Book Review

Long ago, I read a book about home ownership and repair called The Walls Around Us: The Thinking Person’s Guide to How a House Works by David Owen. I didn’t really think about it until this morning, but this blog sort of owes its life to that book.

Because reading that book really made me understand a house as nothing but a collection of stuff that someone put together and made into a house, and since then the other people have added, subtracted, replaced, modfied. Which made me much more willing to take that stuff apart, repair it, replace it, modify it to suit my needs, etc.

It’s out of print, as most good books seem to be. But Amazon still has some available, and you might be able to find it at your library. I highly recommend it.

What books about houses do you recommend?


A guy in his early 50s, living more or less alone in a 90-year-old house, trying to keep it all together.

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4 comments on “Book Review
  1. How Buildings Learn by Stewart Brand. Takes your idea even further.

    I liked the Owen book because it explained how a lot of construction stuff works, like paint, or “engineered wood,” and how it came to be the way it is now.

  2. Sam Paris says:

    Your Old Wiring by David Shapiro is pretty good. Amazon sells it, and the Chicago Public Library has a copy.

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