96 books like Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House

By Eric Hodgins, William Steig,

Here are 96 books that Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House fans have personally recommended if you like Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of House

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?

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.

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…


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

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.

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…


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,…


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

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?

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.

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…


Book cover of The Forever Home: How to Work with an Architect to Design the Home of Your Dreams

Matan Korin

From my list on planning a remodel of your house.

Why am I passionate about this?

Matan has over a decade of experience at Ecoline and has helped 3500+ clients to renovate their houses. He has earned the title of the best window & door expert of the year for four consecutive years, from 2013 to 2016, helping countless homeowners to create their dream houses. Matan has built a team of 50+ professionals across Canada for Ecoline. His leadership and mentorship have enabled his team to achieve remarkable success, consulting homeowners and helping them choose and install the best products. He looks forward to helping you!

Matan's book list on planning a remodel of your house

Matan Korin Why did Matan love this book?

Some of the biggest disasters I've seen in home remodels are when clients pick the wrong architect or don't know how to communicate with them. This book fixes that.

The Forever Home shows you how to pick the right architect, communicate your vision, and avoid common pitfalls. The author is an architect, and it is based on his many years of experience. The book does an excellent job of using visuals to illustrate key points. 

By Kevin Harris,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Forever Home provides the foundation to confidently explore what you want, plan your dream home, and find the right professionals to make it a reality.

Renowned architect Kevin Harris will guide you through his proven, step-by-step process to design and build a house that fits you so well it becomes your forever home. No matter where you travel, your forever home is the place you feel complete.

Inside these pages, you’ll learn how to:
• Determine when it makes sense to hire an architect
• Evaluate and assemble the design team and construction team that’s right for you
•…


Book cover of Building Construction Illustrated

Jeanie and David Stiles Author Of Cabins: A Guide to Building Your Own Nature Retreat

From my list on that will inspire you to build your own cabin or nature home.

Why are we passionate about this?

We have written 27 “how-to” books on building outdoor projects, including cabins, sheds, and treehouses. David does the illustrations and I do the descriptive writing. Our goal is to make the instructions clear to both right and left brain readers – and to make the two elements complement each other. Our readers often tell us that a computer drawing does not have the same appeal and clarity as hand drawing. We are able to ‘talk’ a reader through the process of building something with our drawings. People often send us photographs of their completed projects – it’s a big part of the satisfaction we get from writing our books.

Jeanie's book list on that will inspire you to build your own cabin or nature home

Jeanie and David Stiles Why did Jeanie love this book?

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.

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…


Book cover of Endless Night

Alex Pavesi Author Of The Eighth Detective

From my list on thrillers that will make you question reality.

Why am I passionate about this?

I read all kinds of thrillers, but the ones that intrigue me the most are those where you’re not only uncertain of who murdered who, or what happened when, but of whether what you’re reading is real or not. For me, those kinds of mysteries elevate the genre to something profound – philosophical problems worked out through the medium of murder and mayhem. Covering both conspiracy narratives and those strange stories where everything feels like a dream, here are some of my favourites.

Alex's book list on thrillers that will make you question reality

Alex Pavesi Why did Alex love this book?

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.

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…


Book cover of Crane & Crane

Danna Smith Author Of The Hawk of the Castle: A Story of Medieval Falconry

From my list on for children about birds.

Why am I passionate about this?

My father was a life-long falconer. When I was a child, spending time with my father meant spending time with a menagerie of winged friends like goshawks, peregrine falcons, parrots, owls, and even vultures. I didn’t know it back then, but as I went hawking with my dad and helped him care for his beautiful birds, I was gathering a nest of passion and ideas for the writer and poet I would become. Today, I enjoy sharing my love of birds, nature, and books with children (and children at heart).

Danna's book list on for children about birds

Danna Smith Why did Danna love this book?

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.

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.


Book cover of Measure and Construction of the Japanese House

Azby Brown Author Of The Genius of Japanese Carpentry: Secrets of an Ancient Woodworking Craft

From my list on Japanese carpentry and construction.

Why am I passionate about this?

Azby Brown is a widely published author and authority on Japanese architecture, design, and environment, whose groundbreaking writings on traditional Japanese carpentry, compact housing, and traditional sustainable practices are recognized as having brought these fields to the awareness of Western designers and the general public. His creative work spans many media and has been widely exhibited internationally. In 2003 he founded the KIT Future Design Institute in Tokyo, focussing on cognitive and cultural issues surrounding the human hand and its use in the creative process, conducting collaborative research with neuroscientists and perceptual psychologists. A native of New Orleans, he has lived in Japan since 1985 and is currently on the sculpture faculty of Musashino Art University in Tokyo. 

Azby's book list on Japanese carpentry and construction

Azby Brown Why did Azby love this book?

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. 

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…


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

Robert Trachtenberg Author Of Red-Blooded American Male: Photographs

From my list on pretending you live in 1940s Manhattan.

Why am I passionate about this?

Born and raised in Los Angeles, I’ve been obsessed with the romance and “bygone world” of Manhattan in the 40s and 50s since I was a kid. Working in bookstores through high school and college, I quickly gravitated towards The New Yorker magazine which introduced me to John Cheever, Irwin Shaw, and many wonderful authors. Whether it was books or magazines, I couldn’t imagine a more interesting career than working in the New York publishing world - until I went there for job interviews and heard how little they paid. Back in Los Angeles, I figured out how to join from afar without having to live with six roommates on the Lower East Side.

Robert's book list on pretending you live in 1940s Manhattan

Robert Trachtenberg Why did Robert love this book?

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.

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…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in New York State, New York City, and presidential biography?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about New York State, New York City, and presidential biography.

New York State Explore 730 books about New York State
New York City Explore 1,004 books about New York City
Presidential Biography Explore 19 books about presidential biography