Five books we’re looking forward to this year:
1) See What I Mean by Kevin Cheng
Forthcoming from Rosenfeld Media (whom I discovered because of this fantastic series of covers by Jason Kernevich of The Heads of State), See What I Mean explores an idea I’ve heard (wistfully) bandied about in many a technical writing department: incorporating the use of comics into documentation (of all kinds).
2) Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions
by Guy Kawasaki
If you’re a fan of Guy’s other work (Reality Check and The Art of the Start are my favourites), you’ll want to pick this up. What I like about Mr. Kawasaki’s books is that he never fails to include a section on the importance of being a good person, no matter what business or creative goal you’re trying to achieve. That, and I’ve never seen anyone else include “asshole” as an index entry (as in, ‘how not to be one’).
Cover design by Sarah Brody
3) Adapt: Why Success Always Starts with Failure by Tim Harford
While the title suggests that this may be a book about the importance of persistence in achieving personal goals (I confess, that’s what drew me to it), it actually promises to demonstrate the “importance of adaptive trial-and-error in tackling issues such as climate change, poverty and the financial crisis.” Still interested!
4) The Language Wars: A History of Proper English by Henry Hitchings
Yes, there is such a thing as ‘proper English’, but as anyone who has seen the amazing series The Adventure of English will tell you, it’s also a living thing, constantly growing and evolving. It’s this flexibility that’s helped make English so ubiquitous (okay, in addition to some other reasons). Anyway, very much looking forward to this new work by the author of The Secret Life of Words: How English Became English
and Defining the World: The Extraordinary Story of Dr Johnson’s Dictionary.
5) Smashing Book 2 from Smashing Magazine