hear your answer, you get more of people asking ‘why’ as an opener for their idea. I’ve been working on this project lately and realizing how little mental space I give to let things settle. It’s like when you’re at a party and there aren’t enough flat surfaces to put down your cup. I was reading about a group of designers who wanted to try bring academia and practice closer together so that the research and inspirations from the academic world aren’t so far away from what people are doing at work. I thought it was a neat and a worthwhile project….and then it got lost in a bunch of email and other work.

    Read more

  • Take a look, it’s in a book

    In the beautiful wisdom of of the Reading Rainbow theme song, I’d like to invite you all to take a look, because it’s in a book. A reading rainbow.

    Something magical happened that will change my life for the better ever after.

    I learned that I can borrow audiobooks from the San Francisco library from an app on my phone. Everyone: This is revolutionary for an audiobook fiend like myself. Like a junky, I have spent nearly a year trying to get by on my one measly Audible audiobook a month subscription plan (that I used my adult money to finally subscribe too) and filled in the rest of my days with podcasts (not the worst, but just sayin’). When I discovered that I could borrow audiobooks from the library digitally, I was beside myself with joy. I’ve told nearly everyone I’ve met about it even though they don’t really care. I can get nearly all the books I want directly into my hearing holes! ::TEARS::. (I have already read 10 books since January 1).

    The very first book I checked out? Between the World and Me—they had it! It’s been on my to-read list for over a year now and I was so excited. This is a beautiful, beautiful book that should be on everyone’s to-read. It reads like poetry and I’m so glad I got to hear his story. If you only read one book this year (why would you do that though?), this might be it.

    When I finished, it happened to be February 1st and my app was recommending a bunch of other similar books…oh wait, it was Black History Month. As a terrible human who doesn’t do nearly enough to help others on this unforgiving planet, I thought maybe one small way I could understand someone else’s life was to read books by black authors this month (although it took a little longer to finish them). I realized that I have been reading so many non-fiction science/psychology books lately and haven’t really dove into stories in a while.

    Every bookworm will tell you, books are window into another life. It’s one of the few ways to immerse yourself in another’s experiences and feelings. It’s really incredible how powerful books can be. I haven’t read a huge diversity of authors besides White Dudes so I thought this was the perfect nudge in that direction. I have this belief that if you read and feel for another person’s experience it just has to change how you act in the world. I wonder what kind of story needs to be told in order to change someone’s mind. Statistics are great and help us make hard decisions. But the humanities keep us human.

    Here are the books I read:


    Read more

  • 5: books James Victore recommends


    Pretty diverse set, no? I want to give couple of them try. But he’s right about me not wanting to read Ralph’s again. I really agree that it’s our immersion in the world that helps make us diverse and strong designers.

    James Victore, for those of you new to the scene, is a graphic designer I admire. I’ve written about him a couple of times.

  • PHAMETRICS // 27


    School’s back. Full-swing. And it’s very swingy. Unstable, in fact.

    (Photo of a group outing of our design cohort)

    Read more

  • 10: Most influential books

    I saw someone complete this challenge on Facebook and as an English-major-for-life I was super intrigued. This is not your run-of-the-mill spam chain. This is book business!

    I started at the bottom and then I decided to list them all before I kept writing about them and now, looking over this list, it looks a little…artificial. So I want to explain my decisions and why maybe these big-name books opened the door to so many other books.

    While I was making this list I tried not to just think about “favorite books” (though of course there’s overlap) but really address the question: influential. What books changed me? Changed the way I looked at the world? At myself? Which set off a chain of reactions? Influenced my interests? In order to think about these questions, many of the books ended up being ones that I read when I was younger so that I could actually reflect on the how they changed me.

    Plus, I guess, I do read a lot of canonical works.

    I usually also forgo ranking system on Laziness Principles, but I’m actually going to try to rank them! I would love to hear your most influential books too.

    Bear with me guys, my most influential books:

    Read more

  • What I’m reading over winter break…


    So. Excited.

    1. Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks
      (non-fiction, neuroscience)
    2. What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell
      (non-fiction, social science)
    3. How to Do Things with Language by JL Austin
      (non-fiction, language philosophy)
    4. Things That Make Us Smart: Defending human attributes in the age of machines by Donald Norman
      (non-fiction, design)
    5. Crime & Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
      (fiction, Russian classic)
    6. Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
      (new fiction, distopia?)
  • PHAMETRICS // 19


  • Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs

    Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs is amazing. He creates a story and leads you through Jobs’ life in a way that feels so natural at times you forget you’re reading a biography. The story is already incredible, but I think Isaacson’s control of the story was brilliant. I highly recommend it. I know that it’s been a year now and nearly everyone has already read it, but I finally got my hands on a copy and it was so worth it.

    Read more