Obsessive Consumption Book

When I got home from work I was happy to find Kate Bingaman-Burt's book Obsessive Consumption on my doorstep.  I opened it to check out a few sketches, but ended up completely enthralled and reading it cover to cover.  The book is based on Kate's blog of the same name, where she keeps sketches of objects that she a has bought.  The purchases documented range from a hairclip for grandma ($5.95) (and one of my favorite purchases in the book) to a faux Eames Lounger ($50.00).  The purchase patterns themselves are very interesting as they span an number of years and life stages (student, marriage, dog, etc) which make you reminisce about your own levels of financial freedoms, or lack there of, over time.  The best part, to me, is the little notes that accompany a lot of the drawings.  A four colour click pen itself is not a very interesting purchase, but when accompanied by the fact that it was purchased to pay bills, it actually becomes very entertaining.  I adored the book, and the journey that it took me on.

Dear Gretchen

Gretchen Nash has been putting letters into a suitcase since she was a child.  She has written a book based on the 187 letters.  The book, Dear Gretchen,  not only features the letters and reflections about their senders, but more interestingly analyzes and graphs trends amongst the letters.  All of the graphs are visualized using crazy paper cut outs.  Some of the analyzed information is priceless, like animal mentions (top = cat), or name calling (top = freak).  It is a lovely little glimpse into the social life of a young girl.

Show Me How

I bought the book Show Me How - 500 Things You Should Know because I was looking for a good example of instructional graphics.  I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the book not only has inspirational illustrations, but also some very funny and useful content.  It has step by step instructions for a wide range of things from how to boil an egg to how to create a chain-mail bikini.  I can't wait to read and acquire new skills.

Read and Return


I was in the Dayton airport yesterday and I purchased a book at the Paradies Shop.  When I was paying for the book the cashier said to me, "Don't forget to return it when you're done".  At which point I must have given her a puzzled look because she proceeded to tell me about the store's Read and Return Policy.  Any book that you purchase from the store can be returned after you are done reading it (as long as you have the receipt and it is within 6 months of purchase) and they will give you back half the cost of the book.  Books that are returned in good condition are resold at half their price and books in poor condition are given to local charities.  Apparently they have been doing this since 2003.  Are their other bookstores that do this?

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Ad

Book 7 in the Harry Potter series isn't coming out until then end of July but it has already been at the top of Amazon's Bestsellers list for months due to pre-order sales backed by a release day delivery guarantee.  With record release day sales expected it is no wonder that all the booksellers are trying to get in on the action.  Check out this advertisement by Odyssey. (Found through Scary Ideas)

Post Secret


Post Secret is a website that displays people's secrets on 4"x6" cards.  Anyone can submit a secret as long as it is something that you have never told anyone and it fits on one side of a postcard (or at least mailable material).  New secrets are posted to the site every Sunday and then replaced the following week.

There is something really fascinating about reading other people's secrets.  They all seem so genuine.  I really like the idea of telling a secret anonymously.  It's like writing a message in a bottle and sending it out to sea... only we all get to read it.  Previous secrets have been turned into books.  Check them out on Amazon.

Head First HTML and CSS


I learned pretty much everything I need to know about the basics of HTML and CSS from this book over the weekend.  That's right, I made it through 650 pages of text and exercises over one weekend because that is how awesome this book is.  This book calls itself a "Brain-Friendly Guide to HTML and CSS" and that is a pretty good description.  It is written like an elementary school text book with clear explanations, examples and exercises that make it easy to take in and retain the information.

This was the best learning experience I've had from a book in a long time.  I highly recommend this book and apparently I'm not the only one.  Out of 107 customer reviews on Amazon it received an average rating of 5 out of 5 stars.  Worth every penny of the $27.00 I spent on it.