The Secret Lives of Buildings

by Edward Hollis | Nonfiction |
ISBN: 9780805087857 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 2/24/2023
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Friday, February 24, 2023
I got this ex-library hardcover from an online seller, after hearing about it in the BookCrossing forums. Subtitled "from the ruins of the Parthenon to the Vegas Strip in thirteen stories," it looks to be an intriguing "biography of things". [And I'll use the "Secret Lives of Books" bookplate, to go with the "Secret Lives" theme!]

Later: An interesting progression through history and design, starting with (and centering around) the Parthenon, advancing through the ages to The Venetian in Las Vegas ("in which History is so, like, over") and then wrapping up with the oldest entry of all, the Western Wall. The author includes the ups and downs of the various structures, some of which have been effectively rebuilt, with their social and cultural impact - and with anecdotes about visits to them, some historical and some in person. (The entry for Notre Dame de Paris was poignant - and surprising: I hadn't realized how relatively recent the version I saw in the 1990s was compared to the original cathedral. But this book came out a decade before the devastating fire of 2019, so the chapter ends on a more upbeat note than the cathedral deserves {rueful grin}.) Other places include the fabulous and the tragic - the Hulme Crescents in Manchester, England among the latter. I hadn't been familiar with that particular housing development project, though its sad history resonates with other failed attempts at such things.

I was surprised to find the Berlin Wall here; yes, I suppose it is a "building" of sorts, but not the same sort as the other entries. Not to say it hasn't been wildly influential, though!

Released 3 mos ago (6/9/2023 UTC) at Little Free Library - Church Of The Good Shepherd in Nashua, New Hampshire USA


I left this book in the Little Free Library; hope someone enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in NH here.]

** Released for the 2023 Allergic to A challenge. **

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