Debbie Millman

Academic; Writer; Lecturer; Executive; Designer / Graphic Design; Brand Design / United States / Sterling Brands, School of Visual Artists, Host, Design Matters

Debbie Millman’s Notable Books of 2011

In reviewing my recommendations for Notable Books of 2011, I was struck by an unexpected common denominator: the subtext of each contends with a journey. Some are more overt and easy to identify—the visual navigation of a corporation’s identity, for example, or the evolution of a career. Several are more abstract and expressive and recount a struggle to change one’s path in life or leave a partner in crime. Others steadfastly describe the trajectory and influence of patterns and trends, symbols and semiotics.

Whether these chosen books reveal the heartbreaking struggle of self-realization or celebrate the courage of a dramatic leap, one thing is clear: 2011 was a year of transition and change. While not quite a full-on metamorphosis, it has certainly made for some remarkable reading.

4 books
Margaret Roach

This remarkably talented editor turned gardener/blogger shares her heartfelt journey from Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia mogul to maven of all things horticultural in this honest and humorous memoir.

Malcolm Gladwell
Brian Rea Illustrator

This three-volume collection of Malcolm Gladwell’s most celebrated books (Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers) features breathtakingly beautiful illustrations by the remarkably talented Brian Rea along with an appropriately understated, dignified design by the Office of Paul Sahre.

Howard Schultz
With Joanne Gordon

Eight years after resigning as CEO of Starbucks, the organization had lost it way, its margin and its reason for being. Onward tells the story of Schultz’s triumphant return with humility, insight, and creative inspiration.

Thomas J. DeLong

Harvard Business School Professor Tom DeLong has written an insightful motivational primer based on extensive research and consulting work with high corporate achievers. He analyzes the forces that escalate anxiety in “need-for-achievement” personalities and presents new models for professionals who want to live a life based on courage as opposed to fear.

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