Ken Carbone

Graphic Designer / United States / Carbone Smolan Agency

Ken Carbone’s Book List

Print is not dead in my life. I’m a certified book junkie. I have shelves of books still in their shrink-wrap and I need to attend the bibliophile’s equivalent of AA.

When I begin a new book I commonly make a reduced color copy of the cover to use as a bookmark. When I finish a book, I glue this into my journal and add notes, comments, and memorable passages as a way of reflecting on what I enjoyed about the book. (For two examples, see the journal entries for The World Without Us and Art & Fear in the related blog post.) I’ve been doing this for years and will occasionally look at a past journal entry, and read my notes. It’s like reading the book all over again.

There are hundreds of books I can recommend for this site but I suggest the following 11 titles dedicated to culture, art history, literature, and the natural world. These works offer insight into the wonders and intricacies of life—true fodder for inspiration and entertainment.

3 books
Edmund White

“A flâneur is a stroller, a loiterer, someone who ambles through a city without apparent purpose but is secretly attuned to the history of the place and in a covert search for adventure, aesthetic or erotic.” That’s White’s definition and I wonder how I can sign up for the job. If you have been to Paris, this book is like a sensorial guide that brings you back to the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and feeling of this great city. If you plan to visit Paris in your lifetime, buy this book first and discover places that are off the beaten path.

Edward O. Wilson

This is an insightful and articulate book by one of the foremost conservationists of our time. Wilson tells you about the wonderful planet that is currently under our stewardship, why it may not be wonderful for long, and what positive changes are underway to save our world. Wilson believes that the 21st century will be the century of the environment because soon we will have little choice but to be more environmentally responsible.

Alan Weisman

The World Without Us is a book I highly recommend. I think it is a profound work. It makes a convincing case that the planet is not in peril, it’s just waiting for us to go! It states that in a relatively short period of time after we’re gone—100,000 years or so—there will be very little or no trace that we ever existed. Maybe a fossil or two.

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