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Michael Pollan's A Place of My Own might be suspiciously viewed by some readers as a text begging for interpretation. What is it that causes this man at midlife to attempt to put up a structure, an actual wood and concrete dwelling, where he can work on his own craft away from his domestic life? Arguably, Pollan's intentions are more transparent than a too clever postmodern audience can easily appreciate. The author of this fine, well-crafted book offers an explanation that seems honest and understandable: "Whenever I heard myself described as an 'information service worker' or a 'symbolic analyst,' I wanted to reach for a hammer, or a hoe, and with it make something less virtual than a sentence."
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.
Wanting to have a place of his own where he could think and write, Pollan decided to erect a small structure in the woods behind his house. Fancying himself a modern-day Thoreau, he wanted to build his "dream hut" with his own hands, even though he had no carpentry skills or experience. We learn very little about how to build a small structure; the majority of this book is devoted to Pollan's pretentious musings about a variety of architectural theories and about his interaction with the architect and carpenter who helped him (wasn't this supposed to be a simple structure?). Although it cost Pollan $125 per square foot and took him two and one-half years to build, ultimately it is the reader who works the hardest. Libraries serving those with a strong interest in architecture will want this title; other libraries should skip this book.?Jonathan Hershey, Akron-Summit Cty. P.L., Ohio
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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 15 days ago by Melissa Finley
very good and filled with humor, love and honesty toward our perceptions of home. Recommended.Published 1 month 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 1 month 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 2 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 3 months ago by David P. Craig
Pollan is a graceful writer. It was enjoyable to follow him through the construction of his place in the woods. Read morePublished 4 months ago by maranon
I had just finished "the Omnivores Dilemma" when I dove into this one. Although I did not find it as engrossing and informative a read, I did thoroughly enjoy it, mostly... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Paul P. Mannino
This book is a real gem. I am certainly not Mr Fix it but the book drew me into the story regardless. Hard to put it down. I think Thoreau would have approved.Published 6 months ago by Southern gent