written by:
illustrated by:
June 14, 2011
Originally published in Beach Houses We Love

Looking for a little light literature to while away the hours? We suggest a quartet of (fictional) titles for the design minded.

beach reading

The DeBuilding Code
by Dan Brownstone
Robert Leverhouse, architecture professor, receives an urgent late-night call: The contractor hired to gut renovate his Carroll Gardens home has been murdered! Scattered around the body near the hopelessly dated kitchen island is a series of baffling archival blueprints. At Stumptown, Leverhouse meets up-and-coming urban planner Susan Scone, and the two follow an increasingly arcane trail of mystery. Was the dead man part of a secret society named the Priory of Sub-Contractors? Did he sacrifice his own life to protect the unseen forces driving the Environmental Review Board? Leverhouse and Scone must untangle the labyrinthine mystery of the DeBuilding Code before millions of lives are put in danger.

Design-inspired non-existant books to read by the beach
The Girl with the De Meuron Tattoo
by Stig Lardons
Thirty years ago, a scion of one of Switzerland’s wealthiest families disappeared after dining with the residents of the Blue House in Oberwil. Seeking the truth of what happened that night, her aged uncle hires Michael Gruyère, a revered design critic for Neue Zürcher Zeitung, to put together the pieces. After a chance meeting at the VitraHaus, Gruyère teams up with parametric-modeling whiz kid and Harvard GSD grad Lesley Salamander. What begins as a small-town Swiss mystery leads into an astonishing vortex of design-world corruption—and a sinister plan to win architectural commissions from Beijing to Bond Street.

Design-inspired books
The Bauhaus Diet

by Myles Vanderole, MD
It’s bathing-suit season! If you find yourself wondering, “What is the objective function of this bathing costume?” the Bauhaus Diet is for you. It’s all about living well and loving what you don’t eat. It’s mercurial, essentialist, and ruthlessly effective. Phase 1 is designed to eliminate cravings for residential rococo, the Starbucks Trenta Latte, and conversational digression. Phase 2 produces steady weight loss by curating the “negative space” in your gut. You stay in Phase 2 until you begin to resemble a young silver prince or princess. Next is Phase 3, the Machine Aesthetic, where you’ll not just study but actually become a perfect form. Your body will be a straight line, your face, a flawless, impenetrable surface—the ultimate synthesis of art, craft, technology, and biology.

Design-inspired books
The Heiress and the Handyman
by Daniel Steel
Tex Boone is a former rodeo star, now a drifter, a lone wolf, and a highly skilled handyman. He’s ruggedly handsome, with an untamed heart—and unrelenting abs. When beautiful but lonely Bay Area heiress Serena Dellacourt hires him to renovate the guest bathroom in her mid-century hillside home in Sausalito, sparks and sawdust fly. It is a forbidden love, with passions that burn twice as hot as the Italian kiln that fired her new Bisazza tiles. Tex discovers that even a loner can find love. But is Serena the type of woman who’s really ready to renovate? Only her heart, and the tilework, will tell.


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