A (growing) collection of my favorite reads related to writing, design, and living a creative life.


Writing


 

On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction by William Zinsser: Great advice, clearly written. A keeper.

On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King: An inside look into Stephen King’s writing journey, and all of his solid, actionable writing advice.

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life by Anne Lamott: When you’re blocked creatively, this is the book to pick up.

Dialogue: The Art of Verbal Action for the Page, Stage, and Screen by Robert McKee: Useful for when you’re trying to nail the dialogue on the page/screen/stage.

The Writing Life by Annie Dillard: A personal look into the author’s life of writing and all the emotions that come with it.

 

UX Writing


 

Conversational Design by Erika Hall: Less robot, more real. Write for real people, in a conversational manner.

Nicely Said: Writing for the Web with Style and Purpose by Nicole Fenton and Kate Kiefer Lee: Your readers needs are important. So are business goals. Write so that both are addressed.

Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud: A fun and interesting look into the world of comics and how they can be such a powerful, communicative medium.

Letting Go of the Words: Writing Web Content that Works by Janice Redish: Well-written content online is so important. Learn how to do it well.

Writing for Designers by Scott Kubie: Whether you’re a writer or a designer - or both - this is a helpful and quick read.

 

Design


 

Technically Wrong: Sexist Apps, Biased Algorithms, and Other Threats of Toxic Tech by Sara Wachter-Boettcher: Loaded with quality shocking examples of just wrong product design.

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces that Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull: Never stop thinking about how you can improve and take on the next challenge. Welcome feedback and solve problems.

The Invisible Gorilla: How Our Intuitions Deceive Us by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons: What you see isn’t always what it seems. It’s amazing how much our minds play tricks on us.

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape our Decisions by Dan Ariely: Humans make irrational decisions every day. Understanding what and why is useful for when we design products.

Don’t Make Me Think by Steve Krug: A necessary read for all designers. Practical tips that will directly impact your work.

 

Creative Living


 

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert: This book opened my perspective to creativity and inspiration, and I’m better off for it.

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles by Steven Pressfield: Don’t let resistance win. Fight through those blockers and keep going.

Yes, And: How Improvisation Reverses “No, But” Thinking and Improves Creativity and Collaboration by Kelly Leonard and Tom Yorton: Using improv exercises and a “Yes, And” mindset can change the way you work. Favorite takeaway: When it comes to brainstorming ideas and collaboration, “Bring a brick, not a cathedral.”