A Carpenter's Life as Told by Houses

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9781600854026: A Carpenter's Life as Told by Houses
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If the best writers draw from their own experience, Larry Haun is as much a historian and philosopher as he is a 60-year veteran carpenter. Larry's memoir would be equally at home on the bookshelves of home building and architecture enthusiasts as anyone on a spiritual journey. -Brian Pontolilo, Managing Editor, "Fine Homebuilding Magazine"If you are lucky in your life, you are fortunate to encounter people who are passionate about their lives. Joseph Campbell is quoted as saying; "People always say what we are looking for is a meaning for life...I don't think that's what we're looking for. I think what we're looking for is the experience of being alive." Larry Haun is very alive, and has shared with me his passion for building, his passion for community, and his passion to serve. All of us at Habitat have been blessed by Larry's energy, enthusiasm and commitment to his trade. Bert Green, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity of CharlotteDrawing on a life spent building houses all over the U.S., Haun creates a first person timeline of 20th century American residential architecture by wonderfully combining together two literary styles: the memoir and the how-to book. The former editor of Fine Homebuilding, Haun writes like a carpenter, setting up the foundation of his life story with his childhood growing up in rural, Depression-scarred Nebraska, where people still lived in houses made of sod and straw. This upbringing gave Haun a connection to the land and a disdain for waste that informs his life and beliefs as he builds upon his story with the life lessons learned building houses all over the country. Just like any good carpenter, Haun brings his own artistic flourishes to the job of storytelling, adding prose-poems or ruminations about consumerism that convey his creativity and thoughtfulness. But where Haun's true personality comes across is when he describes the construction process for the many houses he has lived in and built--from his parent's 1,

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Part memoir, part cultural history, this is a book about the history of homebuilding in America over the past 100 years, told through twelve unique but modest houses that the author knows intimately. We follow the author from the sod house in Nebraska where his mother was born through the frame house where he spent his childhood to the production houses that he built one a day in the San Fernando Valley to the Habitat for Humanity houses that he has been devoting his time to most recently. While the houses provide the narrative glue, they are but part of the story. What emerges through the pages of "A Carpenter's Life as Told by Houses" is a passionate paean to the earth and those who walk upon it, written by a veteran builder with a deep connection to the natural world, a yearning for simplicity, a respect for humanity and an evocative notion of what we mean by "home".

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