100 books like The Patina of Place

By Kingston Wm Heath,

Here are 100 books that The Patina of Place fans have personally recommended if you like The Patina of Place. 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 On the Move: Mobility in the Modern Western World

Sarah Fayen Scarlett Author Of Company Suburbs: Architecture, Power, and the Transformation of Michigan's Mining Frontier

From my list on architecture and social identity in industrial America.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was a kid I would cut out graph paper to design my ideal house. When I was in college, I walked into a class called American Material Life and had my eureka moment: “This is how I want to learn about people in the past!” I realized. I’ve been doing that ever since, first as a museum curator and now as a history professor. Houses, furnishings, and the way people interact with the built environment can reveal the complexity, diversity, and beauty of human lives.

Sarah's book list on architecture and social identity in industrial America

Sarah Fayen Scarlett Why did Sarah love this book?

Geographer Tim Cresswell’s work has helped me convince architectural historians that examining how we move through spaces is vital to understanding the full range of the built environment’s cultural meanings. He states the obvious: we all live in physical bodies. And yet historians emphasize the written word and architects emphasize visualization. What about the other senses? Cresswell argues that mobility is a socially-constructed movement much like place is a socially-constructed space. We can learn so much by paying attention to the ways society controls movement: Who is allowed to occupy which spaces? When? With whom? And how has that changed over time? Cresswell’s ideas helped me analyze the lived experiences of multiple people in the same domestic spaces, and ultimately connect the manipulation of architecture and landscape to modernity’s regulation of bodies and ideas. 

By Timothy Cresswell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked On the Move as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On the Move presents a rich history of one of the key concepts of modern life: mobility. Increasing mobility has been a constant throughout the modern era, evident in mass car ownership, plane travel, and the rise of the Internet. Typically, people have equated increasing mobility with increasing freedom. However, as Cresswell shows, while mobility has certainly increased in modern times, attempts to control and restrict mobility are just as characteristic of modernity. Through a series of fascinating historical episodes Cresswell shows how mobility and its regulation have been central to the experience of modernity.


Book cover of Another City: Urban Life and Urban Spaces in the New American Republic

Sarah Fayen Scarlett Author Of Company Suburbs: Architecture, Power, and the Transformation of Michigan's Mining Frontier

From my list on architecture and social identity in industrial America.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was a kid I would cut out graph paper to design my ideal house. When I was in college, I walked into a class called American Material Life and had my eureka moment: “This is how I want to learn about people in the past!” I realized. I’ve been doing that ever since, first as a museum curator and now as a history professor. Houses, furnishings, and the way people interact with the built environment can reveal the complexity, diversity, and beauty of human lives.

Sarah's book list on architecture and social identity in industrial America

Sarah Fayen Scarlett Why did Sarah love this book?

No one writes more compellingly about the multi-sensory experiences of living in America’s past environments than Dell Upton. His book Another City deals with the late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century city—a century before the time period in my book—but he weaves together narratives of urban experience from America’s first decades as a republic to offer surprisingly contemporary commentary on city politics today. His chapter called “Smell of Danger,” to offer just one example, demonstrates that America’s urban elite mobilized their belief that disease was caused by “miasmas” rising up from foul-smelling waste to justify segregation along with class and racial lines. In the era of yellow fever and cholera, Upton argues that “the physical geography of disease became a human geography of fear.” 

By Dell Upton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An exploration of the beliefs, perceptions, and theories that shaped the architecture and organization of America's earliest cities

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, burgeoning American cities like New Orleans and Philadelphia seemed increasingly chaotic. Noise, odors, and a feverish level of activity on the streets threatened to overwhelm the senses. Growing populations placed new demands on every aspect of the urban landscape-streets, parks, schools, asylums, cemeteries, markets, waterfronts, and more. In this unique exploration of the early history of urban architecture and design, leading architectural historian Dell Upton reveals the fascinating confluence of sociological, cultural, and psychological…


Book cover of At Home with Apartheid: The Hidden Landscapes of Domestic Service in Johannesburg

Sarah Fayen Scarlett Author Of Company Suburbs: Architecture, Power, and the Transformation of Michigan's Mining Frontier

From my list on architecture and social identity in industrial America.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was a kid I would cut out graph paper to design my ideal house. When I was in college, I walked into a class called American Material Life and had my eureka moment: “This is how I want to learn about people in the past!” I realized. I’ve been doing that ever since, first as a museum curator and now as a history professor. Houses, furnishings, and the way people interact with the built environment can reveal the complexity, diversity, and beauty of human lives.

Sarah's book list on architecture and social identity in industrial America

Sarah Fayen Scarlett Why did Sarah love this book?

OK this book is not about the United States but Rebecca Ginsburg’s incredibly nuanced investigation of the domestic landscape in apartheid South Africa should be required reading for anyone thinking about embodied experience and architecture. Houses built in the twentieth century for White families in suburban Johannesburg featured small rectangular rooms in the back yard for Black domestic workers. Using interviews, site visits, and compassionate storytelling, Ginsburg pieces together the daily rhythms for women who woke up outside, “came in the dark,” and learned the “tempo of kitchen life,” to borrow two of her provocative chapter titles. When people possessing such drastically different levels of social power share spaces built to remind them of their status at almost every turn, the visceral capacity of architecture becomes painfully clear.

By Rebecca Ginsburg,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Despite their peaceful, bucolic appearance, the tree-lined streets of South African suburbia were no refuge from the racial tensions and indignities of apartheid's most repressive years. In At Home with Apartheid, Rebecca Ginsburg provides an intimate examination of the cultural landscapes of Johannesburg's middle- and upper-middle-class neighborhoods during the height of apartheid (c. 1960-1975) and incorporates recent scholarship on gender, the home, and family.

More subtly but no less significantly than factory floors, squatter camps, prisons, and courtrooms, the homes of white South Africans were sites of important contests between white privilege and black aspiration. Subtle negotiations within the domestic…


Book cover of Women and the Everyday City: Public Space in San Francisco, 1890-1915

Sarah Fayen Scarlett Author Of Company Suburbs: Architecture, Power, and the Transformation of Michigan's Mining Frontier

From my list on architecture and social identity in industrial America.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was a kid I would cut out graph paper to design my ideal house. When I was in college, I walked into a class called American Material Life and had my eureka moment: “This is how I want to learn about people in the past!” I realized. I’ve been doing that ever since, first as a museum curator and now as a history professor. Houses, furnishings, and the way people interact with the built environment can reveal the complexity, diversity, and beauty of human lives.

Sarah's book list on architecture and social identity in industrial America

Sarah Fayen Scarlett Why did Sarah love this book?

Jessica Sewell’s book Women and the Everyday City makes us feel like we’re walking the streets of turn-of-the-century San Francisco. She combines traditional architectural history sources like floor plans, maps, and historic photographs with diaries written by women from varied class and ethnic backgrounds to piece together their experiences of the city. My favorite section uses advertisements and published memoirs to demonstrate that women without the economic means and cultural capital to be welcomed in downtown department stores or even some of the local grocery stores had much more complicated choices to make as they navigated everyday needs like finding transportation, buying food, and creating community. She compares the urban public imagination with how the city was actually built and experienced—just like theorist Henri Lefebvre suggests!

By Jessica Ellen Sewell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Women and the Everyday City as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In Women and the Everyday City, Jessica Ellen Sewell explores the lives of women in turn-of-the-century San Francisco. A period of transformation of both gender roles and American cities, she shows how changes in the city affected women's ability to negotiate shifting gender norms as well as how women's increasing use of the city played a critical role in the campaign for women's suffrage.
Focusing on women's everyday use of streetcars, shops, restaurants, and theaters, Sewell reveals the impact of women on these public places-what women did there, which women went there, and how these places were changed in response…


Book cover of On the Altar of Freedom: A Black Soldier's Civil War Letters from the Front

Lesley J. Gordon Author Of A Broken Regiment: The 16th Connecticut's Civil War

From my list on the Civil War and the soldiers who fought in it.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been reading, researching, writing, and teaching Civil War military history for nearly thirty years. I first became interested in soldiers and their experiences as a teen, and went on to earn a PhD in American History at the University of Georgia. I’ve always been fascinated by the anti-hero, and the ways in which everyday people coped (or failed to cope) with this violent conflict. I am currently writing a book about regiments accused of cowardice and how those searing allegations cast a shadow over their military record. From 2010-2015, I served as editor of the scholarly journal Civil War History, and I was recently elected President of the Society for Civil War Historians (2022-2024).

Lesley's book list on the Civil War and the soldiers who fought in it

Lesley J. Gordon Why did Lesley love this book?

There are many published letters and diaries of Civil War soldiers, but far fewer from black men. This collection, penned by James Henry Gooding, a member of the famed 54th Massachusetts regiment, highlights the military service of a black man, born into slavery but later freed, educated, and keenly observant of the world around him. He enlisted in February 1863, recording his experiences in letters first published in the New Bedford Mercury. Here, they are assembled with insightful editing, illustrations, and an appendix featuring Gooding’s efforts to obtain equal pay for black troops. In September 1863, Gooding wrote President Lincoln, asking pointedly: “Are we Soldiers, or are We Labourers?” Gooding was later captured in battle and sent to Andersonville Prison where he died. His story and his words are invaluable windows into this tumultuous time.

By James Henry Gooding,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked On the Altar of Freedom as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The letters featured in this book were sent by Corporal James Henry Gooding, a member of Company C., of the 54th Massachusetts regiment. They were sent to the New Bedford (Massachusetts) ""Mercury"" and published. He was described as a ""truthful and intelligent correspondent, and a good soldier"".


Book cover of The Lace Reader

Muna Shehadi Author Of The First Wife

From my list on knocking you off your ass-umptions.

Why am I passionate about this?

People either love or hate surprises, but in a book, done well, they’re always welcome—whether we race to the last page to find them or they hip-check us along the way. I started my career writing comedy romance—comfort reads but with few surprises. Now in my novels, I make sure to give readers plenty they don’t expect, whether it’s a character who isn’t what s/he seems, a contradictory situation gradually made clear, or a jaw-dropping twist. Pulling off a successful surprise is one of my favorite parts of writing—therefore my love of books that take me somewhere I didn't expect.

Muna's book list on knocking you off your ass-umptions

Muna Shehadi Why did Muna love this book?

This book has everything, Mystical Irish lace, touches of magic, a lovely romance, chilling family dysfunction, and a fabulous extra character in the guise of Witchtown, USA—Salem, Massachusetts. Towner Whitney comes back to Salem for the funeral of a beloved relative and ends up having to cope with demons from her past in a gorgeous, evocative seaside setting. The ending was a complete surprise to me, one of those Whaaaat? moments that are so rare and so thrilling, and which I keep trying to get to in my own books!

By Brunonia Barry,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Drawn by family. Driven by fear. Haunted by fate.

Would knowing the future be a gift or a burden? Or even a curse...?

The Whitney women of Salem, Massachusetts are renowned for reading the future in the patterns of lace. But the future doesn't always bring good news - as Towner Whitney knows all too well. When she was just fifteen her gift sent her whole world crashing to pieces. She predicted - and then witnessed - something so horrific that she vowed never to read lace again, and fled her home and family for good. Salem is a place…


Book cover of The Condition

Katie O'Rourke Author Of Finding Charlie

From my list on deeply lovable dysfunctional families.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born and raised in New England, growing up along the seacoast of New Hampshire. I went to college in Massachusetts and graduated with a degree in gender and sexuality. I live in Tucson, Arizona with my sweet yellow lab and even sweeter boyfriend. I’m a hybrid author. My debut novel, Monsoon Season, was traditionally published along with A Long Thaw, which I later rereleased on my own. Finding Charlie was chosen for publication by KindleScout in 2015. My fourth book, Blood & Water launched in 2017. I write the kind of fiction I like to read: character-driven, relationship-focused, and emotionally complex.

Katie's book list on deeply lovable dysfunctional families

Katie O'Rourke Why did Katie love this book?

Jennifer Haigh's novel is a family saga that reads like a post-mortem. With alternating narration, each of the five family members gives their perspective on what led to the family's demise and current state. The novel's title, The Condition, seems to refer specifically to one child in the family who has been diagnosed with a rare medical condition called Turner's Syndrome. But throughout the book, it becomes clear that each family member has developed their own "condition" or way of existing that is just as much a part of their identity.

By Jennifer Haigh,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In the summer of 1976, during their annual retreat on Cape Cod, the McKotch family came apart. Now, twenty years after daughter Gwen was diagnosed with Turner's syndrome—a rare genetic condition that keeps her trapped forever in the body of a child—eminent scientist Frank McKotch is divorced from his pedigreed wife, Paulette. Eldest son Billy, a successful cardiologist, lives a life built on secrets and compromise. His brother Scott awakened from a pot-addled adolescence to a soul-killing job and a regrettable marriage. And Gwen—bright and accomplished but hermetic and emotionally aloof—spurns all social interaction until, well into her thirties, she…


Book cover of The Body in the Belfry

Christine Knapp Author Of Murder at the Wedding

From my list on mystery series with female sleuths.

Why am I passionate about this?

I love mysteries, especially series with a female sleuth. I discovered Miss Marple when I was a midwifery student and was instantly hooked. Over the years, I have sought out mysteries with women Sherlocks and am always thrilled to find a series. I was so enchanted that I wanted to add to the genre and now write the Modern Midwife Mysteries featuring Maeve O’Reilly Kensington, a modern nurse midwife. Try any of the books I’ve recommended. You’re in for a treat!

Christine's book list on mystery series with female sleuths

Christine Knapp Why did Christine love this book?

I love a New England mystery, especially one that includes recipes.

Katherine Hall Page fills the bill with her twenty-six delightful Faith Fairchild mysteries. Faith is a high-end New York City caterer who falls in love and marries a minister from a New England village. Will she be bored? Can love conquer all?

It turns out that this sleepy New England town has murders aplenty, but luckily, Faith is on the scene. I have tried her recipes, and they are wonderful!

By Katherine Hall Page,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Body in the Belfry as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Body in the Belfry, the first volume in Katherine Hall Page's cozy mystery series featuring amateur sleuth Faith Fairchild

During her years spent in New York City, Faith Fairchild was convinced she had seen pretty much everything. But the transplanted caterer/minister's wife was unprepared for the surprises awaiting her in the sleepy Massachusetts village of Aleford. And she is especially taken aback by the dead body of a pretty young thing she discovers stashed in the church's belfry. The victim, Cindy Shepherd, was well-known locally for her acid tongue and her jilted beaux, which created a lot of bad…


Book cover of The Masks of Orthodoxy: Folk Gravestone Carving in Plymouth County, Massachusetts, 1689-1805

James Blachowicz Author Of From Slate to Marble: Gravestone Carving Traditions in Eastern Massachusetts, 1770-1870

From my list on New England gravestones and stonecutters.

Why am I passionate about this?

It was in 1972, while spending a summer with my wife in Falmouth (on Cape Cod), that I first discovered the 18th-century slate gravestones of New England. Anyone who visits these cemeteries will find it difficult not to be impressed by these monuments–which are among the oldest and most distinguished works of art produced by the craftsmen of the early American colonies. My fascination with them spiraled into many such trips in subsequent years, when I photographed much of this work, learned how to identify the stonecutters responsible for them, and determined the extent and locations of their production. 

James' book list on New England gravestones and stonecutters

James Blachowicz Why did James love this book?

The first volume of my book focused on Boston, Plymouth County, and Cape Cod. Benes’ study was essential for providing a larger context for my own account of the stonecutters of this locale. He relied on an analysis of over 4000 gravestones in over 100 burial grounds. He prodded the neophyte (like myself at the time) into considering the more symbolic elements of gravestones, including the perception that headstones and footstones represented the headboards and footboards of the beds in which the deceased were “sleeping.”

His book provided a much-needed reminder of the subtle religious symbolism found on all of these old monuments. Plymouth and Barnstable Counties are particularly important for understanding the stonecutters' business practices and design repertoires in this region of Massachusetts. 


By Peter Benes,

Why should I read it?

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


Book cover of Sex in Middlesex: Popular Mores in a Massachusetts County, 1649-1699

Karen Vorbeck Williams Author Of My Enemy's Tears: The Witch of Northampton

From my list on 17th century America.

Why am I passionate about this?

After living in, while restoring, an old farmhouse built in the late 17th century or very early in the 18th, it was impossible for me not to want to know the history of the house and the people who lived there. Combine that with the stories my grandmother told me about our ancestor, the suspected witch Mary Bliss Parsons of Northampton, and I felt destined to know her story. That led to many years of research and writing. At the moment I am writing another 17th century New England historical fiction. I love this period of history and so few write about it. 

Karen's book list on 17th century America

Karen Vorbeck Williams Why did Karen love this book?

Well, the title was amusing. The rest of the book was fascinating, alarming, and totally surprising for an author who was researching the lives of Puritans in early New England. The public records, Puritan laws, along with Thompson’s analysis opened up a world of new information and removed every myth I’d heard about these staunchly religious people.

By Roger Thompson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Sex in Middlesex as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"Thompson analyzes the court records of 17th century Middlesex County, searching for such sexually related crimes as fornication, breach of promise, sexual deviancy, and adultery. His findings help shatter the traditional historical caricature of New England Puritans as patriarchal, dour wife-beaters and child-abusers, a myth eloquently created by Perry Miller and most recently reinforced by Lawrence Stone. In the court records Thompson discovers Puritans who exhibited 'tolerance, mutual regard, affection, and prudent common sense' within the context of a popular Puritan piety. A well-written social history that places Puritanism in a human rather than an intellectual framework, Sex in Middlesex…


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