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A Place of My Own: The Architecture of Daydreams Paperback – December 30, 2008
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In Pollan's bestselling book Second Nature: A Gardener's Education, he illustrated his facility with both hoe and pen. In A Place of My Own he hefts the hammer and again records with great intelligence how thoroughly thought and reflection can be woven into our common lives and the patterns of a day's work. His book's subtitle, "An Education of an Amateur Builder," captures much of what this book contains: the lessons learned by a diligent student of architecture, design, and construction. The writing contains no gaps or unsightly seams, and it's full of clues to readers who share a similar desire to build something tangible in a world that prizes the evanescent. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
However, he definitely goes overboard - especially with the obnoxious use of esoteric vocabulary. Synecdoche? I'm pretty well read and I don't think I've ever even seen that word written before. It goes on and on like that, and it's unfortunate because it really distracts you from what's otherwise a pretty interesting read. He also seems to slip into a bit of stream of consciousness about the theory behind some detail of construction or another (like muntins). Be prepared.
It was also tiring to read about the conflict between the architect and the builder. If it was indeed as tense as he claims, then he's probably in large part to blame, getting wrapped up in the drama (which I believe he does).
Overall I gave it a 3, because it definitely provided a lot of good information. But I was dragging by the end, and it really felt like once he hit his quota of pages he just stopped. He takes you all the way through the process of construction, but doesn't tell you how it ends. How's the building feel? What worked and what didn't? Is it great in the spring with the windows open, or is it too buggy? Freezing in the winter? By dropping 30 pages of theory and putting in an equal amount of reality it would have made this book a real winner.
For those who loved The Omnivore's Dilemma, this book describes the process by which the cradle of that great work was itself brought to life. As a person married to an author, and as a person who himself writes more than the average American, Pollan's process of articulating his own dreams (and fears) for his own writing house literally brought tears to my eyes, so profound his subject and so universal its truths. It is a brilliant synthesis of abstract and concrete--the construction of a physical space *so that* greater mental heights can be imagined and obtained.
For those who celebrate the way that Pollan has helped us restore some measure of our own humanity by helping us reconnect with what is true about food (and by learning how to avoid what is false about edible food-like substances), let only those who are truly roofless cast the first stone against this book! For the rest of us, whether we own, rent, or live more transiently in some sheltering construct, this book teaches the truly multi-dimensional ways that dwellings come to be, and how the manifold relationships that condense into built forms continue to express those relationships, even to those who are not yet born.
For those who love Pollan's ways with words, this book is full of fridge-worthy sentences and page-worthy paragraphs.
For those who enjoyed meeting Joel Salatin in "Part III: Grass" of the Omnivore's Dilemma, in this book we meet the prototype from the building trade, Joe Benney.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Poland is of course the reigning dean of food but they s little Rome is a complete departure from that genre. Read morePublished 21 days ago by Franko
This book will very much appeal to the DIY crowd because we've all faced the dilemmas that Mike does...from idea, to planning, tools and searching for competent advice and help. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
On, excellent read! I'm currently in the process of designing my habitable tiny home, and while this has no real practical advice, it is inspirational.Published 6 months ago by Melissa Finley
very good and filled with humor, love and honesty toward our perceptions of home. Recommended.Published 6 months ago by Diane C Boyle
This book is not for everyone. Michael Pollan does not leave out any details in building a small house in the woods. Read morePublished 7 months ago by old guy
Excellent book. Actually about perceiving the world and oneself, with choosing the site, designing the structure, and building it as a vehicle. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Allan Lindh
Pollan's a great essayist an this is a worthy read for anyone that enjoys his voice and the way he makes history live in everyday actions.Published 8 months ago by David P. Craig