What I Read in 2011


A new year has begun. That means that it’s once again time to take a look back at what books I read over the past year. Unfortunately, it appears I’m trending entirely in the wrong direction. While I managed to read 38 books in 2009 and 33 in 2010, I only made it through 29 this past year. Hopefully I can reverse that trend in 2012.

One interesting trend—at least to me—is that I returned to reading a lot more web related books (10!) this year. This is in no small part related to the A Book Apart series. If they keep churning out quality books like this, that count is likely to stay very high.

As always, if the book made this list, then I enjoyed it on some level. There are far too many good books out there to suffer through one that doesn’t interest me. If I’m not enjoying it I set it aside.

If you’re looking for specific recommendations, “The Invisible Man” (which I had read before and will read again) and “The Demolished Man” top my (short) list of fiction. “Obliquity”, “Marshall McLuhan: You Know Nothing of My Work!” and “The Death and Life of the Great American School System” are at the top for non-fiction (excluding the web-related ones).

  1. Hardboiled Web Design by Andy Clarke

  2. 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke

  3. Linchpin by Seth Godin

  4. Pull by David Siegel

  5. The Death and Life of the Great American School System by Diane Ravitch

  6. Confessions of a Public Speaker by Scott Berkun

  7. Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge

  8. The Demolished Man by Alfred Bester

  9. Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson

  10. HTML5 for Web Designers by Jeremy Keith

  11. Obliquity by John Kay

  12. Responsive Web Design by Ethan Marcotte (See my review)

  13. Adaptive Web Design by Aaron Gustafson

  14. CSS3 for Web Designers by Dan Cederholm

  15. The Elements of Content Strategy by Erin Kissane

  16. Presentation Zen by Garr Reynolds

  17. The Invisible Man by HG Wells

  18. The Filter Bubble by Eli Parson

  19. Big Deal by Robert Hoekman Jr.

  20. Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh

  21. The Information by James Gleick

  22. Mobile First by Luke Wroblewski (See my review)

  23. Designing for Emotion by Aaron Walter

  24. Content Strategy for the Web by Kristina Halverson

  25. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

  26. Marshall McLuhan: You Know Nothing of My Work! by Douglas Coupland

  27. Mindfire by Scott Berkun

  28. Simple and Usable by Giles Colborne

  29. Loose by Martin Thomas