These are some books I have read and enjoyed, I hope you will too!  Click on the image of the book to go to Amazon and purchase.

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Anthony Downs of the Brookings Institution lays out in layman’s terms the “what happened” in real estate.  He explores the root problems in the housing and commercial property markets, identifies the policy responses and lays out four different scenarios for how this will all play out.  Well worth the buy!

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These two books have been an inspiration for us over here at the M2H Group – the images, the materials, the ingenious use of space that Susanka documents have really helped us in designing our communities.  I highly recommend a copy of this for your bookshelf, now more than ever!  We are moving to smaller homes, becoming more frugal and heading for higher densities.  These books will help you tackle the trend.

14932357.JPGJames Howard Kunstler’s look at eight cities around the world from Paris to Las Vegas.  It is an exploration of the forces that cause cities to be great or crummy.  An entertaining read!

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Wasik’s meticulous research centers on the so-called spurb, his invented term for car-dependent sprawling urban areas, unconnected to core cities by public transportation and beset by unsustainable costs for infrastructure, services and resources. Think developments built far on the desert outskirts of cities such as Las Vegas and Los Angeles. The American dream of moving further from a city to buy a bigger house and find better schools has become a costly proposition, he observes. The pursuit of happiness isn’t all it’s cracked up to be when you have a killer commute.” –BetterInvesting

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This is as much a spiritual book as a harsh indictment of the suburban lifestyle.  Dave Getz is a former pastor turned urban (suburban) critic.  But he gives some great life advice on how to survive in the land of SUV’s, cellphones and strip malls.

070980_mdFrom McLatchy:”Eco-friendly housing used to be thought of as expensive, ugly or just plain weird. Now it’s becoming common. David Johnston and Scott Gibson offer guidance on environmentally sensitive home building in Green from the Ground Up: Sustainable, Healthy, and Energy-Efficient Home Construction. The book helps builders and homeowners create houses that conserve natural resources and are energy-efficient and healthful. It’s packed with information, tips, illustrations and case studies that offer wisdom earned from experience.

51M3RSDHG8L._SL500_AA240_I love this DVD!  I remember how refreshing a read, “Free to Choose” was, but having Milton speaking to us from the grave is tremendous.  Share this one with your kids, especially if they are about to head out of the nest to college.

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Per Amazon review: Leon Krier is one of the best-known—and most provocative—architects and urban theoreticians in the world. Until now, however, his ideas have circulated mostly among a professional audience of architects, city planners, and academics. In The Architecture of Community, Krier has reconsidered and expanded writing from his 1998 book Architecture: Choice or Fate. Here he refines and updates his thinking on the making of sustainable, humane, and attractive villages, towns, and cities. The book includes drawings, diagrams, and photographs of his built works, which have not been widely seen until now.

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I am working through this one right now and it is an idea farm!  There is an interactive group on Facebook too.

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