Looking for a last minute gift? Or a fun and educational way to shed those holiday pounds? In a recent article in the Boston Globe, Michael Kenney highlights a few Boston guidebooks that might just accomplish both. One of the books he mentions is Nancy Seasholes latest, Walking Tours of Boston’s Made Land, twelve walks that trace where and why Boston's man-made land was created, and, along the way, Seasholes uncovers fascinating and little-known pieces of Boston history. The walks grew out of a course she teaches on the subject at the Harvard Extension School and they provide a new and different way of looking at this historic city.
And for the armchair travelers on your list, Adam Sharr’s Heidegger’s Hut provides an intense look at the relationship between Martin Heidegger and his cabin in the Black Forest. In her gift book round up in the New York Times, Penelope Green calls it:
A straight-faced look -- with photos, floor plans and even architectural models -- at the four-room mountain cottage that was the philosopher's Walden Pond. Photographs of Heidegger at the well, at his desk (with mysteriously empty shelves) and with a walking stick give this little book the feel of a family album. Was Die Hütte, as Heidegger called it, ''the site of a heroic confrontation between philosopher and existence''? A weekend getaway for a suburban romantic? Or an incubator of fascism?
Probably a little bit of each, implies Mr. Sharr, an architect and a professor at Cardiff University in Wales, who wrestles with Heidegger's role as a Nazi apologist (as well as his role as a suburban householder) but is mostly reverent in this examination of the phenomena (a hut, an outhouse, a well) that inspired the phenomenologist.
Also, remember that our holiday book sale—with lots of great last minute gift ideas—runs through December 31st.