1. Book that changed my life.
Edward Tufte’s The Visual Display of Quantitative Information and his subsequent books forever altered the way I looked at presenting information. Since I do this for a living (I’ve been a technical writer and instructional designer for the last 20 years) Tufte’s books were both life- and career-altering.
2. Book I have read more than once.
It seems to be part of the natural rhythm of my life to read Joseph Mitchell’s Up In The Old Hotel at least once a year. Mitchell, one of the best writers ever to grace the pages of The New Yorker, profiles NYC eccentrics, has-beens and never-wozzers with the utmost respect and a fanatical and loving attention to detail.
3. Book I would want on a desert island.
The Encyclopedia of New York City, so I could stay focused on getting back to the non-desert island on which I live.
4. Book that made me laugh.
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly: A Memoir of Life in Death by Jean-Dominique Bauby.
6. Book I wish I had written.
Will Blythe’s To Hate Like This Is To Be Happy Forever, a scholarly and very funny dissection of the UNC-Duke basketball rivalry, but also a touching meditation on fathers and sons (among other things.)
7. Book I wish had never been written.
The Turner Diaries. (Not linking this one. If you want to read it, you can goddamned well locate a copy yourself.)
8. Book I am currently reading.
Tom Ricks’ Fiasco: The American Military Adventure In Iraq.
9. Book I’ve been meaning to read.
10. Tag five other people.
I will respectfully decline to name them in this forum, but have sent private notes encouraging five of my favorite bloggers to pony up.