Back in August I took the first pass at starting a series of posts inspired by the excellent occasional series of interviews that The Guardian newspaper conducts under the title “Books That Made Me.” – In that post I talked about what I was currently reading, and a book that changed my life. In December I picked up the challenge again and talked about if there was a book I wish I’d written, and a book that influenced my writing.
It’s been a while, so I think it’s time tackle another couple of questions:
The Book That Changed My Mind.
I’m not sure this book changed my mind about any one thing specifically, but it did make me look at the world around me from a different perspective. The Design of Everyday Things by Don Norman.
Norman combines backgrounds in engineering and psychology and applies them to the world of human-centered design where usability is just as important as aesthetics. The book gives many great examples of when designers get things right, and equally valuable where they get it wrong. I highly recommend this for anyone who is interested in how we interact with the physical world we inhabit, and how good design can make that experience more enjoyable.
The Last Book To Make Me Cry
As a young man Adrian Gill’s dyslexia was so bad he was classified as functionally illiterate, his early adult years were lost to alcoholism. Then he discovered a talent for expressing himself through words and a love for food. We first came across him in his early days as the food critic for The Sunday Times. His reviews of places we’d never eat in and food we’d never try were the first thing we read. A.A.Gill grew to be one of British journalism’s best. A man who told it like he saw it, wasn’t afraid to pull his punches, and was unapologetic about his own life and views. The Best of A.A. Gill collects his best writing in food, television, travel, life, and most movingly his cause-celebre – the global refugee crisis. It ranges from cynical truths, to outrage, as well as the humorous, and heart-warming. It concludes with a heart wrenching piece where he talks honestly and brutally about is own imminent death from cancer. Overall this volume is an excellent celebration of an honest man.