Chosen Books

Invited designers and commentators have chosen these as the books that inspire them and that have shaped their worldview or their ideas about design.
480 books
Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea Seife, Charles Comments:
Zero History Gibson, William
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance Pirsig, Robert M.
Young Men and Fire Maclean, Norman
You Are Not a Gadget Lanier, Jaron
A Year with Swollen Appendices Eno, Brian
The Year of Magical Thinking Didion, Joan
Worlds in Collision Velikovsky, Immanuel
The World Without Us Weisman, Alan
A World Without Time Yourgrau, Palle
The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century Friedman, Thomas
World Champion Openings Schiller, Eric
Wonder Bread & Ecstasy: The Life and Death of Joey Stefano Isherwood, Charles
A Woman in Berlin Hillers, Marta
Woman and Nature Griffin, Susan
The Wisdom of Insecurity Watts, Alan
Winterdance Paulsen, Gary
Wilderness and the American Mind Nash, Roderick
The Wilder Shores of Love Blanch, Lesley
Wild Harmonies Grimaud, Hélène
A Whole New Mind Pink, Daniel H.
Who Owns the Future? Lanier, Jaron
Where Good Ideas Come From Johnson, Steven
What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures Gladwell, Malcolm
What the Buddha Taught Rahula, Walpola
What Am I Doing Here? Chatwin, Bruce
West with the Night Markham, Beryl
Weltfremdheit (Worldly Innocence) Sloterdijk, Peter
We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families Gourevitch, Philip
The Way to Cook Child, Julia
The Warren Commission Report The President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy,
Walden, or Life in the Woods Thoreau, Henry David
Voices of the Old Sea Lewis, Norman
The Voices of Silence Malraux, André
Visions of Excess Bataille, Georges
The Visible and the Invisible Merleau-Ponty, Maurice
The Venturesome Economy Bhidé, Amar
The Varieties of Religious Experience James, William
The Urban Villagers Gans, Herbert J.
Unobtrusive Measures Webb, Eugene et al.
Unless It Moves the Human Heart Rosenblatt, Roger
The Universal Traveler Koberg, Don et al.
Understanding Media McLuhan, Marshall
Two Lives: Gertrude and Alice Malcolm, Janet
The Turkish Embassy Letters Montagu, Mary Wortley et al.
Tuesdays with Morrie Albom, Mitch
Truman McCullough, David
Tristes Tropiques Lévi-Strauss, Claude
The Travels of Marco Polo Rustichello da Pisa,
Travels in Hyperreality Eco, Umberto
The Transparency of Evil Baudrillard, Jean
Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus Wittgenstein, Ludwig et al.
The Town That Food Saved Hewitt, Ben
Toward a Society of Leisure Dumazedier, Joffre
The Tipping Point Gladwell, Malcolm
Three Levels of Time Hayes, Harold T. P.
The Three Ecologies Guattari, Félix
A Thousand Years of Non-Linear History De Landa, Manuel
A Thousand Plateaus Deleuze, Gilles et al.
This Sex Which Is Not One Irigaray, Luce
The Theory of the Leisure Class Veblen, Thorstein
Theodore Rex Morris, Edmund
Teoria e invenzione futurista Marinetti, F. T.
Ten Points Strickland, Bill
The Telephone Book Ronell, Avital
Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology Postman, Neil
Team of Rivals Goodwin, Doris Kearns
Tao Te Ching Lao Tzu,
The Tao of Physics Capra, Fritjof
The Symposium Plato,
Survival in Auschwitz Levi, Primo
“Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!” Feynman, Richard
A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again Wallace, David Foster
The Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas Aquinas, St. Thomas
The Structures of Everyday Life Braudel, Fernand
Steps to an Ecology of Mind Bateson, Gregory
Staying Alive Shiva, Vandana
Standing by Words Berry, Wendell
The Speed of Trust Covey, Stephen
Souls on Fire Wiesel, Elie
The Songlines Chatwin, Bruce
Solution 239–246 Kalliala, Martti et al.
Solar Living Source Book Pratt, Doug
Il Sogno della Merce (The Dream of Goods) Baudrillard, Jean et al.
The Society of Mind Minsky, Marvin
Six Memos for the Next Millennium Calvino, Italo
Silent Spring Carson, Rachel
The Silence of Animals: On Progress and Other Modern Myths Gray, John
Siamo il 99% (We Are the 99%) Chomsky, Noam
The Shock Doctrine Klein, Naomi
Shelley Winters, Shelley
The Shadow of the Sun Kapuscinski, Ryszard
Shadow of the Silk Road Thubron, Colin
Setting the Table Meyer, Danny
Sens-Plastique de Chazal, Malcolm
A Sense of Where You Are McPhee, John
Selected Writings of Gertrude Stein Stein, Gertrude
Seize the Time Seale, Bobby
The Second World War (vols. 1–6) Churchill, Winston
The Search for Alexander Fox, Robin Lane
The Sciences of the Artificial Simon, Herbert A.
The Science of God Schroeder, Gerhard L.
Scenes in America Deserta Banham, Reyner
The Sayings of Lao Zi Lao Zi,
The Savage Mind Lévi-Strauss, Claude
A Sand County Almanac Leopold, Aldo
Sakhalin Island Chekhov, Anton
Running in the Family Ondaatje, Michael
Rules of the Game Diagram Group,
Roman by Polanski Polanski, Roman
River Town Hessler, Peter
A River Runs Through It Maclean, Norman
The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt Morris, Edmund
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich Shirer, William L.
The Rise and Fall of Alexandria: Birthplace of the Modern Mind Pollard, Justin et al.
The Republic Plato,
Report to Greco Kazantakis, Nikos
Remembering Mr. Shawn’s New Yorker Mehta, Ved
Reality Hunger Shields, David
Ramtha Ramtha,
Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle, Vol. I) Stephenson, Neal
Psychotic Reactions and Carburetor Dung Bangs, Lester
The Psychopathology of Everyday Life Freud, Sigmund
Proust Was a Neuroscientist Lehrer, Jonah
Profiles in Courage Kennedy, John F.
The Professor and the Madman Winchester, Simon
The Production of Space Lefebvre, Henri
Precolonial Black Africa Diop, Cheikh Anta
The Power of Myth Campbell, Joseph
The Power Elite Mills, C. Wright
Poseidon’s Steed Scales, Helen
The Portable Dorothy Parker Parker, Dorothy
The Population Bomb Ehrlich, Paul
Politics: Observations and Arguments, 1966–2004 Hertzberg, Hendrik
Poised for Grace Brooks, Douglas
Poetry, Language, Thought Heidegger, Martin
Poetics of Music in the Form of Six Lessons Stravinsky, Igor
The Pleasure of the Text Barthes, Roland
The Pleasure of Finding Things Out Feynman, Richard
Playing and Reality Winnicott, D. W.
Plant Propagation McMillan Browse, Philip
Ping Pong Diplomacy Griffin, Nicholas
Picasso & Lump: A Dachshund’s Odyssey Duncan, David Douglas
Philosophy and Simulation De Landa, Manuel
The Periodic Table Levi, Primo et al.
Pensées Philosophiques Diderot, Denis
Pensées Pascal, Blaise
Pedagogy of the Oppressed Freire, Paulo
A Peace to End All Peace Fromkin, David
Pavlovsk: The Life of a Russian Palace Massie, Suzanne
Patti Smith: Dream of Life Sebring, Steven
Patriarchal Attitudes Figes, Eva
Paris Was Ours Rowlands, Penelope
Outside Lies Magic Stilgoe, John R.
Out of Control Kelly, Kevin
The Origin of Species Darwin, Charles
The Origin of Satan Pagels, Elaine
The Order of Things Foucault, Michel
Orbiting the Giant Hairball MacKenzie, Gordon
The Opposable Mind Martin, Roger
The Open Society and Its Enemies Popper, Karl
One Two Three . . . Infinity Gamow, George
One Special Summer Onassis, Jacqueline Kennedy et al.
101 Best Australian Beaches Short, Andy et al.
One-Dimensional Man Marcuse, Herbert
On Nature Heraclitus,
On Intelligence Hawkins, Jeff
On Growth and Form Thompson, D’Arcy Wentworth
On Grief and Reason Brodsky, Joseph
On Food and Cooking McGee, Harold
On Being and Essence Aquinas, St. Thomas et al.
The Omnivore’s Dilemma Pollan, Michael
Of Grammatology Derrida, Jacques
Oeuvres completes, vol. 1 Bataille, Georges et al.
Obras Completas: Meditaciones y ensayos espirituales de Unamuno, Miguel
Obras Completas (Complete Works) Borges, Jorges Luis
Obedience to Authority Milgram, Stanley
O-Kee-Pa Katlin, George
Nudge Thaler, Richard et al.
Notes of a Native Son Baldwin, James
North-South Brandt, Willy
NonZero Wright, Robert
Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity Augé, Marc
Night Wiesel, Elie
Nicomachean Ethics Aristotle,
Nicky D. From L.I.C.: A Narrative Portrait of Nicholas DeTomasso Lehrer, Warren
News From Nowhere Morris, William
New Rules for the New Economy Kelly, Kevin
The Nashville Number System Williams, Chas
Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass: An American Slave Douglass, Frederick
A Moveable Feast Hemingway, Ernest
Moses Buber, Martin
Moonage Daydream: The Life and Times of Ziggy Stardust Bowie, David et al.
The Monster of Florence Preston, Douglas. J. et al.
Moneyball Lewis, Michael
Modern Music: The Avant-Garde since 1945 Griffiths, Paul
Misogynies Smith, Joan
The Mismeasure of Man Gould, Stephen Jay
Mindset Dweck, Carol
Miles: The Autobiography Davis, Miles
Micrographia Hooke, Robert
Metropolitan Life Lebowitz, Fran
Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals Murdoch, Iris
Metamagical Themas Hofstadter, Douglas
Memories, Dreams, Reflections Jung, C. G.
Memoirs Wiesel, Elie
Meerlust: 300 Years of Hospitality Simons, Phillida Brooke
The Medium is the Massage McLuhan, Marshall et al.
Meditations Aurelius, Marcus
The Measurement of Meaning Osgood, Charles E.
The Meaning of Anxiety May, Rollo
Maxims de la Rochefoucauld, François
Materials for the Study of Variation Treated with Especial Regard to Discontinuity in the Origin of Species Bateson, William
Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen Cowin, Dana et al.
The Masks of God Campbell, Joseph
The Marsh Arabs Thesiger, Wilfred
The Man Who Planted Trees Giono, Jean
Making Things Public: Atmospheres of Democracy Latour, Bruno
The Making of the English Working Class Thompson, E. P.
Made to Stick Heath, Chip et al.
The Machine in the Garden Marx, Leo
The Lunar Men: Five Friends Whose Curiosity Changed the World Uglow, Jenny
Love and War in the Apennines Newby, Eric
The Lotus and the Robot Koestler, Arthur
Look at the Land MacLean, Alex et al.
Longitude Sobel, Dava
Longing for Darkness: Kamante’s Tales from Out of Africa Kamante, et al.
Long Slow March Meador, Clifton
Long Walk to Freedom Mandela, Nelson
Long Ago in France Fisher, M. F. K.
Londongrad Hollingsworth, Mark et al.
London Orbital Sinclair, Iain
The Lives of the Great Composers Schonberg, Harold C.
L’intraitable beauté du monde Glissant, Édouard et al.
Lincoln at Gettysburg Willis, Gary
Life with Picasso Gilot, Françoise
L’Ideologia del Traditore (The Ideology of the Traitor: Art, Manner and Mannerism) Bonito Oliva, Achille
Letters to a Young Poet Rilke, Rainer Maria et al.
The Letters of Mozart & His Family (3 vols.) Anderson, Emily
Less Than One Brodsky, Joseph
L’esperienza musicale e l’estetica Mila, Massimo
Left Handed, Son of Old Man Hat Left Handed, et al.
Le vin en question (Wine in Question) Chauvet, Jules
Le vertige Mauriès, Patrick
Le passé défini Cocteau, Jean
La voie Morin, Edgar
L’autre par lui-même (The Other by Itself) Baudrillard, Jean
Lateral Thinking de Bono, Edward
The Last Place on Earth Huntford, Roland
The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Visions of Glory 1874-1932 Manchester, William
The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill, Alone 1932-1940 Manchester, William
L’art du roman (The Art of the Novel) Kundera, Milan
Land of The Firebird: The Beauty of Old Russia Massie, Suzanne
La Sparizione dell’Arte (The Disappearance of Art) Baudrillard, Jean
La Passe Imaginaire (The Imaginary Pass) Réal, Grisélidis
Knots Laing, R. D.
Kitchen Confidential Bourdain, Anthony
King Solomon’s Ring Lorenz, Konrad
Killing Giants Denny, Stephen
Just Kids Smith, Patti
Just Gaming Lyotard, Jean-François et al.
Jung’s Psychology and Tibetan Wisdom Moacanin, Radmila
Judaism Küng, Hans
The Journalist and the Murderer Malcolm, Janet
John Adams McCullough, David
Jerusalem 1913: The Origins of the Arab-Israeli Conflict Marcus, Amy Dockser
Jeanne d’Arc (Joan of Arc) Delteil, Joseph
Jean Christophe Rolland, Romain et al.
James the Just in the Habakkuk Pesher Eisenman, Robert H.
It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be Arden, Paul
The Invention of Solitude Auster, Paul
Inventing America Wills, Garry
Introduction to the Method of Leonardo da Vinci Valéry, Paul
Into Thin Air Krakauer, Jon
An Intimate History of Humanity Zeldin, Theodore
The Interpretation of Dreams Freud, Sigmund
The Interpretation of Cultures Geertz, Clifford
Intensive Science and Virtual Philosophy De Landa, Manuel
Inside Steve’s Brain Kahney, Leander
Insatiable Greene, Gael
Innovation and Entrepreneurship Drucker, Peter
In the Garden of Beasts Larson, Erik
Infinite City Solnit, Rebecca
The Independent Group Robbins, David
Incognito Eagleman, David
In Their Own Way Armstrong, Thomas
In Patagonia Chatwin, Bruce
In Defense of Food Pollan, Michael
Imperial Grunts Kaplan, Robert D.
Imperial Vollmann, William T.
The Immense Journey Eiseley, Loren
Imagining Language: An Anthology Rasula, Jed et al.
Imagining America in 2033 Gans, Herbert J.
Imagined Cities: Urban Experience and the Language of the Novel Alter, Robert
The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in America Boorstin, Daniel J.
Illuminations Benjamin, Walter
If You Want to Write Ueland, Brenda
Ich und Du (I and Thou) Buber, Martin et al.
Ibn Tufayl’s Hayy Ibn Yaqzan Tufayl, Ibn et al.
I Like You Sedaris, Amy
Hyperspace Kaku, Michio
A Hundred Years of Lex Flex Laxson, Ruth
The Human Use of the Earth Wagner, Philip L.
How We Decide Lehrer, Jonah
How to Cure a Fanatic Oz, Amos
How the Leopard Changed Its Spots: The Evolution of Complexity Goodwin, Brian
The Housing Question Engels, Friedrich
Homage to Catalonia Orwell, George
Holy Holocaust Herbert, Moss
Hold Everything Dear Berger, John
Hitch-22: A Memoir Hitchens, Christopher
The History of Sexuality Foucault, Michel
A History of Private Life Ariès, Philippe et al.
The Histories Herodotus,
The Historian as Detective Winks, Robin W.
The Hidden Injuries of Class Sennett, Richard et al.
Here is New York White, E. B.
Here Comes Everybody Shirky, Clay
Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book Penick, Harvey
Harpo Speaks . . . about New York Marx, Harpo
The Happiness Hypothesis Haidt, Jonathan
Hadrian and the Triumph of Rome Everitt, Anthony
Guns, Germs, and Steel Diamond, Jared
The Guide for the Perplexed Maimonides, Moses et al.
GRRRHHHH: A Study of Social Patterns Lehrer, Warren et al.
The Greening of America Reich, Charles A.
The Great War and Modern Memory Fussell, Paul
Grapefruit Ono, Yoko
Good to Great Collins, James
The Golden Bough Frazer, James George
The Golden Book of Biology Ames, Gerald et al.
The Gnostic Gospels Pagels, Elaine
Glas Derrida, Jacques
Gandhi, An Autobiography Gandhi, Mohandas K.
Gaia Lovelock, James
The Future of Life Wilson, Edward O.
Full House Gould, Stephen Jay
From Slavery to Freedom Franklin, John Hope
A Freewheelin’ Time Rotolo, Suze
Frederick the Great Mitford, Nancy
Fragments d’un discours amoureux (A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments) Barthes, Roland
The Founding Fish McPhee, John
For Marx Althusser, Louis
The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque Deleuze, Gilles
The Flâneur White, Edmund
Finding Flow Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly
Finanzcapitalismo Gallino, Luciano
Fin-de-Siècle Vienna: Politics and Culture Schorske, Carl E.
The Fifth Discipline Senge, Peter
Fever Pitch Hornby, Nick
Facundo: Civilization and Barbarism (Facundo: Civilización y Barbarie) Domingo Faustino, Sarmiento
Eye of the Albatross Safina, Carl
Eye and Brain: The Psychology of Seeing Gregory, Richard L.
Experiences in Visual Thinking McKim, Robert H.
Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking Hazan, Marcella
Essays on Realism (Saggi sul Realismo) Lukács, György
End This Depression Now! Krugman, Paul
The Encyclopedia of Stupidity Boxsel, Matthijs van
Empire Hardt, Michael et al.
The Element Robinson, Ken et al.
El Libro de Levante Azorín,
Either/Or Kierkegaard, Søren
Einstein: His Life and Universe Isaacson, Walter
Edward de Bono’s Thinking Course de Bono, Edward
Edmund Husserl’s “Origin of Geometry”: An Introduction Derrida, Jacques
The Ecstasy of Communication Baudrillard, Jean
The Ecology of Commerce Hawken, Paul
The Earth Report Goldsmith, Edward
Earth in Upheaval Velikovsky, Immanuel
Drive Pink, Daniel H.
The Dream Society Jensen, Rolf
Dream Duncombe, Stephen
Dreadnought Massie, Robert K.
The Dramatic Imagination Jones, Robert Edmond
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly Bauby, Jean-Dominique
Distinction Bourdieu, Pierre et al.
Discipline and Punish Foucault, Michel
Die Spiele (The Games) Kunze, Herbert
The Diary of a Young Girl Frank, Anne
The Diaries of Franz Kafka, 1910–1913 Brod, Max
The Devil in the White City Larson, Erik
Democracy in America de Tocqueville, Alexis
Debt Graeber, David
Dead End Gene Pool Burden, Wendy
Das Kapital (Capital) Marx, Karl
Daring Greatly Brown, Brené
A Cure for Serpents Denti di Piranjo, Alberto
Crowds and Power Canetti, Elias
Crossing the BLVD: Strangers, Neighbors, Aliens in a New America Lehrer, Warren et al.
Critique of Pure Reason Kant, Immanuel
Critique of Judgment Kant, Immanuel
The Consumer Society Baudrillard, Jean
Consider the Lobster Wallace, David Foster
The Conscience of Words Canetti, Elias
Confronting Silence Takemitsu, Toru
Confieso que he vivido: Memorias (Memoirs) Neruda, Pablo
Confessions of a Radical Industrialist Anderson, Ray C. et al.
The Colossus of Maroussi Miller, Henry
The Collected Works of Billy the Kid Ondaatje, Michael
Collapse Diamond, Jared
The Cloud of Unknowing Anonymous, et al.
The Closing of the American Mind Bloom, Allan
The Climate Near the Ground Geiger, Rudolf et al.
Claude: A Narrative Portrait of Claude Debs Lehrer, Warren
Civilization and Its Discontents Freud, Sigmund
The Chrysanthemum and the Sword Benedict, Ruth
Charlie: A Narrative Portrait of Charlie Lang Lehrer, Warren
The Case for God Armstrong, Karen
The Care and Feeding of Ideas Adams, James L.
Canyon of Dreams: The Magic and the Music of Laurel Canyon Kubernik, Harvey
Bureaucrats: How to Annoy Them Fishall, R. T.
Bully for Brontosaurus Gould, Stephen Jay
Brother Blue: A Narrative Portrait of Dr. Hugh Morgan Hill aka Brother Blue Lehrer, Warren
Brilliant: The Evolution of Artificial Light Brox, Jane
A Brief History of Time Hawking, Stephen
Breathing on Your Own Kehl, Richard
Brave New World Revisited Huxley, Aldous
The Brain That Changes Itself Doidge, Norman
The Bottom of the Harbor Mitchell, Joseph
The Bottom Billion Collier, Paul
Bossypants Fey, Tina
The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are Watts, Alan
The Book of Tea Okakura, Kakuzo
The Book of Games Arnold, Peter
The Book of Five Rings Miyamoto, Musashi
Book of Common Prayer Church of England,
Blueprint for a Green Planet Seymour, John et al.
The Blue Sweater Novogratz, Jacqueline
Blue Guitar Vose, Kenneth
Blood, Bones, & Butter Hamilton, Gabrielle
Blood and Oil in the Orient Bey, Essad
Blink Gladwell, Malcolm
The Black Swan Taleb, Nassim
Black Elk Speaks Neihardt, John
Bird by Bird Lamott, Anne
Beyond Tragedy Niebuhr, Reinhold
Beyond Good and Evil Nietzsche, Friedrich
Beyond Geography Turner, Frederick
Better Gawande, Atul
Being Wrong Schulz, Kathryn
Beautiful People Doonan, Simon
The Beak of the Finch Weiner, Jonathan
Be My Guest Hilton, Conrad N.
The Battle for God Armstrong, Karen
Basin and Range McPhee, John
Ball Four Bouton, Jim
Balfour: The Last Grandee Adams, R. J. Q.
Bag of Toys France, David
Baedeker’s Rome and Central Italy Baedeker, Karl
The Awakened Self Stryk, Lucien
Avision Lunt, Anthony
The Autobiography of General Ulysses S. Grant Grant, Ulysses S.
Autobiography of a Face Grealy, Lucy
The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin Franklin, Benjamin
The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas Stein, Gertrude
Autobiography of a Yogi Paramahansa, Yogananda
Au Revoir to All That Steinberger, Michael
The Atomic Age Opens Pocket Books,
The Ascent of Money Ferguson, Niall
The Art of Travel De Botton, Alain
The Art of Fiction Lodge, David
The Art of Eating Fisher, M. F. K.
The Armada Mattingly, Garrett
The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen Pépin, Jacques
Applied Grammatology Ulmer, Gregory
Antonio Stradivari Hill, William Henry
Animals Make Us Human Grandin, Temple
Animals in Translation Grandin, Temple et al.
And the Sea Is Never Full Wiesel, Elie
Amusing Ourselves to Death Postman, Neil
American Sphinx Ellis, Joseph
America Primo Amore Soldati, Mario
Alongshore Stilgoe, John R.
Agricola and Germania Tacitus, Cornelius et al.
Agnes’s Jacket Hornstein, Gail A.
The Age of Missing Information McKibben, Bill
Against Method Feyerabend, Paul
Against Interpretation Sontag, Susan
After Method Law, John
The Affluent Society Galbraith, John Kenneth
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