Friday, January 27, 2012

A Place of My Own

Title:  A Place of My Own - The Education of an Amateur Builder
Author:  Michael Pollan
Publication Information:  Random House Inc. 1997. 320 pages.

Book Source:  I read this book based on how much I enjoyed some of the author's other works.

Favorite Quote:  "Daydreaming is where we go to cultivate the self, or, more likely, selves out of the view and earshot of other people. Without its daydreams, the self is apt to shrink down to the size and shape of the estimation of others."

A Place of My Own is a book by Michael Pollan that came before he took on the food industry in The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food. A Place of My Own deals with a completely different topic - the transformation of Mr. Pollan's daydream into reality. It tells of Mr. Pollan's two-and-a-half year journey to create what could simply be called a home office but is more appropriately called a "shelter for daydreams" and "a place of my own."

The project began with the idea of creating on a his property a stand-alone structure that would serve for as a place to work. It went further as the idea blossomed that he not only wanted the structure, but also wanted to build it himself. It ventures forth into the arena of building design, construction, and all the trials and tribulations that process entails. As such, the book is well researched and presents facts, connections, and information as all of Mr. Pollan's books do.

In addition, this book is a journey of self-discovery. He takes us along with him on his daydream and its manifestation in this physical building. Because this is his project, this book has a much more personal tone than his other books. It envelops the reader in the story while continually providing the information. I was left at the end wanting to see the place and feel the reward and satisfaction he got from its creation.

I recently watched Food Inc. which includes a lot of commentary by Michael Pollan. I wonder if that commentary was filmed in his "writing house". I wanted to look around the place and out the window to see if the reality lived up to the expectations.

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