Culture Scan

At the intersection of real estate, media, and pop culture.

Gift Ideas With a Real Estate Spin

Check out these books that celebrate home and communities as you do your holiday shopping.

If you’re anything like me, you may feel like the holiday season has snuck up at the end of this topsy-turvy year. Fortunately, the librarians working in the Library & Archives of the National Association of REALTORS® have you covered. These recent books related to homes, buildings and other facets of real estate are at the top of our wish lists. From history to business to fiction, these gift suggestions may inspire anyone who loves to learn and think about how real estate and communities influence how we live. 

The Great Indoors: The Surprising Science of How Buildings Shape Our Behavior, Health and Happiness by Emily Anthes (Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

  • Science journalist Emily Anthes explores the ways our interior environments impact our physical and mental health, from the air in our homes to the layout of our offices.

The Yellow House by Sarah M. Broom (Grove Press)

  • Winner of the 2019 National Book Award, Sarah M. Broom’s memoir weaves together generations of family history and a compelling portrait of New Orleans with the story of her family home.

The Sprawl by Jason Diamond (Coffee House Press)

  • Delving into representations of the suburbs in American culture and drawing on his own experiences growing up on the outskirts of Chicago, Jason Diamond proposes a reexamination of the suburbs as ripe for creative potential.

Brave New Home by Diana Lind (Bold Type Books)

  • From micro-apartments to co-living communities, Diana Lind explores future alternatives to the single-family home that address today’s changing demographics and affordable housing concerns.

The Address Book: What Street Addresses Reveal About Identity, Race, Wealth, and Power by Deirdre Mask (St. Martin’s Press)

  • Finalist for the 2020 Kirkus Prize for Nonfiction, The Address Book takes an extensive look at the stories behind street addresses and what they reveal about those who live there.

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (Del Rey Books)

  • Lauded by many as one of the best books of 2020, a house is a lead character in this supernatural mystery set in 1950s Mexico.

The Encyclopedia of Commercial Real Estate Advice: How to Add Value When Buying, Selling, Repositioning, Developing, Financing, and Managing by Terry Painter (Wiley)

  • This essential reference on everything commercial real estate has over 500 entries on everything from raising investors to recession-proofing your properties.

How I Built This: The Unexpected Paths to Success from the World's Most Inspiring Entrepreneurs by Guy Raz (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

  • Based on the NPR podcast of the same name, How I Built This offers lessons for aspiring entrepreneurs through the stories of founders on their path to success.
Woman By Xmas Tree

® Amy Lane

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The Culture Scan blog explores the intersection of real estate, media, and popular culture. If you have an example of how culture plays a role in your real estate business, feel free to send story ideas to REALTOR® Magazine’s Ally Stegman. You can learn more about Culture Scan's focus here.

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