June 12, 2016

What I've Been Reading...

I love reading! Am I the fastest reader? No. But I really do enjoy it. For the longest time after grade school, I hated reading.  I blame this on the AR program. (Accelerated reader, a program where you could only read in your reading level and you had to get a certain amount of reading points to not fail. The higher your reading level, the more points you had to acquire, and the less age appropriate books were available.)  However, about senior year of high school, I've really started enjoying reading again!  I hardly go anywhere without a book in hand or at least and Ebook on my phone. Sometimes I even feel a lot like Rory from Gilmore Girls in that aspect!  

I thought it would be interesting to share some of the books I've decided to read this month (possibly more than one month. We shall see). A lot of these books are from the Landscape Architecture section at Texas A&M's Library.  I checked them out over the summer.  I love how I don't have to return them until next Fall! 

So without further ado, here is what I've been reading!

Pioneer of Tropical Landscape Architecture: William Lyman Phillips by Faith Reyher Jackson.  This book is really interesting because it goes into pretty good detail about the life of William Lyman Phillips.  He was a student and associate of Frederick Law Olmsted, the father of landscape.  He helped design some of the new towns around the Panama Canel as well as Fairchild Tropical Gardens in Miami Florida.  I'm not too far into this book yet, but the way it talks about his design process is very intriguing! My favorite part of this book so far is when it says that his family was not wealthy, but never had debt, sent all 3 children to ivy league schools, owned 2 homes, and three boats. Can I be not wealthy then?

Residential Landscape Architecture by Norman K. Booth & James E. Hiss.  This book is pretty straight forward. it gives many tips on how to design a residential yard, and how to graphically represent different aspects in plan view, perspective, and section.  My professor last semester suggested this book to everyone.  It came in handy for my final in that class!  I am hoping to use it this summer to help my dad come up with a layout for our front and back yards.

Fredrick Law Olmsted by John Emerson Todd.  Fredrick Law Olmsted is known as the father of landscape architecture in the United States of America.  He achieved much fame for his contributions to the parks and National landmarks in the US.  These include central park in NY, Niagra Falls, Yosemite National Park.  He helped to set up the BLA program at Harvard University.  I haven't started this book yet, but I think it'll be interesting to learn more about such a significant figure in my field.

The Patio Garden by Hazel Evans.  I checked out this book to once again help me hone in on some residential landscape type designs.  I've only scanned this book so far, but I feel once I get started reading it I can learn a lot about how to make a relaxing yet interesting patio space.  Which would really once again help with both my dad's front and backyard. I'm excited to read more of this book!

GIS for Landscape Architects by Karen C. Hanna.  This book looks very interesting and complex.  I took a GIS (Geographical Information Systems, think fancy GPS system) class last semester and loved it! I actually, not to brag, made a 99 in the class.  When I saw this book in the library I was so excited.  GIS is such an interesting and useful tool, and I want to learn as much as I can about it while I have the program available to me.  Market price for ESRI GIS is several thousand I've been told. 

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.  This book is a classic, and yet somehow I've never read it.  The win friends part is what intrigues me, I always feel like I have a hard time making close friends.  Specifically close girlfriends. The aspect of helping me garner skills that will increase my earning power and career in the future is also beneficial. 

Mosquitoland by David Arnold.  The only fiction book on my list, I actually bought this book to read last summer but I left for school right after buying it that I never had a chance to read it. So far it's pretty good! I'm terrible at summarizing books so this is the official summary " After the sudden collapse of her family, Mim Malone is dragged from her home in northern Ohio to the "wastelands" of Mississippi, where she lives in a medicated milieu with her dad and new stepmom. Before the dust has a chance to settle, she learns her mother is sick back in Cleveland.
So she ditches her new life and hops aboard a northbound Greyhound bus to her real home and her real mother, meeting a quirky cast of fellow travelers along the way. But when her thousand-mile journey takes a few turns she could never see coming, Mim must confront her own demons, redefining her notions of love, loyalty, and what it means to be sane." 

I found it is always good to write tips or interesting things about a book as you read.  It helps you remember!!


  1. Nice to see young people involved and loving landscape architecture

    1. Thank you! I am very passionate about my field!