visualgui

Heather Chaplin: Reckless Years

Chaplin’s memoir begins with her confession that she was no longer love her husband of thirteen years. After leaving him, she traveled to Dublin and fell in love with an Irish man who called her “girl” and “chick,” told her to lick his balls, and came on her back while she was sleeping. The diary entries are filled with intimate details ranging from sex, depression, schizophrenia, to incest. It’s an honest, brutal read, but could be edited down to about two hundred pages.

Song Hà: Nghe Boy Già kể chuyện đời

Nghe Boy Già Song Hà kể chuyện về mối tình với ex (bạn gái cũ), về vụ tán gái, về mối quan hệ với ranh con, về vụ đi gặp vợ tương lai. Với những câu văn đậm nét Hà Tĩnh và những câu đối thoại hài hước sẽ khiến cho độc giả đàn ông thì cười ra nước mắt còn đàn bà thì cười ra nước đái. Những người đã có vợ như tôi đọc để nhớ lại những kí ức đẹp đẽ của tuổi thơ lúc mới biết yêu. Những thanh niên trẻ chưa vợ nên đọc để lấy kinh nghiệm cua gái.

Stephen Bayley: Signs of Life

Short essays complemented with images explain why brands matter. From sugar to cigarettes to cars, Bayley points out the influences brand have on us. He also provides brief information on how each brand was developed. A decent introduction for marketing and advertising students.

Paul Rand: Design Form and Chaos

Rand’s essays on design are dense and abstract. His writing is a bit difficult to follow. The most fascinating part of this book is where he shows his design process for iconic logos including Next, IBM, and Morningstar. It’s a short, informative read for design students and novices. I will revisit the essays to get better understanding of his thoughts on design.

James Comey: A Higher Loyalty

Comey’s memoir is surprisingly engaging, particularly in the first half of the book. One of the unforgettable stories was the death of his newborn son who was contracted with Group B streptococcus. To prevent this tragic to other mothers, Patrice, Comey’s wife, spoke out about their son and helped get universal testing for Group B strep. The least exciting part of this book is about Trump because we have heard so much of it already. One small detail, however, stood out when Comey recounted the hand-written dinner menu:

“They write these things out one at a time, by hand,” [Trump] marveled, referring to the White House staff.
“A calligrapher,” I replied, nodding.
He looked quizzical. “They write them by hand,” he repeated.

It is not a surprise that Trump doesn’t know what a calligrapher does. I was not planning on reading this book, but I changed my mind after skimming through the author’s note. I like his concise, friendly writing.

Ngọc Bảo An: Mát mát lạnh lạnh

Tập truyện của Ngọc Bảo An ngắn và khá ngắn. Tác giả không phung phí một chữ nào. Khi viết về một người đàn bà bị tâm thần hay một người chồng bị stress khi mới làm cha hay những cảnh tình dục gợi cảm, lối văn của tác giả vừa gần gủi vừa ảo mộng. Ngọc Bảo An đưa ta vào những tâm trạng thực thực giả giả, lạ lạ quen quen, mát mát lạnh lạnh. Dễ đọc nhưng không dễ hiểu.

Đây là một trong những đoạn văn ngắn của Ngọc Bảo An tôi thích:

Người đàn ông chạm nhẹ đôi môi vào ngực cô gái. Nàng cúi nhìn bộ ngực mềm dịu, ngũ sắc đang phập phồng, tủi thân nhớ chưa bao giờ cái nhìn của người đàn ông đó lướt nhìn phần dưới cổ nàng.

Khi người đàn ông khẽ mở chiếc khuy áo thứ nhất của cô gái, nàng đau đớn quay mặt đi. Bằng một cử động dứt khoát, mạnh mẽ và chua xót, nàng vỗ cánh bây lên.

Nàng sẽ bay thật xa nơi này, nơi người ta gọi nàng là cú vọ.

Tara Westover: Educated

Tara Westover’s gut-wrenching memoir recounts the story of a resilient daughter who grew up in a destructive, dangerous environment. Her father who had bipolar distrusted the government, its healthcare, and its educational system. Her mother suffered brain injury from a family’s tragic car crashed—no one was treated. One of her brothers was violent and abusive toward her, their siblings, and his girlfriends. Westover’s only way out of the family was education. After working in her dad’s junkyard for many years without schooling, Westover took the ACT test and enrolled in college. At seventeen, she stepped in to a classroom for the first time without knowing the cause of the Holocaust and the meaning behind the word “nigger”—even though her brother had called her that all the time at home. Through study hard and determination, she graduated from Brigham Young University and awarded a PhD in history from Trinity College. The vivid detail of her transformation from suffering to success is frightening yet empowering. If you are in doubt about the true value of education, get Educated.

Jeremy Keith: Going Offline

I implemented service workers on this blog and my web-based books by reading Jeremy Keith’s posts on the subject and modifying his JavaScript file for my own needs. Even though I was able to get service workers to work, I did not understand everything that went into the file.

Thankfully, his latest book, Going Offline, explains the ins and outs of service works in clear, comprehensible details. Jeremy has a gift for not only showing the hows but also the whys. With his vast knowledge of the history of the web and his unbiased assessment of progressive technologies, Jeremy makes a strong, convincing case for service workers.

Jeremy’s technical writing is as superb as always. Similar to his first book for A Book Apart, which cleared up all my confusions about HTML5, Going Offline helps me put the pieces of the service workers’ puzzle together. If you want to turn your website into a progressive web app, which requires HTTPS, service workers, and Web App Manifests, this book is for you.

Hạ Nguyên: Bèo không trôi ra biển

Những câu chuyện rất ngắn rất ngậm ngùi của tuổi thơ. Một cô gái quyết định phá thai để tiếp tục có cuộc sống rong chơi. Một cô bé nhảy lầu tự tử quên log out Facebook. Một nhà nghỉ ồn ào nằm gần một ngôi chùa yên tịnh. Hoặc một lối sống một mình: “cái giá của tự do là cô đơn mà.” Với lối viết giản dị, gọn ghẽ, và cảm động của Hạ Nguyên, nên đọc để giải trí.

David Sedaris Diaries: A Visual Compendium

In addition to journaling, David Sedaris has been creating artworks for his dairies. This book, which compiled and edited by graphic designer Jeffrey Jenkins, showcases collages of items Sedaris had found as well as his original compositions. His natural ability to incorporate images and letterforms added an intriguing visual element to his writing.