Alan Balfour

Academic; Writer / Architecture / United States / Georgia Institute of Technology, College of Architecture

Scholarship and Imagination: Alan Balfour’s Book List

This list is made up of three parts: first, books that have touched me in the last year or so, most related to supporting and stimulating my own writing; second, writers whose imaginations I can enter, whose books I can get lost within; and third, books that I often return to and continue to value.

3 books
William T. Vollmann

This book documents the destruction of a vast landscape, violent and confrontational, presenting a tragic and deeply American tale.

Karen Armstrong

Armstrong has produced highly readable, extraordinary scholarship on religion and culture in many books over 30 years. Pick any one.

Colin Thubron

As with Sebald, I relish all of Thubron’s writings. They are travel books, but erudite and carefully stage-managed, they become a journey into the human condition and the realities that result. Thubron is part of a great tradition of British travel writing that includes Patrick Leigh Fermor and Freya Stark, whom I recommend only because they describe worlds and values so distant from ours.

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