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Winifred Gallagher

Author of Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life

11 Works 1,920 Members 51 Reviews 1 Favorited

About the Author

Winifred Gallagher is an author and she has also written for numerous magazines. She lives in Manhattan and Long Eddy, New York. (Bowker Author Biography)

Includes the name: Winifred Gallagher

Works by Winifred Gallagher


2009 (8) American history (22) architecture (49) attention (28) cognition (12) creativity (7) design (14) ebook (9) environment (20) environmental psychology (15) feng shui (10) focus (10) geography (13) God (7) goodreads (7) history (59) home (30) house (9) houses (14) interior design (12) Kindle (11) mindfulness (15) nature (8) neuroscience (9) non-fiction (177) philosophy (9) place (22) post office (17) postal service (11) psychology (124) read (12) religion (26) science (31) self-help (11) sociology (17) spirituality (26) to-read (99) unread (15) USA (7) wishlist (12)

Common Knowledge



The activity of "house thinking" is thinking about a home in a behavioral way. Instead of trying to make your home look like something from a magazine article (or ignoring appearance completely as is more my style), house thinking means to think about how your home can be arranged to better support how you actually use it. For example, I have blankets in the living room for when it is chilly. From a decorative point of view, I should fold them neatly or drape them decoratively when I am not using them. From a practical point of view, I know I will never do that unless we are expecting visitors. Applying some very simple house thinking to this makes me realize that getting a basket for the blanket would probably be a good solution.

Gallagher's book is takes a look at how people use different rooms in their home. She explores the purpose of each room and gives examples of homes that are functionally good. The book is rather short on details and focuses mostly on the architectural level. This was somewhat disappointing since the introduction made the promising claim that sometimes all you need to do to make your home more behaviorally appropriate is rearrange the furniture; ideas of that sort could be extracted from the rest of the book, but were not obvious.

The most valuable aspect of the book was the behavioral look at the different rooms. For example, the chapter on the kitchen discussed how the kitchen has changed over time from a highly used but not respectable space to a functionally under utilized space that also acts as a social hub for the home. Also useful was the introduction of basic environmental psychology terms. One particularly useful pair of terms is "prospect" and "refuge". A home that feels comfortable has a balance of prospect (areas from which you can see and be seen) and refuge (areas which are more private). Places such as window nooks are delightful because they provide both prospect and refuge.

If nothing else, this book has inspired me with a new interest in environmental psychology. Now I just have to start applying house thinking to my own home.

(Note from 2013: This is the book the inspired my husband and me to build our own home, which we completed in 2012.)
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eri_kars | 12 other reviews | Jul 10, 2022 |
The Power of Place looks at the effect of different environmental factors on our well being and actions. Part one looks looks at effect of the external environment including how heat, light, and various electrical forces affect our well being. Part two looks at our human environment by looking at how relationships provide a particular physical as well as emotional environment that is import. One focus of this section is the relationship, both before and after birth, of a mother to her child. Part three takes a larger scale look at environments and discusses cities, over stimulation, and the importance of nature. At times, this book ventured off into hypotheticals, but Gallagher generally clear about when this was happening. Overall, The Power of Place is an entertaining introduction to environmental psychology.… (more)
eri_kars | 1 other review | Jul 10, 2022 |
I found this an interesting book at times, although I didn't need all of the numbers cited; there was more detail than was really necessary, in my opinion. There were many things I did not know about the post office and am glad to know, however.
Wren73 | 14 other reviews | Mar 4, 2022 |
It began before the Revolution and was required to be proved for by the Constitution itself, the Post Office. How the Post Office Created America: A History by Winifred Gallagher covers the three-century plus long history of delivering the mail in America.

Throughout Gallagher’s text she brought forth evidence to support her argument yet save for helping foster the airline industry the Post Office appeared to have more of a symbiotic relationship with the country. Gallagher’s historical narrative begins early in the 1700s and ends approximately in the early 2010s, through this three-century period the ups and downs of the post in America were chronicles and how it interacted with the establishment of other forms of communication. The fascinating information that was brought forth were the crisis of the 1840s that changed the Post Office for the next century and the “golden age” from 1890-1920. Gallagher’s highlighting of various Postmasters General that headed the department that either innovated services or helped it in its time of need. The book also highlights the main efforts that some have attempted to privatize the post instead of being a public service and in the Afterward Gallagher explains the three scenarios of the now USPS could head in the future.

How the Post Office Created America is a look at the long history of the post in the United States and how it shaped and was shaped by the nation. Winifred Gallagher brought a lot of information to the text to support her argument, while I personally came away with a different conclusion based on the same it was an intriguing read.
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1 vote
mattries37315 | 14 other reviews | Oct 29, 2021 |



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