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Architecture

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  1. 5.3 hrs • 8/2/2016 • Unabridged

    A compelling call to apply Buckminster Fuller’s creative problem solving to present-day problems A self-professed “comprehensive anticipatory design scientist,” the inventor Buckminster Fuller (1895–1983) was undoubtedly a visionary. Fuller’s creations often bordered on the realm of science fiction, ranging from the freestanding geodesic dome to the three-wheel Dymaxion car to a bathroom requiring neither plumbing nor sewage. Yet in spite of his brilliant mind and lifelong devotion to serving mankind, Fuller’s expansive ideas were often dismissed, and have faded from public memory since his death. You Belong to the Universe documents Fuller’s six-decade quest to “make the world work for 100 percent of humanity.” Critic and experimental philosopher Jonathon Keats sets out to revive Fuller’s unconventional practice of comprehensive anticipatory design, placing Fuller’s philosophy in a modern context and dispelling much of the mythology surrounding Fuller’s life. Keats argues that Fuller’s life and ideas, namely doing “the most with the least,” are now more relevant than ever as humanity struggles to meet the demands of an exploding world population with finite resources. Delving deeply into Buckminster Fuller’s colorful world, Keats applies Fuller’s most important concepts to present-day issues, arguing that his ideas are now not only feasible, but necessary. From transportation to climate change, urban design to education, You Belong to the Universe demonstrates that Fuller’s holistic problem-solving techniques may be the only means of addressing some of the world’s most pressing issues. Keats’ timely book challenges each of us to become comprehensive anticipatory design scientists, providing the necessary tools for continuing Fuller’s legacy of improving the world.

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    You Belong to the Universe by Jonathon Keats

    You Belong to the Universe

    5.3 hrs • 8/2/16 • Unabridged
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  2. 0 reviews 0 5 5 5 out of 5 stars 5/5
    9.3 hrs • 5/31/2016 • Unabridged

    One of the most significant works on our evolutionary ancestry since Richard Leakey’s Origins, The First Signs is the first-ever exploration of the geometric images that accompany most cave art around the world—the first indications of symbolic meaning, intelligence, and language. Imagine yourself as a caveman or cavewoman. The place: Europe. The time: 25,000 years ago, the last Ice Age. In reality, you live in an open-air tent or a bone hut. But you also belong to a rich culture that creates art. In and around your cave paintings are handprints and dots, x’s and triangles, parallel lines and spirals. Your people know what they mean. You also use them on tools and jewelry. And then you vanish—and with you, their meanings. Join renowned archaeologist Genevieve von Petzinger on an Indiana Jones–worthy adventure from the open-air rock art sites of northern Portugal to the dark depths of a remote cave in Spain that can only be reached by sliding face-first through the mud. Von Petzinger looks past the beautiful horses, powerful bison, graceful ibex, and faceless humans in the ancient paintings to the abstract geometric images that accompany them. These terse symbols appear more often than any other kinds of figures—signs that have never really been studied or explained until now. Part travel journal, part popular science, part personal narrative, von Petzinger’s groundbreaking book starts to crack the code on the first form of graphic communication. It’s in her blood, as this talented scientist’s grandmother served as a code breaker at Bletchley. Discernible patterns emerge that point to abstract thought and expression, and for the first time, we can begin to understand the changes that might have been happening inside the minds of our Ice Age ancestors—offering a glimpse of when they became us.

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    The First Signs by Genevieve von Petzinger

    The First Signs

    9.3 hrs • 5/31/16 • Unabridged
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  3. 6.2 hrs • 4/26/2016 • Unabridged

    The definitive book about One World Trade Center—the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere—by the author of the iconic and bestselling Skyscrapers. In hundreds of photographs, drawings, and plans—most never seen by the public—Judith Dupré chronicles the rise of America’s most exciting and emotionally charged new skyscraper. One World Trade Center showcases the building’s groundbreaking design and engineering, from the initial excavation to the final placement of the spire. Capturing the hope, resiliency, and pride of those who built it, the book is rich with in-depth explorations of the innovations, including a 360 degree view from the One World Observatory. This book is a must-have for all those invested in rebuilding Ground Zero or celebrating American architecture and ingenuity.

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    One World Trade Center

    6.2 hrs • 4/26/16 • Unabridged
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  4. 0 reviews 0 5 2 2 out of 5 stars 2/5
    7.9 hrs • 4/19/2016 • Unabridged

    Encompassing nearly 2,000 years of heists and tunnel jobs, break-ins and escapes, A Burglar’s Guide to the City offers an unexpected blueprint to the criminal possibilities in the world all around us. You’ll never see the city the same way again. At the core of A Burglar’s Guide to the City is an unexpected and thrilling insight: how any building transforms when seen through the eyes of someone hoping to break into it. Studying architecture the way a burglar would, Geoff Manaugh takes readers through walls, down elevator shafts, into panic rooms, up to the buried vaults of banks, and out across the rooftops of an unsuspecting city. With the help of FBI special agents, reformed bank robbers, private security consultants, the LAPD Air Support Division, and architects past and present, the book dissects the built environment from both sides of the law. Whether picking padlocks or climbing the walls of high-rise apartments, finding gaps in a museum’s surveillance routine or discussing home invasions in ancient Rome, A Burglar’s Guide to the City has the tools, the tales, and the x-ray vision you need to see architecture as nothing more than an obstacle that can be outwitted and undercut. Full of real-life heists—both spectacular and absurd—A Burglar’s Guide to the City ensures readers will never enter a bank again without imagining how to loot the vault or walk down the street without planning the perfect getaway.

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    A Burglar’s Guide to the City

    7.9 hrs • 4/19/16 • Unabridged
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  5. 4.4 hrs • 11/1/2015 • Unabridged

    The word “sustainability” has been connected to everything from a certain kind of economic development to corporate promises about improved supply sourcing. But despite the apparent ubiquity of the term, the concept of sustainability has come to mean a number of specific things. In this accessible guide to the meanings of sustainability, Kent Portney describes the evolution of the idea and examines its application in a variety of contemporary contexts—from economic growth and consumption to government policy and urban planning. Portney takes as his starting point the 1987 definition of sustainability by the World Commission on Environment and Development as economic development activity that “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” At its heart, Portney explains, sustainability focuses on the use and depletion of natural resources. It is not the same as environmental protection or natural resource conservation; it is more about finding some sort of steady state so that the earth can support both human population and economic growth. Topics covered by Portney include:Political opposition to the promotion of sustainability, which usually questions the need for sustainability or calls its costs unacceptable;Collective and individual consumption of material goods and resources and to what extent they must be curtailed to achieve sustainability;The role of the private sector and the co-opting of sustainability by corporations;Government policy on sustainability at the international, national, and subnational levels; andHow cities could become models for sustainability action.

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    Sustainability by Kent E. Portnoy, Kent E. Portney
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  6. 7.0 hrs • 12/17/2013 • Unabridged

    A rich and and entertaining history of the iconic Grand Central Terminal, from one of New York City’s favorite writers, just in time to celebrate the train station’s 100th fabulous anniversary In the winter of 1913, Grand Central Station was officially opened and immediately became one of the most beautiful and recognizable Manhattan landmarks. In this celebration of the one-hundred-year-old terminal, Sam Roberts of the New York Times looks back at Grand Central’s conception, amazing history, and the far-reaching cultural effects of the station that continues to amaze tourists and shuttle busy commuters. Along the way, Roberts will explore how the Manhattan transit hub truly foreshadowed the evolution of suburban expansion in the country, and fostered the nation’s westward expansion and growth via the railroad. Featuring quirky anecdotes and behind-the-scenes information, this book will allow readers to peek into the secret and unseen areas of Grand Central—from the tunnels, to the command center, to the hidden passageways. With stories about everything from the famous movies that have used Grand Central as a location to the celestial ceiling in the main lobby (including its stunning mistake) to the homeless denizens who reside in the building’s catacombs, this is a fascinating and, exciting look at a true American institution.

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    Grand Central

    Foreword by Pete Hamill
    Read by Pete Hamill
    7.0 hrs • 12/17/13 • Unabridged
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  7. 11.7 hrs • 10/29/2013 • Unabridged

    In recent decades, Americans in Rome have revived an ancient Christian custom: the daily pilgrimage to dozens of Rome’s most striking churches during Lent and Easter Week. Along this historical and spiritual pathway, pilgrims encounter hidden artistic wonders and treasured Christian commentaries while also confronting the great mysteries of the Christian faith through a program of biblical and early Christian readings. The itinerary of the Roman station church pilgrimage offers Christians an opportunity to reflect on their religion and ponder the quality of their discipleship. In Roman Pilgrimage, bestselling theologian George Weigel, art historian Elizabeth Lev, and photographer Stephen Weigel guide readers along this religious and aesthetic journey with gorgeous photographs and revealing essays on the pilgrimage’s art, architecture, and liturgies. A reminder of the call for renewal and conversion during each Lenten season, Roman Pilgrimage reflects on the deepest truths of Christianity and the exquisite beauty of the station churches of Rome.

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    Roman Pilgrimage by George Weigel

    Roman Pilgrimage

    By George Weigel, with Elizabeth Lev
    Photographs by Stephen Weigel
    Read by Bob Souer
    11.7 hrs • 10/29/13 • Unabridged
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  8. 5.2 hrs • 1/1/2013

    In this engaging series of lectures, Carroll William Westfall, the University of Notre Dame’s Frank Montana Professor of Architecture, delves into the classical principles of Western architecture. Exploring features such as ornamentation, decoration, and innovation, Professor Westfall shows how architecture is derived from the very principles that form the cornerstones of our civilization—and, with scholarly precision, he also demonstrates how this field of endeavor is rooted in nature itself.

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  9. 6.8 hrs • 1/1/2013 • Unabridged

    Running a successful architectural firm is a juggling act. You need expertise in your area of architecture to provide services to clients. You also need the know-how to run a small business. You’ve probably been well prepared by your education and experience for the technical ins and outs of an architecture firm, but what training has prepared you to run a business? The E-Myth Architect fills this knowledge gap, giving you a complete toolkit for starting a successful firm from scratch or maximizing an existing firm’s performance. Loaded with practical, powerful advice you can easily use, this one-stop guide helps you realize all the benefits that come with a thriving architecture business.

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  10. 5.4 hrs • 8/1/2012 • Unabridged

    Witold Rybczynski takes us on an extraordinary odyssey as he tells the story of designing and building his own house. His project began as a workshed, but through a series of “happy accidents,” the structure gradually evolved into a full-fledged house. In tracing this evolution, he touches on matters both theoretical and practical, writing on such diverse topics as the ritualistic origins of the elements of classical architecture and the connections between dress and habitation. He discusses feng-shui and considers the theories of such architects as Palladio, Le Corbusier, and Frank Lloyd Wright. An eloquent examination of the links between being and building, The Most Beautiful House in the World offers insights into the joys of “installing ourselves in a place, of establishing a spot where it would be safe to dream.”

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  11. 5.8 hrs • 8/1/2012 • Unabridged

    One of the classic works on interior decoration, Edith Wharton’s The Decoration of Houses offers a comprehensive look at the history and character of turn-of-the-century interior design. Cowritten with architect Ogden Codman, Jr., this invaluable reference provides us with numerous keen and practical axioms for house design, such as (1) The better the house, the less need for curtains, and (2) the height of a well-proportioned doorway should be twice its width. In the words of John Barrington Bayley, President of Classical America, “this book has charm. The Decoration of Houses brings to mind the pictures of Walter Gay: There are the reflections in looking-glasses, and on parquet, and the garnitures of chimney-pieces, boiseriers, the odor of wax; outside the tall glazed doors there is a sunny silent terrace, we are now at Mrs. Wharton’s Pavillon Colombe—a well laid out parterre, a rose garden, and an orchard of Reinette apples and luscious double cherries.”

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    The Decoration of Houses

    5.8 hrs • 8/1/12 • Unabridged
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  12. 5.5 hrs • 6/1/2011 • Unabridged

    A “palace” ruled by a “queen,” Harbor Hill in Roslyn, Long Island, was commissioned by the beautiful and imperious Katherine Duer Mackay, wife of one of the country’s wealthiest men. Stanford White, the architect, wrote, “with the exception of Biltmore, I do not think there will be an estate equal to it in the country.” The mansion, along with its magnificent furnishings, art, gardens—and the owners’ hubris, striving, and ultimate failure—are the dramatis personae of this saga. An extravagant product of the desire for social acceptance, Harbor Hill’s story includes elements of farce and tragedy; in a sense it is an American portrait. The portrait encompasses western mining, old versus new wealth, religious differences over the building of a church, and art collecting, as well as the many people involved, from the architects, builders, and workers to the servants and staff who ran the house and gardens.

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    Harbor Hill

    5.5 hrs • 6/1/11 • Unabridged
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  13. 11.0 hrs • 10/19/2010 • Unabridged

    I intend that this autobiography shall become a model for all future autobiographies when it is published after my death, and I also intend that it shall be read and admired a good many centuries because of its form and method—a form and method whereby the past and the present are constantly brought face to face, resulting in contrasts which newly fire up the interest all along, like contact of flint with steel. Moreover, this autobiography of mine does not select from my life its showy episodes but deals mainly in the common experiences which go to make up the life of the average human being, because these episodes are of a sort which he is familiar with in his own life, and in which he sees his own life reflected and set down in print.

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    Chapters from My Autobiography by Mark Twain

    Chapters from My Autobiography

    11.0 hrs • 10/19/10 • Unabridged
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  14. 1 reviews 0 5 4.5 4 out of 5 stars 4.5/5 (1)
    16.6 hrs • 10/5/2010 • Unabridged

    Bill Bryson and his family live in a Victorian parsonage in a part of England where nothing of any great significance has happened since the Romans decamped. Yet one day, he began to consider how very little he knew about the ordinary things of life as he found it in that comfortable home. To remedy this, he formed the idea of journeying about his house from room to room to “write a history of the world without leaving home.” The bathroom provides the occasion for a history of hygiene; the bedroom, sex, death, and sleep; the kitchen, nutrition and the spice trade; and so on, as Bryson shows how each has fig­ured in the evolution of private life. Whatever happens in the world, he demonstrates, ends up in our house, in the paint and the pipes and the pillows and every item of furniture. Bill Bryson has one of the liveliest, most inquisitive minds on the planet, and he is a master at turning the seemingly isolated or mundane fact into an occasion for the most diverting exposi­tion imaginable. His wit and sheer prose fluency make At Home one of the most entertaining books ever written about private life.

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    At Home

    16.6 hrs • 10/5/10 • Unabridged
    1 reviews 0 5 4.5 4 out of 5 stars 4.5/5 (1)
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  15. 11.9 hrs • 5/22/2008 • Unabridged

    In 1814 British troops invaded and burned Washington; the White House still bears scorch and soot marks on its foundation stones. Until the British tried to obliterate it, many Americans remained violently opposed to the idea of Washington as the nation’s capital. It was only after the British lesson in “hard war,” designed to terrorize Americans, that the city became a locus of unity and national pride. The dramatic story of how Washington, DC, rose from a wilderness is a vital chapter in American history, filled with intrigue and outsized characters—from Pierre Charles L’Enfant, the eccentric, passionate, difficult architect who fell in love with his adopted country, to George Washington, who struggled to balance L’Enfant’s enthusiasm for his brilliant design with the strident opposition of fiscal conservatives such as Thomas Jefferson. Their conflicts mirror the struggles of a fledgling nation to form a kind of government the world had not yet known, prefiguring similar battles fought in Congress today. Utterly absorbing and scrupulously researched, Washington Burning offers a fresh perspective on the birth of not just a city but a nation.

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    Washington Burning

    11.9 hrs • 5/22/08 • Unabridged
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  16. 6.2 hrs • 9/5/2006 • Unabridged

    An unprecedented account of one of civilization’s greatest achievements.The great pyramids of Giza have intrigued humanity for thousands of years. Questions about the construction and the purpose of these majestic monuments have existed since the middle period of ancient Egyptian civilization; in the sixth century B.C., Herodotus was the first of generations of explorers to travel to Egypt in an attempt to unlock their secrets. Recent cutting-edge research has uncovered information about how and why they were built unimaginable to previous generations. In Mountains of the Pharaohs, Zahi Hawass, a world-renowned archaeologist and the official guardian of Egypt’s timeless treasures, weaves the latest archaeological data and an enthralling family history into spellbinding narrative.

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    Mountains of the Pharaohs

    6.2 hrs • 9/5/06 • Unabridged
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