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Books of 2012

Posted January 16, 2013

In 2012, my voracious appetite for reading and learning had reached new heights. Without setting any direct goals for reading, I began the year consuming book upon book upon book and kept a running record of what I had read so at year’s end I could look back on it all and see what I had discovered.

I inadvertently almost averaged a book a week and ended the year with 42. According to Siri, I have discovered the meaning of life.

The List

Number Book Author Finished Date
1 Mindfire Scott Berkun January 2nd
2 The Irrefutable Laws of Leadership John Maxwell January 4th
3 Smashing Design Book, Volume 1 Multiple Authors January 7
4 Ender’s Game Orson Scott Card January 8
5 HTML5 for Web Designers Jeremy Keith January 9
6 Card Sorting Donna Spencer January 25
7 Speaker for the Dead Orson Scott Card February 5
8 Mobile First Luke Wroblewski February 6
9 The Elements of Content Strategy Erin Kissane February 12
10 Web Form Design Luke Wroblewski February 23
11 Design is the Problem Nathan Shedroff March 8
12 Xenocide Orson Scott Card March 12
13 Storytelling for User Experience Whitney Quesenbery and Kevin Brooks March 19
14 Mental Models Indi Young April 10
15 JavaScript Patterns Stoyan Stefanov April 10
16 The Rails View John Athayde, Bruce Williams April 15
17 Prototyping Todd Zaki Warfel April 17
18 Designing for Emotion Aaron Walters April 19
19 The Little MongoDB Book Karl Seguin April 21
20 Rock, Paper, Scissors Len Fisher April 25
21 Search Analytics for your Site Louis Rosenfeld May 15
22 Happiest Baby on the Block Harvey Karp May 16
23 Smashing Book, Volume 2 Multiple Authors June 2
24 Emotional Design Donald Norman June 14
25 Remote Research Nate Bolt and Tony Tulathimutte June 16
26 Freedom, Money, Time and the Key to Creative Success Mark McGuiness June 16
27 In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day Mark Batterson June 21
28 Smashing Book 2.5 Multiple Authors June 24
29 A Tour of the Calculus David Berlinski July 13
30 The Starfish and the Spider Ori Brafman and Rod A. Beckstrom July 18
31 Rocket Surgery Made Easy Steve Krug July 19
32 Brainbox Christian Cantrell July 19
33 The Epoch Index Christian Cantrell July 28
34 A Whack on the Side of the Head Roger von Oech July 30
35 The Shape of Design Frank Chimero August 9
36 Next Christians Gabe Lyons August 9
37 Candide Voltaire August 19
38 The Optimism Bias Tali Sharot September 14
39 Sun Stand Still Steven Furtick September 25
40 Quantum, Einstein, Bohr, and the Great Debate About the Nature of Reality Manjit Kumar November 9
41 Babel No More Michael Erard December 3
42 Out of Our Minds Sir Ken Robinson December 19

I find it interesting to review what I gravitate towards after the fact to discover where my interests lie. Standout books for this year that I have added to my recommended reading list are as follows:

Favorite Books of 2012

The Ender’s Game series by Orson Scott Card.

I am a big fan of the science fiction variety. The world and characters Orson Scott Card created in the Enderverse will stay with me for a long time to come.

Rock, Paper, Scissors by Len Fisher

Happiest Baby on the Block by Harvey Karp

In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Batterson

The Starfish and the Spider by Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom

The Optimism Bias by Tali Sharot


These words brought to you by Dustan Kasten. A friendly, bearded, husband, father, and user interface engineer living in Charlotte, NC. Considers himself quite partial to React.js these days. Find @iamdustan on Twitter