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Back to School Reading List
Compiled by Hank Richardson

As eclectic as his personality and as vivid as the bookshelves in his office – and by no means limited to students – Hank Richardson, President of Portfolio Center in Atlanta, GA shares with us a comprehensive and varied reading list. Enjoy.



book Samuel Johnson Is Indignant: Stories Lydia Davis

book

book The Clock of The Long Now Stewart Brand

book

book Cradle to Cradle William Mcdonough and Michael Braungart

book

book Understanding Media Marshall Mcluhan

book

book The Gutenberg Galaxy Marshall Mcluhan

book

book Unbound Marshall Mcluhan

book

book False Flat: Why Dutch Design Is So Good Aaron Betsky and Adam Euwens

book

book Built to Last James Collins and Jerry Porras

book

book Mad Ave Jackie Meyer

book

book Agape Agape William Gaddis

book

book Finnegan’s Wake James Joyce

book

book Orbiting The Giant Hairball Gordon Mackenzie

book

book Slaughterhouse Five Kurt Vonnegut

book

book The Universe in a Nutshell Stephen Hawking

book

book I Send You This Cadmium Red John Berger and John Christie

book

book Design Language Tim McCreight

book

book The World Is Flat Thomas Friedman

book

book A Whole New Mind: Moving From The Information Age to The Conceptual Age Daniel Pink

book

book The Rise of The Creative Class Richard Florida

book

book Atlas Shrugged Ayn Rand

book

book Information Anxiety 2 Richard Saul Wurman, David Sume, Loring Leifer

book

book Letters to a Young Poet Rainer Maria Rilke

book

book The Future of Ideas Lawrence Lessig

book

book Best Words, Best Order Stephen Dobyns

book

book Grid Systems in Graphic Design Josef Muller-brockmann

book

book Delights and Shadows Ted Kooser

book

book Man Ray Photographs Jean-hubert Martin and Man Ray

book

book Design Form and Chaos Paul Rand

book

book From Lascaux to Brooklyn Paul Rand

book

book A Designer’s Art Paul Rand

book

book Emotional Branding Marc Gobe

book

book Citizen Brand Marc Gobe

book

book Circle of Innovation Tom Peters

book

book Art of Modern Rock: The Poster Explosion Paul Grushkin and Dennis King

book

book Silence John Cage

  book The Elements of Style William Strunk Jr. and E.b. White

book

book Alice in Wonderland Lewis Carroll

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book Minimal Graphics: The Powerful New Look of Graphic Design Catharine Fishel

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book Becoming a Graphic Designer: a Guide to Careers in Design Steven Heller and Teresa Fernandes

book

book Hey Whipple, Squeeze This:A Guide to Creating Great Ads Luke Sullivan

book

book The Geometry of Design Kimberly Elam

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book The Education of a Typographer Steven Heller

book

book The Complete Manual of Typography: a Guide to Setting Perfect Type James Felici

book

book Rural Studio: Samuel Mockbee and An Architecture of Decency Andrea Oppenheimer and Timothy Hursley

book

book Visual Explanations: Images, Quantities, Evidence, and Narrative Edward R. Tufte

book

book The Visual Display of Quantitative Information Edward R. Tufte

book

book The Tipping Point Malcolm Gladwell

book

book Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking Malcolm Gladwell

book

book The Power of Myth Joseph Campbell

book

book Adventures of a Bystander Peter F. Drucker Foundation for Nonprofit Management

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book Genius: a Mosaic of One Hundred Exemplary Creative Minds Harold Bloom

book

book Leg Donna Karan

book

book The Complete Stories Flannery O’Connor

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book Bird By Bird: Some Instructions On Writing and Life Anne Lamott

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book Writing Down The Bones: Freeing The Writer Within Natalie Goldberg

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book The Poet’s Companion: a Guide to The Pleasures of Writing Poetry Kim Addonizio and Dorianne Laux

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book Philip Johnson: The Architect in His Own Words Hilary Lewis and John O’connor

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book Sheila Metzner: Form and Fashion Ralph Lauren and M. Raven Metzner

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book Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future Daniel Pink

book

book Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid Douglas R. Hofstadte

book

book Defying Gravity: The Making of Newton Doug Menuez & Markos Kounalakis

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book Digital Dreams: The Work of The Sony Design Center Paul Kunkel

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book Fast Company

book

book Journal of The American Medical Association

book

book Mcsweeney’s

book

book New York Times

book

book Financial Times

book

book The Economist

book

book The Wallstreet Journal

Maintained through our ADV @ UnderConsideration Program
ENTRY DETAILS
ARCHIVE ID 2779 FILED UNDER Miscellaneous
PUBLISHED ON Sep.14.2006 BY Armin
WITH COMMENTS
Comments
Dave Werner’s comment is:

Nice list...several familiar books there that I "borrowed" during the Portfolio Center days. Just finished the second of Gladwell's books on the 3 train last week. Really enjoyed both of them, especially the Paul Revere story in The Tipping Point and the car salesman and New Coke stories in Blink.

On Sep.14.2006 at 10:05 AM
JonSel’s comment is:

Sheesh Hank. That's fine for today, but what am I going to read tomorrow??

On Sep.14.2006 at 10:08 AM
Lorenzo’s comment is:

JAMA? I tried to read one of their articles some time ago. Rather than reading it, it turned out to be more of a flip-through-the-pages-rather-quickly journal.

Nice covers though.

On Sep.14.2006 at 04:30 PM
Su’s comment is:

Atlas Shrugged and Finnegans Wake?
When's school start again?

(Oddly enough, I have been dipping into the Wake lately, with the help of an unabridged audiobook[who knew?] that has revealed it helps greatly if you imagine reading the whole thing in a thick Irish accent.)

On Sep.14.2006 at 05:17 PM
Pesky Illustrator’s comment is:

Anyone who can add Reiner Maria Rilke's "Letters to a Young Poet" to a book list for designers deserves a bottle of virtual champagne! Very astute writing for those that want to have Soul with their Style. Thanks...

On Sep.15.2006 at 08:43 AM
Hollis’s comment is:

This is awesome. I've only seen a variation of this in a fugly email format but the thumbnails really breathe some life into this list!

Hank also likes James Joyce's "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" he would beat me if he knew I started it and didn't finish it ... but I will one day.

** Love Campbell's "The Power of Myth"

On Sep.15.2006 at 11:35 AM
Katie’s comment is:

Oh dang how I miss having access to that marvelous library. Many thanks to Hank for infusing our education with so many gorgeous WORDS. It added a much needed depth and meaning to what we were doing.

On Sep.15.2006 at 01:05 PM
Jenny’s comment is:

Great to see some old friends (like Rilke); and I'm inspired to take some time and find a few new ones. Thanks!

On Sep.15.2006 at 07:48 PM
tjf’s comment is:

i can't be the only one who looked at the list, then went back and decided which covers i liked the best, can i?

(just for the record, it was false flat)

On Sep.15.2006 at 10:23 PM
Gunnar Swanson’s comment is:

Anyone who can add Reiner Maria Rilke's "Letters to a Young Poet" to a book list for designers. . .

It’s been a while (25+ years) but I didn’t care much for it. I did, however, find the following paragraph worth the time of reading the book:

Let us agree on this matter. The lid of a tin, of a sound tin, whose edges are no more dented than its own—such a lid can have no other desire than to be upon the tin; this would be the utmost it could imagine for itself, an unsurpassable satisfaction, the fulfillment of all of its desires. Indeed, is there not something ideal in reposing evenly against the small projecting rim, after being patiently and softly turned to fit it, and feeling its penetrating edge within you, elastic, and just as sharp as your own edge is when you lie alone? But, alas, how few lids there are that can appreciate this! Here it is very evident what confusion has been wrought among things by their association with people. For human beings—if it can be permitted to compare them just in passing with such tin lids—fit their occupations most badly and with no good grace. Partly because in their haste they have not found the right ones, partly because they have been placed upon them awry and in anger, partly because the corresponding edges have been distorted, each in a different way. Let us be honest: their chief thought is, as soon as they get a chance, to jump down and roll around and make a tinny noise. Whence, otherwise, come all these so-called amusements and the noise they cause?

On Sep.16.2006 at 12:57 PM
Kevin M. Scarbrough’s comment is:

Every time I read (let us be honest, attempt to read) one of Stephen Hawking's books, I find myself staring up at the sky, trying to comprehend what I've just read, muttering, "Holy crap."

I can't make it through the books easily, I have to re-read each passage several times and frankly only then have the vaguest notion of what I've read.

They do, however, infuse me with an incredible curiosity and a need to know. I like being curious, it leads to interesting adventures.

On Sep.16.2006 at 02:11 PM
Gunnar Swanson’s comment is:

Kevin,

This is a good time for audio books. Hawking’s writing is easier to listen to than to read. (Don’t worry. His aren’t usually the “read by the author” variety.)

On Sep.16.2006 at 06:26 PM
Michael Ebert’s comment is:

Please, please, please, let's make this a regular feature on Speak Up. And let's have the "subject" pen a quick 1-sentence write-up of each book. Maybe we should add music/movies, too?

Everyone loves these kinds of lists; you get tips about unfamiliar materials and different takes on familiar works.

Who's with me?

On Sep.16.2006 at 07:15 PM
Tselentis’s comment is:

Yum. Those are certainly some tasty books there. Makes me want to curl up with a cup of coffee and bury my nose in type.

On Sep.16.2006 at 10:22 PM
Armin’s comment is:

Jason, no matter how much we would want to, men do not curl up with cups of coffee. I'm sure it's written here somewhere.

On Sep.17.2006 at 08:52 AM
KevinHopp’s comment is:

Miller Lite has to be one of the weakest beers on the planet. It tastes like stale water. But the campaign is a prime example of how celebratory we are in being dumb-dumb Americans. Who ever knew poor taste could be sold so poignantly?

(dumb-dumb American is taken from my Anthro 101 Prof on the first day of college 1993)

Please, please, please, let's make this a regular feature on Speak Up. And let's have the "subject" pen a quick 1-sentence write-up of each book. Maybe we should add music/movies, too?

I think that's a great idea namely because graphic design is interdisciplinary - one of the main reasons I became a designer.

On Sep.17.2006 at 05:04 PM
Jason Puckett’s comment is:

Oh Hank, I forgot to mention "The Phantom Tollbooth!" Only the greatest book on creativity and the imagination on the planet. For everyone needing a quick boost, this is it. I can't wait to check out "The Power of Myth", and I will miss THE library when I'm gone.

On Sep.17.2006 at 05:38 PM
Valentina’s comment is:

thanks for the list...

i might add one of my latest favorites:
Christopher Alexander's "Notes on the synthesis of form"

happy reading... the fall is the best time of the year to get lost in your favorite book,

valentina

On Sep.18.2006 at 12:47 AM
Valentina’s comment is:

thanks for the list...

i might add one of my latest favorites:
Christopher Alexander's "Notes on the synthesis of form"

happy reading... the fall is the best time of the year to get lost in your favorite book,

valentina

On Sep.18.2006 at 12:47 AM
Rob’s comment is:

Great list, glad to see Daniel Pink on the list. Truly enjoyed reading "A Whole New Mind." Friedman's tome on the state of the world is 500+ pages that shouldn't be missed by any one working in the 'digital' world.

On Sep.18.2006 at 12:42 PM
Mary Campbell’s comment is:

My favorites:
A Whole New Mind
The Power of Myth
anything by Marshall McLuhan
From Lascaux to Brooklyn

and one that I believe every HUMAN BEING should read:
Man's Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl.

Hank's library is amazing and his philosophy about design is a constant source of inspiration...that he continues to push students to ASK QUESTIONS, to consider the possibilities, to *wonder*...truly makes you realize that good design, compelling design, smart design comes from those of us that have a curiosity and desire to figure out what LIFE is about...what the nature of passion is...all of those fabulous, meaty questions that keep you up at night.

On Sep.18.2006 at 11:06 PM
Mary Campbell’s comment is:

My favorites:
A Whole New Mind
The Power of Myth
anything by Marshall McLuhan
From Lascaux to Brooklyn

and one that I believe every HUMAN BEING should read:
Man's Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl.

Hank's library is amazing and his philosophy about design is a constant source of inspiration...that he continues to push students to ASK QUESTIONS, to consider the possibilities, to *wonder*...truly makes you realize that good design, compelling design, smart design comes from those of us that have a curiosity and desire to figure out what LIFE is about...what the nature of passion is...all of those fabulous, meaty questions that keep you up at night.

On Sep.18.2006 at 11:06 PM
Tania’s comment is:

Kevin S summed up exactly how I feel about reading Hawking's books! I want to understand it all so desperately...

On Sep.19.2006 at 03:05 PM
JOE MORAN’s comment is:

Wall Street Journal is MUST read material. Get it -- read it! It's addictive.

If you're not reading WSJ, you're not watching America. Almost like not watching TV. You're ignoring "YOU’RE audience."

We need to stay in touch with our audience if we're to be credible and relevant. (Not everyone in the U.S. has Internet, either -- GASP!).

Don't ignore the elephant in the room for your personal beliefs, either. The writers on art, finance and technology for WSJ are *THE BEST* writers in America.

Very influential, too. The No. 2 paper in the U.S. (subscription wise) behind USA Today. according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

And last time I checked, people still read newspapers (DOUBLE GASP!) more than they access the Internet. Something about income levels and minimum wage. ( Not supported by WSJ editorials. )

You'll learn from WSJ. Learn as much as you can. If you're not learning you're dying.

And along those lines: If it's not one thing, it's your mother.

'Nuff said.

Respectfully,

On Sep.19.2006 at 10:20 PM
Greg Meyers’s comment is:

I used two pieces from Rainer Maria Rilke in my wedding ceremony that I wrote for my wife and I. People I barely knew or that had never heard of Rilke were happily crying. And 6 months later I dragged my wife to Atlanta and Portfolio Center. We still read through his work when I have a little down time between quarters, it keeps us inspired.

Thank you for the comprehensive and ecclectic book list Hank!

On Sep.20.2006 at 10:50 AM
Mike Kelly’s comment is:

I give serious props to anyone who can muddle through Finnegan's Wake. My Joyce seminar professor in college (brilliant guy named Austin Briggs who was also old friends with John Updike) regarded it as the most evolved piece of literature ever printed as the other members of my class struggled to understand his appreciation for it...the guy was a human non sequitur. Long story short, I definitely wrote better papers on Ulysses and Portrait of the Artist.

I think I'm gonna pick up that Grid Systems book.

On Sep.20.2006 at 11:14 AM
aizan’s comment is:

i keep hearing that friedman is clueless. not sure i'd spend money on that book!

On Oct.09.2006 at 12:10 AM
Mark Notermann’s comment is:

Aizan,

Thanks for sharing that second-hand opinion. You brought my attention to a book that I missed in the first scan of the article. It looks intriguing.

Anything specific you care to share?

On Oct.09.2006 at 03:00 AM