The holidays are coming! Of course there are lots of things to give and get, but some of my personal favorite items are books. I read too many of them. Or not enough. I can't remember.
Anyway, here are a few kick-ass books that I'd recommend and since they're books they're not too expensive.
Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon ($9)
If you're hurting for ideas and feeling bad about yourself about not being original in anything, just get over it and start stealing like crazy. It's cool, everybody does it and Austin explains clearly with this quick book why you should do it. Make stuff. Go nuts. Just don't feel bad about it.
Design is a Job by Mike Monteiro ($9 ebook)
This book is technically about creative freelance work, but it's also a bit of a rant about life and how to live it as well. Respect yourself and others and do good work.
It Will be Exhilarating by Studio Neat ($5 ebook)
Studio Neat made two products with the help of Kickstarter: the Glif and the Cosmonaut. If you're thinking about crowdfunding for any product, check this out. It's short, to the point, and has lots of good ideas.
The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp ($11)
How do people keep making creative works for decades? By not stopping, apparently. Twyla has a routine and has been doing it for a long time. Get up, get some exercise, make some art. Repeat and enjoy the process. Don't get her next book, The Collaborative Habit, however. It has nothing extra to add to this book.
Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow (free ebook)
Cory's books tend to wander all over the fine line between personal diatribe and fiction and Pirate Cinema is no exception. Copyright is bad and remixers are good! OK, got it. No, really, I get it. But along with the repeated messaging is a fun story about teenagers in London making their own remixed movies and showing them underground (literally). Makes you want to start making something and that's always a good thing.
I'm sure there are others I'm forgetting right now. I'll add them when they come to me.