The 12 books of Christmas: The Secret Lives of Buildings

Secret Lives of Buildings jacket

Any architecture or history buff would be pleased to find The Secret Lives of Buildings under the tree. Through the eyes of first-time author Edward Hollis, an architect who specializes in restoring historic buildings, readers will discover that iconic structures like the Parthenon, the Berlin Wall and even the Vegas Strip have led more storied lives than we realize. Hollis shares them with a fairy-tale charm, says reviewer Anne Bartlett, even going so far as to begin “most of his chapters with ‘Once upon a time.’ ”

Still not convinced? We at BookPage enjoyed this book so much that it made it onto our list of 2009’s Top 10 Nonfiction books.

Read the full review here, and find other 12 books of Christmas suggestions here.

You can find more great gift ideas in our holiday catalog.

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