10 books like Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House

By Eric Hodgins, William Steig,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

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House

By Tracy Kidder,

Book cover of House

Architecture is always a collaboration between the architect who conceives the project, the builder who must realize it, and the client who starts it—and pays for it The protracted building process, which is often stressful, is always a complicated pas de trois. No one has written about this better than Tracy Kidder, who describes the complex choreography by following (in real-time and in detail) the construction of a family home in New England.

House

By Tracy Kidder,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked House as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the New York Times bestseller House, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Tracy Kidder takes readers to the heart of the American Dream: the building of a family's first house with all its day-to-day frustrations, crises, tensions, challenges, and triumphs.

In Kidder's "remarkable piece of craftsmanship in itself" (Chicago Tribune), constructing a staircase or applying a coat of paint becomes a riveting tale of conflicting wills, the strength and strain of relationships, and pride in skills. With drama, sensitivity, and insight, he takes us from blueprints to moving day, shedding light on objects usually taken for granted and creating a vivid cast…


Brunelleschi's Dome

By Ross King,

Book cover of Brunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture

Buildings are a product of the artistic imagination and building technology, but they also depend on political will and cultural capital. Ross King, a skillful storyteller, describes how all these played a role in the construction of the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore in fifteenth-century Florence. Its maker, the great Filippo Brunelleschi, was the first architect in the modern sense, and in many ways the story of Western architecture begins here.

Brunelleschi's Dome

By Ross King,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Brunelleschi's Dome as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This work tells the story of the largest masonry dome ever built, describing the tremendous labour, technical ingenuity and bitter personal strife involved in its creation. Initially regarded as impossible to build, the construction of the dome, for the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, became the greatest architectural puzzle of the age, and, when finally completed in 1436, was hailed as one of the great wonders of the world. Also told is the story of the dome's architect, the brilliant and volatile Fillippo Brunelleschi. His ambition and ingenuity, personal rivalries and intrigues are set in the context…


Experiencing Architecture

By Steen Eiler Rasmussen,

Book cover of Experiencing Architecture

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.

Experiencing Architecture

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,…


From a Cause to a Style

By Nathan Glazer,

Book cover of From a Cause to a Style: Modernist Architecture's Encounter with the American City

If you’ve ever wondered why modern buildings look the way they do—and look so different from say, the buildings of our grandparents’ generation—you cannot do better than read this collection of essays that examines the current state of modern architecture. Glazer, a sociologist who was a noted public intellectual, brings a down-to-earth intelligence and a sharp eye to his subject.

From a Cause to a Style

By Nathan Glazer,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked From a Cause to a Style as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Modernism in architecture and urban design has failed the American city. This is the decisive conclusion that renowned public intellectual Nathan Glazer has drawn from two decades of writing and thinking about what this architectural movement will bequeath to future generations. In From a Cause to a Style, he proclaims his disappointment with modernism and its impact on the American city. Writing in the tradition of legendary American architectural critics Lewis Mumford and Jane Jacobs, Glazer contends that modernism, this new urban form that signaled not just a radical revolution in style but a social ambition to enhance the conditions…


Building Construction Illustrated

By Francis D. K. Ching,

Book cover of Building Construction Illustrated

Building Construction Illustrated is a comprehensive visual guide to the principles of building construction. Francis D.K. Ching’s clear illustrations and hand lettering have set the standard for 50 years. The book explains concepts in residential and commercial construction, architecture, and structural engineering. The sixth edition features new illustrations and updated information on sustainability, green building, and insulation materials.

Building Construction Illustrated

By Francis D. K. Ching,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The #1 visual guide to building construction principles, updated with the latest materials, methods, and systems

For over four decades, Building Construction Illustrated has been the leading visual guide to the principles of building construction. Filled with rich illustrations and in-depth content by renowned author Francis D.K. Ching, it offers students and practicing professionals the information needed to understand concepts in residential and commercial construction, architecture, and structural engineering.

This Sixth Edition of Building Construction Illustrated has been revised throughout to reflect the latest advancements in building design, materials, and systems, including resilient design, diagrids, modular foundation systems, smart facade…


Endless Night

By Agatha Christie,

Book cover of Endless Night

This is Agatha Christie's creepiest novel. A love story between a chauffeur and an heiress, who move to a majestic house in the countryside and find themselves the victims of a local curse. Strange things start to happen. But is any of it real? The shocking truth doesn't become clear until the last few pages.

Endless Night

By Agatha Christie,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

- combining love, death and melodrama blended together as only Agatha Christie can.

Gipsy's Acre was a truly beautiful upland site with views out to sea - and in Michael Rogers it stirred a child-like fantasy.

There, amongst the dark fir trees, he planned to build a house, find a girl and live happily ever after.

Yet, as he left the village, a shadow of menace hung over the land. For this was the place where accidents happened. Perhaps Michael should have heeded the locals' warnings: 'There's no luck for them as meddles with Gipsy's Acre.'

Michael Rogers is a…


Crane & Crane

By Linda Joy Singleton, Richard Smythe (illustrator),

Book cover of Crane & Crane

This brief, clever picture book really packs a punch! Readers follow two families building a house for their expected little ones. Each action is presented with one simple word. The human uses a construction crane to GRAB lumber, while on the opposite page, a Sandhill Crane uses its beak to GRAB a stick for the nest. They GLIDE, STACK, PICK, SWAY, and HONK their way through the warm watercolor illustrations until they settle on one word to summarize their accomplishment…HOME.

Crane & Crane

By Linda Joy Singleton, Richard Smythe (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A sandhill crane lifts a stick. A construction crane lifts a log. The two cranes grab, stretch, and stack, working through bad weather and difficult obstacles toward their end goal: building a home for a new family. Told in a simple sequence of verbs, this colorful picture book demonstrates how the mechanical world mirrors the natural world.


Measure and Construction of the Japanese House

By Heino Engel,

Book cover of Measure and Construction of the Japanese House

This book is a classic and is a beautifully informative excerpt from the author’s longer and more extensive The Japanese House: A Tradition for Contemporary Architecture which is long out of print. The drawings and plans are wonderful, and illuminate the Japanese House layout, modularity, proportions, and many structural and ornamental details. I particularly love the white-on-black visual treatment used for many of the plans. 

Measure and Construction of the Japanese House

By Heino Engel,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A remarkable classic work on traditional Japanese architecture and its general integrative quality, the order of space and form, the flexibility of partitions and room functions and other important or unique qualities. The author describes in detail, and with numerous architectural plans and drawings, the influence of the anatomy of the Japanese human body on traditional units of measurement and on house construction. This work is not simply a description of the features of the Japanese house, but "an invitation to probe the possibilities of utilizing this architectural achievement of the Japanese ...in modern living and building," according to the…


The Grand Surprise

By Leo Lerman,

Book cover of The Grand Surprise: The Journals of Leo Lerman

I’m not going to lie: this is not for everyone. You really have to be interested - and conversant - in the cultural world of post-war Manhattan (and beyond) for this to sink in. Lerman, who was features editor at Vogue and editor at Vanity Fair among other jobs, was at the center of it all. I could name drop from the book for days, but trust me, everyone from Marlene Dietrich to William Faulkner were regular guests at his parties. More importantly, his position allowed him to champion the careers of artists in every field - writers, singers, painters, etc. An astute social critic, the book offers a dazzling look at a very specific time and place in American culture. Surprisingly, I found that passages regarding his adolescence to be among the most lyrical and moving.

The Grand Surprise

By Leo Lerman,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A remarkable life and a remarkable voice emerge from the journals, letters, and memoirs of Leo Lerman: writer, critic, editor at Condé Nast, and man about town at the center of New York’s artistic and social circles from the 1940s until his death in 1994.

Lerman’s contributions to the world of the arts were large and varied: he wrote on theater, dance, music, art, books, and movies for publications as diverse as Mademoiselle and The New York Times. He was features editor at Vogue and editor in chief of Vanity Fair. He launched careers and trends, exposing the American public…


The Gem Thief

By Sian Ann Bessey,

Book cover of The Gem Thief

Having worked for a jewelry designer in the Washington, DC area, The Gem Thief caught my eye. The story took me back to my days in the shop (good memories!), and the author has obviously done her research, because her accuracy is impeccable. I liked all of the characters, but I bonded with one of the secondary characters so much that I felt we could be friends in “real life.” I’ve been to New York City often, so I also enjoyed revisiting the city. The book was both comfortable because of all the associations to “past lives,” and exciting as I turned pages wondering what would happen next.

The Gem Thief

By Sian Ann Bessey,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

2018 HONORABLE Mention for Romance Forward INDIES Winners Gracie Miller is a small-town girl who has landed her dream job in New York City. As jewelry designer for one of the most prestigious jewelers in the world, she completed a particularly stunning piece, a custom setting for a large pink diamond. But when her billionaire client Mrs. Katsaros comes to repair a minor issue with the setting, Gracie is horrified to realize it is not the ring she created. Someone has forged her design, and the priceless diamond is gone.

Mrs. Katsaros has no desire to bring media attention to…


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