From the scant historical record of Hild of Whitby, Griffith spins an extraordinary story of a girl who learns to navigate the world of kings and thegns.
Hall’s contribution to the unstoppable (yes, I’m biased) A Book Apart list is both an instructive reference and a critical corrective.
Newitz first dives into the history of evolution and extinction, looking at how past species have survived (or not) and what we can learn from them; then she projects a fascinating and divergent vision of humanity millions of years from now.
Shopsin writes in short, present-tense sentences. Frequent paragraph breaks are separated by empty lines. Many pages stop short. In the hands of someone less genuine, the effect would be gimmicky, but Shopsin is as real as it gets.
Keizer’s approach to the topic of privacy is more philosophical than policy: you won’t find solutions to the problems of data mining or warrantless wiretaps within, but you will be prompted to think hard about privacy and its many contexts.
A unique collaboration between Misha Glouberman—a performer and artist—and his friend—the writer Sheila Heti—results in this charming and instructive collection of parables.
Murch’s brief collection of essays (they were originally lectures) was first published in 1995, and refreshed in 2001 with new attention to digital editing.
Bringhurst’s small pamphlets (always lovingly designed and printed) are among my favorite things. This one is, unsurprisingly, a full-throated defense of the book.
This short book, a collaboration between literary critic Katherine Hayles and designer Anne Burdick, has a lot not to like. But even ten years after publication, the book’s exploration of the material nature of writing is interesting and as yet incomplete.
I’ve been a fan of Smitten Kitchen for years, so it’s delightful to see her recipes and photography pulled together into such a lovely package. Perelman’s style is enthusiastic and never fussy; the recipes are simple but attentive to just the right details.
Perkins was, as the title suggests, the editor of many geniuses—notably, Fitzgerald, Wolfe, and Hemingway. Berg’s biography delves into his personal life, but I think the book is most compelling for its insight into Perkins’ working relationship with his authors.
Chimero’s meditation on design is thoughtful and lovely, a welcome refresher from the more logistical ethos that has been ascendent in recent years.
Perhaps my favorite novel in recent years. Part noir, part old-school Bond thriller, part apocalyptic science fiction tale, and completely magnificent.
The eighth book in the now very successful A Book Apart series reflects back on previous titles while also looking ahead. Mobile best practices meets content strategy head on, in a short book that’s packed with good advice.
A love letter to web designers everywhere, Design Is a Job catalogs the many and varied mistakes one can make on the path to being successful, and generously warns you away from them.
Lindenberg’s words touch on darker days, but the form and style are extraordinary even if held apart from the event that triggered them.
From one of my favorite local restaurants comes a lovely and instructive manual. An entire chapter is devoted to making Sunday sauce, complete with a timeline for the day.
Patry is senior copyright counsel at Google, and despite the upfront disclaimer, this book defines a vision of copyright that clearly benefits the world’s biggest search engine.
A smart study of books’ physical form, and a defense of its value independent of the words on the page.
As a novel, The Lifecycle of Software Objects suffers from expository writing, flat characters, and uninspired prose. But as a thought experiment, it’s surprisingly (if incompletely) compelling.