5 non-design books for designers

I read 19 books in 2019. Okay, technically I listened to 17 books and read two on my phone. I don’t remember the last time I actually picked up a physical book — am I pronouncing that right? BUH-kuh?

1. Emotional Agility by Susan David

TLDR: Funny and thoughtful, this book explains emotional intelligence in no uncertain terms which helped characterize thoughts and actions in ways I’d never comprehended before.

2. Range by David Epstein

TLDR: An encouraging resource for anyone whose career has experienced (foundational) transition, this is the most interesting and professionally validating book I’ve ever read.

3. So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport

TLDR: This book was the first to point out to me that passion doesn’t exist without first developing talent, which helped me stop worrying about how I felt at work and start focusing on what I’m working towards.

4. Essentialsim by Greg McKeown

TLDR: This book helped me put labels on the priorities I value most and declutter the unnecessary responsibilities I’d committed to without feeling guilty.

5. Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss

TLDR: A former international hostage negotiator for the FBI gave me tips on how to negotiate, work with others and get the most out of every situation.

Honorable Mention

In no particular order: Deep Work by Cal Newport, Meaningful Work by Shawn Askinosie, No Hard Feelings by Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy, The Accidental Creative by Todd Henry, Born Standing Up by Steve Martin



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Titus Smith

Design Dad. Running things at The Hideout Design Company LLC. If I were a typeface it would be something heavyset.