HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

A Place of My Own: The Architecture of Daydreams (1997)

by Michael Pollan

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,0891917,549 (3.8)35
Architecture. Nonfiction. HTML:A captivating personal inquiry into the art of architecture, the craft of building, and the meaning of modern work
"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 Michael Pollan decided to plant a garden, the result was the acclaimed bestseller Second Nature. In A Place of My Own, he 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 own two unhandy hands.
Invoking the titans of architecture, literature, and philosophy, from Vitruvius 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 Own is for anyone who has ever wondered how the walls around us take shape??and how we might shape them ourselves.
Praise for A Place of My Own
"A glorious piece of prose . . . Pollan leads readers on his adventure with humor and grace."??Chicago Tribune
"[Pollan] alternates between describing the building process and introducing informative asides on various aspects of construction. These explanations are deftly and economically supplied. Pollan's beginner status serves him well, for he asks the kind of obvious questions about building that most readers will want answered." ??The New York Review of Books
"By shrewdly combining just the right mix of personal reflection, architectural background, and nuts-and-bolts detail, Michael Pollan enables us to see, feel, and understand what goes into the building of a house. The result is a captivating and informative adventure."??John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
"An utterly terrific book . . . an inspired meditation on the complex relationship between space, the human body and the human spirit."??Francine du Plessix Gray
"A tour de force . . . [Pollan] writes gracefully and humanely. He is a true carpenter-craftsman of prose."??… (more)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 35 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
See my review of Pollan's 'Gardner's Education.' ( )
  mykl-s | Aug 11, 2023 |
In-depth story about building a reading house. At first it was a little tedious but then I got used the the layers of detail It is well-researched and the author had a very comforting voice in the audio versio. ( )
  damcg63 | Jan 15, 2023 |
I really enjoyed the idea of this book, probably because it's a dream of most men, to build their own private space. And I really like a lot of other Pollan's work. but this one just didn't click with me. It took me a really long time to finish, mainly because I'd only read a few pages at a time due to lack of interest.

It's a bit more self-involved than his other stuff, but still loaded with the interesting diversions and explorations of related side topics that Pollan is known for. ( )
  evenlake | Mar 23, 2021 |
The author is honest and upfront in the introduction (of this new edition at least) that the book does not teach you anything about construction. It does not. But it also doesn't teach you anything else. It's just the author waxing poetic about relationships, his beliefs, modern architecture, the idea of a house and anything else that was troubling him at the time.

Also who spends 2 years building a hut? I built a workshop behind my house with zero prior experience in about a month. And he had a builder with him the whole time to help! ( )
  Paul_S | Jan 1, 2021 |
Michael Pollan’s second book is chronicled in this, his search for a writing refuge. What’s it about? Getting up from the desk and doing physical labor, architecture, history, design, writing, family, woodworking, honesty, weather, accomplishments, philosophy, craft and writing-the-second-book. For a start.

This is a leisurely read, a slow one, to be savored. Extensive chapter endnotes and a bibliography of the many books mentioned are part of the backmatter, and much appreciated for those of us who want to explore more.

The story begins with the pending arrival of a first baby: the recently remodeled home Judith and Michael Pollan share will be too small to accommodate his writing area, her art studio and a nursery. They had a good experience with the architect (even though the delays and finances of remodeling are topics he ‘still won’t discuss’) so he’s engaged to draw up plans for a writing shed.

He recalls the discussions in detail, the back-and-forth of getting to a design that works on the site, that works in a practical way, and that pleases aesthetically. The architect’s character is drawn so well that I feel I know him. The same happens later with the builder, and the battles between those two are constant.

This might seem like a straightforward story – idea, design, build it – but in the telling of the tale, Pollan takes us on a journey through history. He’s a self-described researcher (I could relate to this immediately), someone who turns to books or articles when presented with a question. So he reads in that meandering way one does, getting lost in research and discovery, one volume mentioning another thinker or designer, then that person’s work must be investigated. Pollan shares all of this. An example of how he thinks:

Daydreaming does not enjoy tremendous prestige in our culture, which tends to regard it as unproductive thought. Writers perhaps appreciate its importance better than most, since a fair amount of what they call work consists of little more than daydreaming edited. Yet anyone who reads for pleasure should prize it too, for what is reading a good book but a daydream at second hand? Unlike any other form of thought, daydreaming is its own reward. For regardless of the result (if any), the very process of daydreaming is pleasurable. And, I would guess, is probably a psychological necessity. For isn’t it in our daydreams that we acquire some sense of what we are about?

If I found the first part of the book slow-going, it was because I didn’t accept his rhythm. Once I figured it out and settled in, I thoroughly enjoyed the ride. It’s not an action story, and if that’s what you want, then stay away from this book.

On the other hand, if you like to wonder, ponder and imagine, then this is for you.
( )
1 vote MLHart | May 22, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
A Place of My Own: The Education of an Amateur Builder was re-released and re-titled as A Place of My Own: The Architecture of Daydreams.
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Architecture. Nonfiction. HTML:A captivating personal inquiry into the art of architecture, the craft of building, and the meaning of modern work
"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 Michael Pollan decided to plant a garden, the result was the acclaimed bestseller Second Nature. In A Place of My Own, he 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 own two unhandy hands.
Invoking the titans of architecture, literature, and philosophy, from Vitruvius 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 Own is for anyone who has ever wondered how the walls around us take shape??and how we might shape them ourselves.
Praise for A Place of My Own
"A glorious piece of prose . . . Pollan leads readers on his adventure with humor and grace."??Chicago Tribune
"[Pollan] alternates between describing the building process and introducing informative asides on various aspects of construction. These explanations are deftly and economically supplied. Pollan's beginner status serves him well, for he asks the kind of obvious questions about building that most readers will want answered." ??The New York Review of Books
"By shrewdly combining just the right mix of personal reflection, architectural background, and nuts-and-bolts detail, Michael Pollan enables us to see, feel, and understand what goes into the building of a house. The result is a captivating and informative adventure."??John Berendt, author of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil
"An utterly terrific book . . . an inspired meditation on the complex relationship between space, the human body and the human spirit."??Francine du Plessix Gray
"A tour de force . . . [Pollan] writes gracefully and humanely. He is a true carpenter-craftsman of prose."??

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.8)
0.5
1 1
1.5
2 13
2.5 1
3 28
3.5 9
4 70
4.5 6
5 29

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 195,027,020 books! | Top bar: Always visible