David Weeks

Product/Industrial Designer / United States / David Weeks Studio

David Weeks’s Book List

When asked to make a list of my favorite books, these are the titles that immediately came to mind. Once completed, I realized there wasn’t a single design book on the list.

I’ve found that whether it’s a minor character in The World According to Garp who has halitosis and is described as “dying from the inside out” or Sartre’s description of finding his hand on a doorknob in Nausea, the fleeting imagery created from reading a well-written sentence is an act of design in itself.

5 books
Martin Amis

Martin Amis’s prose and cynicism are perfectly matched in London Fields. A dark view of people and how they manipulate others for their own needs. It’s rare that I read a book where the sentences form effortlessly before my eyes, and end up where I’d never expect. “Darts, innit.”

Primo Levi
Translated from Italian by Raymond Rosenthal

This was required reading for the classes I taught at Parsons, in 1999–2004. The final chapter on carbon is so insightful and makes our relationship with the planet captivating. I think it makes a better case for reincarnation then any religious text I have ever read. To me, it made faith in science much more compelling and beautiful then any belief systems rooted in fables.

Vladimir Nabokov

If you’ve forgotten what adolescent passion and desire felt like, then this is a good reminder. The writing is impeccable and the story arc is a tragic reminder of how we lose our youthful passions as we accept the monotony of adult life.

Michael Ondaatje

If it’s possible to capture love in words I think this book is the closest I’ve experienced. The drifting passages feel so close to how one’s memories and stream of disassembled thoughts tie themselves together and inform how we see our life in the present.

Bobby Seale

Seale can be an uneven writer, but the tales of the Huey Newton and the formation of the Black Panthers are fantastic. My favorite is about Newton traveling around Berkeley, California, with a rifle in his car (which was legal in the 1960s, provided it was licensed and wasn’t loaded). Whenever the police pulled him over, he would respectfully get out of the car, pull out the rifle, and load it while he spoke calmly to the police.

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