Synopses & Reviews
In a world without wood, we might not be here at all. We wouldn't have had the fire, heat, and shelter that allowed us to expand into the planet's colder regions. If civilization somehow did develop, our daily lives would be vastly different: there would be no violins, baseball bats, chopsticks, or wine corks. The book you are now holding wouldn't exist.
Spike Carlsen's A Splintered History of Wood is a grand celebration of all things wooden and the characters who lovingly shape them—eccentric artisans and passionate enthusiasts who have created some of the world's most beloved musical instruments, feared weapons, dazzling architecture, and bizarre forms of transportation. From champion chainsaw carvers to blind woodworkers, from the Miraculous Staircase to the Lindbergh kidnapping case, here is a passionate, personal, amazingly entertaining exploration of nature's greatest gift.
“Engaging, informative...Spikes wide-eyed enthusiasm is catching, and his curiosity takes him way beyond the ordinary...[Splintered History] is for anyone interested in how this humble material, and the people who work with it, have made us who we are.” Family Handyman magazine
“Engaging and exhaustively researched…a solid history of wood.” Publishers Weekly
“Thoroughly researched, thoughtful, and entertaining…. just enough of the science of trees and wood, and of the technology of wood products and woodworking, to inform but not burden lay readers….Numerous stories add immeasurably to the books appeal.” School Library Journal
“Wonderfully strange and interesting....Mixing well-researched history, trivia and humorous anecdotes, A Splintered History of Wood meanders from chainsaw artists to belt-sander races, from Steinway pianos airdropped during WWII to the first know wooden tool: the toothpick.” NPR Morning Edition
“Who knew wood could be this fascinating?” Booklist
In the successful tradition of books such as "Salt" and "Cod," this work explores the history, versatility, and special appeal of something used every day but often taken for granted--wood. b&w photos throughout.
A Splintered History of Wood is a passionate and personal exploration of natures greatest gift: wood. In the successful tradition of books such as Salt and Cod, writer and carpenter Spike Carlsen explores the history, versatility, and special appeal of something we use everyday—but take for granted—in this comprehensive and dynamic history of woods global impact and its personal significance to people in all walks of life.
About the Author
Spike Carlsen is the former executive editor of The Family Handyman
and author of the Reader's Digest Complete Do-It-Yourself Manual
. He is also projects editor for Backyard Living
, where he pens a bimonthly column called "Ask Spike." He lives in Stillwater, Minnesota.
For every book sold, the author will donate funds to plant a seedling at the Bomalan'ombe Secondary School tree farm in central Tanzania.