A Few of my Favorite Nonfiction Books

Designing With the Mind in Mind

This book is surprisingly easy to read considering the depth of its contents. It takes a human-capabilities first approach to considering interaction design based on scientific principles. It’s a very interesting read to learn more about our brains and how it relates to the things we build.

101 Things I learned in Architecture School

This book is fun. It’s an eminently browsable coffee table or armchair kind of book. Architecture (the building kind) is one of the places Software Engineers steal many of their metaphors from. The book is a 35,000 foot view on some of the interesting ideas and techniques that the author learned.

The Design of Everyday Things

Don examines how things are built, maintained, and how a little thought can go a long way. It’s an entertaining read. If you read nothing else in this book, read the first chapter. You’ll never look at a door the same way again.

The Soul of a New Machine

This is one of the two “romanticized histories of technology” that I’m recommending here. Soul of a new machine is full of stories from engineers from back when computers were delivered on pallets.

The Idea Factory

This is the second history I’m recommending. I tend to subscribe to the idea that “The Network is the Computer”, or if you are on the other side, a “local first” person, then you must also recognize the contributions made at Bell Labs. Bell Labs was the place where many of the necessary inventions of our modern age were incubated and developed. The characters are interesting and the story is well told.

Networks of New York

Networks of New York is a field guide to physical infrastructure. It just might change how you view your city.

The Visual Display of Quantitative Information

Tufte has a very particular point of view on what makes a good chart. Tufte’s view of the world encourages incredibly dense information that rewards an expert viewer. It’s not appropriate for every circumstance, but the tools Tufte uses are useful to everyone who has ever presented any information visually.

Almost made the cut

Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec’s “Dear Data”.


Crade to Cradle

Several Sentences about Writing

Confessions of an Ad Man

Stuff Matters

Visualizing Black America

Open Borders

A Burglars guide to the city

Shop Class as Soulcraft

Textbooks that still fall under "Easy Reading"

Watchmaking - George Daniels

Manufacturing Processes for Design Professionals

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Issac Kelly