By far the best book about living as a writer I’ve ever read. I hate that the title and the cover make it appear more like a birdwatching guide, but maybe someday we’ll get lucky and get a new edition.
Defensive Design for the Web – 37Signals
This is a really excellent strategy book but offers no details on how to actually accomplish the recommended stuff. It’s more timeless this way but also less useful. I still recommend it, since most of the tricks are really easy to implement.
Web Design on a Shoestring – Carrie Bickner
I was slightly disappointed in this; turns out I’ve been doing shoestring design all along. I don’t like some of the recommendations here, like saving your clients money by charging them a small fee to host their site on your account. Why bother, when you can have the fabulous TextDrive, among others, for $5/month? The rest of the hosting discussion was good, as was the stuff on planning the site and avoiding scope creep was good (although that’s covered better in Web ReDesign). All in all, not bad as a best practices roundup, but not great either.
The Unusually Useful Web Book – June Cohen
This one actually lives up to its title. It’s aimed at ecommerce developers, and I suspect a good deal of it was written during the boom, but once you get past that bias it’s fantastic. The book design is awful though, to the point where some pages become hard to read because the designer was so hell-bent on getting all the little chunks into one page, or at most a two-page spread. Argh, argh, argh. This is a great book; it’s just kind of hard to read.
Web Standards Solutions – Dan Cederholm
Love it. This is a fabulous how-to on using standards in everyday design situations for people who’ve already been sold on the concept by Designing With Web Standards.
The Non-Designer’s Design Book – Robin Williams
Love it. Recommending it to everyone who hasn’t had formal design training.
Seven Seasons of Buffy – Glenn Yeffeth
I haven’t quite finished this one, but it’s great brain candy, especially Laura Resnick’s piece.