Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Amato, Joseph A., Rethinking Home: A Case for Writing Local History. (Berkeley, CA: U of California Press, 2002. ISBN 0-520-23293-3)

Bachelard, Gaston, The Poetics of Space. (Boston: Beacon Press, 1969. ISBN 0-8070-6439-4 pb)

Bachelard, Gaston, The Poetics of Reverie. (Boston: Beacon Press, 1969 ISBN 0-8070-6413-0)

Bogart, Barbara Allen, In Place: Stories of Landscape & Identity from the American West. Glendo WY: High Plains Press, 1995) ISBN 0-931271-27-4

Fiffer, Sharon Sloan and Fiffer, Steve, editors. Home: American Writers Remember Rooms of their Own. (NY: Random House, 1995. ISBN 0-679-44206--5)

Gallagher, Winifred. The Power of Place: How Our Surroundings Shape Our Thoughts, Emotions and Actions. (New York: HarperCollins, 1993. ISBN 0-06-097602-0 pb)

Goodrich, Charles. The Practice of Home: Biography of a House. (Guilford, Conn.: The Lyons Press, 2004. ISBN 1-59228-416-7)

Greene, Elaine. Thoughts of Home: Reflections on Families, Houses, and Homelands. (New York: Hearst Books, 1995. ISBN 0-688-16988-0 pb)

Hiss, Tony, The Experience of Place: A New Way of Looking At and Dealing with Our Radically Changing Cities and Countryside. (New York: Random House (Vintage Books), 1990. ISBN 0-679-73594-1)

Kemmis, Daniel. Community and the Politics of Place. (Norman, OK: U of Oklahoma Press, 1990. ISBN 0-8061-2227-7)

Nisbett, Richard E., The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently... and Why. (New York: Free Press, 2003. ISBN 0-7432-5535-6 pb)

Pearlman, Mickey, A Place Called Home: Twenty Writing Women Remember. (NY: St. Martins Press, 1996. ISBN 0-312-12793-6)

Pollan, Michael, A Place of My Own: The Education of an Amateur Builder. (NY: Random House, 1997. ISBN 0-679-41532-7)

Rybczynski, Witold, City Life: Urban Expectations in a New World. (New York: Scribner, 1995. ISBN 0-684-81302-5)

Tuan, Yi-Fu, Topophilia: A Study of Environmental Perception, Attitudes, and Values. (New York: Prentice-Hall Inc., 1974. ISBN 0-13-925230-4 pb)

Tuan, Yi-Fu, Space and Place: The Perspective of Experience. (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, 1977. ISBN 0-8166-0884-9 pb)

I notice that sometimes when I mention a book, people assume I'm recommending it. But this is not always the case. I haven't even read all the books above. Some of them (Yi-Fu Tuan, Rybczynski, Bachelard, Kemmis) are highly respected and certainly OUGHT to be recommended, but for different reasons. Kemmis is a practical and humanistic politician considering human community. Bachelard is a French philosopher writing poetry as much as reality. Tuan is a pseudonym for a respected professor. But Elaine Green simply edits a series of House Beautiful columns by various folks. (Not that they aren't intriguing!)

Feel free to add your own choices to the comments.


mickey pearlman said...

hi--------thanks for mentioning my book. you can also send people to my website for reviews of books about place. best from New Jersey.

Mickey Pearlman

SB said...

Daniel's my neighbor -- I'm sending him this link!

prairie mary said...

Gee, if I'd known I'd get this much action out of a bibliography, I'd have posted a lot of them much sooner!

Prairie Mary

maxine said...

Hello, Dave Lull sent me your post and I've linked to it on Librarian's Place (his vicarious blog).
This list is a good idea-- I love books that convey a sense of a particular place, but cannot call to mind any that combine that with "houses".

Librarian's Place post here

Anonymous said...

i hope this is appropriate.
self-pub bk of mine. It’s at Hobart shops and

A few words therefrom;

“…His nomadic society could never have manufactured even a kerosene lamp, without first settling down. Such a lamp may be quaint in the face of the Dreamtime.

The light of the camp fire creates two concentric ‘rooms’ within the broader world. One, nearest the fire, has the amenity of the vibrancy of light, allowing good song and hand-working. The other, outward before the dark, is the nearby amenity of calming half-light, handy psychological amenity for conflict resolution, quiet romance and stars. Stars without cars. Without street lights. The introspective night-lit house world, with its internally reflecting, star blocking windows, has grown from our basic domestic facility. We nonchalantly enjoy the ‘civilised’ comfort of an on-ground milky-way as we gaze out at the city across the river.

Are houses a trap? Do they create a temptation to live in limited space, interior, couch potato, insular, battery hen, lounge lizard, mollycoddled, comfort zone, sensually deprived mental fixation. Or is this just a danger of which to be wary in a magnificent evolution of houses? Your call. Call your architect – from deep within.

Housing is not necessarily as it might have been. The housemarks may have been different. Utopian. Imagine; the psychologies of the existing houses as compared with those of a utopian house; and the efficiency in work life and ecology. A lot less effort and a lot more environmental beauty. Ecopian is the same, but with a lot less nomurbic and ecological stress.

Onward from the simple perspective and artefacts of the hunter-gatherers we find that; new gadgetry, discovery, use and weather constantly impact the house – plaster, the tradesman’s tools and ultra-violet included. Also impacting are the metaphysical graffiti of the tastes and impulses of the dweller, the architect, society and lawmakers. The house is both stimulator and receptor. There are, no doubt, many here unrecognised life impact and life potential factors in the principle and reality of the house.

Mere ripples to Mother Earth may be tsunamis to people. Mere ripples to us may drown our great grandchildren; or us.

Mere ripples sending out colourful cultural lifestyle and company.

Sincerely yours

John Latham
no url
16 SanFrancisco St, Tasmania, AUS 7171