> A Reverence for Wood
> Picked it up many years ago, I like it.
> It's not any kind of a how-to or pattern book, it's more of a passing
> glance into various ideosyncracies of early american
> woodworking/carpentry/construction. But the writing is good, an
> enjoyable light reading of non-fiction.
> I have two of his other books, A Museum of Early American Tools and
> Our Vanishing Landscape. Same writing style, and enjoyable, IMO.
I like his _Museum of Early American Tools_ and his _Diary of an Early
American Boy_ the best. His history isn't always right--he sometimes
talks about something medieval (or older!) as if it had been invented in
the American colonies--but he's a good illustrator and storyteller with a
real sense of his period, basically the 18th Century.
_Diary of an Early American Boy_ happened because he found one. In 1805,
Noah Blake got a blank book from his parents for his 15th birthday.
Sloane found that book a century and a half later, and published it. Noah
wasn't a wordy guy; Sloane takes one of Noah's sentences about his daily
work and expands it into a page or two explaining what that work, or
situation, was like for a pioneer family, and illustrating it with his
nice sketches. And Noah's family was one of those inventive and
hardworking families that gave New England its reputation--this farm that
was chopped out of the woods less than twenty years before now has a
house, barn and several fields, and in the year of the diary they replace
a bridge over their creek and build a water powered sawmill with a powered
forge shop on the side.
Along with the book, he found an inkwell with Noah's initials, and an
ingenious protractor-level, which I made a copy of. It works well! It's
a fun book, and someone really should do ones like it for various medieval
countries and periods. Hmmmm.....