Monday, November 21, 2011

The Heights by Kate Ascher

Part Of The Synopsis From Dust Jacket:

The Skyscraper is perhaps the most recognizable icon of the modern urban landscape.  Providing office, homes, restaurants, and shopping to thousands of inhabitants, modern skyscrapers function as small cities -  with infrastructure not unlike that hidden beneath our streets.  Clean water is provided to floors thousands of feet in the sky; elevators move people swiftly and safely throughout the building; and telecom networks allow virtual meetings with people on other continents.  How are these services-considered essential, but largely taken for granted - possible in such a complex structure.  What does it really take to sustain human life at such enormous heights.

I have read some wonderfully detailed, analytical reviews of this book by people who really know their stuff.  Thankfully, I'm not one of them so I won't have to beat myself up for not delving into the minute details of what the books is choosing to highlight or leave out.  I'm not bogged down with a vast store of foreknowledge on the subjects of skyscrapers, engineering, architecture, or any of the stuff I was so horrible at (it all required math skills way above my level) in college.  Instead this will be a rather short, but unapologetic positive review.

Using lots of pictures and graphics, thank goodness, the author does a pretty good job of giving a brief history of they skyscraper and it's genesis  Pretty quickly after that the author quickly moves into the science and the construction of the tallest building to ever see the light of day.  She gives pretty interesting detailed information on all the small stuff that I never thought about before.  How do you keep the wind from blowing a building over?  How do all the pipes needed to carry water and sewage get built into the core of the building?  How do engineers take settlement of the building into the plans?  I found it to be a rather informative read that I think I and my son will look into for years to come.

I would like to thank Trish of TLC Book Tours for the opportunity to read and review the book.  Please visit the tour page to read some really great, educated reviews.


Simcha said...

I have to say that I've never thought too much about skyscrapers or their construction but I do enjoy learning interesting facts about how things work (as long as they don't get too detailed) and so I could see myself enjoying this book.

bermudaonion said...

Oh, I bet my husband would love this book!

Staci said...

I know a young boy who has read nothing but non-fiction since fifth grade. He would love this!!

Anonymous said...

I love that you were able to understand and enjoy this book even though you don't have an architectural background.

Thanks for being on the tour Ryan!