Favorite Things I Read: 2016 edition

in My Process


Noelle Stevenson

A whimsical inversion of a medieval princess story.

On Photography
Susan Sontag

A breathtaking critique on the art, culture and cult of photography.

It's Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens
danah boyd

A real, eye-opening look at how teens use the internet in the US, based on years of ethnographic research.

Between the World and Me
Ta-Nehisi Coates

A poetic cry about the injustice of being black in America today.

Citizen: An American Lyric
Claudia Rankine

Heart-wrenching stories, poems and fragments of a black woman in the US.

Kylooe - Downhearted Dragonfly
Little Thunder

A Studio Ghibli-esque comic set in 90s Hong Kong.

Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant?: A Memoir
by Roz Chast

A humorous and heartbreaking journey about family, care and aging.

Zingerman's Guide to Good Eating
Ari Weinzweig

A comprehensive introduction and textbook about buying/eating/cooking fine foods.

Coach: Lessons on the Game of Life
by Michael Lewis

A essay-length booklet and ode to an old coach.

New Construction: Two More Stories
by Sam Alden

Superb visual storytelling.

Liberating Intimacy: Enlightenment and Social Virtuosity in Ch'an Buddhism
Peter D. Hershock

A dense introduction to anti-individualistic (aka social), Buddhist philosophy.

Wet Engine: Exploring the Mad Wild Miracle of the Heart
Brian Doyle

A beautiful book of essays.

The Opium War
Julia Lovell

Debunking myths around the Opium War and shining a light on the incompetence (on both sides) that allowed it to occur.

The Love Bunglers
Jaime Hernandez

Incredible story of growth, family and love that spans multiple generations.

Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx
by Adrian Nicole LeBlan

Stunning inside look from the other side of the world, based on ten years of solid ethnography.

Daring Greatly How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead
Brené Brown

Important: about how to live (and thrive) with vulnerability.

Articles & videos

Signal, Space, Structure: Designing for Communities of Interest
Christina Xu

A framework for building communities.

Why I Quit Ordering From Uber-for-Food Start-Ups
Robin Sloan

A beautiful portrait of an alternate world.

You Hate Yourself Because We Told You To
Nikki Lee

On (not) playing the rigged game of fame, success and internet glory.

Material Honesty on the Web
by Kevin Goldman

How coding a design is akin to sculpting an object by hand to learn its affordances.

Tiny Subversions
Darius Kazemi

A hilarious takedown of the cult of internet gurus and How Nobody Knows What They're Doing.

The Opposite of Rape Culture is Nurturance Culture by Nora Samaran
An eye-opening read on relationships.

The Website Obesity Crisis
Maciej Ceglowski

A joyous talk on how websites have become needlessly bloated.

Designing for Perspectives
Tricia Wang

Incredible takedown of perspective bias in design, big data and a cautionary tale about virtual reality.

How to Borrow Male Privilege in Hollywood
Sarah Gertrude Shapiro

Hilarious and chilling true tales from Hollywood.

On The Spectrum by Adrianna Tan
An eloquent confession about being on the autism spectrum.

Adventure Cartoonist
Lucy Bellwood

"Success", money and vulnerability. <3 <3 <3

Don’t do what you love
Rachel Nabors

Finally! A realistic counter-narrative to the prevalent and ultra-privileged "follow your dream/passion/calling" meme – it's okay to do something else for a living that enjoy as well.

Do the Dumb Things I Gotta Do
William Van Hecke

Quests as a more encompassing framework for deciding on what to do instead of projects/goals.

What Should I Be Doing Right Now?
Cynthia Maxwell

Loved the way she laid out her work priorities one by one, acknowledged the sheer volume of them, but still ended on "being able to work hard and go home."

What can a technologist do about climate change?
Bret Victor

A spirited example of how a giant global problem can be broken down into meaningful pieces that we can all contribute to.

We Don’t Sell Saddles Here
Stewart Butterfield

An all-around well-written letter cum mission statement + love the way he talks about selling company transformation not group chat.

By Jason Li

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