Design is a Job by Mike Monteiro
I'm actually reading this for the third time along with some students in one of my courses. I can't say enough good things about this book. If you do any type of work in a field that involves client services you should read it. While Mike focuses on his experiences as a designer it's easy to apply his advice to any other small business or individual contracting situation. Read it. Seriously, it will change your life.
Unknown Pleasures: Inside Joy Division by Peter Hook
I love Joy Division. I love New Order. I learned to play bass by playing along to their songs. Peter Hook is a huge musical influence on me (just wait for the Glider Excel dance EP in the near future). I was really excited to read this book and it didn't disappoint. It's a shame that Peter Hook has left New Order and that it doesn't seem they will be reuniting ever again. But, that is the present; this book covers the past. Hook gives an inside look into how the band operated and gives some insight into the personalities of everybody in the band through his recollections. It was neat to learn about the friends and collaborators that helped them along the way and it was frightening to realize just how short-lived the band's career really was. I like how Hook paints Ian Curtis as a complex person with many sides to his personality and he humanizes Ian in a way that most other historical Joy Division references don't. The book also shows that Hook is exactly as one would expect. He is completely rock and roll and kind of a dick...and that's fine. If you understand the current situation with the original members of New Order and read the book through that lens you'll find a lot of worthwhile information while looking past the personal issues that may have clouded Hook's memories.