Here are the books that are shaping my thinking in 2018.
The Devil in the White City Erik Larson
A beautiful portrait of master architect Daniel Burnam and serial killer, H. H. Holmes and the Chicago World's Fair that obsessed them both.
The Age of Earthquakes Shumon Basar, Douglas Coupland & Hans Ulrich Obrist
Subtitled as a "guide to the extreme present," this look at our rapidly evolving digital era explores how the internet is changing our brains—and our planet.
The Challenger Sale Matthew Dixon and Brent Adamson
"Every role grows into sales." While written for sales teams and execs, these principles apply to anyone in business who interacts with others.
Setting the Table Danny Meyer
Powerful advice from one of my favorite leaders in business. He's set the bar in one of the toughest trades there is. An inspiration to anyone looking to level up their business.
A More Beautiful Question Warren Berger
As kids, we all asked "why" until our parents couldn't take it anymore. As tech infiltrates more of our lives, now is the time for us to be thinking deeply and asking questions no one else is.
Whiplash Joi Ito and Jeff Howe
Looking at several different ways of thinking to prepare for a faster future, the authors predict what type of thinking working, and acting will be important as we look forward.
Shoe Dog Phil Knight
Anyone that knows me knows I can't get enough of Nike. They capture my heart as they continue to be at the forefront of fashion, athletics, product marketing, and technology.
Now You See It and Other Essays on Design Michael Bierut
For those not familiar with Bierut's writing, this book encapsulates many of his essays that have graced the Design Observer site in the last few years.
Every Good Endeavor Timothy Keller
This book broadened my perspective on many aspects of work. Keller highlights its purpose, the reason it's hard and gives hope for those who feel stuck in it.
The Shape of Design Frank Chimero
This book has been on my to-read list for years. I'm glad I finally got the chance to dig in. It reminded me why I design and to keep believing into what got me into design in the first place.
The Cutthroat Clive Cussler
Cussler's books have been a guilty pleasure of mine since I was a teenager. Today, his books remain a fun escape and are the perfect indulgence for the flights between SFO and IND.
Whatever You Think Think the Opposite Paul Arden
Arden beautifully pairs image and the written word, quickly convincing you that radical thinking is the only way to operate in work and life. I'll refer back to this book for years.
Destiny of the Republic Candice Millard
A wonderful look into Garfield's ascension to the presidency and the circumstances surrounding his assassination. A refreshing reminder of believing in the power of positivity and unity.
Dragon Teeth Michael Crichton
Another posthumous release from Crichton, Dragon Teeth follows a Pennsylvania college student who comes across a priceless treasure and attempts to keep it in the right hands.
The Design of Business Roger Martin
Analytical thinking isn't enough. To win, companies today need synthetic (design) thinking. I appreciated his process: mystery > heuristic > algorithm > code illustrating how this can be replicated anywhere.
Fascinate Sally Hogshead
Fascinate explores how and why humans are captivated and outlines seven triggers to help you develop it so that you can influence others to be interested in your product, your business, or you.
The Way to Design Steve Vassallo
Written for designers who yearn for something more than to make things, The Way to Design calls us to consider being design founders, highlighting the power that we posses to affect change.
No Office Apps Michael Silwinski
White written for a completely remote team, this book outlines a communication pyramid that should cause every company to consider how they communicate both internally and externally.
Crazy Busy Kevin DeYoung
As our lives become busier and we find ourselves often running on empty. In this book, pastor/theologian Kevin DeYoung unpacks what's making us so busy and outlines the one thing we must do to fight back.
Dark Matter Blake Crouch
A science-fiction thriller, Dark Matter explores the role of the choices we make and how they effect our identities—and what happens if we could travel between different variations of our life.
Marketing Above the Noise Linda Popky
All marketing isn't created equal, and it's especially valuable to understand the conditions and context of the marketing you're creating so that your brand can stand out among all the other noise in the world.
The Light Between Oceans M.L. Stedman
Set in 1918 Australia, this novel tells the story of an isolated lighthouse keeper and his wife who make a devastating choice that forever changes two worlds. When faced with life-altering decisions—how do you choose?
Creative Confidence Tom Kelley & David Kelley
A great book on building your creative confidence by the guys who are the real deal. I found some of the exercises in the back to be helpful in interfacing with people who are skeptical of change or the value design thinking can bring.