Anyone who loves books will feel an immediate affection for A Reader On Reading (Yale Univ., $18). Alberto Manguel is a warm and graceful writer who considers himself first and foremost a reader. The sheer joy of holding, opening, contemplating, and recalling books comes through in everything he writes. No facet of literacy is too small or large for his attention; here are fascinating histories of the period, the page, and libraries, while the political pieces on repression and censorship make powerful arguments for the essential role freedom of reading plays in a society. Manguel’s appreciations of his favorite books, Alice in Wonderland and Don Quixote (he also loves detective novels), are erudite and insightful, yet are less literary criticism than heartfelt recommendations. As every reader does with what he loves, he has made these books his own, and his essays demonstrate how reading, as much as writing, is autobiography, even as the books reciprocate, the cumulative readings bringing out their true character and giving them richer tones.

A Reader on Reading Cover Image
ISBN: 9780300172089
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Yale University Press - June 28th, 2011

The best way to understand architecture? Walk the streets, Paul Goldberger advises. But to inform those perambulations, take along the Pulitzer Prize-winning architecture critic’s concise WHY ARCHITECTURE MATTERS (Yale Univ., $16). A guide to the basic elements of buildings, Goldberger’s lively primer discusses scale, proportion, light, space, texture, and materials, giving these general features specific contexts and exploring their emotional effects. Architecture matters, he demonstrates, when it goes beyond the purely functional (though even the humblest shed makes an impact on its surroundings) to partake of the qualities of art. Goldberger surveys buildings around the world, pointing to how they reflect social ideas, embody values, stand as cultural icons, and serve as the common ground on which different generations can meet. He includes D.C. in his tour; see what he thinks of the Hirshhorn, the National Gallery, and the National Building Museum.

Why Architecture Matters (Why X Matters Series) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780300168174
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Yale University Press - March 29th, 2011

In Last Child in the Woods, Richard Louv coined the term “nature-deficit disorder” for children who spend too much time inside. In his new book he points out that this afflicts people of all ages. Louv’s NATURE PRINCIPLE (Algonquin, $24.95) is simple: nature is good for us, and we can be good for nature. With anecdotes and studies, Louv shows that spending time outside can improve mood, enhance cognitive skills, and foster relaxation—all of which can lead to better physical health. Louv isn’t alone in his impassioned support for the outdoors. He cites dozens of organizations that are working to reconnect people with nature—many are national, but most are local, community-based, groups that focus on projects such as linking or creating bike lanes or rounding up families for weekly walks in the woods. Louv’s eloquent book is a manifesto for a new back-to-the-land movement, one that integrates people, modern technological society, and nature into one thriving system.

The Nature Principle: Human Restoration and the End of Nature-Deficit Disorder Cover Image
ISBN: 9781565125810
Availability: Out of Print in This Format
Published: Algonquin Books - May 10th, 2011

The Nature Principle: Reconnecting with Life in a Virtual Age Cover Image
ISBN: 9781616201418
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Algonquin Books - April 17th, 2012