Deborah Berke

Architect / United States / Deborah Berke & Partners Architects

Deborah Berke’s Book List

I have always loved books—books of all kinds. I like reading books, I like being in rooms where there are books, I get inspiration from books, I like giving books as gifts, I like having a book with me.

My list is an eclectic one of books I have enjoyed and books I have learned from. I always have a large pile of books—fiction and nonfiction, books with images and books without, poetry, plays, collections and surveys, essays—on my nightstand, and always a book in my bag.

4 books
Hendrik Hertzberg

I always enjoy reading Hertzberg’s column in The New Yorker and find this collection of essays to contain some of his best.

Joseph Mitchell

This is a great book about a New York that doesn’t really exist anymore. Mitchell’s observations and descriptions of it are perfect. Very few of us write as well as Joseph Mitchell did, but this book should be an encouragement to go out and carefully observe your city, wherever it may be.

Susan Sontag

This book includes some of Susan Sontag’s best-known essays. My favorite, “Against Interpretation,” has this to say: “Our task is not to find the maximum amount of content in a work of art, much less to squeeze more content out of the work than is already there. Our task is to cut back content so that we can see the thing at all.”

John R. Stilgoe

Walk away from your desk, go outside, keep your eyes open and remember what you see and ask why it is that way. A great exhortation to all of us to be questioning observers.

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