What are you reading?


Image result for pro practice paul segal

It's a fast read, good for review and building confidence moreso than learning revolutionary stuff. 

What are you reading? (Need not be directly related to architecture because everything is indirectly related to architecture therefore relevant.)

Sep 22, 17 11:19 am

and this quote that isn't mine but that I heard once... not all smart people read but all people who read are smart.

Sep 22, 17 11:31 am

In my opinion it should be: "Not all people who read are smart but all smart people read."


got a used PP copy from amazon as a part of my adjustment coming in and settling down as a foreign architect in the U.S.


I ordered 6 used books yesterday all for pro practice.


'Trading for a Living' by Alexander Elder.

Sep 22, 17 11:43 am

I just found this book, it's refreshing

Sep 22, 17 11:45 am

Big fan of Michael Pollan, I'll have to add this to my list


Yeah I own and enjoy that book as well. May have to dig it out and read it again.

I was about halfway through Tom Vanderbilt's Survival City before I took back up studying for the ARE. Now that I'm done, I'll have to figure out what box this ended up in when we packed up the office (with all our books) and turned it into the nursery. 

Sep 22, 17 11:55 am

It wasn't really a loss of interest, but the need to focus on other things in my spare time.



Nate Silver, The Signal and the Noise
Ben Coates, Why the Dutch are Different
Greg Mortensen, Three Cups of Tea
Jon Krakauer, Three Cups of Deceit
Jon Krakauer, Into Thin Air
J. D. Vance, Hillbilly Elegy

I literally never read fiction.

Sep 22, 17 1:37 pm

Would like to know why I'm different.


That was "just" business I suppose. If grandmothers were of value for more than knitting they'd ship them half across the globe back in the day and sell them to the highest bidder.


I don't really read much fiction past the rogue sci-fi/fantasy novel, but I am into food history and cookbooks.  Also I'm a sucker for biographies even if they're not very well written. :-\

Just finally finished:

  • Carrie Fisher, The Princess Diarist
  • Dana Goodyear, Anything that Moves

Just now starting:

  • Bee Wilson, Consider the Fork
Sep 22, 17 1:44 pm

robert jordan, wheel of time.  pretty close to branden sanderson's wheel of time.

Sep 22, 17 1:50 pm

Can't tell if joking or...

This is what I've actually been reading today, rather than simply aspiring to read: ASCE/SEI 7-10: Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures. Chapter 13 more specifically ... gotta make sure stuff doesn't fall off the building and injure or kill people in an earthquake.

Sep 22, 17 2:32 pm

A staple! I've been through chapter 26 more times than I'd like to admit.

Chapter 26 and 30 were earlier this week.


Blood Meridian or The Evening Redness in the West by Cormack McCarthy

Almost finished with it too.  I'm thinking I'll either start the next of Le Carre's Smiley's People series or get into some sci-fi for my next read.  Suggestions? 

Sep 22, 17 5:06 pm

Consider Phlebus.

Stanislaw Lem. For starters either The Star Diaries or The Futurological Congress.

Also Oldenburg's Notes In Hand

Sep 22, 17 7:21 pm

omg thanks for introducing this book.


Annie M.G. Schmidt short stories and poems at the moment.

Last novel I finished was Michel Houellebecq's Atomised and after that I picked up the same book with a different title, Elementary Particles, thinking it was a different novel. Turned out it was the US translation of the same French original, noticed only after a couple of chapters it all seemed too predictably familiair, haven't read any fiction since.

Still have a stack of Murakami's to go through at some point, but since I don't commute any more I never have or make time for reading. Should probably quit archinect for a bit :-/

Sep 23, 17 12:54 am

Murakami is great.


The Unwomanly Face of War / Alexievich
Infrastructure as an Asset Class / Alfen, Weber
Les Trois Veuves de Hong Kong / De Villiers (SAS#12 yeeeya !)
( next up : 7th function of Language / Binet  )

@chicaletta, segal tought my pro pract. class, he was a good guy

@randomised, check out  7th Function / Binet

Sep 23, 17 10:02 pm



c, it took me many, many years to gather all the information given in that book. It's bittersweet that I found it in an easy to read format. I want to highlight it and send copies of it to people. 7th function sounds like a good read, I put the audiobook on my list. (chicka, with a different name).


Rethinking Modernity by jaimini mehta.

Open source Architecture by Carlo Ratti

Sep 24, 17 6:42 am

Travel Arrangements by M.John Harrison.

The Book of Flights by J.M.G Le Clezio. This book is weirdly architectural for me. 

Sep 24, 17 6:51 am

I recently finished The City and The City by one of my favorite writers, China Mieville. Everything of his I've read has been wonderful and both City and Perdido Street Station are must-reads for urbanists. The latter is dense and requires commitment, but so worth it.

I'm slogging through the end of a book called How Thin The Veil, which is a memoir of a man's late-60s incarceration in the Traverse City State Hospital, the Kirkbride-plan asylum that has since been closed and turned into a lifestyle center. Too much smoking, not enough architecture, IMO. But I'll finish it anyway.

And I'll put here my eternal plug for comic novel Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple which is being made into a movie by Richard Linklater!  With Cate Blanchett as the manic architect protagonist!

Sep 24, 17 11:13 am

 the Traverse City State Hospital, the Kirkbride-plan asylum that has since been closed and turned into a lifestyle center

Unintended humor?

Sep 24, 17 4:51 pm

I didn't intend it specifically as humor, but I did intend it as pointed commentary. Yes, we are a crazy country.


Henry Miller, Plexus

Dostoyevsky, The Possessed 

Thomas Wolfe, Look Homeward Angel

and..... the MEEB

Sep 24, 17 5:49 pm

My husband's grandma gave us a collection of Ovid's poems in Latin. I've been reading two lines a day. I should be done in about 1000 years. 

Oct 3, 17 10:08 am

F. Zeri - Behind the image

M. Eliade - Borobudur symbolic temple

Oct 7, 17 2:23 am

Drama and Intrigue!

The Economy of Renaissance Florence, Richard A. Goldthwaite

Oct 10, 17 2:50 pm

The Russia House by John Le Carre (for fun)

Structural Stability: Theory and Implementation by Chen and Lui (because I have to)

Oct 10, 17 9:24 pm

>>>thanks for suggesting quite a few books to add to my reading list...

>>>currently I'm reading the poet James Koller, he was publisher of Coyote's Journal

Oct 21, 17 5:14 pm

Over the past few years (and likely for the next few years) I've been revisiting classics I either missed or misunderstood in my youth.

Just started East of Eden. Love it so far. I went through a big Steinbeck phase at the end of jr. high / beginning of high school. Re-reading as an adult, I'm struck by how much went right over my teenage head.

Oct 22, 17 7:43 pm

I just finished John Green's newest, Turtles All The Way Down. It's super relatable and super sad, but funny too, and totally enjoyable.

A few months ago I started October, by China Mielville, which is an account of the October Revolution. I had set it aside 1/3 of the way in because it's boring, but I'm trying to get through it further. 

Oct 22, 17 8:00 pm

Preserving the World's Greatest Cities

by Anthony M. Tung

A fairly fast paced, easy read. Informative from a history of urbanism and policy perspective. He looks at 22 cities throufhiut the world from the viewpoint of architecture heritage preservation. A bit too obviously anti-modernist in ideology, but still pretty good stuff. 3/4 of the way through I am in Paris and London with this one.


by George Orwell. 3rd re-read this year

Game of Thrones. Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin on smartphone audiobook, alternating with Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift on the laptop audible app.

Oct 22, 17 10:54 pm

The Unwomanly Face of War: An Oral History of Women in World War II

Svetlana Alexievich

Oct 22, 17 11:08 pm

I listened to "The KL: a History of Nazi Concentration Camps" by Nikolaus Wachsmann on audiobook in the spring. Highly recommended reading. Has a whole chapter devoted to women in the KL (konzentrationslager) system

I haven't had a chance to read it myself, but my wife enjoyed The Girls of Atomic City about women working on the Manhattan Project during WWII.

go do it

The Inner Harmony of the Japanese House, Atsushi Ueda

Japan Home: Inspirational Design Ideas, Lisa Parramore and Chadine Flood Gong

Oct 22, 17 11:13 pm

Painting and Experience in 15th century Italy

Michael Baxandall

Fantastic read.

Oct 22, 17 11:44 pm
go do it

and when i need a release

Oct 23, 17 11:37 pm

@ Miles Jaffe  re. Alexievich, how would you categorize it? I think of it as literary brutalism ? or just brutal. have not finished it yet.

Unrelated: Varro( 100 BC +/-)  and  Columella ( 70 AD +/-)  On Agriculture.

Cannot recommend enough, freaking delightful, great anecdotal observations on the built environment.

The varieties of apples for preserving are the smaller and larger quinces,2
the Scantian, the Scaudian, the small round, and those formerly called
must-apples, but now called honey-apples. It is thought that all these
keep well in a dry and cool place, laid on straw. For this reason those
who build fruit-houses are careful to let them have windows facing the
north and open to the wind; but they have shutters, to keep the fruit
from shrivelling after losing its juice, when the wind blows steadily.
And it is for this reason, too—to make it cooler—that they coat the
ceilings, walls, and floors with marble cement. Some people even spread a
dining-table in it to dine there; and, in fact, if luxury allows people
to do this in a picture gallery, where the scene is set by art, why
should they not enjoy a scene set by nature, in a charming arrangement
of fruit? Provided always that you do not follow the example set by
some, of buying fruit in Rome and carrying it to the country to pile it
up in the fruit-gallery for a dinner-party. Some think that apples keep
quite well in the gallery if placed on boards on the cement, but others
lay them on straw, or even on wool; that pomegranates are preserved by
burying their stems in a jar of sand...

Varro - De Re Rustica   p. 295 (Loeb)

Oct 27, 17 3:05 pm

One of the great anti-war pieces of all time. All war is brutalism, this is about humanity in the face of war. What can be more humane than a woman's point of view?

It's also something we (Americans) have no experience of: the Soviet Union was invaded over 1,000 miles deep and the same territory was fought over twice as the Soviets pushed Germany out. The Soviets won the war - facing some 300 divisions of German troops. The US and it's allies faced no more than 20 divisions in Europe.


The Fountainhead

Actually really enjoying it.

Oct 28, 17 8:31 am

The Fountainhead

I love cars and in the process of getting a Nissan 370z nismo. I want to build it with w twin turbo kit 800 hp etc. I was on a forum and someone there told me about Howard roark and him work for Mr. He is a draftsman trying to become an architect.....he turns down a assignment to design a 8 million dollar design for his firm and gets fired. Best book I have ever read in my life so far, I am still reading it.

Oct 29, 17 4:45 pm

Best non-fiction I've read in a while:

Oct 30, 17 4:22 am

Fun fact, the invention of the flushing toilet actually helped spread disease and pollution.

>>>Pierluigi Panza - The cross and the sphinx - The Life of Giovan Battista Piranesi (in italian)

Nov 28, 17 12:28 pm

Why would the title be in English but the book in Italian? That doesn't make any sense.

крест и сфинкс

The Putin Interviews, by Oliver Stone.

Nov 28, 17 12:46 pm

Radical Technologies by Adam Greenfield. Imagine Black Mirror, but in book form and non-fiction. It's really great and really fucking terrifying.

Nov 28, 17 7:34 pm

Just started this after finding it on a shelf in a hostel.

Nov 30, 17 7:43 am

Two - Thieves of State and London Draft Plan released 29 Nov 2017.

Nov 30, 17 7:49 am

Galaxy Express 999 - Leiji Matsumoto

Nov 30, 17 3:53 pm

Does anybody know of a good case study book?

Dec 21, 17 11:27 pm

As in project management, not design...

I just finished Giants in the Earth by O.E. Rölvaag...a random book my boss had read a long time ago and tossed to me about the trials and tribulations of Norwegian American immigrants settling and taking root out in the Dakota Territories...a good read if you’re into American history!
Dec 22, 17 8:39 am

Hi there! For now I am a big fond of books by Ayn Rend! Read them obligatorily if you have not done it yet!

Dec 22, 17 9:29 am
Non Sequitur



that is not ok.



Prague Cemetary by Umberto Eco.

Dec 22, 17 9:32 am

Rocambole - La Revanche de Baccarat

Dec 25, 17 11:03 am

james bond + 3 musketeers = Rocambole...

>>>currently enjoying the chapter "Baccarat's revenge" - - Baccarat (Countess Artoff) back in Paris, pieces together the puzzle and comes to the conclusion that the Marquis Inigo de los Montes is none other than Rocambole...


ATM I am 200 pages deep into 'Construction Waterproofing Handbook' but my partner just got me 'Appraising building defects: Perspectives on Stability and Hygrothermal Performance'. Sweeet!

Dec 25, 17 7:02 pm

You must be fun at parties.

The "Why Creatives Absolutely Hate Big Companies" thread got me thinking about a book I was gifted a few years ago, but have never read ...

Art's Principles by Arthur Gensler. Has anyone read it? Is this the way to get 'Creatives' to like working at Gensler?

Dec 29, 17 12:45 pm

do horses ever love the whip?


There's a book called The Business of Design by Keith Granet, who was (still is?) a partner at Gensler, which was being recommended to me a few years ago... The first page states something along the lines of "there are far too many over-educated people out there who think they deserve to work for companies like Gensler because of their knowledge and skillset, but what we found out through decades of practice is that we'd rather work with people who we can get along with, regardless of what or how much they know. Lesson number one, avoid hiring people who seem over-educated." I stopped reading around there because I value my education and don't enjoy being condescended upon by under-educated people in positions of power... But a lot of small scale design 'start-ups' seem to recommend this book. I'll try to get through it this year, even though I can't really enjoy books for people who don't read...



Dec 29, 17 1:26 pm

Thanks Chris for reminding me about this gem.

All the fun reading...

Dec 29, 17 4:53 pm



Dec 29, 17 5:51 pm


Dec 29, 17 5:52 pm

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