Monday, November 8, 2010

book week: old houses

As many of you know, every year around this time I indulge my love of books by enlisting the help of a few web friends to throw a virtual party in honor of the printed word (and image). Book Week 2010 ~ the third annual! This year, I thought it would be fun to focus on books that celebrate the house and home. I have limited each participant to one book about a house or houses, or to a series of books on a single house ~ which, it seems, has presented quite a challenge to some (one friend even losing sleep over the task). But, I think the specificity of the assignment has made it all the more interesting.

One of my personal favorites is a book I received as a Christmas gift from my parents many years ago: Old Houses (published in 1991 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, with photographs by Steve Gross and Susan Daley). Each image hauntingly beautiful and each house deliciously intriguing ~ from Hyde Hall to the Aiken-Rhett House (which I just toured for the third time in Charleston). Long ago, I determined that I would some day visit each one of the houses included. And while I am far from accomplishing my goal (many are private homes), the book is one I visit often.

In the process of merging our libraries, the gentleman and I have found that we have numerous duplicates, including Old Houses. So, if you would be interested in receiving a well-loved copy from my own library, leave a comment on this post before midnight on thursday, November 11, telling me about your favorite house book. I'll announce the lucky recipient (chosen at random) on friday!

(photographs of the Aiken-Rhett House, by Steve Gross and Susan Daley, from Old Houses)

10 comments:

victoria said...

Love your blog, and would love that book. You have so many inspiring pictures on your blog. I want to read the book that inspired you.

Frau S said...

I love your blog too. I've been following it for a while now. Old houses and old books= two of my favorite things. Although it is not exactly a "house book" I'd have to say one of my favorites is At Home by Elizabeth D. Garrett.

pve design said...

I love old homes and one of my most favorite books of all times is;
(Terence Conran's New-House Book)
I love old houses with mod twists.
pve

Pigtown-Design said...

Love your blog, too! I love any book by Mary Randolph Carter, who works for Ralph Lauren. She's done a series of books on Junk, and now has a new book about a clean desk being a sign of an empty mind. I just got her last book which is just lovely.

http://pigtown-design.blogspot.com/2010/08/mary-randolph-carter.html

little augury said...

yes, I love your blog too- oddly I would, How can I pick only 1, so 2 it will be otherwise I feel like I would be singling out one of my children (books in my case)SO-Elizabeth Bowen's Bowen's Court & a sweet novel-Rumer Godden's China Court

the gentleman said...

As a child my favorite books that had much to do with tumbled-down old houses are Gone-Away Lake and Return to Gone-Away by Elizabeth Enright, who was a niece of Frank Lloyd Wright. A current favorite - Het Hollandse Pronkpoppenhuis (The Magnificent Dutch Dollhouse) by Jet Pijzel-Dommisse has amazing illustrations of the exteriors, interiors, and furnishings of several complete 17th and 18th century dollhouses. Everything you'd have found in a 17th century Dutch house, you'll find in these beautifully preserved dollhouses.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

Oh lovely giveaway -very generous! I would have to say my favorite book about a house is 'Carolands' -have you seen it? Fabulous beaux-arts house, privately owned still, outside of San Francisco. The house is so incredibly and lovingly well documented in the book one could practically build it!

Jenny E. said...

My favorite house book is "Castles in the Air," by Judy Corbett. Her descriptions of the renovation are brutal, but the love and reverence she and her husband have for their home is overwhelming and inspiring.

home before dark said...

I have two "gateway" books that have created an addiction: "English Country Styl"e by Mary Gilliatt which opened my eyes and doors. But how could one forget "Age of Innocence" where Wharton's decor sets the stage for such drama? I fear books have taken over my house and I now tell my husband they act as insulation.

cstorb said...

Cool idea and give away. Near and dear to me is Philip Wallace's "Colonial Houses". Published in 1931 the b&w images seem somewhat antiquarian at first. But Wallace had an eye for architecture and light. We have to thank him for trudging around Philadelphia with a large camera and glass plate negatives for he recorded places that, in some cases didn't survive 5 years from the publishing date, and others that were destroyed as recently as 1986.I have the 1960 repro from Bonana books, still looking for an original if anyone has one for sale!

Chris