What’s on my night stand: January 2012

I’m reading a lot of different things at any given time, so I’ll update them here every now and then as they turn over. Also, if you have any suggestions about what next, I’ll take them here.

ARE Study Manual:  I’m serious about it this time. For those of you who don’t know, in addition to a bachelor’s degree and several years of internship, you also need to pass 7 exams to become an architect. And what do you get when you become an architect? Stamps. Pretty exciting. And I want those delicious stamps. So, as of now I’m trying to read up on everything I need to know for the Construction Documents and Services exam.

Buildings Across Time:  I find myself strangely attracted to some of the textbooks that I picked up for classes in architecture school, and then definitely read when I was in the class. I really did read them. I’m just reading them again for fun. This is a good book though, and it’s got a lot of pictures. I sort of skip around and read a period here, an architect there. You’ll find a common thread, here, and it’s that I like books that I can skip around in and read little chunks at a time. This book is really good if you want a really broad overview of architecture. It’s about as accessible as a book on architecture can be.

Game of Thrones:  My roommate and best friend throughout college hooked me up with a fat stack of fantasy novels for my birthday and this was one of them. He read these books before they were an excellent HBO series, so he’s cooler than me. I haven’t actually started this one yet, I powered through Name of the Wind, which was great, but it also sated my appetite for fantasy for a while. I did want to read the first book before the second season of Game of Thrones came on though, so I’ll have to start into it soon if I want to keep ahead of the curve.

Sin City, Hell and Back:  This was the last collection in the Sin City series of comic books, and frankly, I was unimpressed. It was the only one that used color extensively, which I don’t think necessarily worked to it’s disadvantage, it was just … different. The story was just O.K., and I didn’t feel that the art cleared the high bar Frank Miller set for himself earlier in the series. Those earlier collections are great, by the way, so don’t skip over the series based on a lukewarm review of the last book. But if you’re like me and you have to read every book in a series or every episode of a TV show for completion, then you might be disappointed by this one.

Norton Anthology of Short Fiction:  Short stories are my single favorite form of writing to read, and this book is amazing. It was also required reading for a class I took, but I probably would have wound up with it anyways. It’s got one or two works from just about every author that you could think of, so you can flit about and read whatever you’re in the mood for. I used to do this on the bus when I worked downtown and lived where commuting on the Pittsburgh bus system was viable, which is probably where my fetish for short stories started. It’s a great book to have around if you find yourself with a half hour to chill out and don’t want to start a novel.

Like, a billion old issues of the Economist:  Here’s my problem with the Economist: it’s a weekly newsrag that comes out on Thursday, but the Postal System being what it is, I often don’t get it until the next week on Tuesday or Wednesday, or even later. So I usually read the bulk of it on my iPod touch, which will probably make me go blind eventually. Then, when the magazine finally comes, it’s old news and it just sits around getting wrinkled and gathering dust. I do my best to exterminate them, but the keep on gathering in corners and on random furniture throughout the house like some kind of pest. I think once I pony up for a tablet I’ll forgo the physical version and go paperless.

There you have it, everything I’ve been filling my head with before I go to bed. Any must reads? Add them below.

3 thoughts on “What’s on my night stand: January 2012

  1. Ray, have you taken any ARE exams yet? I’m starting with the schematic exam in two weeks! Let’s get that stamp! Also, I’m sure you know, but IDP is changing in crazy (not good for us) ways 😦

    • I haven’t yet, I want to start with Construction Documents and Services sometime in March. I should really just schedule something to give myself a deadline, buckle down and study. Good luck on your Schematics in a couple of weeks! I’ll send over some good vibes.

      • Thanks – I haven’t yet scheduled my first test either, but I signed up for a study session regime that takes place once a month and it may or may not force me into compliance with the ridiculous notion that you can take seven exams in a year!


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