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1. Robin Williams Design Workshop,
2. Non-Designer's Design Book, The
3. Robin Williams Web Design Workshop
4. Robin Williams Mac OS X Book,
5. The Non-Designer's Presentation
6. The Non-Designer's Collection
7. The Non-Designer's Web Book, 3rd
8. The Non-Designer's Design and
9. Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard: Peachpit
10. Robin Williams: A Biography
11. Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard: Peachpit
12. Mac is not a typewriter, The (2nd
13. The Little Mac Book, Snow Leopard
14. A Vancouver Boyhood: Reflections
15. The Pc is Not a Typewriter
16. Robin Williams Handmade Design
17. The Little Mac Book, Leopard Edition
18. The The Non-Designer's Type Book,
19. The Garden Planner
20. The Assistants: A Novel

1. Robin Williams Design Workshop, 2nd Edition
by Robin Williams, John Tollett
Paperback: 288 Pages (2006-08-20)
list price: US$49.99 -- used & new: US$27.66
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0321441761
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Learn design theory and practical know-how from the award-winning author/design team, Robin Williams and John Tollett!Robin Williams introduced design and typographic principles to legionsof readers with her best-selling Non-Designer's book series. Now sheand designer/co-author John Tollett take you to the next level ofcreative design with practical advice and lessons in composition,visual impact, and design challenges.

Presented in Robin andJohn's signature style—writing that is so crystal clear, it'saccessible to absolutely anyone—and illustrated with hundreds offull-color design examples, the ideas in this book tackle designtheory, visual puns, and layout and graphics strategies for real-worldprojects. Developing designers will appreciate the authors' imaginativeapproach and well-chosen examples.

  • Discover practical and effective design principles and concepts—and how to apply them to virtually any project.
  • Learn why some designs are attention-getting and others are not.
  • Learnhow to choose just the right look—corporate or casual, classic ortrendy—for specific types of projects, such as business cards,letterhead and envelopes, newsletters and brochures, logos,advertising, and more.
  • Test your design acumen by comparing before-and-after examples.
  • Find a wealth of inspiration for your own design projects.
  • Gain insight into the design process by studying the work of guest designers, who offer their personal commentary and insights.
Amazon.com Review
If you just stumbled into design, maybe via a hobby that grew into a career, and you want to improve your work without having to enroll in a degree program, this book can bridge some of the gaps in your acumen. Not really a primer on basic facts, Design Workshop is more like a guide to style.

The first chapter quizzes readers on mostly technical, basic details of design (like dpi), all of which can be found in Williams's previous publications (for example, The Non-Designer's Design Book). Readers will be dismayed, possibly annoyed, that the quiz answers are not provided. Even if not knowing the answers means that you need remedial help, it feels like a bit of a tease.

The next chapters show how to use stock images, or your own images, to increase the visual impact of your piece (basically through an increase in contrast). The best part of this section, and the book as a whole, is the "before-and-after" approach in the examples; they're like a series of makeovers. The captions effectively describe what was changed in the image, and how it improved the design.

The book applies a similar set of makeovers to various types of design projects: logos, forms, newsletters, tables of contents, etc. In the final section, seven designers, including coauthor Tollett, break down the process that they went through on a job of their own.

Self-taught graphic designers probably would make the best audience for this book, but designers who are of their own "school of thought" might find fault with some of the tenets that are put forth. Graphic design by nature is a subjective enterprise--at the mercy of "styles." What you get in this book is more of a "desktop-publisher style" (many of the drawings are clip art, for example). There's a lack of sophistication in the design of the book, as well as in the illustrations of posters, letterheads, advertisements, and other applications that are used as examples. On the other hand, this same open, naive look gives the book an inviting appeal, and makes it perhaps a bit less daunting than style guides, such as Robert Bringhurst's The Elements of Typographic Style, that are intended for die-hard professionals. --Angelynn Grant

Topics covered:

Style advice for design projects, including:

  • Logos
  • Business cards and letterhead
  • Invoices and forms
  • Advertising
  • Billboards
  • Web sites
  • Tables of contents and indices
  • Newsletters and brochures
  • Flyers
... Read more

Customer Reviews (38)

4-0 out of 5 stars A Good Beginner Design Reference Manual
Always having a passion for graphic design, I read through the reviews for this book and found most of it accurate.This book introduces basic graphic design at its most elemental level:key principles.

It is not a workshop where it teaches you graphic design through a workbook environment.Rather, it introduces you to principles and challenges you to think how you are able to use the information provided.It gives you perspective and adds a new way of thinking to being creative with guidelines.

Although, it touches many facets of graphic design it primarily focuses on having an aspiring graphic designer to notice the four basic elemental principles of graphic design.They would be: Contrast, Repetition, Alignment and Proximity.

The book goes on to cover how different arts and mediums all need to be aware of the underlying 4 principles of graphic design.

I found this book to be highly useful, easy to read, and a great basic introduction to the subject matter.You will always be able to use it as a handy reference and that in itself will add value forever!

3-0 out of 5 stars Outdated but can provide inspiration
Interesting book, could give you some ideas for improving design.But I find that it's outdated and not as modern as I would've hoped.

5-0 out of 5 stars Satisfied customer
I'm very happy with my purchase.The product was in perfect condition and I recieved it in a timely manner.

I am very satisfied with the product and service provided.

5-0 out of 5 stars very accessible
All of Robin Williams' design books are not only well-written, but extremely accessible, and this one is no exception. In fact, this is my favorite of all of her books. I love that she includes so many details about the projects. She even includes detailed colophons in the backs of her books, which is very useful if you are at all interested in fonts and type styles. Even if you do a lot of design work, this book is useful for jump-starting creative blocks.
Her Mac books are pretty good, too.

5-0 out of 5 stars Love the follow up
The second edition was needed, but could be more meatier than adding a few extra insights from the first version.But hey, I love the writer. ... Read more

2. Non-Designer's Design Book, The (3rd Edition)
by Robin Williams
Paperback: 216 Pages (2008-02-22)
list price: US$34.99 -- used & new: US$18.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0321534042
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
A lot has happened in the world of digital design since the firstedition of this title was published, but one thing remains true: Thereis an ever-growing number of people attempting to design pages with noformal training. This book is the one place they can turn to findquick, non-intimidating, excellent design help from trusted designinstructor Robin Williams. This revised classic--now in fullcolor--includes a new section on the hot topic of Color itself. In The Non-Designer's Design Book, 3rd Edition,Robin turns her attention to the basic principles that govern gooddesign. Readers who follow her clearly explained concepts will producemore sophisticated and professional pages immediately. Humor-infused,jargon-free prose interspersed with design exercises, quizzes, andillustrations make learning a snap--which is just what audiences havecome to expect from this best-selling author. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (246)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent for a non-designer
This book is an EXCELLENT resource for non-designers.In just a couple of hours, you can learn the basic design principles that make documents look professionally designed.I highly recommend this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Kindle version -- OK but not as good as the print version
This is a great book. I would not have guessed I could learn so much about design in a couple of hours. Of course, knowing little to begin with makes it easier to learn something useful, and this book is oriented toward novices. For us, it's perfect.

The Kindle (in 2010), obviously does not display color or fine detail. I would not recommend the Kindle version if you can get the hard copy just as easily, but if for whatever reason you need a Kindle book, this one does work quite well. It's not as fun or pleasant as the hard copy, but you can learn the material just the same.

I'm giving a 5 star rating anyway, since Amazon still doesn't distinguish ratings of content from those of form.

5-0 out of 5 stars Recommendation
In my opinion this book provides very clear description of principles used by designers. The book introduces, at first, the elements of design, illustrates them with reasonable samples and then explains using of types.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book
This book is worth every penny and time spent reading.It has taking me from a novice to understanding design.It is great for reference also.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very useful and easy to understand!
This book is wonderful. I purchsed this book to use for a Web class I am currently taking, but it has gone beyond helping me with designing web pages for my class. The easy to understand explanations of design principles, along with actual examples has made this a wonderful resource. I am getting married in a couple of weeks and I used the information I took away from this book to help me design our programs and table cards. The information is very straightforward and the examples help even a "non-designer" create pages and pieces that are visually appealing. ... Read more

3. Robin Williams Web Design Workshop
by Robin Williams, John Tollett, Dave Rohr
Paperback: 384 Pages (2001-08-04)
list price: US$44.99 -- used & new: US$6.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0201748673
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
With Robin Williams' guiding hand, non-professionals, artists, and designers alike have learned the principles behind elegant design. Now that much of this same audience is working on the Web, Robin has focused her attention on the specific needs of this medium with Robin Williams Web Design Workshop. John Tollett and Dave Rohr pitch in with their illustration and graphics experience to create a handsome and engaging instructional book. The ideas in this book tackle all aspects of Web design theory, including all the ways that color, fonts, clip art, photographs and so on contribute to creating a visual impression. Then the book takes the user through site planning and layout, navigability, and functionality, all in Robin Williams' clear and accessible style.Amazon.com Review
Because "there's more to Web design than Photoshop and HTML," Robin Williams Web Design Workshop covers everything for the working Web designer including "how to survive dealing with clients."

Although Dreamweaver, GoLive, Photoshop, and other applications are mentioned (Flash even gets its own chapter), the book covers the gamut of Web design and technology issues rather than focusing on an individual application.

Each chapter is divided into sections, often no more than a couple of pages long. The chapter on backgrounds, the area of a Web page that seems to attract the worst design crimes, shows you how to avoid "the heartbreak of bad background design" in no less than eight sections.

In many books this subject would be lucky to get eight paragraphs; Robin Williams Web Design Workshop uses a clear two-column layout and plenty of real-life example screen shots to get the message across. Some pages consist only of captioned screen shots providing a great source of visual ideas.

There's a good balance between purely design-related issues and the technical stuff. Subjects like search engines, embedded fonts, DHTML, and forms are given a thorough overview, highlighting the main issues, and links to sources of more in-depth information are often to be found at the end of the chapter.

If you like to learn by example and see yourself more as a designer than a programmer, but want a working knowledge of current Web technologies from a book that you can read away from your computer, this is it. --Ken McMahon, amazon.co.uk ... Read more

Customer Reviews (25)

3-0 out of 5 stars Dated, but still useful
I love Robin Williams' books and this one was no exception when it came out. However, anyone doing web design in 2007/8 needs to have a companion book to counter the now incorrect suggestions in this book. Tables are not longer considered the only way, or really even "a" way to build web pages. Web standards have become essential if you want to comply with accessibility or just be able to make changes to your site. And if that sounds like only geeks would care, that's just not the case anymore. I would recommend finding this book used, look through it for some good ideas, and have a copy of one of Eric Meyers' books around for understanding CSS (an essential these days) and web standards in general.

I'm hoping Robin comes up with a new edition taking out nested tables and adding in more than the 4 pages of CSS. That's not to say it needs to be a CSS book (there are more than enough of those out there), but since we have to go in that direction, we could use a little more help in applying the principles she's advancing with the standards of the day. As soon as it comes out, I'll have my order in.

5-0 out of 5 stars An outstanding, uniquely useful book
Because web sites are made with computers, somehow it seems that the vast majority of authors of "how to make a web site" books focus almost entirely on the technical aspects, as somehow devoid of relation to the practical art of making sites that work.

This book is remarkable, because it is written from the point of view of working, experienced web/graphic designers.

As the authors make clear, making a web site is a lot more than just using a computer and making pretty pictures. They clarify what you really need to know about the entire process. It covers everything about the development cycle, from clarifying the site requirements with the client, to making thumbnail sketches, to practical, nitty-gritty details of how to make an interesting, "non-boxy" site.

If you want to really understand the entire process of developing effective, beautiful web sites for people as a business, this is the best book I have ever seen on the subject.

5-0 out of 5 stars Web Design guide
Robin Williams does an excellent job of providing clear suggestions, good rationales, and lots of examples to make her point.

5-0 out of 5 stars Worn this one out
Several years ago I met with the main designer at company that created the web pages for several pharmaceutical distributors in Canada. At the time, I was well versed in creating web pages using several of the professional programs including Dreamweaver, as well as writing code. The designer, however,said that they did all of their designing in Photoshop and then used a slicing technique in ImageReady before editing the site in Dreamweaver.I hate to admit it, but I had never heard of creating web pages that way, so I went home and began looking through all of my web designing books to see if I could find a description of the technique.Yes, I found it in this book.

I don't want to give the impression that this book is all about Photoshop, it clearly isn't.But, at least for me, the Photoshop information has been extremely useful! Though I do not design the majority of my sites using Photoshop, there are some that I could not have created as easily with out it. I have not used other applications that supposedly are similar to Photoshop/ImageReady, so I can't say if they can or can not do the things that Photoshop/ImageReady can.

Nevertheless, since the time I opened this book and took a real look, I have used this book more than any other web books on my shelf.Sometimes it is to simply look at the pictures to spark a new idea, sometimes it is to review a specific designing technique.

Honestly I do not think Robin can write a bad book.

3-0 out of 5 stars Some great information but not worth purchasing
I borrowed this book from the library to see if it was worth purchasing. It has some great design tips and ideas but nothing that can't be found in other books in greater detail. The glossy color pages make it fun to browse through, but there isn't enough detailed information on the various design topics.

I skimmed through the book within two or three days and don't see it as an item I will bother to purchase for my personal Web design library. ... Read more

4. Robin Williams Mac OS X Book, The, Jaguar Edition (2nd Edition)
by Robin Williams
Paperback: 808 Pages (2003-01-05)
list price: US$29.99 -- used & new: US$2.56
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0321169662
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
No other author documents the Mac OS the way Robin Williams does. In The Robin Williams Mac OS X Book, Jaguar Edition updated to include Mac OS X 10.2, she brings her inimitable approach to Apple's radically redesigned OS, eschewing jargon for straightforward explanations and a good dose of humor. It's an approach that works equally as well for newcomers looking for a gentle introduction to the Macintosh as it does for experienced Mac users upgrading to Mac OS X 10.2.

This practical, how-to guide covers all of the exciting new features in Mac OS X 10.2, including the revamped Finder, new instant messaging client, global address book, spam-blocking email program, QuickTime 6, Sherlock 3, and more. Robin doesn't neglect the basics either. You'll find logical, easy-to-follow sections on how to use your Mac for a variety of everyday tasks: printing, sending email, exchanging files, and surfing the Web. And for those frustrating moments When Things Go Wrong, Robin has compiled a troubleshooting guide for common Mac snafus. See for yourself why Robin's books have won her millions of fans.Amazon.com Review
There's always been more to the Macintosh than the ability to make calculations, store files, and connect to the Internet. A community has grown up around the Mac's (always smartly designed) products and (usually intelligent) software. No one, with the possible exception of David Pogue, understands this better than Robin Williams (no, not that Robin Williams--the author of this book is female, for starters). The Little Mac OS X Book is the latest revision in her series of Little Mac books. Like its predecessors, this one welcomes its readers into the community of Mac users while showing them how to use their hardware, software, and the resources to which they can connect.

Although it's well suited for use in an academic environment, with review questions at the conclusion of each chapter, this book is equally good for independent Mac users in need of a home or office reference. The designers of this book have done a great job of presenting screen shots. They're not just lobbed into place as they are in many volumes; rather, they're of modest size and have their key features (buttons, or whatever is under discussion at the moment) highlighted with circles and labels. Williams completely neglects the command-line interface of the Unix core ("Darwin") that underlies Mac OS X, and devotes only a paragraph (with no specifics) to setting up a high-speed DSL or cable connection to the Internet. However, if you're only interested in the graphical user interface, you'll find her treatment of Mac OS X more than acceptable. --David Wall

Topics covered: Mac OS X 10.1, from the point of view of a user or (perhaps) a corporate system administrator. Coverage goes all the way from keyboard and mouse basics ("What's the Delete key for?") to setting up a home network with an AirPort hub and wireless network access cards. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Robbin Williams Mac OS X Book
A book for $1 + shipping?It arrived and it's in fine shape!I'm really pleased!

1-0 out of 5 stars Confusing and useless
Poorly organized and no clear target audience.Save money and trees.

5-0 out of 5 stars Robin Williams Mac OS X Book or The Missing Manual?

Robin Williams Mac OS X Book Jaguar Edition is probably the best book to recommend to a new Macintosh user with little or no prior computer experience. It describes how to use Macintosh OS X simply and clearly, and tells the new user what results to expect. It does not, however, talk down to new users. If an example shows a document, the content of the document shows some creativity and class.

A follow the dots tutorial skips around so the new user can learn the essentials in just 186 pages. The dots are half circles that bleed to the edge of the page so they are easy to find, and the information is still organized so that you can find it later with more advanced information on the subjects. A beginner who completes the 186 page tutorial will have a better base for using a Macintosh than many more experienced users.

In sports, coaches spend a lot of time going over the basics, the fundamentals, even with professional athletes. Robin Williams Mac OS X Book Jaguar Edition provides thorough coverage of the basics that will improve the performance of any user. I have twenty years of experience with Apple computers, am probably an intermediate user, and have read other Mac OS X books, and Robin Williams Mac OS X Book contained many very useful ideas that were new to me.

An example of the thoughtful instructions for beginners, "When you see and instruction like Command + Shift + B do not type the pluses."

An example of something I had read before, but not used as I should, in any finder window view you can quickly go to and select an item by keying the first few letters.

An example of something new to me, you can create a new icon for a file and the Macintosh will adjust the image size to fit.

The Robin Williams Mac OS X Book contains clear easy to understand information about Mac OS X features such as the login process and login options. I like the way Robin writes and makes a friend of the reader.

I liked Robins description of the font collections available in programs written specifically for Mac OS X not for both Mac OS X and OS 9. "Whoever made up the names for these collections certainly did not know anything about type." Following her directions and examples, I have reorganized my collections.

I have recommended David Pogue's Mac OS X: The Missing Manual to all kinds of readers, as I am sure many other user group members have done. But, after reading Robin Williams Mac OS X Book, I would recommend it as the first choice for new Macintosh owners without a lot of computer experience. I still recommend David's book as the first choice for experienced users. It is worth buying both books, or at least reading both from your user group library.

I own Mac OS X: The Missing Manual Second Edition(by David Pogue published by O'Reilly) and would not part with it. I have ordered my own copy of Robin Williams Mac OSX Book using the Peachpit Press user group member discount. ..

5-0 out of 5 stars A GREAT Book for Mac OS X beginners and Mac in General
This is the Jaguar Edition of a book that used to be called "The Little Mac Book," but at 800 pages and about 2 inches thick, it is anything but little. Just don't let the size intimidate you. This is one of the best books for beginners of Mac OS X, and the Mac in general!

So ... all youfolks out there thinking of stepping up to OS X, get this book.It will help you understand what's going on. Ms. Williams covers everything a beginner needs to know, from how the whole "users" thing works, to organizing your folders, font management, file sharing, all things internet, what the "drop box" is for, etc.

There are (semi-circle, gray) tabbed pages designated for beginners. Robin gives you easy-to-understand explanations of the Macintosh user interface, including mousing and the keyboard. The beginner pages are sort of a built-in tutorial that not only directs you through the OS and provides exercises to use for practice along the way. There is a quiz at the end of each chapter, to help you understand the key points. The beginner's section ends with a terrific section about how to use the World Wide Web. Check out page 9, where she cleverly shows pics of the Finder menus, with page numbers for the sections that explain every item in the menus.

Page 709 has "Where did It Go?" for experienced OS 9 users, so you can easily see what replaced the Chooser, etc. I think this should have gone near the front of the book, but its placement is a minor flaw. This is a great Mac OS X beginners tome. What little is missing can be found in a new Peachpit Press book called The Little Mac iApps Book.

Robin sprinkles humor throughout its pages. There is URL, the friendly cartoon rat, who follows you along on your learning journey.

There is a great section on networking. Its a snoozer subject in most books, but Robin makes it simple, providing everyday network settings. What is provided is just enough to get any beginner up and running.

Everything else in the book is called "Beyond The Basics." However, Intermediate users will not find any sign of Unix, software gizmos or hacking, minimal troubleshooting, and not much under-the-hood coverage of the OS. She does tell you how to enable root user. I'm glad this book doesn't try to be all things to all users.There is just too much to know these days to do that.

4-0 out of 5 stars Robin Williams MAC OS X Book jaguar Edition
Good Book. Even though I bought a MAC when first brought out, I am not a techie and it provides good backup for the manual. I refer to it frequently. ... Read more

5. The Non-Designer's Presentation Book
by Robin Williams
Paperback: 168 Pages (2009-10-25)
list price: US$24.99 -- used & new: US$14.09
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0321656210
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
These days, it's not just corporate marketing directors tasked with giving computer-based presentations—anyone forced to stand in front of a crowd and talk for more than three minutes had better know how to put together a slide presentation. You're not a professional designer, but you want your slides to look professional. What do you do?
Enter Robin Williams, the beloved, best-selling non-designer's designer (with over 850,000 copies of The Non-Designer's Design Book in print!) who has taught an entire generation the basics of design and typography. In The Non-Designer's Presentation Book, Robin expands upon the design principles introduced in her award-winning Non-Designer's series. She explains four fundamental principles of good design as applied to digital presentations, and adds four more principles specific to clear communication with slides.

Whether you work with a Mac or PC, PowerPoint or Keynote, let Robin guide you, in her signature, light-hearted style, through the entire process of creating a presentation—from using the right software to organizing your ideas to designing effective, beautiful slides that won't put your audience to sleep.

In this essential guide to presentation design, you'll learn:

  • What makes a good presentation or a bad one
  • How to plan, organize, and outline your presentation
  • Four principles of designing effective presentations
  • Four principles for designing beautiful slides that communicate clearly
  • An exhaustive list of timeless presentation rules...that you should totally ignore
... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

4-0 out of 5 stars Easy to read - Valuable advice
I bought this book to see what advice a graphics designer would give to slide makers. I am glad I bought it even though I would have liked it to be longer with further design guidelines. There are some good tips, some of which I read for the first time. The book is clear and instructions are easy to follow.

5-0 out of 5 stars The exact help I needed
I'm preparing four talks and this book is giving me the exact tools I need. As usual, Robin's writing style cuts to the chase and doesn't waste your time with extraneous points. I'm totally excited about these Keynote talks now and will definitely pitch the book in my handouts. Thank you Robin!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant cure for powerpoint induced insomnia
Robin Williams has produced an outstanding sequel to her famous book, "The Non-Designer's Design Book", this time focusing on using presentation software such as PowerPoint and Keynote. Instead of explaining all the programs' functions, she outlines (pardon the pun) exactly what makes a good presentation. This isn't just a do's and dont's, but a structured path to making a presentation that will not only educate but also keep your audience awake and alive.

She first focuses on the content of your presentation: clarity, relevance, animation and plot. Good presentations start with good content. Fortunately she saves us all from those boring stand up meetings where the presenter simply reads the slides. Slides should serve as a way to move the speech and engage the audience. After creating good content, Robin then reminds us of the basic design principles she taught in her last Non-Designer's book: contrast, repetition, alignment and proximity. Finally she takes the time to dispel a long litany of misconceptions about how to present. For example, she quickly dismisses the idea that handouts somehow distract your audience - instead it actually keeps them focused on your presentation instead of furiously taking notes. Each of her misconceptions is based on some basic fact of presentations which people took to an extreme.

This is simply a must have book! The checklists at the end are well worth the price of the book in and of themselves

Pros: All the tips and tricks to a great presentation written in an easy to follow and understand guide
Cons: It's not mandatory reading for anyone who buys a projector. It really should be as countless hours of productivity would be gained in corporate America

5-0 out of 5 stars Robin Williams Gets It. Totally.
I have been a fan of Robin Williams since I first read Non-Designer's Design Book, The (3rd Edition) several years ago. Robin understand what it is to simplify the discreet components of design to make them understandable for the novice.

In this book, she applies those principles to PowerPoint. As a conference speaker and college professor/instructional designer I have seen some pretty awful PPTs. It doesn't take much to improve them. Like slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations and Presentation Zen: Simple Ideas on Presentation Design and Delivery this book gets down to basics and illustrates them beautifully. The key difference with this book is it's size. This is short, sweet and too the point, so it's ideal for that too-busy-to-learn-the-right-way person who really needs the help but won't take the time to get it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Finally, a presentation book that fills the void
Most presentation books focus on how to present as a presenter and how to "not design" powerpoint slides. This book finally provides the non-designers out here, myself included, how to build great looking slides that also enhance the presentation.

First, I must admit to being a huge fan of the Non-Designer's Design Book and the Non-Designer's Web Design Book. I think they are two of the best books for us designer deficient business people out there. Now, this book does the same thing for presentation design.

Many of the concepts are similar to those presented in the Design Book and the Web Design Book; however, they are reformed to apply to presentation design.

The section titled "Ignore these Rules" is one of the best sections of the book. This section helps you understand the principles behind many "rules" like "Don't read the slides." When you understand the principles, you better understand when the "rule" applies and when it doesn't. Ultimately, you realize that the rules are guidelines and not really rules at all.

For example, if you have a slide that reads, "First quarter profits rise" and you avoid saying these exact words just because they're on the slide, you'll only feeling the pressure of presentation pundits, who, themselves, often err in educating their audiences anyway. I'd rather learn from someone who has given hundreds or thousands of presentations that are not on the topic of "Presentation Skills" than someone who has given almost exclusively presentations on how to give presentations. Robin Williams is not a "Presentation Skills" presenter, she's a design trainer and she knows what really works in real presentations. Robin, thanks for speaking for all of us non-Presentation Skills speakers out here who know that the pundits are often wrong.

All-in-all, this is a must book in the presenter's library. ... Read more

6. The Non-Designer's Collection
by Robin Williams
Paperback: Pages (2006-05-22)
list price: US$64.60 -- used & new: US$44.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 032139237X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Ever feel a little lost in the design world? Check out our updated,best-selling series of design books for “non-designers,” now availableas a handy boxed set collection! Want to improve your Web designskills? Learn basic design principles that are essential to great Webdesign with The Non-Designer's Web Book, Third Edition by Robin Williams and John Tollett. Want to learn more about design, but don't have time to study it? Try Robin William's classic The Non-Designer's Design Book, Second Edition. Interested in hot typography techniques? Learn not just what looks best, but why, with The Non-Designer's Type Book, Second Edition by Robin Williams.
These books are non-platform and non-software specific and featurefunny and friendly prose mixed with design exercises, quizzes, andillustrations. Whether you've got designer's block or are thenew-designer-on-the-block, The Non-Designer's Collection byRobin Williams and John Tollett has everything you need to go fromwimpy to wow and take your work where it's never been before.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great guidelines for designers
Easy to read, practical tips.Highly recommend this to anyone looking to hire a graphic designer, ad agencies...

4-0 out of 5 stars Good savings on the set
These are beautiful books with many color illustrations and good tips for visual design. The set, though, is disappointing in that the box appears to be sized for four, rather than three, books, and the empty slot is filled with a white cardboard placeholder, making the set seem cheesy. Maybe another book is coming out soon to fill that slot -- I hope so. ... Read more

7. The Non-Designer's Web Book, 3rd Edition
by Robin Williams, John Tollett
Paperback: 336 Pages (2005-09-26)
list price: US$39.99 -- used & new: US$7.86
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0321303377
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

If you think web design is beyond your reach, or if you want your existing web site to look more professional, this thoroughly updated classic is the place to turn! In these pages, best-selling authors Robin Williams and John Tollett share the creative ideas, useful techniques, and basic design principles that are essential to great Web design-all in the context of the most current technology, software, and standards. Throughout, the authors' aim is to inspire you and spark your creativity rather than sedate you with pages and pages of code. To that end, you'll find loads of real-world examples, interesting illustrations, and the simple instructions you need to implement the techniques and concepts described in these pages.

Amazon.com Review
The Non-Designer's Web Book is a pretty, full-colorguide for aspiring Web designers. The authors first explain how tobrowse and search the Web and then discuss how to plan and post a Website. Then they get you into the real work of designing Web sites,whether for business or personal purposes. The authors teach you basicdesign principles--covering such areas as alignment, proximity,repetition, and contrast--and then discuss design issues that arespecific to the Web: You learn about creating pages with carefulattention to color, graphics, typography, tables, and more. Finally,you learn how to test, fix, upload, update, and register yoursite. The book isn't an HTML primer, but you do get a few tips ontweaking your pages by editing HTML code. The authors discuss avariety of Macintosh and Windows programs for creating Web pages, suchas Adobe PageMill, Claris Home Page, and Microsoft FrontPage, and theyalso discuss image editors, such as Adobe Photoshop. At the end ofeach chapter there's a quiz for reviewing what you've learned. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (86)

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Book?
I have not spent much time with this book, but it does seem to be useful.When I decided to make a web site, I bought a bunch of books - too many, actually.If you want good info on web design, you will find some useful ideas here.

5-0 out of 5 stars excellent book
This book made learning HTML a breeze. The humor in the book kept the subject light and easy to learn. Get this book!

4-0 out of 5 stars the way its written keeps you interested
I havn 't read all of this book but I had read an excerpt out of one of robin williams's other books and I loved it. She's very intertaining so she keeps you interested as you read.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Look at Web Design
Robin Williams & John Tollett's THE NON-DESIGNER'S WEB BOOK does exactly what it says. It give the web novice an excellent overview of the principles necessary to design a good web page on your own.
Nash Black, author of Indie finalists WRITING AS A SMALL BUSINESS and HAINTS.

3-0 out of 5 stars Good Information, But Too Much Emphasis On Basic Stuff
I loved Williams' The Mac Is Not A Typewriter and The Non-Designer's Design Book, which really did a great job of introducing the basic elements of graphic design in a way that was logical and straightforward.

To some extent, her approach works here as well. Unfortunately, a book on website design presents some challenges that a book on the principles of graphic design does not. As with many computer and technology-related books, The Non-Designer's Web Book can't decided on what level of web-savvy it expects from its target audience. It tries to please all the people all the time, and the result is probably going to please nobody.

I quickly became frustrated with early chapters that were just too simplistic. I don't need an explanation of what the internet is. I know what the internet is. That's why I'm looking for advice on website design. Unfortunately, the publisher probably realized that some people with no knowledge of the internet who have decided they need a website for their business really will buy this book and they'll need all of that introductory handholding.

When Williams gets to do what she does best, illustrating what looks good in web design and what doesn't, then there are some really great insights to be found here. There are also some good technical tips.

But like all computer books, this one suffers from the inevitable problem of becoming rapidly outdated. It was four years in publication when I read it, but the writing was done a year or two before that. So a ton of recent web trends get no mention, and several currently irrelevant ones are emphasized. This is not an issue with the authors or the publisher. It's just the nature of the technology business.

The graphic design perspective makes parts of this well worth reading, and depending on your level of familiarity with web design, you may get some good technical information under your belt by reading this. But either way, most readers will find themselves wading through a lot that they don't need in order to find the helpful parts. ... Read more

8. The Non-Designer's Design and Type Books, Deluxe Edition
by Robin Williams
Paperback: 240 Pages (2007-10-25)
list price: US$45.00 -- used & new: US$18.10
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0321534050
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Design and typographic insights from the author of The Non-Designer’s book series (over 700,000 copies in print!)

This book offers decades of experience from one of the greatestcomputer book authors. Here in one volume, Robin Williams has joinedtogether a new edition of her classic The Non-Designer’s Design Book—in glorious full color for the first time—and her best-selling The Non-Designer’s Type Book.Robin uses her straightforward and lighthearted style to define theprinciples that govern good design and type as well as the logic behindthose principles. Using numerous examples, you’ll learn what looks bestand why on your way to designing beautiful and effective projects.Whether you are a Mac user or a Windows user, a type novice or anexperienced graphic designer, you will find inspiration and directionfor the design quandaries and conundrums you are sure to encounter!

These essential guides to design and type will teach you about:

  • The four principles of design that underlie every design project
  • Categories of type
  • Working with color
  • How to combine typefaces for maximum effect
  • Readability and legibility
  • The proper typographic treatment of punctuation
  • Letter spacing, line spacing, and paragraph spacing
  • Special characters and accent marks
... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Non-fluff design and type book
So far I have only read the type section but I love this book. She presents the information in a way that is very easy to understand and absorb. This is the typography book have been looking for. An absolute necessity for anyone learning to design with type.

4-0 out of 5 stars this item has good condition and fast shipping
This book is pretty good stuff to know typography and it has also good condition.

5-0 out of 5 stars Must have for everybody in business or research
This book is actually two books in one.
The first book (Non-Designer's design book) opens your eyes for good design. I just read it once while watching TV and the next day intuitively started applying what I had browsed. It affects the way you structure Emails, Word documents, ... Basically everything.

I was not happy with our website and all off the sudden could actually put in words what I didn't like about it. I could write a design guideline and ask web designers for quotes. I even started re-designing our companies trade show booth with over double the impact (enquiries, sales,...) as result.

If you are a small business owner or have to deal with anything design this is a great starting point.

I included research in my headline because I worked in research for a long time and know how crucial the reports, presentations and publications are for the career. I wish I would have had this book at that time.

The second book (type) got a bit dry and detailed for me but opened my eyes for effects of fonts. Needless to say that I changed my standard fonts in Word straight away.


4-0 out of 5 stars Ideal for people drafted into Design work with no experience
The Non-Designer's Design and Type Book, Deluxe Edition (Paperback)

Robin Williams is the queen of Macintosh design and her new book is it's Bible. The book is exactly as described:a design book for those people not trained as designers.The book is actually divided into two sections, design and typography.

The design book goes over the basic principles of how to design using a few basic concepts most anyone can learn such as white space, proximity, layout, and contrast.She gives copious amounts of real world examples to help lay people give a bit of "oomph" to such things as newsletters, business cards, and stationary.For someone trying to go out on their own, this book is an invaluable aid in basic design work while saving money to get a true expert on board.The book is a very quick read, but it's a good book to keep around whenever you do design work.

The typography portion was a bit over my head.It's all about fonts, typefaces and so forth.She clearly tries to made the topic accessible, but I found the content difficult to understand as someone not in the design field.The typography portion of the book can be used as a reference guide when deciding which font would work in specific situations.

This book is perfect for the small business owner or the group secretary who suddenly gets called on to create a newsletter or a basic identity for print.

Pros:Accessible and understandable principles of basic design made understandable to everyone
Cons:Font portions a bit over the novice's head

Four out of Five Dogcows

4-0 out of 5 stars Very Useful
I actually bought this book before for school & for some reason decided to sell it after the course was done. Now I have bought it again because I decided that I wanted this book in my collection. There are lots of examples and quality images in the book so you can see what the writer is talking about. It gives you great font ideas & advice on how to create effective flyers, invitations, layouts, etc. Now I use it as a reference guide whenever I am creating something that needs to stand out or look special. ... Read more

9. Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard: Peachpit Learning Series
by Robin Williams, John Tollett
Paperback: 480 Pages (2009-09-04)
list price: US$34.99 -- used & new: US$23.09
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0321635388
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The latest update of Robin Williams's bestselling guide will have you working miracles in no time with Snow Leopard, the fastest and most reliable version of the Mac OS X ever. With this book, you can learn in your own way, whether it's working through the lessons from start to finish, jumping straight to step-by-step exercises about new features, or looking up just what you need to know at that moment. There are hundreds of exciting tools and hidden gems in your Macintosh. And with the gentle, yet expert, hand of Robin Williams guiding you along the way, you will learn to take full advantage of all that Snow Leopard has to offer. If you are new to Mac OS X, you'll learn to use your Mac with help from a world-renowned teacher. From there, you can move on to customize it to suit the way you work. And if you've been using Mac OS X already, you'll learn to use all of the new features in Snow Leopard. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

3-0 out of 5 stars Well...not what I expected
I wasn't thrilled with it. I found that, even as a new Mac user, this book is too basic as far as it goes concerning Snow Leopard itself. Any user of a PC would know most of the stuff contained in here concerning basics just by fooling around for a couple days. True, the book gives direction and so one would waste less time, and the book does contain chapters on using specific features, but I was hoping for more info on how to perform basic tasks like unistalling applications, drivers and so on. Along with other maintenance tasks I'm used to doing in Windows XP Pro.

Course I can't say a lot for Snow Leopard in general as a very stable platform. Mine has not been since I purchased a Mac Pro with Snow Leopard. There've been chronic problems with it, and problems with Safari as well. XP is a better platform overall, though I'm still glad to get away from PCs, frought with their own host of problems/issues. (I have Windows installed in Bootcamp as a matter of necessity in a business world that uses only Windows.)

To be fair (and giving it 3 stars), I'm sure the book is fine for people looking for intros to a number of bundled features, from using I-Tunes to trying to figure out Time Machine (which is no Restore Point, believe me!). But that's not what I expected in a manual that says on the cover: "Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard." I expected a manual on understanding and using the platform itself to solve problems with the platform itself (yes akin to Windows various system tools and so on, which Mac OSes seem to lack in general), not on using the applications bundled with it. The title is a little misleading.

If your thing is playing with all the mini-applications, then go for it. If you work on computers in a more professional capacity, look for a different book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Informative Book - Helpful tips
Very informative book.Our office recently went "all mac" and the book has answered a lot of questions for myself and my team.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stellar as always!
Robin Williams never ceases to amaze. As a Mac user for many, many years, it's always wonderful to pick up her latest and see what the new Mac brings. The format is easy to follow and if I need to find how to do something quickly, it's easy to do. Kudos to Ms. Williams and Mr. Tollett.

4-0 out of 5 stars Snow Leopard
I gave this book as a gift and haven't had any feed back from the "receiver". I leafed through it and it looks like it had bunches of good information for this new Mac program.

5-0 out of 5 stars asparagus
great vegetable, one that we should always consider on a regular basis. the book is good as well, but not as tasty as the asparagus. ... Read more

10. Robin Williams: A Biography
by Andy Dougan
Paperback: 312 Pages (1999-08-28)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$9.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1560252138
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Andy Dougan's biography provides a detailed look at of Robin Williams's life and career from his poor-little-rich-kid childhood to his successes in such films as The Fisher King, Awakenings, and Mrs. Doubtfire. Dougan interviewed Williams five times and spoke with the actor's schoolmates, teachers, colleagues, and costars. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

3-0 out of 5 stars Robin Williams
I have always thought that Robin Williams has always been one of the funniest people to ever walk the face of the planet. My dad told me a little about his childhood and I found it to be interesting. Reason why I purchased this book was that I was curious about his life and wanted to learn more. Some of the stories were fascinating. The downfall of this book was that there were not enough stories. I wish the authour would have focused more on the stories about him, then of the other celebs mentioned in the book. I was not interested in hearing about what every movie he did was about. Nor did I care to read about Pam Dawbers bio. If I would have, i would have bought her book. Overall the book, was fairly good. I would reccommend this book to anyone.

3-0 out of 5 stars A Hollywood Point of View
My personal opinion was that this book was written for people who wanted to know what it waslike for Robin Williams in Hollywood.I feel the author does too many take offs on other actors and actresses he names in the book and also on movies and TV shows mentioned.I wished for a true insight into the life of Robin, what kind of person he is and what kind of childhood he experienced. In the preface or early it is stated that Robin's lawyer is not in support of this author writing this book and that lawsuits will follow if needed, so this leads me to believe there is not a lot of substantial facts for the basis.i am enjoying gleaning what I can.

4-0 out of 5 stars Robin every which way buy straight forward
This books tells the story of Robin Williams but jumps around the point, and discusses things in a very sentimental way.It is as if Dougan is afraid to say something straight out.It's a simple book going strictly chronologically through Robin's life.The book has good information and very interesting but it concentrates on Robin's career more than the man himself.Yet still, it is worth reading.

2-0 out of 5 stars "Something about Robin Williams"
or "Robin Williams - who is he?"- thesewould bemore correct titles for the book. Since the book tells us something about Robin Williams.And does not answer the question, on who he really is.Despite its rather promising beginning, with the clues to Williams' character being searched through his childhood and a general atmosphere of turbulent 60s, the book does not go far in developingits few ideas.It looks like the author is sinking in unnecessary detailsof TV and movie production process, which have little to do with Robin Williams as a person and an actor.I hope that one of my favorite actors will come up with his own autobiography, and the book'stitle "Robin Williams" will be trully justified.

1-0 out of 5 stars What do you expect from an unauthorized biography?
If you want to read a two hundred fifty page tabloid, then look no further.Andy Dougan's choice of words, for the presintation of Robin's life, contains too many of his personal opinions and feelings.If I wantedto read about someone's feelings, then I would wait for Robin to write anautobiography.Since the book has such an informal tone the"facts" about Robin's life are easily questioned.This book willbe recorded as the longest tabloid article in history. ... Read more

11. Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard: Peachpit Learning Series
by Robin Williams
Paperback: 480 Pages (2007-11-02)
list price: US$29.99 -- used & new: US$6.41
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0321502639
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Learn how to get the most out of Mac OS X version 10.5 Leopard with legendary teacher and author Robin Williams.

The Peachpit Learning Seriesbrings you the best-selling authors you know and love, on the topicsthat are near and dear to you, in a format that allows you to learnjust what you need to know, and at your own pace. With this book, youcan learn in your own way—whether it’s working through the lessons fromstart to finish, jumping straight to step-by-step exercises about newfeatures, or looking up just what you need to know at that moment.There are hundreds of exciting tools and hidden gems in your Macintosh.And with the gentle yet expert hand of Robin Williams guiding you alongthe way, you will learn to take full advantage of all that Leopard hasto offer. If you are new to Mac OS X, you'll learn to use your Mac withhelp from a world-renowned teacher. From there, you can move on tocustomize it to suit the way you work. And if you've been using Mac OSX already, you'll learn to use the new features in Leopard, likeSpaces, Quick Look, and Time Machine, and explore all the enhancementsto favorites like Mail and iChat. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (34)

3-0 out of 5 stars Not what I was looking for
I was looking to be able to learn Leopard but the index was hard to follow. I was unable to find a lot of things I needed to learn a new operating system. As an old Windows user it's hard to change some old habits.

The Finder program is hard to figure out but with a lot of searching I did make it thru....

5-0 out of 5 stars Just became a mac user and loved this book.
This book was a great help since I just became a mac user. I had general questions about the most basic parts of a mac and its system. This one answered all my questions and then some.

5-0 out of 5 stars Mac OS X Guide
I looked at several different Mac guides before I selected this. I'm a average windows user that's converting to Mac.The thing that sold me on this guide is the abundance of photo's that accompany the text which makes it very easy to follow. All the material would enable the user to use most of the Mac functions. If you're already an advanced windows user David Pogues book would be a better selection but for the rest of us this is a great book.

I'm GLAD I took the time to get/read this book from cover to cover. I went from "n00bie" to having a pretty fair grasp of what's up with my Mac. I'd recommend it to all with no reservations whatsoever (it was positively the BEST book I found on Leopard).

1-0 out of 5 stars Not that Great
If you are familiar with computers in general, all the information found on the book are there for free on the internet. Don't waste your money buy this book. There plenty of other choices out there. I was extremely disappointed with this book and it was a waste of money .. Look at alternative before you buy

... Read more

12. Mac is not a typewriter, The (2nd Edition)
by Robin Williams
Paperback: 96 Pages (2003-05-01)
list price: US$14.99 -- used & new: US$7.79
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0201782634
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

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One of the most popular Macintosh books ever written, The Mac is not a typewriter has been called the "Strunk and White of typography." Best-selling author Robin Williams's simple, logical principles for using type to produce beautiful, professional documents are as true now as they were when the original edition was published in 1989.This updated edition includes new examples and expanded information dedicated to the practical advice that made the first edition an enduring bestseller. Throughout, Robin shows you the small details that separate the pros from the amateurs:typographer versus typewriter quotation marks, en and em dashes, tabs and indents, kerning, leading, white space, widows and orphans, and hanging punctuation. If you prepare documents, you'll find The Mac is not a typewriter, Second Edition an indispensable guide. And those who read your documents will recognize the work of a pro, even if they don't know a curly quote from curly fries. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (23)

5-0 out of 5 stars Good intro
I had to get this for school, but it's a good overview and a quick read

5-0 out of 5 stars I just got this for my kid's yearbook team.
I have had a copy of this book for about 10 years and it is a great resource for clear and concise layout guidelines.

Last week, I took a look at my son's yearbook committee drafts. Yikes! I just got a copy for them!

4-0 out of 5 stars Type for dummies...
A real gem for type novices: brief and structured overview in a non-technical language, with plenty of examples to compare the difference in effect. In my opinion: a must for everyone creating copy (be it a club newsletter, an invitation to a party or a corporate brochure).

5-0 out of 5 stars Still Great.
I bought the first edition of this book when it came out, and I just bought this copy of the second edition becauseI wanted it.
This book is an extremely valuable reference book. If you follow the pricniples set forth in this book, your documents will look professional.
Robin Williams if the premier author of Macintosh books, and of books on design. All of her works are more than worth the price.

4-0 out of 5 stars A quick and easy read for every writer who cares about looking professional.
I'm reminded of Shunk and White's "Elements of Style". Short, correct, and invaluable. That's what Robin William's book is for people who care about the look of their written word on a computer. It's easy to make your work look professional and "The Mac is Not a Typewriter" shows you how. ... Read more

13. The Little Mac Book, Snow Leopard Edition
by Robin Williams
Paperback: 216 Pages (2009-09-04)
list price: US$19.99 -- used & new: US$11.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0321646916
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

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Adopting a back-to-the-basics approach, this bestselling little Mac classic has been revised and overhauled to introduce users to Snow Leopard, Apple's newest version of its operating system. In the gentle, friendly, funny style that generations of computer users have come to know and love, author Robin Williams shows readers how to dive in and start working with the Mac and OS X Snow Leopard. This full-color little book walks readers through all of the key new features in Snow Leopard. Using straightforward, jargon-free explanations delivered in logical, easy-to-follow sections, Robin is a new user's personal guide, coaching and encouraging readers as they learn their way around the magic of the Mac. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

4-0 out of 5 stars The Little Mac Book, Snow Leopard Edition
The Computer Club that I belong is using this text book to teach beginners on the Mac. An excellent resource.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Book for BOTH beginners and experienced users
The Little Mac Book Snow Leopard Edition is an impeccable book. The book is full of very clear screenshots, very informative and a book that is valuable for anyone whether you are a beginner or not. I liked this book so much that I purchased another copy for a neighbor who has just purchased her first Macintosh. This book covers many, many things and is not boring or even close to it. The author, Robin Williams, has been constantly updating her Little Mac Books for years as the various operating systems change. When I was new to the Mac way back in 1993, my brother gave me a copy and I enjoyed it so much that I just about stayed up all night the first night I got the book, just absorbing all the neat stuff that the author pointed out. In my opinion, this book is a must have!!!

3-0 out of 5 stars snow leopard spelled out
I bought a new macbook pro upgrading from my ibook G4....I find little difference in the two computers and little difference in the 2 books,,, TIGER and SNOW LEOPARD.... It is so basic for a first time owner of a MAC but nothing much to learn save the new abilities of the touch pad on the snow leopard.I will sell this book to someone who is unfamiliar with MACS....
Robin Williams is a very smart woman and so i think this is a great 1st read but it doesn't do much for a seasoned MAC user.

3-0 out of 5 stars Very Basic Learning Book
I bought this book because I am a new Mac owner and wanted to learn how to use it, after being a PC user for many years.At the same time, I bought a couple other books, which turned out to be much better learning sources.I probably misjudged this book.It turned out to be a very basic computing book and most of the information in it I had known for years.It seemed to me that it was better suited for someone who was altogether new to computers.It was not of much use for me.I think it probably is a good and easy book for beginners, but does not address the overall issues in learning to use the Mac.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good intro to the Mac, coming from a PC
I have plenty of experience using Windows-based PCs and I wanted a book that would get me into the basics of a Mac quickly and painlessly.This did it.It does not contain information on how to use the applications that come with the Mac, like iMovie and Garageband, rather it tells you how to move around the operating system.There were short sections intended for people with no computer experience at all, like information for those who have never used a mouse before, but they were brief and easy to skip.There was enough information and quick tips to make this book worthwhile.Although there are sections seemingly intended for complete novices, I'm not sure if there is enough of that material to make this book useful for a beginner.But the book was a quick, easy read and saved me a lot of time fumbling around on my own.I would recommend it to anyone in my position who is looking for more of a "quick start guide" rather than an exhaustive, encyclopedic reference.I have to give it 5 stars because it seemed to accomplish what it intended.
... Read more

14. A Vancouver Boyhood: Reflections on Growing Up in Vancouver, 1925-1945
by Robin Williams
 Hardcover: 303 Pages (1997-05)
list price: US$14.95
Isbn: 0968310702
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15. The Pc is Not a Typewriter
by Robin Williams
Paperback: 96 Pages (1995-03-10)
list price: US$16.99 -- used & new: US$8.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0938151495
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
From the author of The Little Mac Book and The Mac Is Not a Typewriter, here at last is the PC version of the classic Mac book. The entertaining, informative style that made Robin Williams' other books classics is now available in this book PC users have been waiting for. 20 line drawings. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (16)

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent but overpriced for its size
This is an excellent book, but for only 50 pages of content, it is a little overpriced. The price should be $5.

I was surprised how much I learned from it, even though I worked in computerized typesetting for over 15 years as a software developer, most of it before the PC was even invented. The stuff I didn't already know had to do with typographic conventions that didn't affect software features, e.g., I knew about the en dash, but didn't know about its use in hyphenating compound words. For the stuff I did know, it gave me a much better way to explain it to others than I could have thought of.

On the typesetting systems I worked on, two spaces after a sentence-ending period was perfectly fine. It was what the journalists writing the articles were used to. Our software treated 2 or more spaces as a single space for line breaking and typesetter output. This is how HTML has always worked. In the pre-computer days most journalists used a typewriter then handed it to a typesetter to re-enter it.

5-0 out of 5 stars This book is essential for desktop publishing
I first read this book years ago as required reading for an employer and I will continue to share its guiding techniques with others. This should be required reading for anyone who does any kind of desktop publishing.... especially supposed professional pieces!! I would love to see Robin update it as some of the computer application references are quite outdated.

1-0 out of 5 stars I say the emperor has no clothes
I'm surprised so many people have bought into Robin Williams's edict that two spaces after the end of a sentence (and after a colon) is somehow no longer necessary.In fact, a single space in a proportionally spaced font is quite narrow, compared to a single space in a monospaced font where every character is the same width.

Typing with proportionally spaced fonts started with the advent of the IBM Executive typewriter back in the 1950's.Though the machines used individual type bars and not a unified font "element," characters came in varying widths.The machines had a split space bar giving either a wide or a narrow space.The wide space (left thumb)was used after a sentence or after a colon.The narrow space (right thumb) was used between words in a sentence, after a comma or semicolon.

I really don't care what typesetters do or don't do.I'm a secretary.When I see MSWord documents printed out where the typist has used a single space between sentences, it looks crowded and is more difficult to read, and I always infer the typist never learned the rules of typing.

I also note that I am a constant reader.I just got through reading the latest Sue Grafton mystery novel "T is for Trespass," in hard binding.So I grabbed the book to check the spacing between sentences and, lo and behold, the spacing between sentences (after a period, question mark, exclamation point or closing quotation mark) is double the spacing between words within the sentence, and it looks exactly right that way.Typesetters do, in fact, use more space between sentences than between words within a sentence, which is why properly trained typists have done it forever and still do, Ms. Williams revisionist rules notwithstanding.

The PC may not be a typewriter, but the vast majority of the rules typists have always followed still apply.What's changed is those things you couldn't do on typewriters.Underscoring replaced italicizing things such as titles of books, because typewriters couldn't shift into italics.Now, when using a word processing program, we can italicize, so we should no longer be using underscoring instead.Typewriters had hyphens, but not dashes, so, once upon a time, when typing, we had to use a double hyphen for a dash with no spacing around it, or, alternatively, a hyphen with a space on either side of it.Now we can actually use n-dashes and m-dashes as appropriate.(Though, unfortunately, nowadays I sometimes see dashes used when a hyphen is called for, such as in the middle of a local phone number.)

I admit, I'm old school.I still spell "restaurateur" without an "n" in it when almost everyone is using "restauranteur," which didn't used to be a word.I don't think "alright" is all right.Strange as it has always been, I still spell "supersede" without a "c" in it.And I still put two spaces between sentences when typing, because a single space isn't enough, and I don't like this book for suggesting otherwise.

5-0 out of 5 stars Robin WIlliams sets the future archetype for technology training
I cannot say enough good things about this woman's writing. She breaks the normal rules of teaching by rote, instead helps to impart a holistic understanding of the pros and cons of the technology, and thus it becomes obvious how to use it to the best effect. I have taught seminars using her books as reference materials, and recommend that everyone should own this book who uses a computer. Most people today learn technology by rote, this does not give a person the understanding necessary to face different software versions, or even different challenges that pop up everyday in the workplace. Many books written on technology are only good as doorstops, as they perpetuate the step by step learning by rote crap. This book, very thin and unassuming in it's length, get's in a user's brain like yeast and expands to help them to be able to comprehend WHY things work the way they do. I hope she writes a lot more books, especially one for Windows users, like her Little Mac Book. She deserves to be famous, successful, and prosperous.

3-0 out of 5 stars Very outdated but still of some use for beginners
I did pick up one or two useful hints in this book. If you haven't managed to figure out for yourself that two spaces after a full stop (period) just looks plain stupid, then you will probably get a lot of utility from this book. As other reviewers have said - it is extremely short and light on content - you'll probably read the whole thing in an hour.

My main beef with this book is that it is very outdated. It contains solutions for many issues which are now handled automatically by modern operating systems and packages. There is constant mention of packages and keyboard shortcuts for programs that just don't exist anymore, many not even in the memories of most people (does anyone remember Ventura Publisher?)

The copyright notice at the front says 1992, and no printing date was listed. Surely after 14 years and selling so many copies Peachpit Press would have a bright idea to update this book for the present day? Different issues to examine and different ways to generate certain characters. If they had done this I would have found the book three times as useful. ... Read more

16. Robin Williams Handmade Design Workshop: Create Handmade Elements for Digital Design
by Robin Williams, Carmen Sheldon
Paperback: 240 Pages (2009-10-11)
list price: US$39.99 -- used & new: US$23.24
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0321647157
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Over the course of the last several years, the DIY market has exploded spawning magazines, books, movies and fueling the growth of the online, handmade marketplace. In Robin Williams Handmade Design Workshop: Create Handmade Elements for Digital Designs, best-selling author Robin Williams and Carmen Sheldon take designers away from their computers and show them, step-by-step, how to use traditional artist's tools to create handmade elements for their digital artwork. The authors provide a wealth of new ideas to jump-start creativity and get graphic designers thinking in new ways. Each how-to is illustrated with tons of photos to show how to use paints, inks, textures, modeling pastes, and more to create handmade materials that can then be scanned in and used to create one-of-a-kind print projects or web sites. Examples of finished projects and Web sites are featured throughout the book to provide both instruction and inspiration for designers to use in their own projects. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (14)

5-0 out of 5 stars Any photography or crafts collection needs this
Handmade Design Workshop: Create Handmade Elements for Digital Design offers a fine inspirational survey of design work showing how to use traditional artist's tools to create hand-made elements for use in digital design work. From learning how to blow, salt, spray and sponge to exploring clay, collage and found objects, this shows how to create illustrations even if you can't draw, with the inclusion of photography into the mix. Any photography or crafts collection needs this.

5-0 out of 5 stars Get your designer hands dirty for a change!
The Handmade Design Workshop by Carmen Sheldon and Robin Williams is a book I'm happy to have in my collection as a unique, design effects book.Being both a fine artist and designer, I was thrilled to have found a book that bridges what I felt I wanted to convey in my work- a blend of tactile with the simplicity of editing with the computer.

While in art school a had a great teacher who encouraged the design students not to just rely on computer effects, so we were able to create designs that had a humanistic, original feel. The authors of the book, Robin Williams and Carmen Sheldon, echo many of these same ideas.I have some of Robin's other books that I find just as helpful, instructional wise, but this particular book has been my favorite so far because it is so inspiring.And have an excuse not to stay glued to the computer!

Visual references and material guides were clearly laid out. And comparisons to similar digital effects were explained along with the new DIY approach for effects.I loved the textures suggested for background surfaces, from quick printing techniques (such as using found objects) to simple illustrative ideas (such as using torn paper collage or clay!)

Overall I was really impressed with the quality of the book and reminded how much we tend as designers get caught up in the day to day hustle of creation and rely on premade filters or other "from the box" digital effects.It's good to be reminded to get my designer hands dirty again and make some handmade elements!


5-0 out of 5 stars "Must-have" resource book for your design library!
This is a wonderful resource book! It's filled with inspirational ideas for taking a design from "ho-hum" to "over the top". The materials and tools have been easy to find in my local art supply store. I just finished a design using the scratch board technique from this book and enjoyed it so much more than just working on my computer.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Job
Love the "just enough" text and very helpful, step by step photos to show how to do techniques.
I have tried some of these watercolor techniques just from the book and I was able to actually learn how to do it without having to pay for a class or watch someone live doing it.I'm going to use these techniques in my paintings - I'm not even a graphic artist but wanted to learn some neat effects for my watercolor and other paintings.

5-0 out of 5 stars yum
Great book for breaking out of the mold and conformity, which is so difficult to break with Adobe so readily at our finger tips. Miss you Robin, love you mom.<3
... Read more

17. The Little Mac Book, Leopard Edition
by Robin Williams
Paperback: 224 Pages (2008-01-05)
list price: US$24.99 -- used & new: US$12.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0321509412
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In this book—now in full color for the first time—Robin returns to oneof her favorite things: teaching new computer users how to use andenjoy the Macintosh!

Sit down at your Mac and let Robinintroduce you to its basic features. Follow Robin’s step-by-stepdirections, and you’ll soon feel comfortable, confident, and able to dojust about anything you want to do on your Mac. From using the mouse tosurfing the web, from menu commands to keyboard shortcuts, you’llacquire exciting new computer skills—and you’ll have fun in the process.


Amazon.com Review
A classic returns, this time updated to include Mac OS 8.6,the iMac, and more Internet material. The Little Mac Book willfit your needs extraordinarily well if you've chosen to get intopersonal computing by way of a Macintosh computer and want a friendlyand thorough guide.

Robin Williams--no, not the comicactor--assumes her readers have no computer experience at all. Sheprovides explanations of all the essentials as well as the perennialstumper for all Mac novices--how to get the floppy disk out of itsdrive! She also explains why hooking Macs together in a network iseasier than you might think and shows how to use Sherlock to extractthe information you need from the Internet. Since she focuses on MacOS 8.6 in general, her approach is suitable for users of all Macs whouse that system, including the iMac and iBook. Throughout, her lovefor the Mac and its community of users is obvious.

A lot of efforthas gone into this book's design too--there are few slapped-in screenshots and lots of carefully trimmed and laid-out illustrations. Notenough publishers put this kind of care into their books'production. As a result of the collaboration between Williams and herpublisher, The Little Mac Book is a joy to look at, hold, read,and use. --David Wall

Topics covered: The Mac OS 8.6system; the mouse, the keyboard, file management, Mac text editing,and Internet tips. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (44)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Little Mac Book, Leopard Edition
I have not used it at all as yet, but I will in the course of the month of March 2010.
In my class, my instructor as well as my classmates like it very much.
Thank you.


Please do not send me any solicitation of any kind nor ads; do take this request seriously.

5-0 out of 5 stars Mac user since 1988
The little Mac Book for operating system X was is very useful as it is direct and to the point.Some previous operating system
books have been so detailed that they are hundreds of pages long and hard to use.I would recommend Robin Williams book
to all who have been overwhelmed by the many changes in Mac computers.

4-0 out of 5 stars Great Reference Book
Being new to computers and at an age when my memory is a little dull-I like having this book on hand for the basic questions.I apparently thought I was ordering the leopard edition when I must have been looking at the tiger reviews.I was disappointed in that but it still has information that I needed and it is presented in a way that makes learning this computer stuff not so scary to me.It helped me loosen up and I like the way Robin Williams leads me through practice runs so that I'm not just reading about it.The shipping from the seller I used was very slow and I will not order from them again, but the book itself was in good shape and the price was good.Thanks Amazon!

We actually bought our Apple several months and know all the basic stuff.This book was recommended to us when we first bought it, but we waited.Unfortunately, too long.This is a good book to learn the basics of Apple, but not for more involved aspects.For example, if you want to learn about photos, they only refer you to another book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great for new mac users
I bought this book after looking at several at the local book stores and asking my teacher at the Mac "genius bar" what he recommended.It is making my pc to mac transition totally painless using simple instructions and great illustrations. I would definitely buy more of Robin Williams' books after I master the basics. ... Read more

18. The The Non-Designer's Type Book, 2nd Edition
by Robin Williams
Paperback: 240 Pages (2005-10-02)
list price: US$24.99 -- used & new: US$18.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B002ECEGXO
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

Seven years is a long time in any industry, but when it comes to the worlds of design and technology (and particularly the point at which the two merge), it's an eternity! No wonder, then, that you (and about a million other readers!) have been eagerly awaiting this latest update to Robin Williams' enormously popular Non-Designer's series. In these pages, Robin defines the principles that govern type as well as the logic behind them so that you learn not just what looks best but why on your way to creating effective print and Web pages. Each short chapter in this thoroughly updated guide (which includes new coverage of typography in Adobe InDesign and Mac OS X) explores a different type secret or technique, including understanding legibility and readability; tailoring typeface to a particular project; mastering pull quotes and captions; working with spacing, punctuation marks, special characters, fonts, and justification; and more. The nonplatform- and nonsoftware-specific approach and Robin's lively, engaging style make this a must-have for any designer's bookshelf!

... Read more

Customer Reviews (20)

1-0 out of 5 stars Read this only if you want to remain a "non-designer"
I feel bad for doling out a single star, but as a professional designer in the sales and marketing field, I can't help but be horrified after reading this book. I know that many unknowing individuals who want to learn about design and typeface will find this book, and not knowing any better, decide to base their design approach on the principles within.

I'm not sure what niche or genre Robin William's design approach fits best, but one thing I am certain is that it's not in the world of mainstream graphic design. It seems to me that her design theory is stuck in the 1992 desktop publishing era.

The most obvious evidence I can offer is the design of this book itself. Compare its design side by side with any modern marketing piece or national magazine. Do you really want someone who serves up her own Website like this to teach you design? [...].

The table of contents is as horrific example as any. It seems a concerted effort was made to pick as many of the goofiest and unprofessional typefaces as possible and fit them on the same page. Turn to page 19-20, the first transition page between chapters. Can you imagine a fortune 500 company publishing a piece with five font changes within a couple paragraph lengths of copy?

The single worst piece of advice I've ever read on design is contained with this book. On page 188 she lists the number one "telltale sign of desktop publishing" is use of Helvetica typeface.

The exact opposite is true. If there is one single piece of advice that could be given to a "non-designer" for making their publication appear professional it would be to use Helvetica.

It's an undisputed fact that a majority of professional copy is presented in Helvetica typeface. Look at any major magazine, sign, or advertisement and you're probably looking at Helvetica.Look at the publications of design leaders like Apple, the New York Design Center, [...], etc. Look at the productions of polished professional brands like Crate and Barrel, Target, Macy's, or Nike . . . almost all major brands have one thing in common, Helvetica.

The use of Helvetica to establish a foundation of professional design is probably the most established axiom of professional design. It's so substantial, a full-length documentary was recently released on the topic: [...]

If your goal is to produce a publication that will be perceived as professional and establish immediate credibility please please run from this book.

3-0 out of 5 stars Useful, but often misleading
This is a handy basic introduction to type design issues. But it is marred by some of the author's eccentric beliefs, stated as facts.

First of all, whatever you think of Helvetica (and I'm not a fan), I don't think it's showing any signs of fading from our public spaces, more's the pity.

Second (and related to the above), her fondness for wacky, eye-catching, "novelty" typefaces is going to lead many people in quite the wrong direction. If you're designing a club flyer or a magazine ad., maybe it's useful advice; but, if taken to heart by a beginner, it would be a disaster for the production of readable, proportioned, pleasing typography in long texts. As for her defence - without a word of caution - of the use of bold italics for emphasis: I'm afraid that just makes me shudder! As a book editor as well as a typesetter myself, I can't tell you how many wasted hours I've had to spend removing such typographical detritus from the texts of authors who should have known better. Now I know where they might have got the idea from...

Finally, a smaller point, which may be to do with a difference between US and British usage, but of which UK users of this book should therefore be aware. To my mind, it is ugly and unwarranted (I'll just say it: illiterate!) to follow an italicised word or phrase contained within a roman paragraph with italic punctuation (or bold with bold, or whatever - see p. 67). Punctuation outside an emphasised phrase does not belong to that phrase, but forms part of the scaffolding that holds the phrase in place. Like all scaffolding, it shouldn't bend under the influence of what it's supporting, but should damn well stay put! (Don't just take my word for this - see section 6.6 of The Oxford Style Manual.) Lamentably, though, this does seem to be the general advice offered in most US texts on the subject. (And I'm not a knee-jerk opponent of US practice. The so-called "Oxford comma", prevalent not just in Oxford but in the US, though frowned upon by many UK style guides - and by Lynne Truss, I believe - seems to me like a very sensible thing.)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very thorough and useful
I have to begin by saying that I have absolutely no experience in design or artwork. I have taken on a project (not exactly voluntarily) which I would prefer doesn't look completely amateurish by the time I finish. I got this book to give me some sort of reference in something I know I'm way over my head on.

It covers everything that an amateur needs to know; it is fairly well indexed so I can locate it quickly; it doesn't go into unnecessary detail, just the to-the-point-basics. It is perfect for someone who doesn't have time to read the whole book and just needs to look up specific aspects of design as the need arises; it is not only well-written, but also well-illustrated. So far, everything I've needed is there.

Having said this, I think that someone who already knows the basics or has design experience might find the tone of the book a little bit arbitrary or pedantic. In questions of taste or style there has to be a little more leeway for personal preference than this book would indicate.

The author does have rather firm ideas of what is right and what is wrong and how things must be done. I tend to agree and do things his way because I don't know anything different and I desperately need strict guidelines since I don't have time to experiment or develop my own style.

People who know more than I about the subject might or might not agree with all he says. But I think everyone will find this book useful at least as a source of reference or a starting point.

5-0 out of 5 stars A MUST for type lovers
Contrary to the reviewer below, this book is most definitely a book about type for non-designers. I too love typography. Mantis neglects to mention, in his diatribe about underlining, that Ms. Williams makes it perfectly clear that a rule (line) integrated into the typographic design is entirely different from the underline feature that you hit with a keystroke. She advocates never hitting that keyboard shortcut, and she is correct. Ms. Williams also makes it clear she is creating guidelines for non-designers who need clear boundaries when they first begin, and that once you know the rules, you can break them with glee. Like Helvetica -- a very skilled designer can override the 1970s look that inevitably comes with Helvetica, just as a very skilled designer can work with art deco fonts and create a new look with them. But beginning designers aren't there yet, so Robin suggests some boundaries.

I found this book to be much more practical for the millions of people who are just discovering that there is more to type than "block text." Bringhurst's book is beautiful and philosophical and something to aspire to, but for nuts and bolts and clear guidelines that work on the page, The Non-Designer's Type Book is a must!

5-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful intro to the world of type...
As an avid reader and (some would argue) somewhat-successful writer, I spend a lot of time looking at the printed word.But I don't have a full appreciation behind the effort and thought that goes into how that word gets transferred from writer to reader on paper.Robin Williams has a great book for those of us who are not professionals in the world of typesetting...The Non-Designer's Type Book.

Contents:Centuries of Type; The Art of Readability; The Art of Legibility; Quotation Marks - Or Not?; Hang that Punctuation; Punctuation Style; Shift that Baseline; OpenType & Expert Sets; Small Caps; Oldstyle Figures; Ligatures; Condensed and Extended Type; Display Type; Kerning; Linespacing (leading); Paragraph Spacing; Alignment; Headlines and Subheads; Pull Quotes; Captions; Emphasizing Type; Line Breaks and Hyphenation; Swash Characters; Initial Caps; Typographic Color; Ornaments & Dingbats; Pi & Picture Fonts; Don't be a Wimp!; Evocative Typography; Choose a Typeface; Telltale Signs of Desktop Publishing; Trends in Type; Typographic Terms; Listen to Your Eyes; Font and Product Vendors; Special Characters; Index

It's easy to look at something written and get an immediate impression as to whether it looks good or not.But it's really hard sometimes to know exactly why.Williams demystifies the whole world of print design in such a way that even a novice like me starts to "get it".Her explanation of font styles and when to use what should be required reading for everyone putting words to paper.Just because you can use 10 fonts in a report doesn't mean you should.Going a little deeper, you learn about kerning (spacing between letters) and how that can be adjusted for the best visual results.All of these subjects continue to build on each other, and by the end of the book you have a solid foundation on the subject.What makes the book even better is that her writing style is conversational and somewhat irreverent, and there are an abundance of examples on nearly every page.Even if you already know a particular rule (such as using smart quotes or hanging punctuation), the visual nature of her writing can be used to glean ideas for your own work.Reference and inspiration in a single volume is a hard thing to accomplish, but she pulls it off with ease.

This is another one of those books that will stay close at hand.This will probably be more of a "stay at home" book, as that's where a lot of my writing takes place.But it's guaranteed to get slotted in next to all my other volumes that allow me to make-believe I'm a writer.Great book... ... Read more

19. The Garden Planner
by Robin Williams
Paperback: 168 Pages (2002-03)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$13.83
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 071121218X
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

This handbook reveals the secrets of professional garden design, and then makes them accessible to everyone, from the keen gardener to the complete beginner. The book contains designs for gardens of all shapes and sizes, providing practical solutions for varying sites, circumstances and needs. With color plans and perspective realizations, Robin Williams gives readers the ability to see how the designs translate into three dimensions.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great for Inspiration and Planning
Garden Planner is one of my favorite books to consult when searching for ideas and inspiration. As a newer gardener (only been at it for three years), I have found the plan variations and tips in this book both useful and practical. Paired with a regional plant guide, I was able to create a lovely, perennial flower garden in my front yard last summer. I plan to use Garden Planner for inspiration again, when we landscape around our newly built deck.

5-0 out of 5 stars Terrific Book
I studied with Robin several years ago and he is not only a lovely man but a gifted teacher. I now work for one of the largest plantscapers on the east coast, in large part because of Robin's expert tutelage. (Thank you Robin!) Just about anyone that is interested in garden planning and design will benefit from this book. I heartily recommend it!

5-0 out of 5 stars Garden Design Made Clear and Easy
The Garden Planner is an excellent book and it is one that serves a definite purpose, i.e., how to get started with garden/landscape design.
While there is much written on landscape design, there is not all that much on how to get started actually doing it. I am a member of the APLD, Association of Professional Landscape Designers. I taught landscape-gardening for a dozen years and I write garden books myself (Allergy-Free Gardening, Safe Sex in the Garden, Ten Speed Press) and I have a large collection of garden landscape books. Many of these books were presents and although interesting, many are not all that useful. But this one is highly useful.
The author, Robin Williams (not the actor!) is an experienced designer and is skilled at explaining how to do it, how to get started, how to end up with something to be proud of. In garden/landscape design there are certain principles for success and they are all well covered here. I would recommend this book to anyone wanting to get started doing landscape design. I would also recommend it to people who are already designers as I think even they would be pleasantly surprised. ... Read more

20. The Assistants: A Novel
by Robin Lynn Williams
Paperback: 304 Pages (2005-05-10)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$1.30
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000H2M96E
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
In this wicked, laugh-out-loud debut novel, five miserable souls struggle to make their mark on Hollywood, the city of the soulless. Rachel Burt, starry-eyed and clueless, has left behind tiny Sugarland, Texas, and her position as Starbucks employee of the month, to pursue her dreams of becoming a screenwriter. The madness begins when she eagerly accepts a position as assistant to Victoria Rush, an aging television diva with "a little pill-popping problem that two tours of duty at Betty Ford couldn't remedy."

Rachel learns the ropes from Michaela Marsh, a never-say-die, plastic-surgery perfect "midget Tai-Bo Barbie." Michaela has spent years (and years and years: she is -- gasp -- over thirty!) trying to break into Hollywood, which has given her a healthy respect for the casting couch; but even sleeping with her slimy agent hasn't landed her a meaty role, and the last pilot she almost got, some ten years ago, went to that little nobody, Lisa Kudrow.

Jeb, who operates on pure rage, has been fired from more assistant jobs than he cares to count, and he currently teeters on the edge of insanity under Randall Blume, one of the sleaziest agents in Hollywood.

Kecia Christy, a no-nonsense Pisces pining for love and addicted to Krispy Kremes, works for Travis Trask, the hottest teen heartthrob since "that other white boy, Leo." More interested in smoking prizewinning pot with his bonehead buddies than in his next movie, Travis is always looking for the next good party -- until his ex-con brother shows up at the front door.

Griffin's intelligence and ambition fail to shield him from endless humiliation at the hands of Johnny Treadway, a crass A-list manager with pec and cheek implants and a perpetual tan, courtesy of the Tropical Rays tanning bed he keeps in his office. Johnny takes all the credit while Griffin does all the real work, and Griffin has begun to suspect that selling his soul might not be worth that overdue promotion after all.

Once a week, Rachel, Michaela, Jeb, Griffin, and Kecia meet at a dark, unhip watering hole to commiserate. Soon enough, however, the system spits them out, and they must learn to survive through sheer determination, hard-won industry savvy, and luck.

At turns hilarious, poignant, and sinfully gossipy, The Assistants will keep you glued to your seat until the final page is turned.Amazon.com Review
Wanted: Young, photogenic writer with one year of experience as an assistant to Hollywood power players to pen easy-reading, summer novel about same.

If the publisher had run this advertisement to find an author for Robin Lynn Williams' debut novel, The Assistants, they would have gotten all that and an innovator to boot. Rather than content herself with the established axiom of Assistant Lit--one lowly assistant, one mean boss--she presents five attractive young nobodies, each taking turns with the first-person point-of-view. (The book even includes pictures of models portraying the protagonists so go ahead and check your imagination at the front cover!) Do you like the narrative voice to be wise and irreverent? If so, you'll enjoy reading about Griffin, the agent's assistant, who struggles to prove that he--not his employer--is the one who knows how to unearth rare talents. Or maybe you'll prefer the saccharine aftertaste of Rachel, a Texas belle who slaves for a has-been sitcom actress. Or the sex-obsessed Jeb, who craves the love of a good woman--his boss's wife. The team is rounded out by Michaela, the wanna-be actress, who logs plenty of time on the casting couch, and Kecia, an actor's assistant, who is kept busy battling both her weight and the IRS.

The Assistants is diverting enough to keep readers entertained, just check your expectations at the door. Writers of Assistant Lit have mastered the art of telling it like it is when it comes to thankless office work, but not when it comes to endings. In real life, the bosses usually win. --Leah Weathersby ... Read more

Customer Reviews (28)

2-0 out of 5 stars Let Down
I guess I'm the only one who agrees with the opinion that this book was a disappointment. I read the short review by a favorite author of mine, Lauren Weisberger, on the back of the book and expected to thoroughly enjoy it. That's not exactly what happened. The beginning of the book was promising with the introduction of all of the characters but they never really developed.

I was especially disappointed by the ending. Beside it feeling rushed, it was clear that the story took off when Rachel was introduced but it wasn't Rachel that explained how everyone ended up. Among the other upsets were the grammatical errors, overuse of Microsoft Word-like insertion of synonyms, random camera/direction notes, and overall lack of detail.

Also, the comparison of this book to Office Space is laughable.

4-0 out of 5 stars Sad but true
Being a former Hollywood assistant myself i was curious to read Robin Williams' take on the subject...it's dead on, unfortunately for the assistants and fortunately for the readers. I caught myself laughing at loud several times remembering similar situations i found myself in.
Great summer read.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not nearly as good as expected
I had seen so many glowing reviews about this book that I was really excited to read it for myself.Boy, was I disappointed.The writing is not nearly as biting and quick witted as I had expected.In fact, I think that the writing is quite poor.The author relies on one-dimensional caricatures (the struggling actress willing to sleep her way to a break-through role, the naive girl from the small town moving to the big city, the chauvinist jerk only interested in sex, etc.)She tries to give them different voices as they narrate their own stories, but by the end of the novel (after they have gone through unrealistic "character development") they all end up sounding alike.And I definitely did not care what happened to them, as most of them are just as bad as the awful people that they work for as assistants.
Also, this may be a bit picky, but it bothered me.I had a hard time getting past the unnecessary and insensitive references to Jon Benet, Columbine, the murder of Nicole Simpson, etc.They are supposed to be up-to-date fleeting references to pop culture or what not, but they just stuck out to me as low.
It definitely is a quick read, I read it in one afternoon, but don't expect much depth.I would not recommend this book to my friends.It does not live up to expectations.

4-0 out of 5 stars A grin from beginning to end
"The Assistants", a novel by Robin Lynn Williams, is a hoot from beginning to end. The characters are well delineated and each appealing in his own way. The author apparently had a bad experience with Hollywood agents, because she depicts them as stupid, greedy, and devious incompetents who depend entirely on the neediness of their clients and employees for their success. Especially amusing is Rachel, a na??f who hails from a small suburb of Houston and believes that all people are basically good and honest. I have to question whether good fortune would smile on such a person quite as broadly as it does on Rachel, but it's fun to pretend.

5-0 out of 5 stars Sugarland Shuffle
This is a really cute book. A fun read. However, one thing drove me absolutely crazy. One character, Rachel, is from Sugarland, Texas. The author makes it sound like a dinky little town in the middle of nowhere. For those of you who don't know, Sugarland is a city on the outskirts of Houston. It is a busylittle metropolis. Nothing backwards about it. It boasts gated communities, nice malls, movie theaters...picture a mini-Houston. I wish the author had done a little more research when choosing Sugarland as Rachel's hometown. Other than that little snafu it's a really cute story. ... Read more

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