Review of Design Sprint: A Practical Guidebook for Building Great Digital Products

Design Sprint: A Practical Guidebook for Building Great Digital Products by Richard Banfield My rating: 3 of 5 stars There’s a lot of evidence to suggest the book wasn’t even proofed before it was published. There are spelling mistakes all over it and even an entire paragraph repeated on pages 158 and 162.  It’s a […]

Punctuation matters: See how novels look without words

  It’s an author’s words, rather than their punctuation, that we think of as defining their style. But as Adam J. Calhoun found out this week, the periods, colons, semicolons, and commas a writer uses can have just as much impact on their output as their choice of language. In a Medium post, Calhoun stripped […]

How to draw… with charcoal

A great overview in The Guardian of how illustrator PJ Lynch works in charcoals. Made me want to give it a go. From smudging techniques to dramatic use of white chalk, Irish illustrator PJ Lynch has some useful tips on how to make great drawings using charcoal See the full tutorial here – it’s not exhaustive by any […]

In kids cartoons, 0% of princesses are engineers, 2.9% of characters are black, and Batman doesn’t recycle

News via The Guardian of a new Kickstarter campaign to tackle poor representation of girls/women in STEM subjects (or rather STEAM – they quite rightly include the arts where they belong, alongside the other disciplines). “In kids cartoons, 0% of princesses are engineers, 2.9% of characters are black, and Batman doesn’t recycle. And kids spend […]

Japanese bookshop stocks only one book at a time

A story from The Guardian on a bookstore in Japan that’s hit upon a novel approach to helping people choose what to read next. “This bookstore that sells only one book could also be described as ‘a bookstore that organises an exhibition derived from a single book’. For instance, when selling a book on flowers, […]

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman – fun, with footnotes

It’s twenty five years since Good Omens was published, as this Guardian article reminds us. I seem to have lost more copies of this than any other book, lending it out to friends and it’s probably my most recommended book. The BBC did a rather good radio adaptation of this last year which is worth […]

Waterstones book of the year is Coralie Bickford-Smith’s debut The Fox and the Star

“I’m all about the physical book,” said Bickford-Smith. “We haven’t released The Fox and the Star as an ebook because I don’t think it would work – it’s all about the paper. I wanted to create something which harked back to the beautiful visual thinking of William Morris and William Blake, so that people would […]

Old spines – why we love the smell of secondhand books

Paperback advertises itself as “sweet and lovely, with just a touch of the mustiness of aged paper”, which sounds nice, I guess, though I wonder how it would go down socially: “Wow, you smell lovely, sort of like the Encyclopedia Britannicas in my grandad’s cellar.” Which is not to say that people should always give […]

Obama is right: reading is what connects us to others – even a French puffin

This week Barack Obama told novelist Marilynne Robinson that reading had taught him how to be a citizen, which was to do “with being comfortable with the notion that the world is complicated and full of greys, but there’s still truth there to be found … And the notion that it’s possible to connect with […]