A Place of My Own: The Education of an Amateur Builder

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Dell, 1998 - Technology & Engineering - 320 pages
2 Reviews
"A room of one's own: is there anybody who hasn't at one time or another wished for such a place, hasn't turned those soft words over until they'd assumed a habitable shape?"

When writer Michael Pollan decided to plant a garden, the result was an award-winning treatise on the borders between nature and contemporary life, the acclaimed bestsellerSecond Nature. Now Pollan turns his sharp insight to the craft of building, as he recounts the process of designing and constructing a small one-room structure on his rural Connecticut property--a place in which he hoped to read, write and daydream, built with his two own unhandy hands.

Invoking the titans of architecture, literature and philosophy, from Vitrivius to Thoreau, from the Chinese masters of feng shui to the revolutionary Frank Lloyd Wright, Pollan brilliantly chronicles a realm of blueprints, joints and trusses as he peers into the ephemeral nature of "houseness" itself. From the spark of an idea to the search for a perfect site to the raising of a ridgepole, Pollan revels in the infinitely detailed, complex process of creating a finished structure. At once superbly written, informative and enormously entertaining,A Place of My Ownis for anyone who has ever wondered how the walls around us take shape--and how we might shape them ourselves.

A Place of My Own recounts his two-and-a-half-year journey of discovery in an absorbing narrative that deftly weaves the day-to-day work of design and building--from siting to blueprint, from the pouring of foundations to finish carpentry--with reflections on everything form the power of place to shape our lives to the question of what constitutes "real work" in a technological society.

A book about craft that is itself beautifully crafted, linking the world of the body and material things with the realm of mind, heart, and spirit,A Place of My Ownhas received extraordinary praise: -->

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A place of my own: the education of an amateur builder

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Wanting to have a place of his own where he could think and write, Pollan decided to erect a small structure in the woods behind his house. Fancying himself a modern-day Thoreau, he wanted to build ... Read full review

Review: A Place of My Own: The Education of an Amateur Builder

User Review  - Stacy - Goodreads

Because the book was predominantly written about his experience building a writing house, it included a lot of details about the actual construction process. I thought he did a great job, though ... Read full review


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About the author (1998)

Michael Pollan is the author of the award-winning Second Nature: A Gardener's Education, which received the QPB New Visions prize in 1991. He is editor at large of Harper's Magazine and a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine. Pollan lives in Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut, with his wife, the painter Judith Belzer, and their son, Isaac. His e-mail address is: pollan@aol.com.

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