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The Burning House: What Would You Take? Paperback – July 10, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: It Books; Original edition (July 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062123483
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062123480
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 3.5 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #373,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Fascinating . . . provocative.” (New York Times)

“Simple and lovely.” (New York magazine)

“Answering this question reveals a great deal about your personality, priorities and interests.” (The Guardian)

“This book is what user-generated content can be at its very best: personal, passionate, surprising, and, above all, something that will spark conversation after conversation among friends and strangers alike. Brilliantly curated and endlessly addictive, The Burning House opens your heart and sticks to your soul.” (Larry Smith, editor of Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure)

“A poignant and revealing series of self portraits told in loving visual haiku.” (Frank Warren, creator of POST SECRET)

“The Burning House is brilliant in its ability to remind us that what we value most are not usually possessions but what they stand for. These deceptively simple photographs are powerful biographical portraits.” (Brian Lam, former Gizmodo editorial director)

From the Back Cover

Your house is burning. You have to get out fast. Suddenly you are forced to prioritize, editing down a lifetime of possessions to a mere handful. Now you must decide: Of all the things you own, what is most important to you?

The practical? Your laptop, your smartphone, what you need to keep working and stayin touch?

The valuable? Your money, your jewelry, the limited edition signed poster in the living room?

The sentimental? The watch your late grandfather gave you, the diary you kept as a teenager?

What you choose to bring with you speaks volumes about who you are and what you believe in—your interests, your background, your view of life.

With contributions from all over the world, The Burning House is an eye-opening pictorial meditation on materialism; an in-depth, intensely personal interview contained in a single question; a revealing window into the human heart.


More About the Author

Foster Huntington grew up in Portland Oregon, went to a small liberal arts College in Maine, and is now a photographer based on the West Coast.

Customer Reviews

I felt like something was missing from the premise of the book.
Jason D
I believe the description said something about what you would save says something about your personality, so I was a little disappointed.
JMarie
It's a good coffee table book that works as a conversation starter.
Brittany Moore

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Sibelius on January 17, 2013
Format: Paperback
Interesting concept but layout design and quality of image prints have room for improvement. Also the scope of people featured should've been broadened beyond the realm of artsy-hipsters for more varied content.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jason D on December 7, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm not sure what I was expecting when I ordered this book, but I left feeling somewhat disappointed. I felt like something was missing from the premise of the book. I was hoping for something deeper, I suppose.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Heidi G on August 23, 2012
Format: Paperback
So really, what WOULD you take if you had to escape a burning house? This wonderful book contains lists of what people from around the world said would be top on their list; a photograph of the items accompanies each list. While many of the participants seemed to lean toward the artistic side (hence "cameras and accessories" was the top category of items listed), some of the more memorable were from the younger and older ends of life's spectrum. From a 10-year-old girl describing her hair brush: "I literally bring that brush with me everywhere. It's sort of like a good-luck charm" to wisdom from a 70-year-old: "letters and ojects from a person very dear to me," the lists are interesting and will probably make every reader pause to wonder what those items are that should be in a suitcase near the door. Two other favorites: "Bottle of gin to reassure me during the fire. The same goes for a box of cigarettes and matches." and "A book of a hundred handwritten things my wife likes about me." A great conversation starter and yes, I'm revisiting my own list.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C. Houser on August 7, 2012
Format: Paperback
I agree with the reviewer who said this is user generated content at its finest. Brief, thought-provoking personal profiles, in photo form accompanied by a list, from people around the globe answering the question, "Which 10 items would you take if your house was burning?" Their lists say so much more than their biographical info. Brilliantly conceived and presented.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Erica on January 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
What a neat neat book! The whole idea of interviewing different people about what they would take with them if their house was on fire. I loved flipping through the pages and just glancing at what people would grab, and then later going back to read all about the objects people would take in a fire and their reasoning behind it. People live such different kinds of lives and I just loved reading about it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas S. Wijnberg on December 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent coffee table book! I've re-read it multiple times and always find something new & interesting. Can't wait for the 2nd volume
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Marcella on November 6, 2012
Format: Paperback
The Burning House: What Would You Take by Foster Huntington is a fascinating book that takes a look into people's lives when they answer the question: If your house was on fire, what would you take? This question is answered by people of all ages, professions, and nationalities. Every list is different. Some lists are long, some are short, some come with an explanation as to why the items are chosen. Each list is accompanied by a photograph of the listed items. This is a neat book to read. I enjoyed looking through it and discovering what people treasured most. This would make a great coffee-table book that would promote interesting discussions. The idea for this book started from the website: [...]. If you're interested in reading this book, you should check it out. It's fascinating.
After I finished reading this book, I asked myself what I would take if my house was burning down. It's not really an easy question to answer as I thought. There are so many precious memories that I'd like to save if I could, but I suppose as long as my family and pets were safe, that is all that would matter. I'd probably grab my Kindle on the way out too. What would you take?
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By Kara Palladino on March 2, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Such an amazing book. It was really easy to connect to the stories people shared. Makes you think a lot about what you would take if your house was burning.
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