June 2024 books

Not sure if it's the heat which (finally) arrived or what but it's been a slow month for finishing books in June, particularly the latter half. I've started a few books this month so I have been reading but they'll creep over into the July round-up.

Beyond the Page, Quentin Blake

Like most people, I grew up being very familiar with Quentin Blake's illustrations, particularly his work with Roald Dahl. This book has been on my Amazon wishlist for a while, where it was likely to stay as it was only available as "used or new" and commanded a price tag of £60+ the last time I checked, so I was very happy to discover a copy of this at my local library.

It's a lovely book to flick through, absolutely filled with drawings to look at, with accompanying text by the man himself as he talks about the various projects covered. I would have liked a bit more on the process side of things, personally, as opposed to a blow-by-blow account of how, say, an exhibition was put together. That said, it's a good opportunity to hear the artist's thoughts in his own words and you get a sense of his overall outlook on his career.

Digital Minimalism, Cal Newport

This one you've probably already read about since I've written two posts off the back of this book, so I'll keep this one brief. It's done a lot to help shape my thoughts on the current state of social media and our relationship to it, articulating something that was bubbling under the surface but I just hadn't quite grasped yet and it's prompted me to start making some changes in my life and how I interact with technology now and in the future.

Silence, Josh Long

Following on from Digital Minimalism, I re-discovered this book in my eBook archive and felt it was a good thematic pairing. Digital Minimalism helps you break the spell of social media's addictive nature and Silence helps you look at ways to fill in those gaps. Towards the latter half of the book, the subject becomes a bit more focussed towards designers, which might alienate some readers, though there are elements of that part of the book which can be applied to other skills or disciplines.