Two Very Different Books, One Recommendation

Two books by two friends. I met Steve way, way back – he was in my first creative writing class. Steve, myself, and Dave McGimpsey were kind of like the three outliers in a class that was populated by the kind of earnest students dipping their pens into the philosophy de jour. I won’t say we circled our wagons and protected each other, but the three of us understood pretty early on that we had to stay true to our work and be proud of it. Steve and Dave have both gone on to some incredible successes. Steve is successful enough that he was asked to write his own guidebook for Montreal – a real insider’s guide to the city. Steve is a great bullshitter so he dispenses with guidebook bullshit right away. He also dispenses with the layers and layers of bullshit that accumulates in a complicated city like Montreal. If you can read French, I recommend the book highly.

Speaking of great bullshitters, Mike Monteiro probably has a desk full of medals for the amount of bullshit he has peddled – and sniffed out. Mike is a Twitter friend – we’ve only met once (at a conference in Minneapolis) but I know him well enough to know he’s a very smart guy and, as a web designer, has published a book that is much needed (though the fact that we still need something like this in this day and age says much about the unthinking speed of the entire internet business to date and, hopefully, also says something about The Age of Consolidation that seems to be taking place in the online world) and is perfect for designers, freelancers, anyone who hires them and anyone who runs a company that might need to hire them. No really. This isn’t a how to book for designers. This is a how to book about being a designer.

The best bullshitters are the ones who learn and pass along their knowledge. Now that I have a dog, and am reading about life as a dog (especially this book – just the chapter on smell is worth the price of admission) there’s a poop analogy in there, but let’s leave that out. These two books, completely different in content (and language!) spring from a very similar source. They don’t suffer fools gladly. (And that would go for Dave as well – would it ever!)


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