I have not read many gothic novels. The only one I’ve read is Matthew Lewis’ The Monk, which I was not a fan of (thoughts here). Notre-Dame de Paris by Victor Hugo (first published 1831) seemed far above The Monk in terms of quality. In addition to the better writing, there was the symbolic centrality

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In honor of my recent trip to New York City, I bring you thoughts on two books about the buildings in the city: Urban Animals and Building Stories, both picture books by Isabel Hill featuring images from the buildings of New York City.

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How does a blind person understand the majesty of a cathedral? The narrator in Raymond Carver’s short story “Cathedral” tries to describe it. His underlying epiphany, however, is not about architecture but about his own prejudices and stereotypes. He discovers in the end that he has been the one blind. He has not understood the

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The Chicago School of Architecture by Carl W. Condit is an academic examination and description of the architectural movement in Chicago after the Chicago fire, from about 1875 until about 1925. Because it was written in 1960s, some of the information may be dated, but it was still an informative introduction to the study of

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Last month I read Carl Sandburg’s poetry. I realized as I read his poetry that I know very little about my own home town. I spent some time learning about Chicago history this month, and it’s been fun. I’m also working on some reading lists so I can keep learning. Let me know your favorite Chicago-centered

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