Cathedral, by David Macaulay - you've probably seen this book, or others in this series by David Macaulay. It is a visual record of the building of a cathedral in 13th century France. The text is quite short, but informative enough to convince me the author knows what he's talking about. Even better are his illustrations; with wonderful, grand and detailed pen and ink drawings, Macaulay somehow manages to impart a sense of scale (i.e., huge) and wonder. I told myself that I bought this book so my kids would have it around when they're able to enjoy it; but really, I bought it because it's really, really cool.
His other books in this series include: Pyramid, Castle, City. Makes me want to draw something.
In the same vein, I finally finished The Story of Architecture, by Jonathan Glancey. The booksellers tell me this is a college freshman-level introduction to architecture. Glancey devotes 2-4 pages to various architectural eras, important architects, imposing philosphies, and some of his ideas about the future.
The book is fairly deceptive because it's so pretty. Each page is filled with wonderful pictures, clearly illustrating the ideas and styles Glancey writes about. But it's far from the kid's book it seems to be. There are numerous people and dates and cities and philosophies mentioned and explained in detail. This is a good thing, because it serves to be both a nice, coffee-table book and a fairly thorough introduction to architecture.
It is interesting to try and guess at the author's religious, philosophical, and political persuasions. Despite acknowledging the greatness of some cathedral and church architecture, I don't think he's a big fan of Christianity; he finds interesting ways to keep bringing up the Crusades early in the book. Also, he doesn't take an overt stand for or against some of the more godless ideas in architecture, most notably the purposeful silliness and meaninglessness of postmodern architecture. But even with a possibly skewed philosphical foundation, this is a fine book and one I'll look forward to reviewing in the future.
The audio files from our winter conference have been uploaded. You can find them here; I've had opportunity to use the materials in Pastor Selvaggio's lectures a few times already. Most of the students who attended were greatly blessed, or so they tell me. On the same page is the audio from my "Christ & the Arts" workshop. It's fairly hard to listen to, because I did a lot of audience participation and they weren't miked...