VISUALGUI

Steve Casner: Careful

When my first son was two, I tossed him a ball while he was standing on top of the playground. He took a few steps backward and fell down. If I had thought ahead about the possibility, I could have prevented the accident. When my second son was three, he pulled out the drawers and climbed up. The dressers tipped over and the heated humidifier fell down. He lost control and sat on it. His butt burned. If I had turned off the humidifier, I could have prevented the accident. Then again, I did not read Casner’s Careful, an informative guide explaining the psychology of safety. The stories and statistics on accidents presented in this book are terrifying. Fortunately, we can prevent them by thinking ahead. After reading this book, you’ll think twice about driving and texting, leaving your kids at the pool by themselves even for a split second, carrying your knife around, letting your children sleep on bunk beds, speeding in traffic, and engaging in countless absent-minded haphazards that could lead to serious injuries.

Lawrence Levy: To Pixar and Beyond

In his concise yet insightful memoir, Levy reveals the strategic success behind Pixar. As the chief financial officer, Levy worked closely with Steve Jobs, renegotiated its deadlocked contract with Disney, nurtured the creative team, and looked out for its employees. His contribution played a major role in transforming a potential-yet-unprofitable startup into an iconic animation studio that balances storytelling and technology. A required read for business students.

Kory Stamper: Word By Word

In her thoughtful memoir, Stamper sheds the light on the life of a lexicographer. From the complexity of defining a simple word to the controversy of adding a new word to the challenge of reviewing an existing word, she provides eye-opening insights into the process of producing a dictionary. It’s a fun and fascinating read that will make you appreciate the art, the science, and the hard work invested into the lexicon.

Elizabeth Warren: This Fight is Our Fight

In her new book, Senator Warren is outspoken against Donald Trump, the Koch brothers, big banks, Wall Street, and the top one percent. To build a better future for our country, she urges the government to invest in education, infrastructure, and research. Despite the devastating lost of the 2016 presidential election, she is ready to fight bigotry, build opportunity, and demand democracy. Except for a few personal accounts, which had been told in her previous book, Warren’s writing is engaging and inspiring. I can’t wait to see her taking out the incompetent president in 2020.

Josh Bernoff: Writing Without Bullshit

Do you use passive voice, jargon, and weasel words in your writing? If your answer is yes, Bernoff’s practical guide will help you stop wasting the reader’s time and cut to the chase. A good reference for business writing.

A Child’s First Book of Trump

Michael Ian Black and Marc Rosenthal have written and illustrated an essential book on Trump. Just in case you’re from another planet, here’s a brief description:

The beasty is called an American Trump.
Its skin is bright orange, its figure is plump.
Its fur so complex you might get enveloped.
Its hands though are, sadly, underdeveloped.

If you are curious about the 45th President of the United States, this book is all you need. I promised myself not to read any book on Trump, but I made this exception. It’s an enjoyable five-minute read.

Ted Gioia: How to Listen to Jazz

The author of The History of Jazz invites us inside his head and show us his own process of how he listens to jazz. It’s a fascinating read if you want to get inside the music. Reading this book reinvigorates my love for classic jazz. It’s time to load those good old Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis, and Clifford Brown into my iPhone.

Jessica Valenti: Sex Object

Valenti’s moving memoir, which chronicles her experiences of being groped, raped, exposed to, and jerked on, helps me understand better about sexism that women have to deal with everyday. As she confessed, “Doing the right thing has never come easy to me. I cheated on almost all of my boyfriends with regularity and without remorse,” Valenti’s goal is to be honest rather than motivational.

Richard Rutter: Web Typography

This book is long overdue, but the wait is worthwhile. Rutter has delivered what he had promised: an informing, engaging, and practical guide to web typography. With clear illustrations, easy-to-understand CSS techniques, and well-written explanations, Rutter has gathered a comprehensive resource that has everything you need to know for setting beautiful, readable, and responsive type on the web. An essential read for web designers.

Kerry Egan: On Living

A heart-rending collection of essays, part spiritual narrative, part memoir. Chaplain Kerry Egan reveals deeply personal accounts from her dying patients as well as her own. From shame to secret, love to regret, anger to humor, On Living is as touching as it is uplifting. I love every word.