Bret Victor’s Bookshelf

I mentioned earlier that last year one of my discoveries was the work of Bret Victor.

I find his talk on ‘Dynamic Visualizations‘ absolutely stunning. Strongly recommend that you take out some time to view it.

One is always curious about the ideas which influenced one’s own influences, so I was delighted to find a picture of his bookshelf and a blog link which lists all the books from the picture.


It’s an interesting list, shows a mind which truly bridges disciplines.

You have the comic books section with no less than fifteen books which have classics like ‘Understanding Comics’. Then you have a section on architecture which includes the works of Christopher Alexander.

Then there is writing and music theory. Books on management also make an appearance.

Then there are twenty three books on learning which includes works of John Holt (which I have read and recommend), as well as Seymour Papert.

Then there are books on the history of mathematics, numbers and notation. There are two sections on geometry itself.

There are also sections on electrical circuit designs, signal processing and information theory.

And of course books on programming and programming languages (yes these are two separate sections). And some on biology.

And more, if you check out the link.

Most of the books are outright iconic, from Feynman’s lectures to work of Donald Knuth. There is Richard Dawkins, Freeman Dyson, Marvin Minsky, Edward Tufte.

Is short, there is an awful lot here.

I don’t know if he has read all or some of these books. But even 20% of this content would be more than most humans read in a lifetime, both in terms of quality and quantity. I feel positively like a chimp in front of all this knowledge.

So, you can use this list as a springboard for reading recommendations, or just, check out the video on dynamic visualization.

It’s pretty awesome.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s