Another monthly Twitter chat has come and gone, and with it the usual lively exchange of ideas - this time, on the topic of books about preservation. I was surprised to discover how heavily the recommended books skewed towards nonfiction/academic titles rather than fiction -- in fact, we eventually added the disclaimer that a novel could just really effectively evoke a "sense of place" to pass muster as preservation novel.
I am hoping this is mostly a result of the fact that our chatters seem to include a higher-than-average number of folks enrolled in undergraduate and graduate preservation programs -- and not because there aren't enough preservation-centric novels. Though if the problem is the latter, it provides an excellent opportunity for aspiring writers, yes?
As always, we have a full transcript of the chat available, but to whet your appetite for it, here's a selection of the books recommended:
- Abundant Community: Awakening the Power of Families and Neighborhoods, by John McKnight
- Place, Race, and Story: Essays on the Past and Future of Historic Preservation, by Ned Kaufman
- The Heritage Strategy Planning Handbook, by Marc Denhez
- The Death and Life of Great American Cities, by Jane Jacobs
- A Richer Heritage: Historic Preservation in the Twenty-First Century, by Robert E. Stipe
- Loving Frank, by Nancy Horan
- Dash & Lily's Book of Dares, by Rachel Cohn
- The Island Walkers, by John Bemrose
- Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, by John Berend
One last note ... Both through the Twitter chat and other conversations, the idea of doing a Twitter-based preservation book chat has come up more than a few times, so I thought this presented an excellent opportunity to survey PreservationNation readers to see if there was sufficient interest to support such an undertaking. I've drafted a short survey (only six super-easy questions) to help us figure out if this is something folks want to do. You can take the survey here. Thanks in advance for taking the time to give us feedback on this idea.