Monthly Book Review — July 2020

Books I’ve Read and What I Thought About Them

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This month I only completed reading two books. One of the books was on the subject of SEO, and the other was about creating stories through data. Both books were excellent, and I would highly recommend them if you want to increase your knowledge in either area.

If you are looking for an overall review of what’s essential for SEO (search engine optimization) in 2020, this book is for you. I have read many books on SEO, and this is one of my favorites. The author provides a significant amount of detail about how to perform SEO, lists of tools, and details about SEO strategies.

SEO is a subject that is continually changing, so keeping up with these changes can be a challenge. This book, first released in 2013, has been revised for 2020 to keep everything up-to-date. The book goes through the following aspects of SEO:

  • Keyword Research
  • On-Page SEO
  • How Social Media impacts SEO
  • Link Building
  • Web Analytics
  • Troubleshooting Common SEO Problems
  • Local SEO
  • and more.

After reading this book, you will have an overall understanding of the essential aspects of SEO. You will also have a comprehensive list of some of the best tools for helping with SEO. Also, you will have access to an SEO checklist to help you decided upon and execute an SEO strategy for any website.

This book was an excellent book about SEO (you need to gloss over some of the typos, mostly noun-verb agreement issues) that will help you no matter where you are in learning and applying SEO tactics.

Too many times, data presented in charts and graphs do not express specific information. The creation of these charts and graphs misses the point of creating them in the first place.

In Storytelling with Data, the author provides insights on how to utilize graphs and charts to tell a story with your data. The book focuses on several areas to consider when developing storytelling visuals:

  • Awareness of Context — Be aware of who will be viewing the visual, what they need to know, what they already know.
  • Choose an Effective Visual — What type of visual will best deliver your point.
  • Limiting Clutter — Leaving out details that do not add something valuable and making secondary items fade into the background, so they are still available but are not the main focus.
  • Focus Audience Attention — Make the essential information of the visual stand out the most through the use of color, spatial layout, and other strategies.
  • Think Like a Designer — Keep principles of good design in mind and take the time to make your visuals appealing.

The book goes through each of these points in detail with many before and after examples to show (not just tell) how focusing on certain design aspects can make a huge difference in getting your point across.

I would highly recommend Storytelling with Data to anyone who creates visuals to display details of data.


That’s it for this month. Check back next month if you are interested in Business Intelligence, as I’m currently reading a couple of books on that topic. I may also have a review on Ready Player One, which is a book I’m reading for fun.

See you next month!

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