Thursday, December 29, 2005

10 Good Books of 2005

Here are ten good books I read in 2005.

  1. Shaping Things. Bruce Sterling has a wide view. He looks at what can be given where we already are. I’m about to read this book another time and will probably refer to the  book, Laws of Form, this time through. This book is about design and what things are becoming. Highly recommended to anyone interested in considering the shape of the future. 
  2. DHTML Utopia Modern Web Design Using JavaScript & DOM. AJAX was the dominant new "technology" in 2005 and this book was the first to really cover it with great examples and clear explanations. When I first saw Gmail, I knew we were looking at a new way of “doing business” on the web with JavaScript. This makes it accessible to any JavaScript coder.
  3. Who Was Marshall McLuhan: Exploring a Mosaic of Impressions. I order almost any book on Marshall McLuhan and many rehash old material. Nevitt was a co-author and friend of McLuhan and this was a great read and very helpful on my “McLuhan’s Laws of Media” web site that I’m working on.
  4. Jack Trout on Strategy. “Positioning” is one of my favorite books and Jack Trout co-author it. In previous years I had been reading a lot of Al Ries, the other co-author, so it was great to read this other brilliant marketing thinker.
  5. Programming Ruby: The Pragmatic Programmers' Guide. Some may consider Ruby as the “technology” of 2005. This is the introduction to this object oriented language that I believe gain a major presence. This is where my web server is going.
  6. The Ten Faces of Innovation : IDEO's Strategies for Defeating the Devil's Advocate and Driving Creativity Throughout Your Organization. For more than two decades I’ve been reading business books. I’ve learned not to believe that they are a cure-all. Design is also important to me. So I’m intrigued by the entire D-school movement and innovation in business. This book makes me think a different way and therefore gives rise to new ideas. I’m enjoying a slow reading of it.
  7. Head First Design Patterns. New programming methods give us new ways of logically thinking. Now more than two years old, it is still good and a very fun read for what could be very dry subject. I’ve got a lot more to absorb.
  8. Home By Design. Sarah Susanka is better known for Not So Big House. She, like many, were influenced by Pattern Language. While this book is great inspiration, I’m still partial to Patterns of Home by Jacobson, Silverstein and Winslow which covers broader principles. Helpful in my home re-design.
  9. The Father of Spin: Edward L. Bernays and The Birth of Public Relations. Ries and Trout have convinced me that PR is often more important than advertising especially for a new venture or brand. This is my start at educating myself. Interesting history but uncertain of usefulness to this century. I need more education to judge this book.
  10. A Theory of Fun for Game Design. I’ve always liked computer games. I’ve sold more titles than anyone else in the 80’s and 90’s from my stores. And I wrote a few. Koster’s book is a great history of computer games, good design theory and good fun!

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