All posts tagged: Book Reviews

Summer Reading 2015

This has been a busy summer, full of travel, family changes, work, and good food!  During the past three months, I’ve also had a chance to read a few books – a couple just okay, one interesting, and one terrific.  So here’s a short summary, from mediocre to recommended. The Language of Houses: How Buildings Speak to Us, by Alison Lurie.  I picked up this 2014 book – with its promise to highlight how buildings speak to us in ways simple and complex, formal and informal – with great anticipation.  Written by a Pulitzer Prize winning author, I expected great – or at least good – writing that would pull me along.  Unfortunately, I found it a simplistic and rather bland work that I had trouble finishing.  This is a topic that holds a great deal of promise.  Unfortunately, Lurie’s work doesn’t deliver. The House with Sixteen Handmade Doors:  A Tale of Architectural Choice and Craftsmanship by Henry Petroski.  I bought  this quirky work in Seattle while on my cross-country trip with Claire in 2014.  …

From the Bookshelf

Despite a busy fall schedule of work and travel, I’ve managed to finish several books that have sat on my bookshelf for various periods of time. Some are hot off the press, others have been waiting for me to pick them  up for more months than I care to admit. All were worth reading, and two were terrific finds.  So here are a few thoughts on a season’s worth of reading – beginning with the one I finished earlier this week, and working backwards from there. Lawrence in Arabia:  War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East by Scott Anderson. This new work on the Middle East of World War I falls in the “terrific finds” category. Obviously much has been written about the exploits of T.E. Lawrence – the famous “Lawrence of Arabia.” In this book, however, the veteran war correspondent Scott Anderson weaves in Lawrence’s story with those of three spies from the era (German Curt Prüfer, American – and Standard Oil employee – William Yale, and Zionist Aaron …