What We're Reading November 2014: Recommended Reads from the Staff of PVN


Log Structures: Preservation and Problem-Solving, Harrison Goodall and Renee Friedman (Nashville, The American Association for State and Local History, 1980).

"The book presents practical, detailed instructions for dealing with the difficulties inherent in log constructions - wood decay, loose chinking, leaking roofs and sagging floors... including guidance in planning restorations, with specific techniques for preserving the material for a more stable future." - The American Association for State and Local History


Manhattan Projects: The Rise and Fall of Urban Renewal in Cold War New York, Samuel Zipp (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012).

"Giving projects built by Robert Moses and the New York City Housing Authority their due, Professor Zipp argues that urban renewal cannot be measured merely by the number of structures that were bulldozed or built. Rather, he makes a convincing case that the policy also transformed 'the terms by which cities were understood' and recast debates over 'the impacts of modernism, progress, public and private power, and cold war ideology on culture, politics and social life.'" - The New York Times


The Folklore of the Freeway: Race and Revolt in the Modernist City, Eric Avila (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2014).

"When the interstate highway program connected America’s cities, it also divided them, cutting through and devastating countless communities—many of them minority urban neighborhoods lacking the political and economic power to resist the construction. Within the context of the 1960s and 1970s, Eric Avila maps the creative strategies devised by urban communities to document and protest the damage that highways wrought." - University of Minnesota Press


Longbourn, Jo Baker (New York: Vintage, 2014)

"Elizabeth and Darcy take a backseat in this engrossing Austen homage, which focuses on the lives of the servants of Longbourn rather than the Bennet family... Baker vividly evokes the lives of the lower classes in nineteenth-century England, from trips in the rain to distant shops to the struggles of an infantryman in the Napoleonic Wars."- Booklist


Writing Your Journal Article in 12 Weeks, Wendy Laura Belcher (Thousand Oaks, CA, SAGE Publications, 2009).

"The one book I would most recommend to inexperienced academic authors in the humanities or social sciences who seriously wish to see their scholarly work in print.” also, “an up-to-date and remarkably thorough guide” —Steven E. Gump, Review in Journal of Scholarly Publishing (Jan 2010)


The Essential Cuisines of Mexico, Diana Kennedy (New York: Clarkson Potter, 2009 (reprint))

"Diana Kennedy's books on Mexican cooking are different. They demand to be devoured." - William Rice, Chicago Tribune

"Every time Diana Kennedy publishes a new book I am delighted." - Alice Waters


E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Business Fail and What to Do about It, Michael Gerber. (New York: HarperCollins, 2004.)

"Michael Gerber's The E-Myth Revisited should be required listening for anyone thinking about starting a business or for those who have already taken that fateful step. He establishes an incredibly organized and regimented plan, so that daily details are scripted, freeing the entrepreneur's mind to build the long-term success or failure of the business. You don't need an M.B.A. to understand or follow its directives; Gerber takes time to explain buzzwords and complex theories." - Amazon.com Review

The Golem and the Jinni, by Helene Wecker (New York: Harper Perennial, 2013)

"First novelist Wecker has blended not only genres but also elements of Jewish and Arab folklore and mythology in this intriguing historical fantasy. What happens when a golem, a Polish woman made of clay, recently marooned in late-nineteenth-century New York, joins forces with jinni, a creature made of fire, accidently released by a Syrian tinsmith in lower Manhattan? The premise is so fresh that it is anyone’s guess, and Wecker does not disappoint as she keeps the surprises coming in this unusual story... A mystical and highly original stroll through the sidewalks of New York." - Booklist

What We're ReadingPVN Staff