5 Books on Simplicity: Design, Technology, Business, Life

Painting by Jane Mount


When I moved to Silicon Valley, I donated all of my books to Designer Fund in San Francisco. It’s freeing to let go of the past. I’ve found that it makes things a lot simpler for yourself — and it forces you to figure out what truly matters. As I wrote in a book on simplicity now over a decade ago:

Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful. 

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Self-Renewal: I read this book at least twice a month. It helps re-center my thinking about work, life, and the challenging pursuit of change.

Self-Renewal: The Individual and the Innovative Society

I’ll Have What She’s Having: When you discover that all that you do is simply a copy of all that you see around you, it puts life in perspective. We copy to survive.

I’ll Have What She’s Having: Mapping Social Behavior

Biology Coloring Workbook: Understanding something is all about knowing how the parts come together as a whole. We fill in the pieces until we see the bigger picture.

Biology Coloring Workbook: An Easier and Better Way to Learn Biology

Mismatch: The topic of Inclusion is difficult to understand but vital as a means to live life to its fullest — in service to others around us.

Mismatch: How Inclusion Shapes Design

The Crossroads of Should and Must: Spending three years in Silicon Valley exposed me to a kind of optimism that is hard to explain. Elle’s book does it perfectly.

The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion

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—Trends in Technology, Business, Design

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