Presentations can be dreadful. Badly thought-out slides, boring structure, poorly delivered. I once told a colleague after a practice talk to please shoot me before she’d ever make me sit through such a talk again (to be fair, she had called the talk boring herself before she even began). [Read more...] about Review: Jon Schwabish, Better Presentations
I review mostly visualization-related books, but also some others that I find relevant. That includes books about psychology, writing, communication, etc.
Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec have turned their Dear Data project into a book. It's a great example of the kind of creative work you can do around visualization without computers, entirely by hand. What started with a simple idea turned into an amazing project. [Read more...] about Review: Lupi, Posavec, Dear Data
Bad writing and the inability to explain in terms normal people can understand are the hallmarks of academic writing. Here are two books every academic should read and take to heart to be able to recognize bad prose and learn how to fix it. [Read more…] about Review: Munroe’s Thing Explainer and Pinker’s Sense of Style
Can you write an entire book about a single chart? Even if that chart is supposedly the best one ever? Menno-Jan Kraak’s new book, Mapping Time: Illustrated by Minard’s Map of Napoleon’s Russian Campaign of 1812, discusses the historical context of Minard’s work, his, life, and walks through a number of design exercises to show the same or similar data in different ways. [Read more…] about Review: Kraak, Mapping Time
Trees. They’re everywhere. And not just in the physical world, but in data visualization and knowledge representation as well. This is not a new phenomenon, it goes back thousands of years. Manuel Lima’s new book, The Book of Trees, gives an overview. [Read more…] about Review: Manuel Lima, The Book of Trees
When I’m asked for a good book about visualization, I usually try to change the subject. There is no book I really love, they all have their issues. But thanks to Isabel Meirelles, I can now give a straight answer: Design for Information.
Inattentional and change blindness are two fascinating phenomena that more people should be aware of. The Invisible Gorilla describes them as well as some other interesting and surprising psychological research. [Read more…] about Review: Chabris, Simons, The Invisible Gorilla
I recently came across this book that claims to collect the 100 most important diagrams in the history of mankind. It’s a good collection, with many wonderful examples, though it has its flaws. [Read more…] about Review: Scott Christianson, 100 Diagrams That Changed the World
When Alberto Cairo first told me about the book he was writing, called The Functional Art, he warned me that only a small part of it was going to be about visualization. I have no idea what he was talking about, the book I read was a visualization book from start to finish. It is one of the most interesting and insightful books on the topic I have read in a while. [Read more…] about Review: Alberto Cairo, The Functional Art
I was asked to write a review of two recent visualization books for Science: Nathan Yau’s Visualize This and Manuel Lima’s Visual Complexity. The piece appeared in the last issue of 2011, right before Christmas. Below is a link to the review and some additional comments on it and the two books. [Read more…] about My Review of Visualize This and Visual Complexity for Science Magazine