1. Multiple Signatures by Michael Rock / Rizzoli
As a huge fan of 2x4 and Michael Rock, I was incredibly excited to get my paws on this, and it exceeded my expectations. A solid mixture monograph, essays, dialogue, criticism and process.
2. Culture Identities / Gestalten
This tome is an overview of culture identities for museums, theaters and other cultural insititutions from all over the world.
3. The Icarus Deception by Seth Godin / Penguin
This book is a kick in the butt to make and affect the world in the way that you want. It's another motivational handbook, with some great gems included, as I covered in a previous post. That Godin's a champion (AND SO ARE YOU, ETC.)
4. On The Road by Jack Kerouac / Penguin
Just cracked this baby open for the first time. I hear good things.
5. Alif the Unseen by G. Willow Wilson
I'm a huge Neil Gaiman fan, and had heard comparisons to Gaiman's "American Gods" on this one, so I made sure to grab it. Although the subject matter was new, I found that some of the tropes and fantastic twists were pretty played, but hey. A good read, with an interesting bend on mixing the contemporary Middle Eastern political climate with the mythological.
6. Brand Spaces / Gestalten
Akin to the previous Gestalten book "Out of the Box," with more of a focus on pop-ups and other more temorary retail and consumer environments via some of the world's best brands. A great resource for anyone interested in environmental design or retail.
7. How Music Works by David Byrne / McSweeney's
I loved this book. A weaving of the history of music and sound, the technical innovations in music with autobiographical vignettes mixed throughout. I'm a huge David Byrne fan, and found this book inspirational as an ambitious project and incredibly interesting as a broad, poetic overview on music and art.
8. Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks / Three Rivers Press
Was never a big "zombie guy," but after reading World War Z (which I loved), I thought that Brooks' first book would be a good follow-up. The thing that I love about WWZ and this book are that they're not about zombies at all; they're about human beings, psychology, morality and survival at it's most basic. And I learned a ton.
9. Conversations with Design Entrepreneurs by Kern and Burn
A great book with a great story from the Kern and Burn folks. A lot of insightful interviews with a broad range of creatives that have pulled triggers and taken steps to do their own thing. A must-have for the contemporary designer.
10. 48 Laws of Power by Brian Greene / Viking Press
AKA the "Psychopaths Bible" and the "Bastard's Handbook." In a recent interview, Greene said that he's not the guy that he profiles as the power-abusing monster of 48 Laws, but that he just wanted to shed some light on how others use mind-games, interpersonal dynamics and psychology for manipulation and opportunity. I like it for the same reason I enjoyed reading Machiavelli; It's historical, it's interesting and it can help to defend against the same Laws that it's illuminating.
11. Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky / Penguin Group
I revisit this every year, and after a year as a studio, I can understand this fella in ways I just couldn't when I first got it. I find that when confused about projects or stressed, sometimes going back through Making Ideas Happen helps to focus, parse and prioritize the tangled balls of project ideas that are always wrapped around the base of my skull.