Almost a year ago I shared my summer reading list for 2016.
Looking back I managed to get through most of the books. It took me until the end of the year and I picked up a few more along the way.
As we reach the school holidays I’m about to head off with my family to the beaches of Cornwall again. I thought I’d share a new reading list and try and work my way through it by September.
Here’s what’s on this my reading list this summer.
Defeating the New Shock Politics
I’m currently half way through this book. It’s inspired me to go back and re-read No Logo (17 years on from publication this challenge to our corporate branded world feels as relevant ever).
I’ve heard that this is very good. I really liked Matt Haig’s book Reasons to Stay Alive.
A study of economics if people mattered.
E. F Schumacher
This book was first published in 1973 and feels very relevant to the big questions for society we’re trying to answer in 2017.
Mass innovation, not mass production
This book has sat on my bookshelf for a few years. I’m determined to get to it this summer. It was written with the emergent culture of the internet-era in mind. The second edition was published in 2009 so I’m interested to see how well it holds up.
Transforming our lives through urban design
I’ve become increasingly interested in urban design and the design and culture of modern cities. The cover illustration also caught my eye in the bookshop.
Things you didn’t know you didn’t know: The Economist Explains
This book is more for fun. We don’t know what we don’t know etc. etc.
The Quest for Sporting Perfection
I enjoyed reading Matthew Syed’s last book Black Box Thinking.
This is the paperback novel I’m planning to read on holiday. See my other recommendations for more of Mohsin Hamid’s writing.
I’ve had this book for a while and need to finish it. It’s good, but a heavy weight hardback (not one for the beach).
The Theory and Practice of Resistance to Work
Books that I’ve read this year and would recommend
Since working through my summer 2016 reading list I’ve picked up plenty of other good books. Here are some of my recommendations from the last 6-9 months:
I picked this up after the Meaning conference in Brighton back in October 2016. Paul was an excellent host and challenging speaker throughout the conference. An important book for reimagining the future.
Another important guide to designing the future.
Sarah Wachter-Boettcher and Eric Meyer
Thanks to Caroline Jarrett for giving me a copy of this book. Highly recommended for understanding the importance of empathy and user-centred design.
A Friendship that Changed the World
I read this last Christmas. The story of Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman.
Alain de Botton
I always enjoy Alain de Botton’s writing. This is great storytelling and philosophy combined on the subject of relationships.
I read this the day after the UK general election on the train home from Plymouth (it felt strangely relevant). I think this book has great examples of collective, small actions and the importance of acts of minor dissent.
If you understand the importance of stickers then this book is for you.
The mostly honest completely irreverent guide to creativity
Highly recommended. A small but beautifully written book about creativity. I read this is one sitting on the flight back to the UK from Australia in April.
Why Beauty is Key to Everything
A book about design and beauty. This is a good companion to The Dance of The Possible by Scott Berkun.
A Rebel’s Guide for Digital Transformation
Thanks to Tom Simcox for giving me a copy of this book last month. I didn’t agree with everything here but still worth recommending as it has some useful content.
How Successful Organizations Listen to Customers and Create New Products Continuously
Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seinden
I really enjoyed this book. It brings together some of the most important themes and challenges for organisations adapting to deliver products in an internet-era of services.
Thanks to Jeff Gothelf and Josh Seinden for the free copy of the book at UX London.
I read this on my trip to Australia back in March/April. This is my top fiction recommendation and why I’m now working my way through Mohsin’s Hamid’s back catalogue.
Ben Holliday is an experienced design leader, writer and speaker. This is his blog (started in 2005). You can follow all of Ben's blog posts by subscribing to the RSS feed, or follow him on Twitter for more regular updates.