Well, this is not a New Year’s resolution post, it is a new year post of my 2022 proposed reading list. For the past few years, at the beginning of each year, I try to choose a stack of books that I plan to read in the upcoming year. So I wanted to share my list with you and get some recommendations that I should add to this list.
So most of these books are going to be architecture books but I am open to other sources of material as I do enjoy history books, business-related books, and of course science fiction fantasy titles. I try to start out with a plan of maybe 12 to 15 books for the year but it’s nice to have a longer list just in case I actually manage to make it through some of them quicker than planned. It seems that the time I can allow to sit down and read fluctuates a great deal from week to week. So it’s difficult to say I would be able to finish a book in two weeks. Sometimes I don’t have three free hours in two weeks that can be spent leisurely reading a book. It’s not as I’m not reading anything, it just may be reading for work or for class or for some other purpose. These are not my choices of literary material but the requirements of others. So this list is solely for my own pleasure, enjoyment, and increased knowledge. I try not to give myself too much to overcome and plan on about one per month. I have broken this list down into a few categories just for this list, but I don’t really have a set “quota” for any of these categories. It was just easier to organize for the post. This list is a search for newly published material but I sometimes add in a few books to read again as a refresh. It is nice to read an old book through a new lens sometimes. So let’s have a look at what my proposed reads are for 2022.
This category is the breadwinner of course. It is the largest section of my list typically. If it relates to architecture at all, it is in this section. Not much else to say about this one.
The Other Modern Movement: Architecture, 1920–1970 by Kenneth Frampton (2022)
Frampton writes about the modernist movement’s lesser-known creators. It is an attempt to showcase the breadth and depth of the modern movement beyond the typical “star-chitects” that everyone knows. It should be a good read because I like most of Frampton’s work.
Architects of an American Landscape… by Hugh Howard (2022)
Henry Hobson Richardson, Frederick Law Olmsted, and the Reimagining of America’s Public and Private Spaces. I love books about early city planning and landscape design. This book tells the story of these two partners in design and how they shaped the American landscape. I am a large Frederick Law Omstead fan and a fan of this era in history. Seems like a win-win.
“As the nation recovered from a cataclysmic war, two titans of design profoundly influenced how Americans came to interact with the built and natural world around them through their pioneering work in architecture and landscape design.”
Icebergs, Zombies, and the Ultra Thin: Architecture & Capitalism by Matthew Soules (2021)
This one just had me with the title. But I think the premise is interesting and I am always up for a new perspective on how finance and the economy impact the profession and creation of architecture. It could be worth a read. Amazon Summary Excerpt: In Icebergs, Zombies, and the Ultra Thin, Matthew Soules issues an indictment of how finance capitalism dramatically alters not only architectural forms but also the very nature of our cities and societies.
Drone Technology in Architecture, Engineering, and Construction by Daniel Tal (2021)
I have a huge interest in drones. I have yet to own one, but I am interested in how they might be used in more of a professional capacity than just a toy for my amusement. So I hope this book might shed some light on this in ways I am not familiar with or have thought about before. I am sure this could be an internet search also, but I like a good book. This one may just be a digital purchase.
Brutalism Reinvented by Agata Toromanoff (2022)
I love brutalism. I just do. I understand it was not always a great implementation or even the correct application for many projects, but it still appeals to me. This book is a compendium of new brutalist-style projects.
“An informative celebration of Brutalist architecture’s legacy, this book is an exciting exploration of how today’s most innovative architects are discovering the inherent beauty of powerful concrete volumes that was at the heart of Le Corbusier’s original vision.”
The Stahl House: Case Study House #22: The Making of a Modernist Icon by Bruce Stahl (2021)
I got this book for Christmas as it was on my wish list. So I am ready to dive into this one that tells a more behind-the-scenes, client-side story of the creation of this modern iconic project. So this may be the first one read this year as it’s already on my shelf.
This seems like a no-brainer. The category says it all. This is entrepreneurial, leadership, marketing, management, or any other business-related titles I want to take on. I think it is important for me to read these types of books to keep sharp and as a small business owner for 15+ years now I just actually enjoy reading these.
The Practice by Seth Godin (2020)
This seems to be a book about putting creative work out into the world. It offers a new perspective on the process of creative work and how to be consistent. This one seems to be one that pops us a bit also.
Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know by Adam Grant (2021)
The description from the amazon link: Intelligence is usually seen as the ability to think and learn, but in a rapidly changing world, there’s another set of cognitive skills that might matter more: the ability to rethink and unlearn. In our daily lives, too many of us favor the comfort of conviction over the discomfort of doubt. We listen to opinions that make us feel good, instead of ideas that make us think hard. We see disagreement as a threat to our egos, rather than an opportunity to learn. We surround ourselves with people who agree with our conclusions when we should be gravitating toward those who challenge our thought process.
Non Architecture Titles
This one is the catch-all for any book not related to my professional life. I will admit I am not a huge fan of fiction. I do enjoy fantasy and science fiction series, but beyond that I am not a huge fan of fiction. I prefer history or other educational type books. I am that kind of nerd.
The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott (2008)
The first book of six in a series of fantasy fiction. I have decided this may be my new series. I will read this first book and see how it goes. It seems to have good reviews so I am hopeful. And yes, this is a “children’s book”, but I like these types of series. So we shall see.
Imbibe! Updated and Revised Edition by David Wondrich (2015)
This is supposedly the best book on bartending and cocktail creation in print. It is an expanded and supplemented edition of one of the first-ever bartending books made in the pre-prohibition era. It has not only drink recipes but also stories, anecdotes, and history behind the creation of cocktails and drinking. Needless to say… I’m in!
I will still add to my list as the year progresses and I hope it will be fulfilling, but only time will tell. I will also add I’m not sure of the best place to find newly published books on Architecture or Architecture related fields, so if you have a go-to place to learn what’s new and hot or what’s coming out in the architecture literary world please let me know in the comments. If you have a great book that I should read please also let me know.
Until Next Time,