Tag Archives: books

New look at a great book: ’60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Richmond’

60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of RichmondFor the past couple of months, I’ve been hiking all over Central Virginia. My wife and two children have joined me several times, visiting some old favorites and several new ones, including some fantastic Virginia State Parks.

I love the outdoors, but this is “work,” as I’ve signed on to write a revision of the great book 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Richmond by Nathan Lott and published by Menasha Ridge Press.

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With ‘Door to Door,’ Humes’ look at transportation in U.S. is a fast read, but worth taking it slow

Edward Humes and the Google carI rarely read books before everyone else and I’m even less likely to finish a book quickly. However, with Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Edward Humes’ Door to Door: The Magnificent, Maddening, Mysterious World of Transportation, he had my attention and was I strapped in for a fast ride.

The book is a wonderful read and inspiring to me as a writer and transportation planner. Humes covers many forms of transportation — from walking and biking to rail freight and cargo ships and even self-driving cars — and he touches on how fragile our entire transportation system is, especially thanks to our addiction to the solo-driven automobile. Continue reading

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Motivation to hike the Appalachian Trail from Bill Bryson’s “A Walk in the Woods”

My daughter and I hiked along the Appalachian Trail in Grayson Highlands State Park in Virginia in June 2016.At long last, I finally read Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail. Since it was published in 1998, it only took me about two decades to check it off my reading list.

Bryson’s story telling was fantastic. It was easy to get a sense that for some the Appalachian Trail is a form of sadistic torture for those who have attempted to hike 2,200 miles up and down hundreds of mountains for weeks and months on end. Continue reading

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Chesapeake Invader: Discovering America’s Giant Meteorite Crater

Science is awesome. I recently read “Chesapeake Invader: Discovering America’s Giant Meteorite Crater” by C. Wylie Poag. For a book about science, it is well-written, easy to read and thoroughly explains a fascinating topic, namely “America’s largest meteorite impact crater.”

Though the crater was formed 35 million years ago, it continues to influence Virginia and the Chesapeake Bay. So many mysteries about our region can be tied back into that catastrophic event. Continue reading

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‘Wrestling With Moses’ relives remarkable city planning battle

Wrestling With Moses

I recently read “Wrestling With Moses: How Jane Jacobs Took on New York’s Master Builder and Transformed the American City.”

There were many great lessons in this book, which I recommend not only for planners but for historians and fans of politics. The tales of battles between Jacobs and Moses were well represented in the book. Times have changed so much from the 1960s – I suspect that most of what Jacobs and her committees accomplished would be fodder for social media in today’s world. Continue reading

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‘Richmond’s Unhealed History’ reveals unsavory side of Byrd, Godwin

Harry F. Byrd statue at the Virginia Capitol Square

Harry F. Byrd statue at the Virginia Capitol Square

I’ve been reading Richmond’s Unhealed History by the Rev. Benjamin Campbell. It is a fascinating look back through the more gruesome and dirty details in the history of the settlement and development of Virginia and Richmond.

This is the kind of history you didn’t read in your grade school textbooks and I highly recommend the book.

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Taking urban planning lessons from ‘The Car and the City’

Patterson Avenue, east of Three Chopt Road.I recently read The Car and the City: 24 Steps to Safe Streets and Healthy Communities by Alan Thein Durning. The book was written nearly two decades ago and focused primarily on the Pacific Northwest, but many of the points made by the book are still relevant to today’s urban planning all over the country. Continue reading

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