This summer we’ve been asking our fellow team members at Tom Eliot Fisch what books they’ve read recently and why. From Swiss architectural monographs to the O.K. Corral, here’s presenting the second post in our summer reading series.
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
A friend of mine recommended the book to me after we had discussed the joy and pain of chasing the "big adventure." For most 20-somethings, myself included, self discovery and forging one's own destiny independent of societal pressures is the big quest, so it was great to stumble across a book that so vividly captures that idea. Loosely based on Kerouac's own cross-country road trips, On The Road follows two seemingly different young men who, over three years of shifting landscapes, colorful characters and borderline reckless scrapes, develop an incredible friendship and achieve tremendous personal growth.
I’m an eclectic reader – historic fiction, military ops series, books about dogs (which I didn’t really understand until my dog Sneaker came along), and the random treasure among the “staff picks” that I happen upon at either The Booksmith in the Upper Haight or Alexander Book Company on 2nd Street (basically books that I would never have chosen on my own). I just finished Doc: A Novel about John Henry Holliday, aka Doc Holliday of wild west folklore fame. Currently on my Kindle is The Third Option by Vince Flynn. And next in the queue is Erik Larsen’s In the Garden of Beasts, which was a random buy at Costco a few weeks back. You never know what you'll find when picking up cat litter.
My most recent read was the new monograph on Swiss firm Gigon/Guyer Architects. They create these pure, atectonic volumes with precise details. The work is distinct in its handling of natural light and spatial complexity. They use materials diagrammatically so each element relates back to the whole, and they aren’t afraid of color. More photos and drawings than text, the book is a wealth of inspiration, not to mention eye candy: fritted gradients, facades filled with sand and shards of glass, pigmented concrete and colorful, reflective surfaces. In a word, beautiful.