October 23, 2019

I’ve read some great books this year.  Here are two that I think are noteworthy.

Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men

By Caroline Criado Perez

My father was an ardent feminist. This was very rare for someone of his generation and I thought how lucky I was that I grew up oh-so-much-more-enlightened than everyone else when it came to understanding gender issues.

It was only upon reading Invisible Women that I realized that I didn’t have a clue.

This is my “you must read this” book for 2019.  I had no idea the degree to which the entire world is simply rigged for males when it comes to everything from snow plowing and bathrooms to seat belts and drug testing.

The book is eye-opening and enraging as it exposes how the status quo is swindling half the world’s citizen.

The first step to remedying this wrong is to be aware of it. Please, read this book.

How Charts Lie

By Alberto Cairo

I’m a big fan of Cairo’s work and recommend his two previous books, The Functional Art and The Truthful Art, to people who attend my workshops.

Those books are for people who need to create charts and information graphics.

With How Chart Lie, Cairo is targeting a much larger audience.


Cairo is concerned at how politicians, advertisers, and the media use charts to bamboozle the public. He desperately wants to stop the spread of misinformation and wants you, the reader, to know BS when you see it. As he writes “we all have the civic duty to avoid spreading charts and stories that may be misleading. We must contribute to a healthier informational environment.”

Cairo is an entertaining and engaging writer and a superb graphic designer. He’s also a very good teacher and those with any degree of curiosity will learn a great deal from him.

Please be assured that the book is not just about how to avoid being duped by charts. There are many uplifting examples where Cairo channels his inner Hans Rosling and shows how much better life can be when we truly see and understand the data.

I’m sorry our education system doesn’t require that people take civics classes anymore, and that this isn’t the primary reading material for those classes. We’d have better citizens.