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The Gift of Know-How

Learn about style, drinks, books and food from some of our favorite aficionados


Steve Kroeter

Designers & Books


Kroeter is the founder and editor in chief of Designers & Books, a website that promotes books as a source of inspiration for creativity, innovation and invention.

A list of Steve Kroeter’s favorite books.


“A very interesting idea for how to store and display books,” says Kroeter of Sapien. “An extremely well-thought-out, very nice design.”

sapien bookcase (2003)

Designed by Bruno Rainaldi




  • The Decorative Designs of Frank Lloyd Wright by David A. Hanks

  • Frank Lloyd Wright in His Renderings: 1887–1959 edited by Yukio Futagawa, text by Bruce Brooks Pfeiffer

  • The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu

  • The Tale of Genji: Legends and Paintings by Miyeko Murase

  • Edie: An American Biography by Jean Stein edited with George Plimpton

  • Learning to Look: A Handbook for the Visual Arts by Joshua C. Taylor

  • The People Shall Judge: Readings in the Formation of American Policy by the Staff, Social Sciences 1, the College of The University of Chicago

  • Writers at Work: The Paris Review Interviews, First Series edited and with an introduction by Malcolm Cowley

    (This edition is out of print but worth looking for at your local used bookstore. You can also pick up the rereleased four-volume series, The Paris Review Interviews, at theparisreview.org.)

  • Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life by George Eliot

  • The Art of Design Management: Design in American Business edited by Thomas F. Schutte

  • Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl

  • On the Road by Jack Kerouac

  • South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami (and all other Murakami novels)

  • The Razor's Edge by W. Somerset Maugham

  • The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe

  • Visual Explanations by Edward R. Tufte

  • The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward R. Tufte

  • Beautiful Evidence by Edward R. Tufte

  • The New York Times Atlas of the World

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