The holiday season often brings both the need to secure thoughtful gifts and a well-deserved break. Here's my list of Apple-related books sure to please you or the voracious reader on your gift list.
Apple Confidential 2.0: The Definitive History of the World's Most Colorful Company, by Owen Linzmayer. Published by No Starch Press. ISBN: 1593270100. Paperback. $19.19 from Amazon.com.
Apple Confidential 2.0 was one of the first definitive corporate histories I read. The paperback is packed with timelines, black-and-white photographs, product images, and stories chronicling the company's creation, product development, and business challenges. The 2.0 edition, updated in 2004, is now over a decade old, but the book still collects a timeless and impressive compendium of the company's critical formative years.
Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products, by Leander Kahney. Published by Portfolio. ISBN: 159184617X. Hardcover or paperback, $19.54 or $13.58, respectively, from Amazon.com.
Most Apple fans are familiar with Jony Ive's design contributions, which earned him knighthood. Business users interested in style and design and any fans of Apple products will enjoy the book's study of one of the modern era's most important industrial design professionals.
Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson. Published by Simon & Schuster. ISBN: 1451648537. Hardcover or paperback, $21.80 or $12.51, respectively, from Amazon.com.
When the world is presented with such a dynamic and creative personality as Steve Jobs, Apple's legendary co-founder, numerous books are bound to be published profiling the individual's life. Certainly, the phenomenon is true for Steve Jobs. Isaacson's biography is a must read for business students and professionals and is sure to be enjoyed by anyone familiar with Apple products and interested in its leader's colorful, impactful life.
iWoz: Computer Geek to Cult Icon: How I Invented the Personal Computer, Co-Founded Apple, and Had Fun Doing It, by Steve Wozniak with Gina Smith. Published by W. W. Norton & Company. ISBN: 0393330435. Hardcover or paperback, $36.49 and $11.11, respectively, on Amazon.com.
Wozniak, the lovable Apple co-founder so lovingly embraced by geeks everywhere, deserves a well-crafted biography. iWoz is his book, which possesses a playful spirit and recounts Apple's formative years and critical product development in Wozniak's own words. (Note: Gina Smith has been a contributing writer for TechRepublic.)
Revolution in The Valley: The Insanely Great Story of How the Mac Was Made, by Andy Hertzfeld. Published by O'Reilly Media. Hardcover and paperback, $11.65 and $20.48, respectively, on Amazon.com.
A coffee table-class book, this hardcover is among my favorite business books. Hertzfeld was a co-creator of the Mac, so his book recounting the product's development boasts first-hand accuracy, as well as a generous helping of color photographs and inside stories. With a foreword written by Wozniak, anyone interested in the development and creation of one of the most important desktop computers in history (I drafted this article on a MacBook Air that can trace its lineage directly to the Macs studied within this book) can't go wrong with this selection.
ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation, by Jonathan Zufi, Forest McMullin, Lisa Clark, Steve Wozniak, and Jim Dalrymple. Published by Ridgewood Publishing, LLC. ISBN: 098858171X. Hardcover. $49.83 on Amazon.com.
ICONIC celebrates innovative design. The book packs high-quality photographs covering a wide range of Apple products in tribute to the firm's innovative computers, phones, music players, and tablets. When reviews include the words "stunning," "wonderful," and "amazing," which ICONIC does, you know you've found a book worthy of gifting or placing prominently within your home or office.
OS X El Capitan: The Missing Manual, by David Pogue. Published by O'Reilly Media. ISBN: 1491917954. Paperback. $20.29 from Amazon.com.
Often year-end is viewed as a time for goal setting and improving one's skills. Those interested in learning how to make the most of their Macs should consider a copy of the El Capitan Missing Manual. David Pogue, the former New York Times technology columnist, builds wonderful how-to books covering a wide range of topics that my consultancy regularly recommends to customers. The new El Capitan Missing Manual is sure to help new Mac users make the most of their new computer, while becoming more comfortable with the operating system and all its capabilities.
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Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president of Eckel Media Corp., a communications company specializing in public relations and technical authoring projects.