2017 Bibliography

The Passage, Justin Cronin
American War, Omar El Akkad
Falling Man, Don DeLillo
The Fifth Season, N. K. Jemisin
The Name of The Wind, Patrick Rothfuss
Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders
All Systems Red, Martha Wells
The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead

Seinfeldia: How a Show About Nothing Changed Everything, Jennifer Keishin Armstrong
At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails with Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir,Albert Camus, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Others, Sarah Bakewell
Play Anything: The Pleasure of Limits, the Uses of Boredom, and the Secret of Games, Ian Bogost
Competing Against Luck: The Story of Innovation and Customer Choice, Clayton M. Christensen and Karen Dillon
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, and Other Lessons from the Crematory, Caitlin Doughty
The Tao of Bill Murray: Real-Life Stories of Joy, Enlightenment, and Party Crashing, Gavin Edwards
Four Futures: Life After Capitalism, Peter Frase
Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City 2001-2011, Lizzy Goodman
Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right, Arlie Russell Hochschild
The View from Flyover Country, Sarah Kendzior
Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley, Antonio Garcia Martinez
Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, Cal Newport
Playing at the World, Jon Peterson
Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst, Robert Sapolsky
Beatles ’66: The Revolutionary Year, Steve Turner
Jobs to Be Done: Theory to Practice, Anthony W. Ulwick

2016 Bibliography


I, Robot, Isaac Asimov
Dark Matter, Blake Crouch
The Destructives, Matthew De Abaitua
The Three-Body Problem, Cixin Liu
Sleeping Giants, Sylvain Neuvel
★ Central Station, Lavie Tidhar
★ Underground Airlines, Ben H. Winters


★ 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
Bringing a Hardware Product to Market: Navigating the Wild Ride from Concept to Mass Production, Elaine Chen
Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges, Amy Cuddy
An Eames Anthology: Articles, Film Scripts, Interviews, Letters, Notes, and Speeches, Charles and Ray Eames
Time Travel: A History, James Gleick
Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, Adam Grant
The Product Manager’s Survival Guide: Everything You Need to Know to Succeed as a Product Manager, Steven Haines
The Inevitable: Understanding the 12 Technological Forces That Will Shape Our Future, Kevin Kelly
But What If We’re Wrong? Chuck Klosterman
★ The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life, Mark Manson
Machines of Loving Grace: The Quest for Common Ground Between Humans and Robots, John Markoff
Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements, Bob Mehr
Value Proposition Design: How to Create Products and Services Customers Want, Alexander Osterwalder
Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind, Al Ries, Jack Trout
Deep South: Four Seasons on Back Roads, Paul Theroux

College Admissions

Getting In by Standing Out, Deborah Bedor
Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be, Frank Bruni
Crazy U, Andrew Ferguson
Fiske Guide to Colleges 2017, Edward Fiske
A is for Admission, Michele Hernandez
Earning Admission: Real Strategies for Getting into Highly Selective Colleges, Greg Kaplan
Acceptance, David Marcus
Admission Matters (3rd ed), Sally Springer
★ The Gatekeepers: Inside the Admissions Process of a Premier College, Jacques Steinberg
Behind The Ivy Curtain: A Data Driven Guide to Elite College Admissions, Aayush Upadhyay

2015 Bibliography


★ The Mechanical, Ian Tregillis

Robot Futures, Illah Reza Nourbakhsh

If Then, Matthew De Abaitua

Time Salvager, Wesley Chu

Aurora, Kim Stanley Robinson

Red Sparrow, Jason Matthews

A Darker Shade of Magic, V. E. Schwab

The Giant, O’Brien, Hilary Mantel

The First 15 Lives of Harry August, Claire North

The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, Becky Chambers

The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt


★ H is for Hawk, Helen Macdonald

★ Sapiens, Yuval Noah Harari

Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink, Elvis Costello

Cunning Plans, Warren Ellis

Sick in the Head, Judd Apatow

The Residence, Kate Andersen Brower

Bowie, Simon Critchley

The Unspeakable, Meghan Daum

Designing Products People Love, Scott Hurff

Design Sprint, Richard Banfield, C. Todd Lombardo, and Trace Wax

UX Strategy, Jamie Levy

Sex at Dawn, Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jentha

The Hardware Startup, Renee DiResta and Brady Forrest

2014 Bibliography

Unlike previous years, no big “You Must Read This!” books this year. Alas. But many enjoyable reads, particularly among the fiction, which was unusually heavy on the scifi/fantasy this year—perhaps to escape the lousy outside world that was 2014.

★ A History of the Future in 100 Objects, Adrian Hon
Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel
Annihilation, Jeff VanderMeer
Echopraxia, Peter Watts
The Bone Clocks, David Mitchell
The Blade Itself, Joe Abercrombie
Before They Are Hanged, Joe Abercrombie
Last Argument Of Kings, Joe Abercrombie
The Martian, Andy Weir
The Interestings, Meg Wolitzer

★ The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, Brad Stone
Love & Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere, Poe Ballantine
Hacking Hollywood, Chuck Salter (ed.)
Dataclysm: Who We Are (When We Think No One’s Looking), Christian Rudder
Enchanted Objects: Design, Human Desire, and the Internet of Things, David Rose
Structuring Your Novel: Essential Keys for Writing an Outstanding Story, K.M. Weiland
Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, Chip and Dan Heath
The Thing with Feathers: The Surprising Lives of Birds and What They Reveal About Being Human, Noah Strycker
Marvel Comics: The Untold Story, Sean Howe
Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness, Richard H. Thaler
Designing for Emerging Technologies: UX for Genomics, Robotics, and the Internet of Things, Jonathan Follett et al.
The Genius of Dogs, Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods
Hidden in Plain Sight, Jan Chipchase
My Struggle: Book 1, Karl Ove Knausgaard

★ New and Selected Poems Volume One, Mary Oliver
★ The Essential Rumi, Coleman Barks (translator)


Bibliographies for:

My 2013 Bibliography


★ Drawing Ideas: A Hand-Drawn Approach for Better Design, Mark Baskinger and William Bardel
★ Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal, Nick Bilton
★ The Accidental Creative: How to Be Brilliant at a Moment’s Notice, Todd Henry
★ Present Shock: When Everything Happens Now, Douglas Rushkoff
★ The Body Has a Mind of Its Own: How Body Maps in Your Brain Help You Do (Almost) Everything Better, Sandra Blakeslee
★ Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, death, and hope in a Mumbai undercity, Katherine Boo
Making Creative Mobiles, Timothy Rose
The Art of Possibility, Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander
Practical Classics: 50 Reasons to Reread 50 Books You Haven’t Touched Since High School, Kevin Smokler
This Explains Everything: 150 Deep, Beautiful, and Elegant Theories of How the World Works, John Brockman (ed.)
Daily Rituals: How Artists Work, Mason Currey
The Way the World Works: Essays, Nicholson Baker
The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood, James Gleick
The Lessons of History, Will Durant
The Revolution Was Televised: The Cops, Crooks, Slingers, and Slayers Who Change, Alan Sepinwall
Inventing Iron Man: The Possibility of a Human Machine, E. Paul Zehr
User-Centered Design: A Developer’s Guide to Building User-Friendly Applications, Travis Lowdermilk
Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind, Jocelyn Glei (ed.)
Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day, Todd Henry
Maximize Your Potential: Grow Your Expertise, Take Bold Risks & Build an Incredible Career, Jocelyn Glei (ed.)
Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results, Stephen Guise
Do the Work, Steven Pressfield
The War of Art, Steven Pressfield


★ The Orphan Master’s Son, Adam Johnson
★ The Son, Philipp Meyer
★ The Windup Girl, Paolo Bacigalupi
From Hell, Alan Moore
Beyond the Rift, Peter Watts
The Player of Games, Iain Banks
Capital, John Lanchester
Life After Life: A Novel, Kate Atkinson
Wool Omnibus Edition (Wool 1 – 5), Hugh Howey
2312, Kim Stanley Robinson

My 2012 Bibliography


★ Bring Up The Bodies, Hilary Mantel
Imperium, Richard Harris
The Dog Stars, Peter Heller
Counting Heads, David Marusek
The Lifecycle of Software Objects, Ted Chiang
Bullfighting, Roddy Doyle
Dawn, Octavia Butler
Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, Ben Fountain


Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human, Grant Morrison
Wild, Cheryl Strayed
★ Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar, Cheryl Strayed
Some Remarks: Essays and Other Writing, Neal Stephenson
The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism, Olivia Fox Cabane
Magic Hours: Essays on Creators and Creation, Tom Bissell
Imagine: How Creativity Works, Jonah Lehrer [Pulled from Amazon]
★ What a Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses, Daniel Chamovitz
Attached, Amir Levine and Rachel Heller
The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Suppose to Be and Embrace Who You Are, Brene Brown
The Pleasure of Finding Things Out: The Best Short Works of Richard P. Feynman, Richard P. Feynman
★ Steal Like an Artist: 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative, Austin Kleon
The Secret Life of Pronouns: What Our Words Say About Us, James W Pennebaker
The Power of Film, Howard Suber
You’re Not Doing It Right, Michael Ian Black
★ The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, Charles Duhigg
The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom, Jonathan Haidt
Distrust That Particular Flavor, William Gibson
The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work, Alain De Botton
Lost in Shangri-La, Mitchell Zucker
My Seinfeld Year, Fred Stoller
Both Flesh and Not, David Foster Wallace
Every Love Story is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace, D.T. Max
★ Automate This: How Algorithms Came to Rule Our World, Christopher Steiner


100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People, Susan Weinschenk
The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams, Klaus Kemp and Keiko Ueki-Polet
Designing with the Mind in Mind, Jeff Johnson
★ The Art of Game Design, Jesse Schell


Make It So, Chris Nossel and Nathan Shedroff
The Mobile Frontier, Rachel Hinman
Designing for Emotion, Trevor van Gorp
Dark Matter and Trojan Horses, Dan Hill
Adversarial Design, Carl DiSalvo
Alien Phenomonology, Ian Bogost
Get Lucky: How to Put Planned Serendipity to Work for You and Your Business, Thor Muller and Lane Becker
Design is a Job, Mike Montiero
Lean UX, Jeff Gothelf

New Book: Microinteractions

I’m very pleased to announce that I have a new O’Reilly book coming out in May 2013 called Microinteractions: Detail-driven Product Design. What’s it about and what are microinteractions? Well, I’ll tell you.

“The details are not the details. They make the design.” Charles Eames

The difference between a good product and a great one are its details: the microinteractions that make up the small moments inside and around features. How do you turn mute on? How do you know you have a new email message? How can you change a setting? All these little moments—which are typically not on any feature list and often ignored—can change a product from one that is tolerated to one that’s beloved. They are the feel part of “look and feel.”

The book provides a new way of thinking about designing digital products: as a series of microinteractions that are essential to bringing personality and delight to applications and devices.

Microinteractions are single- or few-use-case engagements that are either on the edge of a product or contained within a bigger feature. You engage with microinteractions every time you log in, pick a password, favorite or like an item, or set a status message.

Microinteractions are made up of five parts: triggers, controls and affordances, the interaction rules, feedback, and states/modes/loops. Each part gets its own chapter, as does the overall Microinteractions Model.

Now all that’s left to do is write it!

The website is going up soon, and it’ll eventually contain excerpts and book news. Stay tuned.

My 2011 Bibliography

The Quantum Thief, Hannu Rajaniemi
The Dervish House, Ian McDonald
A Feast for Crows, George R.R. Martin
A Dance with Dragons, George R.R. Martin
Anathem, Neal Stephenson
★ Wolf Hall, Hilary Mantel
Zone One, Colson Whitehead
The World at Night, Alan Furst
Stories of Your Life and Others, Ted Chiang
Blindsight, Peter Watts
★ His Majesty’s Dragon, Naomi Novik
Throne of Jade, Naomi Novik

Pragmatism, William James
★ Status Anxiety, Alain de Botton

Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson
How to Live: Or A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer, Sarah Bakewell
The Enemy, Christopher Hitchens
★ Here, There and Everywhere: My Life Recording the Music of The Beatles, Geoff Emerick
You Never Give Me Your Money: The Beatles After the Breakup, Peter Doggett
The Cello Suites: J. S. Bach, Pablo Casals, and the Search for a Baroque Masterpiece, Eric Siblin
A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter, William Deresiewicz

The Design of Design: Essays from a Computer Scientist, Frederick P. Brooks
★ Tapworthy: Designing Great iPhone Apps, Josh Clark
Designing Mobile Interfaces, Steven Hoober and Eric Berkman

Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain, David Eagleman
★ The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of The Self, Thomas Metzinger

Arguably: Essays, Christopher Hitchens
★ Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History, Matt Taibbi
Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries, Peter Sims
Medici Effect: What Elephants and Epidemics Can Teach Us About Innovation, Frans Johansson
The Price of Everything: Solving the Mystery of Why We Pay What We Do, Eduardo Porter
Spark: How Creativity Works, Julie Burstein
★ Mindfire: Big Ideas for Curious Minds, Scott Berkun
59 Seconds: Change Your Life in Under a Minute, Richard Wiseman
Manhood for Amateurs: The Pleasures and Regrets of a Husband, Father, and Son, Michael Chabon
The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch
First We Read, Then We Write: Emerson on the Creative Process, Robert D. Richardson
Pulphead: Essays, John Jeremiah Sullivan
★ The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life, Twyla Tharp

RELATED: My 2010 Bibliography

2010 Bibliography

Design and Technology

MUST READ: Living with Complexity, Don Norman

MUST READ: Design Driven Innovation: Changing the Rules of Competition by Radically Innovating What Things Mean, Roberto Verganti (my review)

The Nature of Technology: What It Is and How It Evolves, W. Brian Arthur (my review)

The Language of Things: Understanding the World of Desirable Objects, Deyan Sudjic (my review)

Wired for War: The Robotics Revolution and Conflict in the 21st Century, P.W. Singer

From Concept to Consumer: How to Turn Ideas Into Money, Phil Baker

Simple and Usable Web, Mobile, and Interaction Design, Giles Colborn

The Laws of Simplicity, John Maeda

Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation, Steven Johnson (my review)

Smart Things: Ubiquitous Computing User Experience Design, Mike Kuniavsky

Designing Interfaces, Second Edition, Jenifer Tidwell (Not yet released, got an advance copy)



MUST READ: The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet: A Novel, David Mitchell

MUST READ: River of Gods, Ian McDonald

Appaloosa, Robert B. Parker

Shadow & Claw: The First Half of ‘The Book of the New Sun’ (Book of the Long Sun), Gene Wolfe

The Imperfectionists: A Novel, Tom Rachman

The Gone-Away World, Nick Harkaway

The Walking Dead: Compendium One, Robert Kirkman

Spook Country, William Gibson

A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3), George R.R. Martin



MUST READ: Proust Was a Neuroscientist, Jonah Lehrer

MUST READ: How We Decide, Jonah Lehrer

Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life, Winifred Gallagher

This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession, Daniel Levitin

Why We Make Mistakes: How We Look Without Seeing, Forget Things in Seconds, and Are All Pretty Sure We Are Way Above Average, Joseph Hallinan

Natural-Born Cyborgs: Minds, Technologies, and the Future of Human Intelligence, Andy Clark


Philosophy and Metaphysics

MUST READ: Gospel and the Zodiac: The Secret Truth about Jesus, Bill Darlison

How to Live on 24 Hours a Day, Arnold Bennett

The Metaphysical Club: A Story of Ideas in America, Louis Menand

Meditations, Marcus Aureilus



MUST READ: On Writing, Stephen King

How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy, Orson Scott Card

The Anatomy of Story: 22 Steps to Becoming a Master Storyteller, John Truby

Write Great Fiction – Plot & Structure, James Scott Bell


Dog Training

How to Housebreak Your Dog in 7 Days (Revised), Shirlee Kalstone

How to Raise the Perfect Dog: Through Puppyhood and Beyond, Cesar Milan

How to Be Your Dog’s Best Friend: The Classic Training Manual for Dog Owners, The Monks of New Skete



Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, Anthony Bourdain

Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook, Anthony Bourdain


Miscellaneous Non-Fiction

Confessions of a Public Speaker, Scott Berkun

Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality, Scott Belsky

Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?, Seth Godin

The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion, John Hagel, John Seely Brown, and Lang Davison

The Book of Codes: Understanding the World of Hidden Messages, Paul Lunde

Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace, David Lipsky

For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World’s Favorite Drink and Changed History, Sarah Rose

Winter Break Reading List 2010

Some scifi, some philosophy, and a (now) literary classic. Hoping I can get to all of these in two weeks is ambitious, I know, especially with a new puppy arriving on 20 December! Writing them down and publishing them at least gives me a public goal, so that I don’t spend my entire break playing Donkey Kong Country Returns.

The Mezzanine, Nicholson Baker

Meditations, Marcus Aurelius

Brasyl, Ian McDonald

A Fire Upon The Deep, Vernor Vinge

Pragmatism, William James

Both Meditations and Pragmatism have free Kindle versions.