JZ Jeff Zych

Books I Read in 2016

In 2016, I read 22 books. Only 3 of those 22 were fiction. I had a consistent clip of 1-3 per month, and managed to finish at least one book each month.

Highlights include:

  • The Laws of Simplicity by John Maeda: the first book I read this year was super interesting. In it, Maeda offers 10 laws for for balancing simplicity and complexity in business, technology, and design. By the end, he simplifies the book down to one law: “Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious, and adding the meaningful.”
  • David Whitaker Painting by Matthew Sturgis: I had never heard of the artist David Whitaker until I stumbled on this book at Half Price Books in Berkeley. He makes abstract paintings that combine lines and colors and gradients in fantastic ways. The cover sucked me in, and after flipping through a few pages I fell in love with his work and immediately bought the book. Check out his work on his portfolio.
  • Libra by Don DeLillo: a fascinating account of all the forces (including internal ones) that pushed Lee Harvey Oswald into assassinating JFK. The book is fiction and includes plenty of embellishments from the author (especially internal dialog), but is based on real facts from Oswald’s life and the assassination.
  • NOFX: The Hepatitis Bathtub and Other Stories by NOFX: a thoroughly entertaining history of the SoCal pop-punk band NOFX as told through various ridiculous stories from the members of the band themselves. It was perfect poolside reading in Cabo.
  • Org Design for Design Orgs by Peter Merholz & Kristin Skinner: This is basically a handbook for what I should be doing as the Head of Design at Optimizely. I can’t overstate how useful this has been to me in my job. If you’re doing any type of design leadership, I highly recommend it.
  • The Gift, by Lewis Hyde: a very thought-provoking read about creativity and the tension between art and commerce. So thought-provoking that it provoked me into writing down my thoughts in my last blog post.

Full List of Books Read

All links are Amazon affiliate links.

Previous article: « Thoughts on “The Gift”
Next article: Sol LeWitt - Wall Drawing »