Architects and Books

Architects and books

When you outsource you save money and time. Besides investing those time and money to grow your company, what else can you do? Spend it on a good book and read it on your free time. And what better books than books related to architecture. As you know architects only knows one language; Architectural Language. Who knows, you might even learn something while enjoying your book.

The titles are in no particular order. Just enjoy it.

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand (highly recommended)

The Fountainhead‘s protagonist, Howard Roark, is an individualistic young architect who chooses to struggle in obscurity rather than compromise his artistic and personal vision. The book follows his battle to practice what the public sees as modern architecture, which he believes to be superior, despite an establishment centered on tradition-worship.

Loving Frank by Nancy Horan

Loving Frank is an American novel by Nancy Horan published in 2007. It tells the story of Mamah Borthwick and her illicit love affair with Frank Lloyd Wright amidst the public shame they experienced in early twentieth century America.

The House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The House of the Seven Gables is a Gothic novel written in 1851 by American author Nathaniel Hawthorne and published the same year by Ticknor and Fields of Boston. Hawthorne explores themes of guilt, retribution, and atonement in a New England family and colors the tale with suggestions of the supernatural and witchcraft. The story was inspired by a gabled house in Salem belonging to Hawthorne’s cousin Susanna Ingersoll and by those of Hawthorne’s ancestors who played a part in the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.

A House for Mr. Biswas by V. S. Naipaul

A House for Mr Biswas is a 1961 novel by V. S. Naipaul, significant as Naipaul’s first work to achieve acclaim worldwide. It is the story of Mohun Biswas, an Indo-Trinidadian who continually strives for success and mostly fails, who marries into the Tulsi family only to find himself dominated by it, and who finally sets the goal of owning his own house. Drawing some elements from the life of Naipaul’s father,the work is primarily a sharply-drawn look at life that uses postcolonial perspectives to view a vanished colonial world.

House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III

When a house owned by Kathy Nicolo, a former drug addict, is placed for auction, Behrani seizes the opportunity and purchases it. He bets his son’s entire college fund, planning to renovate the house and then resell it for much more than he originally paid as a first step on the way to establishing himself in real-estate investment.

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

House of Leaves begins with a first-person narrative by Johnny Truant, a Los Angeles tattoo parlor employee and professed unreliable narrator. Truant is searching for a new apartment when his friend Lude tells him about the apartment of the recently deceased Zampanò, a blind, elderly man who lived in Lude’s building.

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino

The book explores imagination and the imaginable through the descriptions of cities by an explorer, Marco Polo. The book is framed as a conversation between the aging and busy emperor Kublai Khan, who constantly has merchants coming to describe the state of his expanding and vast empire, and Polo.

 The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

The Pillars of the Earth is a historical novel by Ken Follett published in 1989 about the building of a cathedral in the fictional town of Kingsbridge, England. It is set in the middle of the 12th century, primarily during the Anarchy, between the time of the sinking of the White Ship and the murder of Thomas Becket. The book traces the development of Gothic architecture out of the preceding Romanesque architecture, and the fortunes of the Kingsbridge priory and village against the backdrop of historical events of the time.

 The Architect by Charles Bancroft

Architect Rob Gilbert’s life and career have been as charmed as he is charming, until a mysterious woman and a collapsed building change all that. The Architect tells the tale of a man desperate to wrestle back control of his life. In spectacular fashion, Gilbert manages to fall foul of both the establishment and the city’s sinister underworld and only has his powers of creativity to outwit his adversaries and their conflicting agendas.

Mr. Blandings Builds his Dream House by Eric Hodgins

The book begins in fictional Landsdale County, Connecticut, where Jim and Muriel Blandings are being shown an old farmhouse by a real estate agent. Blandings, a successful New York advertising executive, and his wife want to leave their tiny Midtown apartment, where they live with their two daughters. They fantasize that the farmhouse will meet their needs. After some negotiation, they buy the house.

They soon learn that the house is structurally unsound and must be torn down. They design the perfect home in the country, imagining an idyll, but they are quickly beset by construction troubles, temperamental workmen, skyrocketing bills, threatening lawyers, and difficult neighbors. The Blandings’ dream house soon threatens to be the nightmare that undoes them.

The Devil in The White City by Erik Larson

The book is set in Chicago circa 1893, intertwining the true tales of Daniel H. Burnham, the architect behind the 1893 World’s Fair, and Dr. H. H. Holmes, the serial killer who lured his victims to their deaths in his elaborately constructed “Murder Castle”.

The Spire by William Golding

Jocelin, the dean of the cathedral, directs the construction of a towering spire funded by his aunt, Lady Alison, a former mistress of the King. The project is carried on against the advice of many, and in particular the warnings of the master builder, Roger Mason. The cathedral has insufficient foundations to support a spire of the magnificence demanded by Jocelin, but he believes he has been chosen by God to erect a great spire to exalt the town and to bring its people closer to God.

The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo

The French title refers to the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, on which the story is centred, and it is also a metaphor for Esmeralda, who is the center of the human drama within the story.

The Master Builder by Henrik Ibsen

Halvard Solness, the master builder, has become the most successful builder in his home town by a fortunate series of coincidences. He had previously conceived these in his mind, powerfully wished for them to come to pass, but never actually did anything about them. By the time his wife’s ancestral home was destroyed by a fire in a clothes cupboard, he had already imagined how he could cause such an accident and then profit from it by dividing the land on which the house stood into plots and covering it with homes for sale. Between this fortuitous occurrence and some chance misfortunes of his competitors Solness comes to believe that he has only to wish for something to happen in order for it to come about.[3] He rationalises this as a particular gift from God, bestowed so that, through his unnatural success, he can carry out His ordained work of church building.

Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake

The book is set in the huge castle of Gormenghast, a vast landscape of crumbling towers and ivy-filled quadrangles that has for centuries been the hereditary residence of the Groan family and with them a legion of servants. The Groan family is headed by Lord Sepulchrave the seventy-sixth Earl of Groan. He is a melancholy man who feels shackled by his duties as Earl, although he never questions them. His only escape is reading in his library.

Original Sin by P.D. James

Original Sin is a 1994 detective novel in the Adam Dalgliesh series by P. D. James. It is set in London, mainly in Wapping in the Borough of Tower Hamlets, and centers around the city’s oldest publishing house, Peverell Press, headquartered in a mock-Venetianpalace on the River Thames.

Little, Big by John Crowley

Little, Big is the epic story of the Drinkwater family and their relationship with the mostly obscured world of Faery. It is set in and around their eccentric country house, called Edgewood, in New England somewhere north of “the City”,_Big

The Book of the City of Ladies by Christine de Pizan

Christine (author) combats Meun’s misogynist beliefs by creating an allegorical city of ladies. She defends women by collecting a wide array of famous females throughout history. These women are “housed” in the City of Ladies, which is actually Christine’s book. As Christine builds her city, she uses each famous woman as a building block for not only the walls and houses of the city, but also as building blocks for her defense of female rights. Each woman added to the city adds to Christine’s argument towards women as active participants in society. She also advocates for female and male equality within the realm of education.

The Glass Room by Simon Mawer

The Landauers, a recently married couple, commission German architect Rainer von Abt to build a modern house in Czechoslovakia. The Landauer House, based on the Villa Tugendhat, becomes a minimalist masterpiece, with a transparent glass room as its center. World War II arrives, and they must flee the country, with their happiness and idealism in tatters. As the Landauers struggle abroad, their home passes through several new owners, with each new inhabitant falling under the spell of the glass room.

City Of The Mind by Penelope Lively

Penelope Lively is one of England’s greatest living writers. In City of the Mind, Matthew Halland is an architect intimately involved with the new face of London, while haunted by the destruction and loss in its history. Matthew has a rich and moving relationship with his daughter Jane, and becomes entangled with an array of fascinating characters, from Rutter, a corrupt real estate developer whose Mafia-like ways disgust him, to Sarah, a romantic ray of hope who enters his life. In Lively’s most ambitious novel, she has created a wonderfully rich and audacious confrontation with the mystery of London.


If you have some good books relating to architecture, please share it with us.


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