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Unpacking My Library: Architects and Their Booksby Jo Steffens
Synopses & Reviews
What does a library say about the mind of its owner? How do books map the intellectual interests, curiosities, tastes, and personalities of their readers? What does the collecting of books have in common with the practice of architecture? Unpacking My Library provides an intimate look at the personal libraries ofand#160;twelve of the worldand#8217;s leading architects, alongside conversations about the significance of books to their careers and lives.
Photographs of bookshelvesand#8212;displaying well-loved and rare volumes, eclectic organizational schemes, and the individual touches that make a bookshelf oneand#8217;s ownand#8212;provide an evocative glimpse of their ownerand#8217;s personal life. Each architect also presents a reading list of top ten influential titles, from architectural history to theory to fiction and nonfiction, that serves as a personal philosophy of literature and history, and advice on what every young architect, scholar, and lover of architecture should read.
An inspiring cross-section of notable libraries, this beautiful book celebrates the arts of reading and collecting.
Unpacking My Library: Architects and Their Books features the libraries of:
Liz Diller and Ric Scofidio
Todd Williams and Billie Tsien
Peter Eisenmanand#8217;s Recommended Titles:
Robert Musil, The Man Without Qualities
Le Corbusier, Vers une Architecture
Thomas Pynchon, Gravityand#8217;s Rainbow
Robert Venturi, Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture
Rem Koolhaas, Delirious New York
Jacques Derrida, Of Grammatology
Andrea Palladio, The Four Books on Architecture
Walter Benjamin, Illuminations
James Joyce, Finnegans Wake
William Faulkner, Light in August
From the back roads of New Mexico and out-of-the-way fields in southern Colorado to urban hinterlands in South Texas, photographer Bruce F. Jordan evokes the startling beauty and unique world of ethnic Mexican cemeteries in En Recuerdo de: The Dying Art of Mexican Cemeteries in the Southwest. These historic and often forgotten cities of the dead stand as testaments to the brilliance of Mexican artisans and craftsmen, the importance of kinship and community among ethnic Mexicans in the Southwest, and the perseverance of marginalized communities to honor and care for ancestors in death.
Jordanand#8217;s sympathetic storytelling evokes for readers the atmosphere of many of these cemeteries. His arresting photographs are accompanied by his lively captions describing the significance of Mexican funerary carving traditions and the relationship of ethnic Mexican memory to cemeteries, and by Bryce Milliganand#8217;s interview with the photographer. With essays by Martina Will de Chaparro and Tony Mares that place the cemeteries within the unique historical context of the American Southwest, En Recuerdo de (In Memory of)and#160;illuminates these myriad lost cities of the dead and the significance of death and dying in Mexican culture.
About the Author
Jo Steffens is director of Urban Center Books and editor of Block by Block: Jane Jacobs and the Future of New York City.
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Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » General