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The Best American Infographics 2013 Paperback – October 8, 2013


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Product Details

  • Series: Best American
  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books (October 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0547973373
  • ISBN-13: 978-0547973371
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.5 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,149 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Not only is it a thing of beauty it’s also a good read, with thoughtful explanations of each winning graphic and an entertaining forward by David Byrne."
Nature

About the Author

Series editor GARETH COOK is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, a contributor to the New York Times Magazine, and the editor of "Mind Matters," Scientific American's neuroscience blog. He helped invent the Boston Globe’s Sunday Ideas section and served as its editor from 2007 to 2011. His work has also appeared in NewYorker.comWiredScientific American, and The Best American Science and Nature Writing


DAVID BYRNE is a renowned artist, the force behind the Talking Heads and creator of the highly regarded record label Luaka Bop. He is a photographer, film director, and author.


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Customer Reviews

The graphics are superb, the writing very well done as well.
aardvark
It's inspirational and a great tool for communicators and graphic designers alike to learn more compelling ways to convey information.
Jeff
His choice for the star of the book was spectacular and informative.
Carri Craver

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Helen Esdaile on November 2, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this book and would rate it higher if only I could see the graphics without a magnifying glass. A larger book (physical size) would have made this book incredible.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 28, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found the actual content of the book both interesting and entertaining. I'm not an aficionado though,
so I can't speak to how well-known the chosen infographics might be to someone with more than a passing
interest in the subject.

I was however more than a little annoyed at the poor print setting. The binding of the book prevents it from
being opened wide enough to fully see the infographics that cross the center line. This meant that it was
difficult to impossible to read text that happened to cross over the center (is it called the gutter?).
I'd say this affected about 30% of the infographics and was annoying enough that I found myself wondering
how this kind of oversight could happen.

Sadly, I bought the physical version because the reviews on the kindle version say that the images are too
small to enjoy, so I can't even suggest that alternative.

When are publishers going to solve the problem of formatting image-heavy books for tablets and e-ink devices?
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By KATE on November 10, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Content is laid out over the center crease. Bad layout of images and book is already fall apart to a degree.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Caraleisa VINE VOICE on November 21, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is a book of exceptional infographics. It would be a whole lot better if they were large enough to read. The book is PURELY to show the superb design and if you want it only for that reason, you'll give this a full five stars. It truly is a collection of extremely well designed, very well thought out informational graphics.

However, if, like me, you actually wanted to READ all the graphics, you will be somewhat disappointed. Some simply are too small to read. Some don't even have the whole graphic there. The publisher doesn't try and sell the book as presenting the info, just the design, but ... I really wanted to read the charts fully and I assumed I would be able to do so. My mistake, I guess.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Carri Craver on October 8, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This lovely book was on the front porch as I returned home last night. It was 3 hours before I put it down.

There are some very well done data visualizations here. One in particular on a better food label was great on showing how to look at the information from a completely different perspective. And covers a broader range of data in a more succinct space. Loved it.

While at times the content of some specific data visualizations wasn't relevant to me, it didn't matter. The author did a great job of choosing such a diverse group of infographics to show. I was always drawn in to learn something about how I can better present things in my projects as a designer.

His choice for the star of the book was spectacular and informative. This book will be one that remains within reach when I struggling and need a jumping off point to decide how I will present data. Let's hope our future looks much more like this book and much less like an excel bar chart.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By GPeter on October 9, 2013
Format: Paperback
What an amazing book! The variety and quality of the graphics in this collection is incredible. From data rich displays of technical information to whimsical social commentaries this book covers the spectrum of how ideas and information can be communicated visually. As a graphic designer this book will be an invaluable resource.
Oh, and the layout and design of the book are fantastic too.
Well done.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Rapaport on November 25, 2013
Format: Paperback
As a result of carpooling issues, I bought my 11-year-old The Best American Infographics 2013. Though not big on sitting still, she was inadvertently engaged by infographics like “America’s Most Popular Birthdays,” “Short Guys Can Dunk,” and “Cat Power” (a 3D image that analyzes how every part of a cheetah’s body contributes to its speed). She asked to bring it to school the next day. For the rest of the week, she was swarmed by middle schoolers similarly drawn in by the visually accessible and thought-provoking analysis of topics ranging from gun ownership (country-by-country), to gay rights (state-by-state), to the percentage of women in our national workforce. Our Head of School said he’d like to see the book used in math, science and ethics classes. So would I!
Back at home, some of our less academic favorite infographics detail which fruits and vegetables are in season, offer guidance regarding “Feelings That Cannot Be Expressed in English,” and answer the eternal question, “Should I Check Email?” I’m also thinking this book has the answer to another eternal question: “What should I get my nieces and nephews for the holidays?”
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Fred Prinz on December 12, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I liked this book very much as I am a visual person and anytime I can look at a picture instead of reading a text I will jump at the opportunity. I give the book four stars for the overall beauty of the designs and also for the very informative Forward by Gareth Cook and Introduction by David Byrne. Please read both the Forward and Introduction as they are very illuminating.The designs range from the powerfully simple (Gun Ownership Rates by Country – pp. 86-89) to the very complex (Political Moneyball – pp. 144-145) and are divided into three sections: You, Us, and The Material World. There is also a separate section for the Top 10 Interactive Graphics (selected by Eric Rodenbeck).

I reserve giving the fifth star because some of the infographics are reduced to such a small size as to be virtually unreadable. Even accounting for the massive size of Influence: A Brief History (pp. 54-59) by extending it into a fold-out page, the size of the type remains extremely small. As a graphic, it’s beautiful; as information, it’s useless.

I also reduced my rating to four stars because the interactive section never defines that term although Mr.Rodenbeck hints at a definition by referring to the ability to “pan and zoom.” What makes a graphic interactive? I take it to mean that these infographics must be viewed online in order to appreciate the way the variables interact with each other over time (pan and zoom?), but again, that is just my guess. Being what it is, a static medium with a limited physical dimension, the book freezes the motion of the graphics and sometimes shrinks them to near illegibility (no zooming). To the book’s credit, a link is provided to the publisher’s website where these graphics may be seen in their interactive form.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews


More About the Author

Gareth Cook is a Pulitzer Prize-winning magazine journalist, a contributor to NewYorker.com, and the editor of a forthcoming book series, The Best American Infographics. His work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, NewYorker.com, Wired, Scientific American, the Washington Monthly, the Boston Globe Ideas section and elsewhere. He is also editor of Scientific American's Mind Matters neuroscience blog.

Gareth began his career in Washington, DC with writing and editing jobs at The Washington Monthly, Foreign Policy, and U.S. News & World Report. In 1996 he moved to Boston to become the news editor of The Boston Phoenix and then, in 1999, joined the Boston Globe. He was one of the founders of the Globe's Sunday Ideas section and then served as its editor from 2007 to 2011. He was the Globe's science reporter for seven years, and also worked as an editor on the city desk.

In 2005, he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for "explaining, with clarity and humanity, the complex scientific and ethical dimensions of stem cell research." In 2005, he was also the winner of a National Academies Communications Award and the Wood's Hole Ocean Science Journalism Award. His writing has appeared in Best American Science and Nature Writing 2008, The Human Face of Big Data, and A Field Guide for Science Writers.

Gareth graduated from Brown University with degrees in International Relations and Mathematical Physics. He lives in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts with his wife, Amanda, and their two boys.
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