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Books readers are reading...

Fred Shokwer

Last month we ask readers to submit their favorite, or current training / learning book. Here are the two top entries, and both have great experience to share:

Decoding Design

R.L. is a design professional from Amarillo, TX, where the sun comes up early and goes down late! He uses a Mac and Adobe AI. He brings us up to date:

I'm currently chewing on Decoding Design. Not a quick read, but a thoughtful one. Explores the significance of each number 0 to 9 and its symbolic message. Simple to complex examples included to illustrate the use of each number. Has gotten me to slow down and look at the possibilities of using this approach for graphic design in general.

Yes, we like that one too, (Can you tell from our review?) and I'm so glad you're reading it! We also had a great time digging into your site "Tomato Graphics"

righting right

M.B.K. a design professional from York, PA, writes:

I would highly recommend the book, Woe Is I, by Patricia O'Connor. As a creative director, I find it to be an invaluable resource for those grammatical challenges that plague us (Does the period go inside or outside the quotation marks? Is it "they" or "them"? Why can't I start a sentence with "and"?). The best part is her style of writing that is clear, informative, and entertaining. Yes, graphics professionals SHOULD know a grammatical error when they see one, and this book easily tells us so!
      (I'm a Mac AND a PC, and my first software love has always been Illustrator!)

Great reference! I've promoted "Line by Line" for ages as the best for this -- however, it's long out of print. Ms. O'Conner's books make a wonderful replacement!
You can see some very nice work at M.B.K.'s website :

Great books by Patricia T. O'Conner

cover Woe Is I: The Grammarphobe's Guide to Better English in Plain English
Woe Is I gives lighthearted, witty instruction on the subject most of us dreaded in school--grammar. Discussion is brief and concise, and much more engaging than the grammar books you may remember. With chapter titles such as "Woe is I: Therapy for Pronoun Anxiety," "Your Truly: The Possessive and the Possessed," "Verbal Abuse: Words on the Endangered List," "Comma Sutra; The Joy of Punctuation," and "Death Sentence: Do Cliches Deserve to Die?," O'Conner proves that even grammar can make for entertaining reading.

cover Origins of the Specious: Myths and Misconceptions of the English Language
Do you cringe when a talking head pronounces 'niche' as NITCH? Do you get bent out of shape when your teenager begins a sentence with 'and,' or says 'octopuses' instead of 'octopi'? Do you think British spellings are more 'civilised' than the American versions? Would you bet the bank that 'jeep' got its start as a military term and 'SOS' as an acronym for 'Save Our Ship'? If you answered yes to any of those questions, you're myth-informed. Go stand in the corner–and read this book!

cover You Send Me: Getting It Right When You Write Online
Which came first, abominable writing or the computers on which that writing is wrought? Either way, say Patricia T. O'Conner and Stewart Kellerman in You Send Me, "much of what passes for writing in cyberspace is dreadful." Sending e-mail, joining chat rooms, and putting up Web sites is so easy that you might think the writing doesn't matter. Guess again. "When you write well, you connect," say the authors. "When you write badly, you don't." Some of You Send Me--lessons on grammar, punctuation, spelling, and confusing words--applies to all writing; the rest is tailored to online writing, particularly e-mailing.

cover Words Fail Me: What Everyone Who Writes Should Know about Writing
For beginning writers--those who want to write or need to write but find that the words get in the way. Those words may include misplaced modifiers, passive verbs, and split infinitives, among others. Students writing papers, employees preparing reports, and those who just want to be understood in print may benefit from this fun-to-use answer to Strunk and White.


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Thanks for reading...

Fred Showker
Editor / Publisher, DT&G Magazine

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