Alberto Cairo’s new book, How Charts Lie, takes readers on a tour of how charts are used and misused, and teaches them how to not be misled. It’s a useful book for both makers and consumers of charts, in the news, business, and pretty much anywhere else.
I review mostly visualization-related books, but also some others that I find relevant. That includes books about psychology, writing, communication, etc.
Two books I’ve read recently make good points about stories that apply to data stories, without the books being about data: Shawn Callahan’s Putting Stories to Work and Jessica Abel’s Out On the Wire. [Read more...] about Review: Putting Stories to Work and Out On the Wire
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
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