Originally posted October 2, 2006 at 20:00.
For years, my husband has been telling me stuff from a book that was assigned in one of his classes, Home From Nowhere. I've been thinking about it, but it didn't neccesarily seem my speed.
Somebody special ordered both books my Kunstler at my bookstore, and then didn't pick them up. So I was going through and stickering them and such and decided "Hey, I guess I'll read these." Geography of Nowhere came first, so I started with it, even though my husband hasn't read it either.
Anyway, it's a very dense book. We were talking about it in the car, about how it's slow to read because every sentence really MEANS something, and it tells you things you didn't know, unlike most of what we read that is really repetitive.
It's really brilliant. I'm only about 1/3rd in and I'm already changing my staff picks to accomodate it. It's really changing my views on where I want to live, what kind of growth I like, EVERYTHING. And a book that can change my long held views when years of argument with my husband didn't...that's something.
I said that I think every person that lives in the D.C. metro area should be required to read this book. I fully believe that before anybody speaks before a planning commission (including the people ON the commission) should have to read it and understand it before they go off about development.
My husband thinks that it should be required reading in eighth grade classrooms. Modern eighth graders probably wouldn't be able to handle it, but I think a high school history curriculum is the right spot for it.
I rarely say these kinds of things about non-fiction books. But this one is just well-though, well-researched, and well-worded. In short: genius.
To quote my husband: "New Urbanism for the win."