This book was charming. From its opening where you don't know exactly where you are and who is speaking to you, this book unfolds like fog rolling dowThis book was charming. From its opening where you don't know exactly where you are and who is speaking to you, this book unfolds like fog rolling down through a valley. When the fog clears about 20% into the book I was tied in and already loved all the characters and the story I found myself in.
The novel grapples on so many levels with the nature of memory and history, both personal and on a larger world scale. How do we construct and hold onto our own memories and histories, how true are they really and how do the propel us forward...or not? And then, how do we find and uncover those same types of memories from history and why should we? Can we uncover the feeling of slippered feet dancing across a wood floor and the flush cheeks of a first party through documents and records of the past? What memory do objects and places hold and how is it that we feel them more than just through words?
I recommend this book to anyone who has ever paged though archives or done any primary document research into the past, it expertly captures the beauty and emotion of that process....more
Going to UBC's architecture school in the city this book derives much of its content from and having close friends deeply involved in biking and sociaGoing to UBC's architecture school in the city this book derives much of its content from and having close friends deeply involved in biking and social justice, very little in this book was new to me. Still, it was a well written book and it pulls together many ideas about urban isms future into a very welcoming, readable and inspiring format. A lot of time is spent on transportation and density with limited time on building form, but that is probably as it should be. I did get a little sad about the state of my city (Seattle) in reading the great moves of our neighbors (Portland and Vancouver) and the author's call to action at the end felt a little disconnected, but I'm still into it. I recommend this book to anyone who lives in a city and anyone who wants a 'better life' and wonders what it actually takes. ...more
I really liked this book. It paints a really beautiful and vivid portrait of an era and through the early half a portrait of Seattle at the turn of thI really liked this book. It paints a really beautiful and vivid portrait of an era and through the early half a portrait of Seattle at the turn of the century...probably my favorite era.
While the focus is Edward Curtis and his sad but somewhat heroic attempt at a monumental task he sets for himself, what I really loved was the way the project is framed by history, opinions about the West and Native American and politics and money of the time.
Now all I want to do is get up to the rare books portion on the university of Washington and see the books in person.
If I had a complaint, it would be that there were not enough of the photos in the book that the author describes so thoroughly....more
Colin brought this book home on a whim and I read it on a whim. It's not everyday that turns out well for me but I thought this book was great. ThereColin brought this book home on a whim and I read it on a whim. It's not everyday that turns out well for me but I thought this book was great. There was a certain amount of it that as an architect was old hat, such as the notion that density is good, that cities breed new ideas, that cities are inherently more green than the alternative. But there were also some bits that gave me pause and got me thinking/excited. My favorite among those was the idea that people do love the suburbs, people (millions of them) are moving to cities like Houston and there is a reason for that, we lovers of cities can't ignore that and deride it, we have to understand it and respond. Also, that cities don't spawn and create poor people, they draw the poor to them because they provide opportunity for a better life. Still our country unfairly stacks the deck against cities by funding road improvements on the federal level, by encouraging people to buy homes through the income tax deduction and by encouraging the middle class to retreat to suburban enclaves where they won't have to share their school district with children more in need (because districts gain their funds locally instead of on a state or national level). Glaeser is definitely an economist and this book is peppered with tried and true economist talk- supply and demand, free market... But he doesn't seem to believe that the point of all that is that the market will take care of itself and you don't need to help people. Rather as he says "we should help poor people, not poor places." As a quint-essential example, he brings forth New Orleans- if all the money used for reconstruction was given to the individuals of the city it would be $400,000 per head. Sure most of those people would move out of the ruined city with the cash to start a new life, but wouldn't that actually be better for the people? Glaeser strongly believes that more development will yelled a more affordable city and I have no reason to doubt that that is true, but living in a city with exploding rents I am left wondering about the details. Sure, eventually all the new housing developers are building will eventually lower rental prices for all, but as developers in the city tear down older cheaper residences to build newer more expensive ones, what are we to do in the interim? Glaeser is silent on the topic, but I things he would support replacement housing (providing a number of low cost units equal to those demolished.) He also doesn't fully address the transportation needs of a city. Yes congestion taxes sound great and maybe they would fund the much needed public transportation costs, but if the sticky reality of eminent domain means cities can't get the land they need for public transportation what then? Finally Glaeser is a New Yorker if ever I saw one. In his view sky scrapers are the only kind of density, but I long to direct him to the book 'visualizing density' where neighborhoods like Ladds addition in Portland turn out to be as dense as huge apartment blocks in NYC. Some of us want it all, to live in the city and to have a little bit of green, somewhere to grow tomatoes and raise chickens. I think that is possible, but these Re nuances Glaeser doesn't even consider....more
This book is amazing, amazing and depressing. I read it because my friend Tom, a correspondent in Afghanistan for years and years recommended it. TheThis book is amazing, amazing and depressing. I read it because my friend Tom, a correspondent in Afghanistan for years and years recommended it. The first part of the book lays out the lives of 3 Afghanis that serve as the groundwork for the whole book, which ultimately runs from the 1980s through the present day. I have never read a book that better captures the feeling a a life, a place, a history and a milieu. What he book ultimately shows is that Afganistan is made up of people and these people act as anyone might expect them to if we actually put even a little bit of thought into what it would mean to be an Afghani in Afghanistan. People act for their own survival, to preserve their own lives and those of their family. They battle against those who render those actions useless. Through so so many interviews Gopal shows that the country was filled with hope in the early 2000s and fell back to chaos as American intervention pushed on a in a fight against ghosts. I wish it was the 60s and we could visit the country untorn by modern history, I wish we (we is all things America) had never put boots on the ground and we had funneled those billions of dollars into American schools, I wish we cared more about knowing everything there is to know then we cared about taking action and above all I wish Afghanistan peace and stability in spite of all the history that stands in their way. 'Sigh'....more
I really like Amy Poehler and I did enjoy this book. It was fun and fast with lots of funny pieces in it. That said, the way the book was described asI really like Amy Poehler and I did enjoy this book. It was fun and fast with lots of funny pieces in it. That said, the way the book was described as written in the introduction- in between things, late at night... Is how it felt. It seemed kinda like a random collection of thoughts, fun, interesting thoughts, but a little disjointed. I think this book would benefit from being heard on audio tape, read by Amy, but then you would miss the super cool taped in letters and photos....more
I thought I would love this book- turn of the century, yellow journalism, roses at Sing Sing, what's not to love? Well, the whole book actually. It plI thought I would love this book- turn of the century, yellow journalism, roses at Sing Sing, what's not to love? Well, the whole book actually. It plodded though Chapin's life chapter by chapter with very little narrative arc and a lot of repetition. I didn't feel like I got a good feeling of the time or really of the person being described. Some fun bits about journalism, but I really had to push myself through at the end. ...more
I read this book with friends as a short lived long distance book club. I remember a friend of mine describing the book when we were in 3rd grade. AndI read this book with friends as a short lived long distance book club. I remember a friend of mine describing the book when we were in 3rd grade. And while it can certainly be a young adult book it is remarkably nuanced and compelling....more
I loved this book. Both a history of Pixar and a thoughtful analysis of how Ed thinks the company is able to be and continue to be what it is. I thougI loved this book. Both a history of Pixar and a thoughtful analysis of how Ed thinks the company is able to be and continue to be what it is. I thought it had great insights into how a creative company should be run and what techniques can keep the vibrancy going....more
I wouldn't have thought this book would be so appealing to non rowers except that my inlaws (tall people that should row but don't) insisted on visitiI wouldn't have thought this book would be so appealing to non rowers except that my inlaws (tall people that should row but don't) insisted on visiting the husky clipper shell central to the book they loved it so much. The author does a lovely job introducing you to the character's and their pasts and setting a scene of Seattle in the 1930s. This was my favorite part, followed by the descriptions of Pocock's development of racing shells, followed by descriptions of racing which can always make my heart race.
If anything I gave this book a four because it gets a little repetitive, the train, they race they win, they train they race they win. But that's the history for you....more
Too long for a book checked out from the library. At 150 pages I just wasn't that into it. If it was 300 I would have kept on it, but 900 was just tooToo long for a book checked out from the library. At 150 pages I just wasn't that into it. If it was 300 I would have kept on it, but 900 was just too much of a go....more