100 books like Immersed

By Vladimir Belogolovsky (editor), Aaron Betsky (editor), Daniel P. Gregory (editor)

Here are 100 books that Immersed fans have personally recommended if you like Immersed. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Nathan Turner's I Love California: Live, Eat, and Entertain the West Coast Way

Chase Reynolds Ewald and Heather Sandy Hebert Author Of At Home in the Wine Country: Architecture & Design in the California Vineyards

From my list on design on inspired living on the West Coast.

Why are we passionate about this?

At Home in the Wine Country coauthors Heather and Chase love the open, nature-focused attitude toward living that California does so well. Heather worked in the field of architecture for 25 years and is the author of The New Architecture of Wine. Chase has been a western lifestyle writer for 30 years and is the author of 14 books, including Modern Americana, American Rustic, Cabin Style, and Bison. As writers and consultants they work with publishers, magazines, and design, hospitality and wine clients to craft and convey their stories. Heather and Chase live in spectacularly scenic Marin County, halfway between San Francisco and California's iconic wine country.

Chase's book list on design on inspired living on the West Coast

Chase Reynolds Ewald and Heather Sandy Hebert Why did Chase love this book?

One of our all-time favorite books. Nathan Turner loves California, and we love how he translates that love to us, transporting even those of us who have lived here all of our lives to a new level of appreciation for our beautiful state. A combination of food, family, design, and adventure, it is an ode to our state — a love letter that is an absolute joy.

By Nathan Turner,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Nathan Turner's I Love California as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Designer Nathan Turner's style is synonymous with the easy glam of California living. His first book introduced readers to his casual American style and chic design sense. Now, he has written a love letter to his home state in I Love California. This book is a journey up and down Highway 1 that takes readers from the redwoods of northern San Francisco, to the mountains of the Sierra Nevada, to the beaches of Southern California. Simple recipes and tips for entertaining are featured alongside never-before-seen interiors. Lavish photographs capture the homes, people, and food of each unique location in glorious,…


Book cover of Under Western Skies: Visionary Gardens from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Coast

Chase Reynolds Ewald and Heather Sandy Hebert Author Of At Home in the Wine Country: Architecture & Design in the California Vineyards

From my list on design on inspired living on the West Coast.

Why are we passionate about this?

At Home in the Wine Country coauthors Heather and Chase love the open, nature-focused attitude toward living that California does so well. Heather worked in the field of architecture for 25 years and is the author of The New Architecture of Wine. Chase has been a western lifestyle writer for 30 years and is the author of 14 books, including Modern Americana, American Rustic, Cabin Style, and Bison. As writers and consultants they work with publishers, magazines, and design, hospitality and wine clients to craft and convey their stories. Heather and Chase live in spectacularly scenic Marin County, halfway between San Francisco and California's iconic wine country.

Chase's book list on design on inspired living on the West Coast

Chase Reynolds Ewald and Heather Sandy Hebert Why did Chase love this book?

Under Western Skies celebrates the best in landscape design throughout many western climates, from mountains to desert to rainforest, from wine country to urban oasis. 36 harmonious designs prove that glorifying nature rather than work against it results in landscapes that belong. The book is full of ideas and inspiration, as well as practical information for the home gardener or the armchair traveler. One reader called it 'an homage to the horticultural arts.'

By Jennifer Jewell, Caitlin Atkinson (photographer),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Under Western Skies as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This photo-driven book explores how the rugged landscape of the American West deeply influences the way people garden. It profiles 35 of the most groundbreaking gardens in the region. From desert perch to seaside oasis, gardens in the American West are on the frontier of garden design. Under Western Skies proves this, with profiles of 35 of the West's most innovative gardens - places that truly capture the wild spirit of the region. Under Western Skies reveals how the grandeur and rugged beauty of the region's landscapes set the stage for stunning and innovative design, while the various climates allow…


Book cover of Pacific Natural at Home

Chase Reynolds Ewald and Heather Sandy Hebert Author Of At Home in the Wine Country: Architecture & Design in the California Vineyards

From my list on design on inspired living on the West Coast.

Why are we passionate about this?

At Home in the Wine Country coauthors Heather and Chase love the open, nature-focused attitude toward living that California does so well. Heather worked in the field of architecture for 25 years and is the author of The New Architecture of Wine. Chase has been a western lifestyle writer for 30 years and is the author of 14 books, including Modern Americana, American Rustic, Cabin Style, and Bison. As writers and consultants they work with publishers, magazines, and design, hospitality and wine clients to craft and convey their stories. Heather and Chase live in spectacularly scenic Marin County, halfway between San Francisco and California's iconic wine country.

Chase's book list on design on inspired living on the West Coast

Chase Reynolds Ewald and Heather Sandy Hebert Why did Chase love this book?

Jenny Kayne personifies the easy, laid-back approach to design and life that is so characteristic of California. Comfort plays a role equal to that of style, which is always organic, natural, and textural. Jenni Kayne's style leans toward a neutral palette that embraces and accentuates the light, color, and texture of the California landscape. She shares work from her own home, as well as homes of other creative women who share her natural design ethos.

By Jenni Kayne,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pacific Natural at Home as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A known tastemaker and authority on style, Jenni Kayne spans the worlds of fashion, interiors, and entertaining. Inspired by organic textures, thoughtful simplicity, and natural landscapes, Kayne embodies an earthy and effortless aesthetic one that is intentional and where beauty and authenticity exist in every detail. In her second book Kayne turns to interior design, sharing her beautifully designed interiors as well as the homes of other creative women who embrace a similar natural design ethos. The book introduces the homes by location, spanning varied landscapes and design characteristics: houses by the ocean, desert-style spaces, mountain homes, and abodes in…


Book cover of Art House: The Collaboration of Chara Shreyer and Gary Hutton

Chase Reynolds Ewald and Heather Sandy Hebert Author Of At Home in the Wine Country: Architecture & Design in the California Vineyards

From my list on design on inspired living on the West Coast.

Why are we passionate about this?

At Home in the Wine Country coauthors Heather and Chase love the open, nature-focused attitude toward living that California does so well. Heather worked in the field of architecture for 25 years and is the author of The New Architecture of Wine. Chase has been a western lifestyle writer for 30 years and is the author of 14 books, including Modern Americana, American Rustic, Cabin Style, and Bison. As writers and consultants they work with publishers, magazines, and design, hospitality and wine clients to craft and convey their stories. Heather and Chase live in spectacularly scenic Marin County, halfway between San Francisco and California's iconic wine country.

Chase's book list on design on inspired living on the West Coast

Chase Reynolds Ewald and Heather Sandy Hebert Why did Chase love this book?

A big bold book glorious in its celebration of art with a West Coast perspective authored by collector Chara Shreyer and interior designer Gary Hutton. One of the most significant private collections of modern art in the U.S. — approximately 600 pieces — is showcased in homes ranging from a Pacific beach house to a Los Angeles aerie to a ridgetop residence in Marin County. The book features masterworks by Marcel Duchamp, Andy Warhol, Donald Judd, Louise Nevelson, Diane Arbus, and Frank Stella, plus important works by emerging 21st-century artists. It is a colorful, vibrant, and poignant portrayal of one woman's art journey. 

By Alisa Carroll,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Art House as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Leading art collector Chara Schreyer’s forty-year collaboration with interior designer Gary Hutton has produced five residences designed to house 600 works of art, including masterpieces by Marcel Duchamp, Andy Warhol, Donald Judd, Louise Nevelson, Diane Arbus, and Frank Stella. Art House takes readers on a breathtaking visual tour of these stunning spaces, which range from an architectural tour-de-force to a high-rise “gallery as home.” An exploration of a life devoted to living with art and to designing homes that honor it, this title is an inspiration for art and design lovers alike.


Book cover of Case Study Houses: 1945-1962

Chris Lukather Author Of Homes by Byrd: The Art & Architecture of Robert Byrd and His Son, Gary

From my list on Southern California architecture history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been interested in art and architecture. I studied Fine Arts at CalArts. I’ve written three books on Mid-century home builders and designers, William Mellenthin, Jean Vandruff, and Robert Byrd, whose life and work in Southern California had gone mostly unnoticed during their lifetimes—with very little information written about them in the press. I spent three years on each book working with the families to uncover their lives and place in local history. This is information that would have otherwise been lost. When you research the life of one person in this profession, you inevitably learn about the life and work of others—some famous, some not. 

Chris' book list on Southern California architecture history

Chris Lukather Why did Chris love this book?

Esther McCoy has long been admired for her writing on architecture in Southern California, particularly on the Case Study House program from 1945-1962.

This is a remarkable story of a once-in-a-lifetime program sponsored by Arts & Architecture magazine that brought together legendary architects, hopes and dreams, and some fantastic Mid-century Modern Homes.

Many of these Case Study homes are still standing today, and some are available to tour. You can also look up the addresses of these homes and drive by yourself.

By Esther McCoy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Case Study Houses as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Since the popular Museum of Contemporary Art exhibit of 1989, Blueprint for Modern Living, much attention has been paid to the pioneering work done by the architects of the Case Study Program. Sponsored by John Entenza's Art & Architectue Magazine, the Case Study Houses program brought new thinking, techniques, and materials to post-war California house building. Contains the work of Charles Eames, Eero Saarinen, Craig Ellwood, Pierre Koenig, Richard Neutra, William Wurster, and others.


Book cover of Courtyard Housing in Los Angeles

Chris Lukather Author Of Homes by Byrd: The Art & Architecture of Robert Byrd and His Son, Gary

From my list on Southern California architecture history.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been interested in art and architecture. I studied Fine Arts at CalArts. I’ve written three books on Mid-century home builders and designers, William Mellenthin, Jean Vandruff, and Robert Byrd, whose life and work in Southern California had gone mostly unnoticed during their lifetimes—with very little information written about them in the press. I spent three years on each book working with the families to uncover their lives and place in local history. This is information that would have otherwise been lost. When you research the life of one person in this profession, you inevitably learn about the life and work of others—some famous, some not. 

Chris' book list on Southern California architecture history

Chris Lukather Why did Chris love this book?

Having lived in West Hollywood for many years, I have always been interested in the beautiful and historically significant courtyard apartment buildings found throughout the city.

One of the more famous buildings, the Villa Primavera (seen in the Gloria Grahame, Humphrey Bogart film, In a Lonely Place) was designed and built by Arthur and Nina Zwebell in 1923. Their story is quite fascinating, since neither one was formerly trained or a licensed architect.

He designed the building’s exterior, while she designed the interior as well as the furniture.

By Stefanos Polyzoides, Roy Sherwood, J. Tice , Julius Shulman (illustrator)

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Courtyard Housing in Los Angeles as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

As cities throughout the U.S. struggle with housing shortages, valuable lessons can be learned from the principles thatunderlie the design of the courtyard house. Whether humble or sumptuous in scale, courtyards create a sense of privacyand enhance quality of life by creating the impression of green space for their residents.

Now available in its fifth printing, Courtyard Housing in Los Angeles documents the historical, technical, and cultural forces that shaped the development of this distinctive West Coast building type. The authors's in-depth research andanalysis is enhanced by the inclusion of numerous plans and technical drawings. Julius Shulman's sensuous black-and-whitephotographs document…


Book cover of American Building: The Environmental Forces That Shape It

Alison G. Kwok and Walter Grondzik Author Of The Green Studio Handbook: Environmental Strategies for Schematic Design

From my list on environmental schematic design.

Why are we passionate about this?

Alison and Walter have come into architecture on different paths, Alison with a biology/chemistry background (yes, one can become an architect with an accredited, first professional degree in architecture) and Walter through architectural engineering. We both believe that the union of science, aesthetics, energy, comfort, and health make buildings work! We enjoy creating simplified design processes for students to use in their work, so that they can gain confidence in the first steps of design. Equally, we feel it important to clearly understand what is to be created and how to confirm that what was intended actually results in the built environment.

Alison's book list on environmental schematic design

Alison G. Kwok and Walter Grondzik Why did Alison love this book?

Fitch is best known as a city planner—not as an architect or engineer. Perhaps it is this perspective that allowed him to prepare a delightful introduction to the various sensory dimensions—the environmental forces—we engage as building users.

These dimensions, which constitute much of our holistic experience with architecture, include air quality, light, sound, and heat. None are truly shown on architectural plans. All affect us for better or worse. This is a great introductory read bereft of equations. 

By James Marston Fitch, William Bobenhausen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked American Building as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Few books have influenced the field of architecture more than American Building: The Environmental Forces That Shape It. Originally published in 1947, it has emerged as a classic work on the relationships among buildings, their inhabitants, and the environment. Now comes the first major revision in over twenty-five years, bringing this essential book completely up to date for a new, more environmentally aware generation of architects and designers.
In this superb volume, James Marston Fitch provides a fundamental theory of buildings. "The ultimate task of architecture," he writes, "is to act in favor of human beings: to interpose itself between…


Book cover of The Seven Lamps of Architecture

Shannon Taylor Scarlett Author Of Simple Rules: What the Oldtime Builders Knew

From my list on timeless architectural principles.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a practicing architect, and an avid reader—in a variety of subjects and genres, not just architecture—I love finding patterns and connections between seemingly dissimilar phenomena. Patterns conform to principles, and principles are the fountainhead of wisdom that never runs dry. I will be the first to admit that, even after forty years of absorbing these and other kindred principles, I’m still far from consistent in applying them. And, like the others I cite, my own work suffers from that inconsistency. I commiserate with all architects who are similarly struggling to design buildings that exemplify even a few of the principles in these books. And that is why I chose them.

Shannon's book list on timeless architectural principles

Shannon Taylor Scarlett Why did Shannon love this book?

Whenever I’m reading Ruskin, I feel like I’m overhearing a crusty old man’s rant. Some rants I love—when he talks about honesty in materials, or his in-depth thoughts on nature and light; some I question—demonizing cast iron facades; and others I disagree with—the necessity for obedience to God as an architect. And some of his ideas are so outdated, they’ve almost come back full circle. But the reason I included this older volume, is simply because Ruskin’s seven principles on architecture have withstood the test of time.

By John Ruskin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Seven Lamps of Architecture as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"I believe architecture must be the beginning of arts, and that the others must follow her in their time and order; and I think the prosperity of our schools of painting and sculpture, in which no one will deny the life, though many the health, depends upon that of our architecture." — John Ruskin.
In August of 1848, John Ruskin and his new bride visited northern France, for the gifted young critic wished to write a work that would examine the essence of Gothic architecture. By the following April, the book was finished. Titled The Seven Lamps of Architecture, it…


Book cover of The Architecture of Happiness

Laura Dushkes Author Of The Architect Says: Quotes, Quips, and Words of Wisdom

From my list on architecture for non-experts.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was young, my parents gave me a book of quotations. I was hooked. Now I’m the solo librarian for NBBJ, a design firm with 12 offices worldwide and I select and buy books for all 12 offices. I search for the best books to inspire the designers I work with. But I’m aware that not everyone who works for an architectural firm is an architect. We have people in accounting, facilities, tech services, and more. I try to have a selection of books for these people, too – people who are interested in architecture, but aren’t experts. I have a Master’s in medieval history and a Master's in Library and Information Science.

Laura's book list on architecture for non-experts

Laura Dushkes Why did Laura love this book?

This brief 280-page book illustrates the connection between us and our built environment – something that affects us all, but we don’t always appreciate. With illustrations that match the text, de Botton takes us around the world to show us how buildings and objects influence us – can make us happy or sad. A very accessible way to understand the philosophy of architecture. It will make you see your home and office in a new light.

By Alain De Botton,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Architecture of Happiness as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What makes a house beautiful? Is it serious to spend your time thinking about home decoration? Why do people disagree about taste? Can buildings make us happy? In The Architecture of Happiness Alain de Botton tackles a relationship central to our lives. Our buildings - and the objects we fill them with - affect us more profoundly than we might think. To take architecture seriously is to accept that we are, for better and for worse, different people in different places. De Botton suggests that it is architecture's task to render vivid to us who we might ideally be. Turning…


Book cover of Experiencing Architecture

Witold Rybczynski Author Of Charleston Fancy: Little Houses and Big Dreams in the Holy City

From my list on architecture for non-architects.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am professor emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania. Although I’ve written more than twenty books on a variety of subjects, I was trained as an architect and I’ve designed and built houses, researched low cost housing, and taught budding architects for four decades. I was architecture critic for Wigwag and Slate and I’ve written for numerous national magazines and newspapers. Perhaps more important, my wife and I built our own house, mixing concrete, sawing wood, and hammering nails. I wrote a book about that, too.

Witold's book list on architecture for non-architects

Witold Rybczynski Why did Witold love this book?

Many books about architecture are like cookbooks, that is, they are written for the cook—the architect—and are concerned with how to make the stuff. But for the lay person, the joy of architecture lies in the actual experience of buildings; good architecture makes you feel good. This classic, written in 1962 by a wise old Dane, is a wonderful guide to the many sensory ways in which we experience buildings, old and new.

By Steen Eiler Rasmussen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Experiencing Architecture as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A classic examination of superb design through the centuries.

Widely regarded as a classic in the field, Experiencing Architecture explores the history and promise of good design. Generously illustrated with historical examples of designing excellence—ranging from teacups, riding boots, and golf balls to the villas of Palladio and the fish-feeding pavilion of Beijing's Winter Palace—Rasmussen's accessible guide invites us to appreciate architecture not only as a profession, but as an art that shapes everyday experience.

In the past, Rasmussen argues, architecture was not just an individual pursuit, but a community undertaking. Dwellings were built with a natural feeling for place,…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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