Justin Halpern: I Suck at Girls

Halpern, if you don’t recognize the name, is that guy who parlayed a twitter feed about the stuff his dad says into a career/TV deal/etc.. I’m not a fan of the twitter; I tried it and found it a bit too much of a not-so-good thing. But it was sometimes amusing, and I was curiousContinue reading “Justin Halpern: I Suck at Girls”

Heather Donahue: Growgirl

When I heard of this book, it sounded like the real-life counterpart of Weeds: Donahue, an actress in career free-fall after a successful movie failed to result in a viable career, decides that raising pot sounds like a viable make-ends-meet option, and makes other highly questionable choices; some whacky and some racy stuff ensues. InContinue reading “Heather Donahue: Growgirl”

Jennifer Traig: Devil in the Details – Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood

Traig’s memoir of growing up beset by scrupulosity, a form of OCD manifesting as extremes of religious observance, was often very funny. This was a multiple-guffaw read for me. And beyond its entertainment value, it’s informative and sometimes insightful. I found its structure a little perplexing; it’s somewhere between a linear coming-of-age memoir and aContinue reading “Jennifer Traig: Devil in the Details – Scenes from an Obsessive Girlhood”

Daniel Radosh: Rapture Ready!

Rapture Ready!, an outsider’s tour of many facets of evangelical Christian culture was entertaining and informative, lucidly and sometimes even beautifully written. I already knew about the existence of the near-oxymoronic music genre Christian black metal and Left Behind novels, but I had no clue about Christian wrestling or superheroes like Bibleman. Depending on howContinue reading “Daniel Radosh: Rapture Ready!”

Tobias Moskowitz and L. Jon Wertheim: Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won

Ye gods, someone wrote a sports book for me. Except it’s not, quite, because a lot of it is not specifically about baseball. But there was more than enough baseball to keep me engaged throughout. Moskowitz and Wertheim apply scientific rigor to analyzing why perplexing issues like why teams and managers consistently make suboptimal decisions,Continue reading “Tobias Moskowitz and L. Jon Wertheim: Scorecasting: The Hidden Influences Behind How Sports Are Played and Games Are Won”

Lynn Thomas, Deborah Stanish (ed): Whedonistas! A Celebration of the Worlds of Joss Whedon by the Women Who Love Them

This collection of essays about Joss Whedon’s creations (through Dollhouse; it’s pre Cabin in the Woods/Avengers) includes contributions from writers whose work I already know (Jane Espenson, Emma Bull, Catherynne Valente…) some I didn’t, and some who aren’t writing professionals. It’s kind of all over the map: there’s some really insightful critical analysis, and there’sContinue reading “Lynn Thomas, Deborah Stanish (ed): Whedonistas! A Celebration of the Worlds of Joss Whedon by the Women Who Love Them”

Debbie Millman: Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits

Brand Thinking offers 22 short interviews with an astounding array of heavy hitters in branding, identity design, and related disciplines. It’s a fascinating and invigorating read. Millman coaxes the likes of Tom Peters and Karim Rashid into moments of almost shocking candor; Dori Tunstall and Alex Bogusky unflinchingly address issues of social and environmental responsibility;Continue reading “Debbie Millman: Brand Thinking and Other Noble Pursuits”

Erik Spiekermann, E.M. Ginger: Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works

As the name might suggest, Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works takes a breezy, irreverent approach to introducing typography to the lay reader. It does a good job of explaining the vocabulary of the field. It demonstrates how elements of of a typeface contribute to legibility in various contexts. And it introducesContinue reading “Erik Spiekermann, E.M. Ginger: Stop Stealing Sheep & Find Out How Type Works”

Sean Adams: Masters of Design – Logos and Identity

In this lavish, generously illustrated book, Sean Adams offers several prominent branding and identity consultants an opportunity to discuss their work and their approach to identity design. A few consistent themes emerge, most about managing client relationships, with “listen to your client,” and “make sure you’ve identified and are reaching the real decision makers,” perhapsContinue reading “Sean Adams: Masters of Design – Logos and Identity”

Anneloes van Gaalen: Never Use More Than Two Different Typefaces: And 50 Other Ridiculous Typography Rules (Ridiculous Design Rules)

I was intrigued by van Gaalen’s forthcoming Indie Brands: 30 Independent Brands That Inspire and Tell a Story, recently mentioned with other interesting sounding books on Brand New. I looked for other books by van Gaalen and turned up this, which, sadly, is less interesting than it sounded. It presents, as advertised, 51 rules ofContinue reading “Anneloes van Gaalen: Never Use More Than Two Different Typefaces: And 50 Other Ridiculous Typography Rules (Ridiculous Design Rules)”