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Thread: First CBC book nominations

  1. #1
    Cyburbian GeogPlanner's avatar
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    First CBC book nominations

    Please help nominate for the first CBC planning related book...suggestions?
    Information necessitating a change of design will be conveyed to the designer after and only after the design is complete. (Often called the 'Now They Tell Us' Law) - Fyfe's First Law of Revision

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  2. #2
    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
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    We should let people post their ideas, then hold a poll in a separate thread. I'll make that thread after a couple of days (this week-end) if we get enough responses. How does that work for everyone?

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Breed's avatar
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    Might as well start with a classic...

    The Life and Death of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs

    Of course... I have it... and I haven't read the whole thing... and it's collecting dust on my bookshelf... and this is probably the only way I'd get around to reading it. But I'm not attached to it.
    Every time I look at a Yankees hat I see a swastika tilted just a little off kilter.
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    Cyburbian GeogPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Wanigas?
    We should let people post their ideas, then hold a poll in a separate thread. I'll make that thread after a couple of days (this week-end) if we get enough responses. How does that work for everyone?
    Precisely what I was getting at...thanks Wanigas.

    I nominate The City in Mind: Notes on the Urban Condition by James "Jimmy" Kunstler. Most of us have read the others, but I know of few who took a look at this book. Plus, its in paperback now!
    Information necessitating a change of design will be conveyed to the designer after and only after the design is complete. (Often called the 'Now They Tell Us' Law) - Fyfe's First Law of Revision

    We don't believe in planners and deciders making the decisions on behalf of Americans. -- George W. Bush , Scranton, PA -- 09/06/2000

  5. #5
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Jane Jacobs might be a good starting point for all, even a refresher for those who've read it in the past. "Suburban Nation" may be another.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  6. #6
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    I vote for Geography of Nowhere by James Howard Kunstler.

    Death & Life.. is great but talks about a form of habitation that doesn't really exist anymore. Though we can use the book today as a manual for how to re-create that type of place (Jacobs intended it more as a means for preservation rather than how to create)

    Now in Geography..., Kunstler solidifies the commentary about the many, many deficiencies of the status quo, auto-oriented suburbia. And consequently, with Home from Nowhere provides a simplified method for regaining what Jacobs was trying to preserve 30 years earlier.

    Plus Geography..... and Home From... are more easily digestible and accessible by the general public and could have more of an impact than many others.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

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  7. #7
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mendelman
    I vote for Geography of Nowhere by James Howard Kunstler.

    Death & Life.. is great but talks about a form of habitation that doesn't really exist anymore. Though we can use the book today as a manual for how to re-create that type of place (Jacobs intended it more as a means for preservation rather than how to create)

    Now in Geography..., Kunstler solidifies the commentary about the many, many deficiencies of the status quo, auto-oriented suburbia. And consequently, with Home from Nowhere provides a simplified method for regaining what Jacobs was trying to preserve 30 years earlier.

    Plus Geography..... and Home From... are more easily digestible and accessible by the general public and could have more of an impact than many others.
    I considered posting that a suggestion but wondered if Kunstler's would be the right way to start off the book club.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    I'll go with any of the Kunstler booke, I'll have to reread them as it has been awhile.

    The City in Mind was not as good as the other two.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Kunstler is going to be a turn-off for many, me included. How about Tony Hiss's The Experience of Place?
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    How about anything by Clive Cussler (does it have to planning-related? Don't we get enuf of that on the job?)

  11. #11
    Kobayashi's avatar
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    I've just recently stumbled across planning, the only two planning related books i've read are the two staples... Death and Life and Suburban Nation.

    I feel both should be nominated, Suburban Nation hit home with me, since i'ved lived my entire life in the suburban nightmare here in Alabama. I'm also just a hundred miles from Seaside. I'd recommend Death and Life to city dwellers and Suburban Nation to those who have no clue what life would be like outside of suburbia.

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    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    We need to clarifiy: Are the books to be nominated supposed to be for planners only or for planners and the general public, too?

    I'd also like to nominate The Good City, the Good Life by Daniel Kemmis. It's a great book about the benefits of good community development.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  13. #13
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Breed
    Might as well start with a classic...

    The Life and Death of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs
    I think that this is a good call mainly because most of us own this book already!

  14. #14
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Man, Jacobs and Kunstler. This is off to a bad start.

    How about The City Reader? I'm still ingesting it but it's quite clear that whoever reads it will walk away with a very good foundation in the issues surrounding planning.

    EDIT: Yeah, is this for planners or for average joes? The City Reader would be way too dense and comprehensive for the latter. I suppose Suburban Nation would work for them. At least it's an easy read.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    I think that we need a poll so that we can vote on these.

    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    I suppose Suburban Nation would work for them. At least it's an easy read.
    That is not a bad idea...

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    I think that we need a poll so that we can vote on these.
    In due time. I said in an earlier post in this thread that I would do that over the week-end. I have been watching this thread and I will not shirk my duties!



    [Of course, if some one is ready to post a review of a book they read recently, there's really nothing to stop them...]

  17. #17
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    I nominate Looking Backward by Edward Belamy.

  18. #18
    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess
    How about anything by Clive Cussler
    Only if he writes one where Dirk Pitt dies... I read several, then by halfway through, I knew what was going to happen... Dirk was going to save the day!
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
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  19. #19
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Mastiff
    Only if he writes one where Dirk Pitt dies... I read several, then by halfway through, I knew what was going to happen... Dirk was going to save the day!
    Dirk is a GOD. Holy Cow, much more interesting than any planning book. Like Harrison Ford in fictional form. OK, maybe Indy Jones is fictional. But still....

  20. #20
    Cyburbian
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    Hmmm I don't know much of planning books, but searching through my University's library, I see that both James Kunstler's - The city in mind and Jane Jacob's - Death and life of American Cities are there; the last I knew, but the first kind of shocked me (to find at least 1 copy), though it's the only book of JHK
    And all others mentioned until now aren't there either... Well at least I have too recomended books to read

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Plus
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    I echo
    Quote Originally posted by Cardinal
    How about Tony Hiss's The Experience of Place?
    Quote Originally posted by mendelman
    I'd also like to nominate The Good City, the Good Life by Daniel Kemmis.
    ZG-
    I just finished Clive Cussler's Black Wind
    Very contemporary villian w/WMD.
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  22. #22
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mendelman
    We need to clarifiy: Are the books to be nominated supposed to be for planners only or for planners and the general public, too? .
    I was thinking about having two books a month; one related to the built environment, the other not.

    A planning-related book should be reasonably-priced (not something like S,M,L,XL), not overly technical (so those who aren't planners can feel comfortable participating; besides, the Green Book is rather dry reading), and available in a typical bookstore in North America and Australia/New Zealand (not special order from the APA Press). Just my opinion; again, it's YOUR book club.

    For non-planning, I'd like to nominate The Smell of Apples by Mark Behr, my copy of which hasn't been opened yet.

    From Amazon:

    It's not that Marnus Erasmus is forced to parrot his major-general father's prejudices--the 11-year-old has no idea he's even doing so. The voice Mark Behr has created is a mix of youthful innocence and hope and terrible hatred and ignorance. Unconsciously relaying tales of Communist indoctrination and Coloured abomination, the boy is all set to become another soldier of the white South African state. "Dad says he'll never forget what the Communists and the blacks did to Tanganyika. And Dad says we shouldn't ever forget. A Volk that forgets its history is like a man without a memory. That man is useless." Marnus's domestic memories, however, turn out to be far more difficult to deal with than any issues of national import. His final essay of the school year ends with the triumphant "Open eyes are the gateways to an open mind," even as his family is attempting to keep his firmly shut.

    Product Description:
    Winner of the Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction from the Los Angeles Times
    Winner of the M-Net Award
    Winner of The Eugene Marais Award
    Winner of the CNA Literary Award
    Winner of the Betty Trask Award
    A Booker Prize Nominee

    Set in the bitter twilight of apartheid in South Africa in the 1970s, The Smell of Apples is a haunting story narrated by eleven-year-old Marnus Erasmus, who records the social turmoil and racial oppression that are destroying his own land. Using his family as a microcosm of the corroding society at large, Marnus tells a troubling tale of a childhood corrupted, of unexpected sexual defilements, and of an innocence gone astray.
    A key character is a visiting Chilean general, which makes things a bit more relevant for Skel.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Hceux's avatar
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    I'd recommend Mike Davis' "Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles and the Imagination of Disaster".

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Sheesh, if it's only going to be "planning books", I'm not playing. We could have a lot of fun recommending other types of books, too!

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Budgie's avatar
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    Planning Favorites

    Here's a down and dirty list of a couple that come to mind that I don't think have been mentioned.

    Holding Our Ground - Tom Daniels & Deborah Bowers
    Bowling Alone - Robert D. Putnam
    Better Not Bigger - Eben Fodor
    Asphalt Nation - Jane Holtz Kay
    "And all this terrible change had come about because he had ceased to believe himself and had taken to believing others. " - Leo Tolstoy

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